By Ian Cochran
Fern Canyon is a popular place for new and old hikers up on the North Coast, which has a wonderful mix of all the best that the ocean and forest have to offer. Since it is a such a popular spot, should hikers be worried about their impact on wildlife and nature?
Brett Silver, the executive park ranger for Prairie Creek Redwood State Park, said that there is little to worry about when it comes to harming nature or the animals as long as hikers follow the rules of the trail.
“As long as people stay on the trails there really is very minimal impact on the wildlife and the nature itself,” Silver said. “There have been cases of the elk protecting calves and herding hikers on the trails.”
Bethany McKim, a 19-year-old student at Humboldt State University, who is an avid hiker who has been to Fern Canyon many times before, said that there are a lot of people who go through Fern Canyon but surprisingly there has been little affect to the trails.
“I don’t think our impact is bad as long as we treat the environment with respect,” McKim said.
Marisa Finlayson, a 19-year-old musical education major at Humboldt State University, is an aspiring hiker who said that she really hopes that people don’t disrupt the wildlife and the nature in places they hike as to not ruin opportunities for other hikers.
“Unfortunately I think that the animals become to trusting to people and can therefore be endangered or harmed by the hikers or other people,” Finlayson said.