1. Wood structures are great habitat for small rodents, especially structures that bring in a new supply of food every night. Our last night out we camped in a large structure near the Punta Gorda Lighthouse (the first time I have done this) and just before I crawled into my tent for the night I noticed a small mouse running around checking out all of our gear. It seemed well adjusted to humans because it was pretty much unphased by my presence as it ran between my legs and crawled up my backpack. In the morning my brother woke up to find mouse feces inside of his pack. Also, more than just a nuisance is the possibility of encountering the predator of the mouse: Snakes.
3. Driftwood structures don’t fit with wilderness characteristics that we manage for or Leave No Trace ethics. Section 2(c) of the 1964 Wilderness Act (don’t worry, I’m not going to get to technical) states that:
“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the
landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are
untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain. An area of
wilderness is further defined to mean in this Act an area of undeveloped Federal land
retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human
habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions and which
(1) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint
of man's work substantially unnoticeable…”
(You can look at the whole Act at http://www.wilderness.net/index.cfm?fuse=NWPS&sec=legisAct)
I understand that it can get very windy out on the Lost Coast. If you find that you need to build a small structure to escape the wind, ok. But, I ask you to please keep it small, don’t build onto existing structures, and PLEASE restore the site to its original condition by taking the drift wood back to where you found it. It is very easy for a small wind break to turn into a scene from Gilligan’s Island or Lord of the Flies as each visitor that camps at it builds a little more in an attempt to make some kind of “improvement.” Then, I get to come out there and spend several hours taking it all apart, restoring it to a more “natural” condition and often picking up pounds of trash that get hidden amongst the logs.
By practicing Leave No Trace you try to leave the most minimum impact possible.
Remember, there were people here before you and there will be people here after you. Do the right thing and help keep the Lost Coast clean and enjoyable for everyone.