We just got through spending most of the winter south (AZ, UT & NV for the most part). One thing we really missed was traveling with a bouquet of wild flowers. Almost every place we camped, there were stern warnings not to pick, disturb or collect any plants. Not even allowed to pick up wood for your campfire.
Welcome to Alaska. You can pick our flowers! You can pick up firewood. (The rule on wood is it's okay if it's "dead and down.")
In fact, we're on our first "Alaska campout" since returning home. Not many flowers out yet. None where we're camped. But, I've had a ball picking up wood and hauling it back to the rig for a fire. Ah, the simple joys in life!
The restrictions are meant to try to maintain a nice looking campground. Sure, one person picking one flower is no big deal, but multiply that by hundreds or thousands of people cleaning out the landscaping of a campground and you have a barren, ugly place. As to firewood, people clean off all the truly dead wood and then start picking at the trees... "well, this branch is broken, it is almost dead anyways"..."taking down a couple branches won't hurt anything"... and then all the live trees are being stripped apart. That is why most places now just say "do not take any wood".
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You have to remember that you live in the largest state in the union and yet you have less than 800,000 pop. AZ has around 6.5 million, UT has about 2.5 and NV has close to the same as UT.
Also there are by far more people traveling through these states than in AK. So like stated above if everybody picked the flowers there would be none left to reseed or for anybody else to see. It is a shame that it has gotten to this point but this big green marble we live on is becoming over populated and this is just the start of things you are not going to be able to do. Just look at all of the back country roads that have been closed in the past years. Before long you well be lucky if you can drive on a gravel road and not have to stay on the pavement all of the time. People have abused things and have not policed themselves so someone else if going to do it for them.
This is IMO
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I don't think I would ever pick a wild flower, permitted or not. I have picked firewood though and probably would again if the need arose. I do realise however that that is how the new seedlings get fertilised, from the rotting downed wood. They do have to balance this with the danger of having all that kindling laying around that could help fuel forest fires. In many areas now they encourage the picking up of wood when it is close to civilisation, but not in the middle of the forest.
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