Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

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Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby FatCanyoner » Mon 24 Jun, 2013 10:57 pm

G'day folks,

I get annoyed when 'bushwalkers' do things that deliberate damage the natural environment, I get angry when they are from a bushwalking club and should know better, and I get furious when they show no remorse for their actions (that are not only unethical, but illegal!)

So here's the story. Over the weekend members of the UWS Bushwalking Society committed an act of vandalism in a National Park while part of an organised club walk. It occurred on Sunday 23 June on a walk to Pindar Cave in Brisbane Water National Park, NSW.

During the walk, a UWS student has scrawled the following graffiti on a rock face: "UWS Bushwalking Society 2013". He then shared the photo on the club's facebook page.

1011218_349283821866235_1061028115_n.jpg


I saw this and left a note in their facebook group highlighting the inappropriateness of any graffiti in a national park and also shared with them a copy of the Bushwalkers Code of Ethics. I assumed that would be enough to allow them to realise the actions were inapropriate and to appologise. Instead I received the following response from the man who organised the walk this incident occurred on:

Hi Tim- with respect- I see no need to apologise nor do I find it unacceptable behaviour in this instance. Firstly, I would like to stress that we do take the principle of environmental awareness very seriously- when we did this walk we took care to pick up any rubbish we encountered which other thoughtless walkers left behind. Secondly, the inscription was made with charcoal from burnt out and legal fires at the site. If you would like to make the argument that charcoal graffiti is environmentally destructive I would be interested to hear it. It is a natural substance which will leave a non-permanent mark and with the next rainfall no doubt it will be erased. From the perspective of aesthetics, I generally agree with you that graffiti is wrong but I would also point out that our graffiti was not offensive in any sense of the term. If you have done the walk before you would have noted that our markings on the wall are hardly unique- the cave is littered with them. This is not to suggest that whatever is popular is right but given the reasons above I do not feel in this case that our markings were egregiously inappropriate. I share your concerns about respecting nature and I understand your outrage at the thought of nature being defiled permanently. However I assure you that this was not the case in this instance.


This left me absolutely fuming. What kind of f***tard thinks it is acceptable to deface a wilderness area? And what kind of bushwalking club has leaders (this guy is their most active trip leader) who are promoting this kind of action!!! :evil:

I got so hot under the collar that I've contacted the University, NOWS, the local police graffiti squad and Bushwalking NSW.

Am I overreacting here? Does anyone else know of bushwalking clubs / individual bushwalkers who think it is acceptable behaviour?
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby Hallu » Mon 24 Jun, 2013 11:06 pm

Yep, charcoal or not, how can you defend the act of writing such useless words ? I also love the "the wall is littered with them" argument. What a moron.. Is it so hard to say "sorry he misbehaved this shouldn't have happened" ? This guy is so full of himself he's actually defending the undefendable.
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby FatCanyoner » Mon 24 Jun, 2013 11:35 pm

Hallu wrote:charcoal or not, how can you defend the act of writing such useless words ? I also love the "the wall is littered with them" argument.


Totally agree. I've been worked up for a couple hours now by this.
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby Chris » Mon 24 Jun, 2013 11:43 pm

Absolutely unacceptable, whether permanent or not - what a trend to set!
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby ULWalkingPhil » Mon 24 Jun, 2013 11:43 pm

This is certainly a practice thats not appropriate in the bushwalking club i am a member of. I would not be surprised if the culprit gets suspended from our club if caught doing such thing on any of our walks, I can understand your frustration Tim.
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby Strider » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 12:42 am

Dead set w^nker!

I've come to expect graffiti in caves that are within a couple of hours walk from a road, but that's from idiots who simply don't care. I never would have thought those losers and proud members of bushwalking clubs could be one and the same!
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby ahmondjai » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 1:16 am

This is totally inappropriate behaviorS!!
The graffiti itself had upset me, what got me most was their/his reply, which disappointed me furthermore with his arrogance.
Permanent or not, markings are still unacceptable anywhere, let alone in a National Park?.
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby ninjapuppet » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 6:02 am

Going by that logic, it would be totally appropriate for you to pee on his driveway or even squeeze out a nugget and leave it on top of his letter box. I'm sure the rain will wash it away...... Eventually.
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby Giddy_up » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 6:15 am

Tear strips of the the b#€%¥$d..........
He claims that its not permanent. Then tells you its written in charcoal and will wash off in the next rain but it's in a cave were the wall are littered with such rubbish and clearly have NOT washed off with the next rains. What an idiot.


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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby maddog » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 6:49 am

The charcoal marking does not add to the appeal of the rock face, a little childish perhaps, but no worse than leaving a few footprints.

I tend to agree with the response provided by the walk leader - no real harm was done.

Cheers
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby simonm » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 6:53 am

ninjapuppet wrote:Going by that logic, it would be totally appropriate for you to pee on his driveway or even squeeze out a nugget and leave it on top of his letter box. I'm sure the rain will wash it away...... Eventually.


:lol: I like your thinking.

Tim like the others I hate seeing any marks like this permanent or not. I don't think you have over-reacted.
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby perfectlydark » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 7:17 am

Interesting. I was in the area the day before but didnt notice anything. Totally agree with the OP. Completely unnacceptable and undefensible too
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby neilmny » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 7:20 am

ninjapuppet wrote:Going by that logic, it would be totally appropriate for you to pee on his driveway or even squeeze out a nugget and leave it on top of his letter box. I'm sure the rain will wash it away...... Eventually.


I had similar thoughts but not quite so extreme......just some nice charcoal scribble.
I wonder how he would see it then. What a muppet!

(......... and appologies to muppets)
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby FatCanyoner » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 7:42 am

maddog wrote:The charcoal marking does not add to the appeal of the rock face, a little childish perhaps, but no worse than leaving a few footprints.

I tend to agree with the response provided by the walk leader - no real harm was done.


Really? So footprints, that will disappear in weeks and are completely impermanent, are the same as charcoal on rock in a protected overhang that will last years if not decades? What else do you think does no real harm? Chopping down the odd tree? Carving initials in tree bark? Leaving rubbish? None of those things will take any longer to go away.

The test I use is, how would I feel if this was my property. I'd have no issue about walking, or camping, or clean camp fires. But if someone came up to the side of my house and scrawled their name on it in charcoal, I'd react very differently. I'm guessing even maddog would probably not smile and say "no harm done" at that point! If something is unacceptable on my property, it is unacceptable on the land we all own collectively. It's a simple test.

And ninjapupptet, if I find his address I'll send it your way (along with a box of laxatives...) :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby Turfa » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 8:02 am

Agree with your reaction 100%...I am stunned that the leader of a bushwalking club would publicly respond that way.

That rockface looks like it is probably protected from the weather, and if so , that graffiti will certainly not be erased by the next rainfall (as evidenced by the other markings mentioned) So that is a stupid defence . But regardless, you just don't do that !

BTW. Can't get the "letterbox nugget" image out of my head ! :lol:
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby perfectlydark » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 8:12 am

Im not sure the exact placement of the graffiti but that overhang will rarely get any water more than a few metres in. Id say its likely to never get the so called rain to wash it off. Very stupid indeed.
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby taswegian » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 8:46 am

Over one hundred 1,300-year-old charcoal drawings and engravings have been found in a cave in southwestern Wisconsin.

I expect that is one of thousands of sites.

If that is in a cave or overhang then agree its outright vandalism. Made worse by the response.
If out in open then still don't agree.

What if every walker passing that site added their mark, and even with only charcoal?
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby Lotsafreshair » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 9:08 am

Unbelievable arrogance from someone who is leading (what I assume to be) less experienced walkers from a university group. This means that he is setting an example for all those in his group, that this is OK. If you want to be an arrogance p****, do it where you're not teaching others to do the same, who in their ignorance, won't know better.
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby GPSGuided » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 9:18 am

No over reaction here. I think the next appropriate action is to send a message to the vice chancellor's office at UWS. These student clubs are run by students but remain answerable to UWS' ethics and standards. As such, this present vandalism falls within that. The students and their leaders should be made aware of community expectations over it.
Just move it!
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby puredingo » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 9:32 am

I've never met a uni student, much less a uni teacher (or whatever they're called) to be stood corrected yet. Admitting to being wrong or unimformed about a practice or fact seems to grate hard against their supposed higher interlect....(I'm not bitter about being forced out of school at year 10, I swear!)

He could not honestly believe it WIll eventually wash away? I know of several indiginous charcoal drawings around here in rather shallow caves that would see their share of weather and these pieces are as clear as day.

I agree, dump 4 liters of acrylic paint over the bonnet of his car, this to will wash away....eventually. Take it to the streets like we did in the 60's.
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby stepbystep » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 9:33 am

maddog wrote:The charcoal marking does not add to the appeal of the rock face, a little childish perhaps, but no worse than leaving a few footprints.

I tend to agree with the response provided by the walk leader - no real harm was done.


Well there ya go, they really do exist... :roll:
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby jackhinde » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 10:27 am

your local charcoal markings were mixed with animal fat to make them last longer on sandstone mr dingo, may i suggest in a similar manner fibre glass resin is added to the paint used in decorating the car bonnet
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby GPSGuided » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 10:30 am

puredingo wrote:I've never met a uni student, much less a uni teacher (or whatever they're called) to be stood corrected yet. Admitting to being wrong or unimformed about a practice or fact seems to grate hard against their supposed higher interlect....(I'm not bitter about being forced out of school at year 10, I swear!)

Time have changed. Getting to uni (of some sort) is like entering Year 11 of years past after the government created numerous universities out of thin air or relabelled ex-technical colleges. As such, students within have no guaranteed correlation with "supposed higher intellect" or ethics, although one hopes it to be the case.

UWS Vice-Chancellor's office
http://www.uws.edu.au/about_uws/uws/vic ... chancellor

Send a descriptive email to Prof Janice Reid with photo grabs and links to FB page. WIth a club using UWS's label, she and her office will intervene. I think it's also good for the education of those involved students.
Just move it!
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby Moondog55 » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 10:37 am

Just wait a few thousand years, by then it will be a highly regarded indigenous artifact and help in high esteem by our descendents and there will be demands to "Protect" this evidence of our existence.
Graffiti is part of who we are, found everywhere even 4000 years ago inside tombs and pyramids, indeed a proportion of ancient rock inscription and painting seems to be simple graffiti rather than art
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby FatCanyoner » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 10:38 am

GPSGuided wrote:Send a descriptive email to Prof Janice Reid with photo grabs and links to FB page. WIth a club using UWS's label, she and her office will intervene. I think it's also good for the education of those involved students.


Great minds think alike. This morning I sent the following email to her:

Dear Ms Reid,

I have also sent the following email to the UWS Engagement Facilitator, Communities and Sustainability, but I wanted to ensure it was seen and addressed at the most appropriate level.

Over the weekend there was an incident involving members of the UWS Bushwalking Society. They committed an act of vandalism in a National Park while part of an organised club walk. I have forwarded my concerns with the incident, and the poor response from the trip leader, to NPWS, local police, Bushwalking NSW and UWSConnect. I believe it important I pass on the same information to the university as well.

The incident occurred yesterday (Sunday 23 June) on a walk to Pindar Cave in Brisbane Water National Park (http://www.uws.edu.au/uws_students/even ... -_nex_walk).

During the walk, a UWS student has scrawled the following graffiti on a rock face: "UWS Bushwalking Society 2013".

I left a note in their facebook group highlighting the inappropriateness of any graffiti in a national park and also shared with them a copy of the Bushwalkers Code of Ethics.

I assumed that would be enough to allow them to realise the actions were inapropriate and to appologise. Instead I received the following response from {de-identified}, the man who organised the walk this incident occurred on:

Hi Tim- with respect- I see no need to apologise nor do I find it unacceptable behaviour in this instance. Firstly, I would like to stress that we do take the principle of environmental awareness very seriously- when we did this walk we took care to pick up any rubbish we encountered which other thoughtless walkers left behind. Secondly, the inscription was made with charcoal from burnt out and legal fires at the site. If you would like to make the argument that charcoal graffiti is environmentally destructive I would be interested to hear it. It is a natural substance which will leave a non-permanent mark and with the next rainfall no doubt it will be erased. From the perspective of aesthetics, I generally agree with you that graffiti is wrong but I would also point out that our graffiti was not offensive in any sense of the term. If you have done the walk before you would have noted that our markings on the wall are hardly unique- the cave is littered with them. This is not to suggest that whatever is popular is right but given the reasons above I do not feel in this case that our markings were egregiously inappropriate. I share your concerns about respecting nature and I understand your outrage at the thought of nature being defiled permanently. However I assure you that this was not the case in this instance.

I think there would be some benefit in the university making contact with the club to ensure they carry out their activities in a legal and environmentally sustainable way going forward.

I also attach a couple screen shots of the offending graffiti to provide you with evidence of the incident.

I would appreciate a response from the university to confirm receipt of this email and that some action has occurred.

Cheers
Last edited by FatCanyoner on Thu 27 Jun, 2013 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby GPSGuided » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 10:58 am

LOL. Not sure how you guys accessed that FB page, but I note that they have their privacy switch on right now for non-members.
Just move it!
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby roysta » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 11:24 am

FatCanyoner wrote:
GPSGuided wrote:Send a descriptive email to Prof Janice Reid with photo grabs and links to FB page. WIth a club using UWS's label, she and her office will intervene. I think it's also good for the education of those involved students.

Great minds think alike. This morning I sent the following email to her:
Dear Ms Reid,
....... I generally agree with you that graffiti is wrong but I would also point out that our graffiti was not offensive in any sense of the term.


What a jerk, there are degrees of wrong with graffiti?
I'll be interested to hear the response from Ms Reid.
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby Pteropus » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 11:33 am

FatCanyoner wrote:Great minds think alike. This morning I sent the following email to her:

Good one Tim. As far as I am concerned it is important to at least point out to people that their actions are an illegal act of vandalism. I have seen it before and if nothing is said one gives implicit consent that it is okay. Which it is clearly not, legally or socially.
ninjapuppet wrote:Going by that logic, it would be totally appropriate for you to pee on his driveway or even squeeze out a nugget and leave it on top of his letter box. I'm sure the rain will wash it away...... Eventually.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
Last edited by Pteropus on Tue 25 Jun, 2013 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby FatCanyoner » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 11:49 am

Well, I have to say the Uni deserves 10 out of 10 for their response so far.

I just received a phone call from the woman who oversees the university clubs. She is taking it very seriously and has spoken to the walkers involved. Not only have they admitted to her that yes, it was a stupid thing to do, but they have agreed to walk out there and try and remove the graffiti. She is also proactively making contact with NPWS etc to discuss it, and has promised to highlight the importance of appropriate bushwalking ethics with the club members. As a walker herself, she was equally shocked. She was also surprised by the response of the walk leader, and assures me he is both an intelligent and conservation-minded young man.

Following that chat I'm extremely glad I've raised this issue. I think it's fair to say the people involved will not do something similar again. Hopefully it results in some broader education in the club going forward.
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Re: Graffiti in a National Park (by a bushwalking club!)

Postby GPSGuided » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 12:35 pm

Good outcome! University administrations are typically very prompt on these matters.
Just move it!
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