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Go Back   KOTR Forums > Community > KMPL - Korean Mountain Preservation League

KOTR is looking for a new owner. Are you a developer, a climber and have plans to stay in Korea for a while? If so, email me at [email protected]
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  #1  
Unread 11-27-2008, 10:06 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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Posts: 330
rolls of razor wire around riparian areas

I've run into a number of watersheds that are roped off and I understand the need to do that. The thing is I've also run across ones that use barbed wire and one in particular that has rolls of razor wire around it to keep people out of the water.

A lot of these areas seem to be moving from barbed wire to rope (a definite step in the right direction). But I was told that this razor wire just popped up this year around an area where people used to swim above a temple. Back in the states I was an Environmental Scientist and actually lead multiple riparian area restoration crews, but this razor wire just seems absurd and shows complete disregard for wildlife in an area that is frequented by deer.

Could someone enlighten me as to why this is necessary?
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Unread 11-28-2008, 04:10 AM
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Well, I'm not really certain what fascination Korea has with barbed wire. When I first arrived here eight years ago, barbed wire was common around the tops of fences in schools!

I'm not entirely sure about the cost issues regarding barbed wire versus rope, though I'd imagine they could be roughly the same in cost depending on the quality of rope (perhaps someone could clarify this more precisely). Barbed wire certainly has a far more psycological impact on people. Really, what's more threatening, wire with large protruding pieces of pin sharp metal teeth, or a nice white rope? Although I've found this to be decreasing, it's devastating that it indeed still does happen. I was monitoring water this past weekend and the first site was partly blocked by barbed wire (obviously quite old).

Really, the only reason that I can think of is that barbed wire was simply more accessible and cheaper than rope. With Korea slowly becoming more conscious about safety - both environmental and social - it's good to know that new sites are being blocked off with rope, but really education must be more widely distributed to provide a clear sense in the social attitude toward effective protection of riparian habitat.
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Unread 11-28-2008, 09:00 PM
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Having worked as a fencing contractor in rural Australia in years past (as well as on my family farm of some 1100 acres) I can say with certinty that wire of any sort (let alone barbed/ razor) is really expensive! The rope thay use is not dynamic climbing rope, but a simple el-cheapo nylon based rope. It is probably less than a tenth the cost per yard/ metre than wire. Roes really are no deterrent to human illegal ingress or egress. We all see how oft and easily they are ignored, hopped and so on. That said, wire does pose a serious hazard to land living wildlife, and can become clogged with leaves and detritus much more easliy. This can be both harmful and beneficial though. It has the effect of slowing or stabilizing erosion pathways and so on, rather like those avalanche traps in the alps you see. So it can be good for the environment, though a hazard to wildlife. Visibility is much more of an issue in deterrence values. Deer etc can easily jump these IF they can see them, which of course is almost impossible after a few months. Hence in Australia and NZ a lot of farms etc are switching to white/ yellow/ orange nylon tape with a wire filament woven through them. They look similar to packing straps - about 1cm wide or so and can be tightened and even electrifified. They are highly visible to wildlife and humans, cheaply repaired by the simple act of tying broken ends together again (they have a relatively low breaking staring so animals thet are trapped can chew or break free with a bit of effort).
Again though education and maintainence are the real issues here. The parks need many more patrolling rangers and the public needs better awarenes of why off-limits areas should be respected as such. Heavier fines and even monitoring CCTV cameras in high risk (or high preservation value) areas would also help. Solar powered and advertised clearly and widely, also works to ID any potential entangled animals etc. But the NPWS here in Korea, like everywhere, is underfunded and understaffed.
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Unread 12-04-2008, 07:57 PM
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Thanks for the info, Jake.

I guess it's my second assumption regarding the psycological effect that wire has over rope that may be the reason for all the wide spread use of wire in Korea. More people think twice about trying to hop over or go through wire. I believe another advancement of tightening these no entry laws is to actually give the rangers specialised law enforcement abilities. I would bask in the greatness of seeing some supposed mountaineer being written a huge fine for entering a preservation area by a ranger.

Like Jake said though, the NPWS is critically understaffed. The KMPL has in fact proposed a volunteer program to the NPWS. We would offer our services as volunteer rangers to help enforce no-entry laws. We got no response. We'll be picking up that attempt again come spring.
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