Big Bear Valley
Big Bear Valley
Definitely not dying.
We have folks showing up almost every weekend to our (rather remote) testing sessions serving the mountain communities of SW San Bernardino County. We're not exactly in what you'd consider a highly populated location, either.
LOTS of interest out there.
Rather than quit, why not keep up the fight to change these behaviors? If hams continue to quit and abandon the (necessary) role of self-policing, we'll end up with nothing left to fight for as our spectrum gets auctioned off to the highest bidders.
I know that through my efforts I've directed a few "pirates" toward getting licensed and actually having a little bit of appreciation for exactly what the service (and hobby) entails.
Don't give up on ham radio! I listened to a conversation on the local repeater just last week where a motorcycle rider (on a dirt road 5 mi from the nearest highway) was side-swiped by a jeep and left with a broken shoulder. The jeep took off and left him there immobile. No cellular reception in the area. Luckily the rider had his HT and was able to get into the local repeater where another ham coordinated with emergency services to get him out. Not more than a few weeks ago, a group of 4x4s got stuck on a trail w/ heavy snow up near Tahoe and were "rescued" thanks to local hams coordinating a rescue (once again, no cell or CB reception) after being engaged by a family of one of the members of the 4x4 group almost half a state away.
While these are relatively uncommon experiences, they do happen and every time I read or hear of one of these situations it refreshes my dedication to "cleaning up" the bands and guiding some of the non-ideal ops in the right direction.
The only difference between a car salesman and a computer salesman is that the car salesman knows he's lying.