Had a similar dilema in 2012, we brainstormed on a thread:
I remember an old mafia joke:
Three can keep a secret, when two are dead.
You wouldn't mind sharing a special place with someone you trusted to respect the location equally. it's the 3rd and 4th degree of separation that you have no control over, and once its documented on a trail website, it's there forever, unlike a paper book that gets out of circulation.
First the issues we struggle with:
crowds & noise
trash and graffiti
Land of many uses (Jeep clubs, gun clubs, helicopter tours, miniature model airplane flyers, horse riders, mule rides...) those groups take away from MY enjoyment.
I admit that my feelings are partially selfish. and I'm OK with that.
The irony is that when that special place becomes at risk for bulldozers, starbucks development, Edison powerlines and wind farms, then we find it OK to tell everyone about it, to draw attention to preserving a place that we wanted to hoard for our own.
It's basic, we don't like to share with strangers. We don't trust others to respect the place and care for it like we do, and we prefer solitude at a max group size or 2 or 3.
The ethics are, everyone is a co-owner of the natural resource, it belongs to all of us.
We exclude others by obfuscating navigation directions, some people break down park signs to intentionally mislead.
Unfortunately, not all teenagers are mature. they want to get drunk, high, leave broken glass, spray paint and the occasional mattress to do the deed.
so What's the answer?
Two wrongs to make a right.
as long as some people disrespect and abuse an existing location, newly discovered locations are kept a secret within a trusted circle, to delay the inevitable damage.
Look at IHC in Mt B, it's overrun with 100s of two distinct groups. One is very respectful, the other leave trash, graffiti and dog poo. Eitherway, the experience for me is seeing mass humanity, and I have to start my trip at 3 or 4am in the morning to get a couple of hours of nature "me time"
and when an area does not get significant use, the lumber timber logging industry, and the energy generation utilities will bribe a few officials, find a way to fence it up, after all no one way using it, except Nick, and Craig. :)