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Post a Sign to Help Protect Maryland’s Wildlands
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by Mark Diehl | 2008

Nobody is really looking out for our wildlands. If we fall asleep on the job, we may wake up one day to find they’ve been reverted to the general management zone (a designation that basically means “subject to road building and logging”).

In the Savage River State Forest, a few years ago the beautiful Savage Ravines and South Savage Mountain areas were designated as wildlands largely through the efforts of the Sierra Club Western Maryland Group (WMG) and Maryland chapter of the Club. We can all be proud of this monumental success. It is good to know that these forested acres are now protected into the indefinite future—and it is also apparent that abuse is occurring within their boundaries.

The photo below  shows  serious erosion caused by all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in the ravines. The photo showing the ruts was taken a mere 20 feet from Little Savage River, whose water is of extremely high quality. These deep grooves are not the result of casual usage; they represent frequent—and illegal—access.

erosion

In another area deep within the ravines wildlands, hemlocks were cut down to clear a path. ATV use in our wildlands is occurring frequently and with seeming impunity. It must stop.

Nobody is really looking out for our wildlands. If we fall asleep on the job, we may wake up one day to find they’ve been reverted to the general management zone (a designation that basically means “subject to road building and logging”).

The first step toward protecting our wildlands is educating the public. To this end, the Sierra Club Western Maryland Group (WMG) has been granted the Department of Natural Resources’ approval to create and install signs (at our own expense) at key wildlands entry points. Using WMG funds, we bought two professional-quality, reusable Mylar master stencils. They are identical, and the wording is standard and approved by DNR.

The sign shown below  was prepared and installed in October 2007. It is posted on a DNR gate that blocks an old access road leading down to Little Savage River.

 

sign


 

The WMG now invites the other Maryland Sierra Club chapters to fund and install signs in your respective areas’ wildlands. Essentially this entails a donation of $25 per sign, which covers the cost of materials. Your group’s volunteers obtain the materials, create and install each sign at a key wildlands entry point. Our group will gladly provide specifics regarding the recommended material list and assembly guidelines.

 

Basic costs include:

  • Road-sign gauge sheet metal (2’H x 3’W): $10
  • One can spray paint: $4
  • One can stencil adhesive: $4
  • Mounting hardware (bolts/nuts/washers): $2
  • Two 2’H x 2”D x 6”W pressure-treated lumber (sign stiffeners): $5.

 

Please consider this important invitation. Your wildlands need you! For more information, please contact Mark Diehl at mad55@mindspring.com.

> 2008 Table of Contents

   
   

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