***Originally posted 3/20/19 on @publiclandshateyou***
“What’s the big deal, she just stepped on a couple of flowers?” – Instagram user defending an "influencer" who took pictures lying down in the Walker Canyon poppy fields.
Well, this is the result. A small city pushed beyond the breaking point. Six lanes of intestate highway slowed to a crawl. A city employee hit by a car. And public lands closed to, you guessed it, the public.
Congratulations “influencers”. You broke an entire city.
Ok, so what’s my point? My point is that what you post on the internet does have a tangible impact in the real world. If there weren’t any geotagged pictures of people laying in the Walker Canyon poppy fields on Instagram, do you think the City of Lake Elsinore would have had these problems? Maybe, but they no doubt would have been much less severe.
So, now that we all agree that what you post on the internet DOES have tangible effects on the real world, lets look a little further. Say someone posts a picture walking off trail in the poppies, or laying down in a previously untouched wildflower field. How can you possibly think that picture won’t have an impact on the people that see it? How can you possibly think sharing that picture with thousands of others might not influence someone else to do the same thing? Extrapolate that over thousands and thousands of posts and you come to the situation that has materized in Lake Elsinore and the Walker Canyon poppy fields.
What can we do? I believe that encouraging others to act responsibly is the best way to help alleviate these problems in the future. Applaud those who share pictures showing themselves firmly on an official trail. Reach out to those who appear to be breaking the rules and attempt to provide guidance in the right direction. Not everyone we see trampling the poppies is acting out of malice – many are just oblivious to leave no trace principles. And for people who aren’t willing to have a productive conversation about responsible behavior on our public lands? Let’s work together to try and change their minds.
#walkercanyon #poppyfield #influencer#leavenotrace #publiclandshateyou#walkercanyonpoppyfields#protectourpublicland