Have they no shame?
TikToker Tania (@taniainnature) captured a video last year of a sightseer behaving badly. The 30-second clip showed an SUV parked in a field of glorious orange poppies well off the road at an unknown location in California.
“This guy literally just drove into the field,” Tania said. “There’s no road there. And this person just drove there — and is flying their annoying-a** drone.”
@taniainnature Tourists gone wild. (Side note idgaf if you call me gatekeeper) #californiapoppy #poppygedon #tourons #outdooradventures #superbloom ♬ original sound – Tania
The flower peeper’s actions were not only infuriatingly careless but also potentially illegal. The state prohibits removing or damaging the poppy if it is not on your land.
“Isn’t the whole point of having the drone being able to get shots of things you can’t physically cross over?” one commenter said. “Why do this??”
Another wrote, “Send that video to the land manager along with the one of the lisence plate they will happily ticket them! You can’t drive off road in sensitive areas.”
The poppy became the state flower of California in 1903 and is native from western Oregon to Baja California.
The Golden State is 80% forest and rangeland, so Earth’s rising temperature may have an outsized impact on it. That means protecting wild areas will be especially important.
The visitor’s actions violated the Leave No Trace ethic, which is a way for people to interact with the environment without causing damage.
California state parks — as well as four federal land management agencies — promote this message, which has seven principles: plan ahead and prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, and be considerate of other visitors.
At the time of Tania’s video, the Golden State was experiencing its third straight year of drought after the driest start to the year in over a century.
“That’s how grass fires start too in dry conditions,” one user said.
Another noted, “Off trail driving & walking causes soil compaction. It destroys the delicate oxygen pore spaces in soil. A long term + fatal plant problem. Don’t do it.”
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