Devils River Trip - Part 2 (Conservation)

I spent a few days on the Devils River, away from civilization.  There was no cell phone service.
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We are off the river now, and I spent my day taking Drew and Brooks back to the Airport, dropping off the kayaks and gear at T G Canoes and Kayaks in San Marcos, and then made the long drive back home.  Being in the truck alone for that long a time gave me plenty of time to reflect on the Devils River and think about Conservation.  How have they worked together, how will they work together in the future.

The Devils River is an interesting mix.  Remote wilderness with nobody around, and private property heavily guarded by those who own the land.  Why are those who own the surrounding land so protective of it?  Why is it that nobody is allowed to have access allowed what is required by State Law?  If the water could be owned or if Texas did not allow those paddling the river to portage, nobody would be able to access and experience this truly amazing landscape.  I am sure both sides will argue back and forth about the issue forever.

The only valid reason that I could see for not wanting paddlers on the Devils River is conservation.  To conserve and preserve the rugged, natural, remoteness, that is the Devils River.  However, as I went down the river this time, I only saw one piece of trash, and I stopped to pick it up.

I know not everyone who kayaks or canoes takes care of the environment, but most do!  Especially those who are willing to travel so far out of cell phone range for their 3 or 4 day trip.  If I were a landowner, I would allow camping on my property.  I would set up a designated spot on my property that had flat areas for tents, a ring for campfires, a trash can with a lid, and a box for "donations" to keep the camp site open.  Obviously you would have to post signs that say "Camp at your own risk.  The landowner is not responsible for anything dumb you do," but it would keep people from pitching a tent and starting a fire in areas that you really wouldn't want them to.  It would also give them a place to dump their trash and prevent it from winding up in the river.

That's how I would help conserve the river.  Because what is conservation if nobody even knows why it needs to be protected?  Experience is the best way to learn.