Are land managers curtailing the freedom of the individual under the guise of a ‘duty of care’?

posted by Dave Reeve

Provocative title I admit, but it is a question worth asking, if for no other reason than the fear of litigation, which is crippling the management of outdoor recreation in both the public and private spaces, has reduced the scouting movement, amongst others, to a mere shadow of its former self, and is on course to elevate the X-Box as the only source of adventure for the coming generation.

Today, as I was bouncing back and forth on the UIAA website looking for something quite different, I happened upon the following link to The Italian Observatory for Liberty.

There is not a lot of information about these folk, but I was struck by the fact that, whereas I tend to view the restrictions on our sport as coming from the bureaucratic incompetence (surely no one wants to deprive the coming generations of the risk-elevated outdoor experience?), this group see it as an attack on foundational liberty.

Zanantoni said the group was formed to combat an obsession with safety, typical of advanced societies, that is in conflict with what drives mountaineers who seek adventure and liberty.

Hmmm…I think they have a point.

Update: 9thJuly12

The Italian Observatory seems to have failed to pay its domain name fee, so I’ve reconnected the above link to a very excellent US blog that discusses the Italian Observatory

The social rejection of the forms of liberty that imply dangers is particularly reactive to accidents in mountaineering, ski-mountaineering and climbing.   Out of it comes the restrictive interpretation of laws and the plan of oppressive ones.  Local authorities often set constraints to the access to mountain areas which are not justified by environmental concern

Hmmm… where have I heard that argument before.