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It is a perfect day, balmy and tranquil, so after a few minutes conversing with my chums about radio commentators and their take on public events I went for a walk. It’s about 100 steps from our door to the entrance to the Truckee Meadows (now called Upper Truckee Marsh) and from there a square mile of restored to pristine wildness. Until a few years ago this meadow was running with cattle but they were causing so much pollution with their poop which was draining directly into the lake that it was converted into a wilderness park. All of the cow pies have now dissolved into the soil and the meadow is similar perhaps to what it once was, sans big wild animals. It would probably support quite a few deer. Without a complete ecosystem it will never be truly wild but it is very pleasant having access to such wonderful things so close to easy civilized style living. So, I was feeling good about life and things in general when I came upon the new sign. The sign which listed all the don’ts.

This area is patrolled violations will be cited.
ALCOHOL, BARBEQUES, CAMPFIRES, CAMPING, FIREWORKS, MOTORIZED VEHICLES, AND SMOKING ARE PROHIBITED

DOGS MUST BE LEASHED

USE IS PROHIBITED FROM SUNSET TO SUNRISE

And of course no fishing but it was on a separate sign.

This is the price we must pay for having a beautiful park so very close to civilization. Well, okay. But, then I started thinking … this means I can’t walk across the street anymore after sunset from my residence (for the last 25 years in September). Yikes, I am now a law violator. I have quietly watched the sunset almost every night all of those years
from a few steps out into that meadow. Everything is being improved, sort of, and yet these last few years, with the increasing lack of access to the wilderness, have seen lots of spectacular improvements in the local commercial environment which will no doubt attract lots more people which means less access to wilderness. Also, I noticed there are miles of new fences along the highways which were not there a few years ago. They are attractive black steel picket fences and when you are driving by they blur into nonexistence and you can see the forests and meadows quite well. But you can’t go there anymore. You might as well look at them in a picture postcard because also there are very few places to stop your car and look at the picturesque views.

My UNESCO world tours are almost as much fun as driving down the highway through beautiful scenery. Here at Lake Tahoe you can’t even drive at the maximum posted speed limit without almost instantly incurring the ire and flashing lights of people who want to whiz past you and get up to the scenery, or the gambling casinos or other places of questionable reputation … who knows, they many not even know. This whole place has been beautified, and rather nicely too but in a soulless non-interesting way and it is destroying the very reason I began coming here in the first place. I sound like an old curmudgeon but believe me it was more pleasurable back before there were so many people and so many regulations.