While I do have a lot of opinions about life in this crazy society of ours, I generally keep the opinions to myself — unless I’m asked to share. However… sometimes some problems are hard to ignore — especially when it might have an impact on me in some way. I find the need to put in my 2 cents.
One of the joys about living in the Pacific Northwest is the abundance of wilderness parks and recreation areas available for use. I enjoy going on hikes and exploring the back-countries with my camera. While most of the popular national parks and forest areas usually are well maintained by the U.S. Forest Service, still… whenever I visit any of the parks and recreation areas, I am fully aware of the dangers and risks of venturing out into the wilderness. And if I choose to ignore signs like this, and I get hurt… I have no one to blame but myself.
I guess that’s why recent news of people suing our Park Services for wrongful death really infuriates me. While it is sad that these families suffered the loss of their loved ones, however by not willing to accept personal responsibility and placing blame unjustifiably and seeking compensation with frivolous lawsuits will end up making these beautiful places inaccessible for others to enjoy its natural wonder.
Last month a woman whose husband was killed by a mountain goat last year, is suing for 10 millions dollars. Her lawyer is claiming the national park service knew the goat was aggressive and dangerous and they should have kill it or remove it from the park… Gee, what a great idea… let’s kill and remove every dangerous wild animal from the wilderness so that it is safe for people to visit. And yesterday, the parents of an 11-year-old girl, who was killed accidentally by a huge ice boulder at the Big Four Ice Caves over a year ago — is suing the U.S. Forest Service for their daughter’s death. According to the suit, the parents and their ambulance chaser, lawyer insisted that the Forest Service did not provide enough adequate danger signs warning people about the risks of collapsing ice, snow and unstable caves along the trail to the caves.
I’ve visited the Big Four Ice Caves a couple of months ago and there were warning signs along the trail — not to mention the sign at the end of the trail giving the final warning about staying off and out of the ice caves. And from what I’ve read from other visitor’s comments, the area always have warning signs about the dangers of getting too close to the ice caves. The parents chose to ignore the warning signs and put their children at risk. During my visit at the ice caves, while I did heed the warning of not climbing on and staying out of the ice caves, I did make the choice of venturing out into the danger zone to take some close up photos of the ice caves and waterfalls. I was at least 25 feet away from the ice cave entrance. The father said the family was standing about 15 feet away from the ice cave entrance to get pictures when the accident happened. Trust me… when a large chunk of rock falls off the mountain above the ice caves, you would need a lot more than 15 feet to be safe.
In my opinion, with or without the danger signs, anytime you are hiking in the wilderness; you should always be aware of the hidden dangers and obey the warning signs or proceed at your own risk. It’s not right to blame others if you choose not to use your common sense. Okay, I’ll get off my soap box now… thanks for listening…