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Content Removed

I had a troubling e-mail from one of this site’s authors the other day. He was upset that another author (and I, indirectly) had published the location of a nearby natural wonder. When I responded that I saw no reason not to publish the location — especially since it was already published in a popular local book by Dana Burden — he told me to remove all of his articles from the site.

Although I thought his response was extreme (and more than a little childish), I do understand his concern. Many people who go out into the desert and stumble upon remnants of our history seem to have a need to vandalize what they find. Windows are broken in deserted cabins. Equipment is stolen from deserted mines. Sometimes, graves are even desecrated by people digging up bones or removing or damaging marker stones.

This particular author wanted to protect this natural wonder from such vandals. Oddly enough, this same author led a 4WD trip with over 30 participants to Bradshaw’s Grave earlier this year. (For some reason, he appears to believe that bringing people to a site is better than just providing GPS coordinates or a map.)

But I see no reason to keep the location of a point of interest secret — especially if this information is already available elsewhere. Doing so would severely limit the amount of interesting information we provide to site visitors.

Many of the authors on this site write articles that encourage site visitors to get out and explore the desert around Wickenburg. I’d like to think that the vast majority of the people who visit this site and read these articles are interested in seeing these places — not destroying them. I also still believe — perhaps naively — that natural wonders are less likely to be destroyed by vandals than man-made structures.

However, I have honored this particular author’s wishes. I have removed all of his articles from the site.

I — and the rest of wickenburg-az.com‘s authors — will continue to provide information to help visitors learn more about the history and natural beauty of the Wickenburg area.

I’d be interested in reading your comments about this matter. Do you think we should purposely leave out information about the location of natural and man-made points of interest? Do you think many people who read about these things here subsequently locate and vandalize these places? Or do you think we all have a right to experience these points of interest first-hand?

Use the comments link or form to share your thoughts on this matter.

Just remember: comments are moderated. Nasty personal attacks on site authors or other commenters will not be tolerated.

Last 5 posts by Maria Langer

7 comments to Content Removed

  • TJF

    I have to respect the author’s genuine concern for the protection of the area and its sometimes precarious nature. At the same time, however, I think it highly unlikely that vandals have the brains or motivation to find and read this site in order to further their nefarious cause. Such dolts likely wander the desert aimlessly, like the intellectual amoebas they are, in search of things to ruin.

  • Brett M. Gerasim

    I understand and respect where your author is coming from, but I have to disagree about what protecting landmarks and preservation in general are really about. I can appreciate the desire to guard these secluded landmarks against the threat of outside harm, but I also think it would be a shame if others were denied access to a history that is as much theirs as it is anyone else’s. People need to get out there and see these things so that they can really appreciate how special the American West, particularly our corner of it, really is.

    I look forward to seeing more articles on here and getting “out there” any which way I can, be it on the dirt bike, in the UTV, on horseback, or on foot.

  • Daryl

    Simple: witholding information is censorship.

  • Well, “withholding” information really isn’t censorship. But requiring someone else to withhold it is censorship.

    So if I write an article and choose to omit certain information, that’s not censorship. But if someone else writes an article and I refuse to publish it unless certain information is removed, that is censorship.

    Requesting that information be removed or omitted falls somewhere in between. Since it’s a request, the writer can always say no. (That’s the situation I often found myself in with the Town of Wickenburg, which tries very hard sometimes to shut me up.)

  • Allan Hall

    I have admired the contributions this author has made to the knowledge and preservation of history in the Wickenburg area, and to his commitment to researching an era of our past that deserves to be shared. This is a difficult issue, because we all (I hope) want to protect and preserve the history and natural beauty of this area. Whether we like it or not, we are all stewards of the past and present. How well we carry out that role is up to us.

    I appreciate his concern regarding the protection of particular natural wonders and I have been through the same philosphical dilema with the discovery of the arrastre and grave sites in Slim Jim Creek this past March.

    My conclusion (and I hope my fellow man bears me out) is that these sites – both natural and historic – are best protected by an informed and educated citizenry.

  • Daryl

    Allan Hall says: “My conclusion (and I hope my fellow man bears me out) is that these sites – both natural and historic – are best protected by an informed and educated citizenry.”

    I wholeheartedly agree – indeed it’s the basis for hope.

    It sad that TK has left wb-az and that he feels the way he does. Maybe I’m stereotyping, but I don’t imagine thieves and vandals frequent this website.

    Maria, self-censorship then, which I was attempting to practice with my comment 😉

  • Ann Burton

    Behind the scenes….there has to be the other side of the “story”.. from which this request was made. It would be interesting if his “letter” were available to better understand where he is coming from… and why he took such action.
    I like most Arizona loving folks want to preserve our history. The past few decades have changed the demographics of Arizona from an AG state to urban. The newcomers have less knowledge of the extreme fragility of the desert. The probability of their actions via transportation or disturbing the soil could have a lasting effect without their knowledge. take water…Ann