Central Cascades Wilderness Strategies Update

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
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BurnsideBob
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Re: Central Cascades Wilderness Strategies Update

Post by BurnsideBob » April 22nd, 2018, 9:19 am

Of the proposed alternatives, No 5 is the most restrictive. It is by no means the most draconian possible proposal. In a previous post I mentioned access to the Sierra Nevada operates under a system similar to Alternative 5. While the Sierra is too far away for me to access frequently, I haven't had problems getting permits. And it has alleviated overuse of popular areas.

Wildlife concerns are used to justify more draconian approaches--some animal species like wolverines, fishers, and badgers reportedly are adversely affected by ANY human presence. To safeguard wildlife, some groups and individuals have suggested removing trail signs, limiting or discontinuing trail maintenance, and abandoning roads to trail heads.

As Water notes, private business and state agencies actively promote our state's natural resources as tourist destinations. So on one hand we have the managing agency (USFS) proposing plans to restrict use while other interests are actively encouraging use.

We all have a stake in this so please share your views, both on this thread and in your comments to the USFS.
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jessbee
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Re: Central Cascades Wilderness Strategies Update

Post by jessbee » April 23rd, 2018, 3:44 pm

retired jerry wrote:
April 22nd, 2018, 8:25 am
I emailed my comments to [email protected]

Thanks for bringing this up jessbee

You could remind us when there's a public meeting we could attend
Yes! Thanks Jerry, and here's information about the public meetings:

"Tuesday, April 24th from 5:30 -7:00 pm at the Sisters High School, 1700 McKinney Butte Road, Sisters, OR 97759.
Thursday, April 26th from 6:00 – 7:30 pm at the Deschutes National Forest Service Supervisor’s Office, 63095 Deschutes Market Road, Bend, OR 97701.
Monday, May 7th from 6:30 – 8:00 pm at the Salem Convention Center, 200 Commercial St SE, Salem, OR 97301.
Thursday, May 10th from 6:30 – 8:00 pm at the Campbell Community Center, 155 High St, Eugene, OR 97401.

In addition, a Wilderness Pub will be held on May 1, 2018, in Father Luke’s Room at McMenamins Old St. Francis School, 700 NW Bond Street, in Bend with doors opening at 5:30 pm and a panel discussion on the future of wilderness management in Central Oregon to begin at 6:30 pm. The program will end at 7:30 pm. The Wilderness Pub will be considering broader issues of wilderness management in Central Oregon, but will provide an opportunity for the public to learn more about the current proposals for management changes.

For more information about the Open Houses, the public can contact Beth Peer, Deschutes National Forest (Bend) at 541-383-5554 or Matt Peterson, Willamette National Forest (Eugene) at 541-225-6421."

Taken from: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/deschute ... EPRD577264

I'll also share the Facebook event page with the FB group. I'll be attending the Bend meeting and I hope anyone who can make it to an event shows up and makes themselves heard!
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cunningkeith
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Re: Central Cascades Wilderness Strategies Update

Post by cunningkeith » May 1st, 2018, 2:53 pm

This proposal is ridiculously heavy-handed. I hope everybody looks at how restrictive the quotas are. I guarantee that your favorite trailhead will be impacted. Here are a few reasons why this is poorly planned (or “arbitrary and capricious” to use the legal phrase):

Over-inclusive. With the quota system, the plan estimates that there will be only 17 days when actual use exceeds the allotted quotas. Yet the quota system applies to everyone for 153 days. In other words, the plan would subject everyone to five months of paying for permits, when the permits would really affect use for only 11% of those days. No reason is given for why this number was chosen.

Uneven Environmental Effects. The estimate of 17 days of impact is only an average that is spread across all trailheads. In fact, the effects would be ridiculously uneven depending on the area, yet no environmental assessment or other justification is given on a trail-by-trail basis. For example, the quota would have zero impact on the Rebel Trailhead (so why implement a quota there?) but would have massive impact on the Jefferson Lake Trailhead (100% of the days studied would exceed the quota of one). There may be environmental or other reasons for each quota, but the plan ought to justify each quota on a trail-by-trail basis.

Cost. The plan describes the potential “loss of opportunity & spontaneity” as a potential “key issue” but fails to discuss the financial impact on users. Somebody mentioned the permitting system in the Sierra. I have a trip planned there in August with friends. The permit reservation cost $30. That’s not a huge deal, but that can really add up, especially for under-resourced hikers. I would imagine that this could have a real impact on traditionally under-served groups. Also, the Sierra offices are open seven days per week in the summer. I’d like to see the funding proposal to do that in Oregon.

Exemptions. The plan mentions that hunters and PCT “section hikers” (500+mile hikers) might be exempt from the permits. Why not exempt anglers or equestrians or rock climbers or 100+mile “section hikers”? Arbitrary.

Permit dates. The plan proposes to start permitting on May 1 (rather than Memorial Day as currently occurs in limited-entry areas). Yet the plan did absolutely no study of existing use from May 1 to May 25. There’s a good reason for that, of course, because most of these areas are under snow well beyond May 1, and yet the plan designates May 1 as the start. In theory, then, those of us who travel in these areas during the late spring snow will have to pay for a permit even though there is nobody up there right now.

Solutions. I would suggest that many of the problems outlined in the report could be solved by adding a few more limited-entry areas, such as in Green Lakes. For the reasons stated above, I prefer Proposal 1 (status quo). Of the remaining suggestions, Proposal 2 is the most feasible, and looks like it is modeled after the Sierra (Inyo N.F.). The basic idea is to require permits at trailheads, but then allow travel anywhere. This seems the most feasible in terms of enforcement.

I’m sure there are many other problems with the plan, but there’s a taste. I hope that the agency goes back to the drawing board.

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Re: Central Cascades Wilderness Strategies Update

Post by Aimless » May 1st, 2018, 3:13 pm

The plan mentions that hunters and PCT “section hikers” (500+mile hikers) might be exempt from the permits.

In the past, the FS has provided a special wilderness permit (it was free of charge the last I heard) available to any PCT hiker who swears they intend to hike 500+ continuous miles on the PCT in a single hiking season. This permit is designed to streamline and simplify wilderness permitting for thru-hikers, who otherwise must repeatedly fill out individual wilderness permits when crossing into new wilderness areas. Rescinding that program would anger thru-hikers, who would chafe mightily if they were required to fit inside strict quotas or get fined. They can't possibly predict in advance what exact days they will arrive at or leave a wilderness.

As for hunters, they might be exempted because they are well organized, pay hunting license fees, and they expect to get their money's worth. Making them compete with hikers for wilderness permits that are under strict quotas might result in thousands of angry letters to congressional reps, senators and state legislators. All I can think is that would be impolitic of the FS to invite that kind of opposition.

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retired jerry
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Re: Central Cascades Wilderness Strategies Update

Post by retired jerry » May 1st, 2018, 3:30 pm

It seems like often the government just considers their cost, not the costs that we incur

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Central Cascades Wilderness Strategies Update

Post by Don Nelsen » May 1st, 2018, 4:29 pm

There is no incentive for the FS to make this user friendly and more permits/fees/fewer hikers just makes their job easier. What we need is more trails, more parking and less restrictions. The public votes with their feet and the public wants to go hiking/exploring/camping.

Perhaps in a few areas overnight permits are a good idea (i.e.Jefferson Park) but that's about it. To restrict day hikers is ridiculous and only serves to further alienate the already much alienated public towards the FS. For those wanting solitude, it is so easy to find it's not even an issue. I have never had a problem finding solitude and often, even in the gorge(!) see no one on a hike or only one or two folks. One must only pick your day.

I absolutely reject their proposal except for option 1 - and think even those restrictions to be too strict.

dn
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retired jerry
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Re: Central Cascades Wilderness Strategies Update

Post by retired jerry » May 1st, 2018, 6:07 pm

The Forest Service is overseen by the congress. We should let our congressmen know what we think.

Congressmen hate it when they start getting a bunch of angry calls from their voters.

The Forest Service hates it when congressmen start asking them questions.

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Guy
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Re: Central Cascades Wilderness Strategies Update

Post by Guy » May 1st, 2018, 7:12 pm

Don Nelsen wrote:
May 1st, 2018, 4:29 pm
There is no incentive for the FS to make this user friendly and more permits/fees/fewer hikers just makes their job easier. What we need is more trails, more parking and less restrictions. The public votes with their feet and the public wants to go hiking/exploring/camping.

Perhaps in a few areas overnight permits are a good idea (i.e.Jefferson Park) but that's about it. To restrict day hikers is ridiculous and only serves to further alienate the already much alienated public towards the FS. For those wanting solitude, it is so easy to find it's not even an issue. I have never had a problem finding solitude and often, even in the gorge(!) see no one on a hike or only one or two folks. One must only pick your day.

I absolutely reject their proposal except for option 1 - and think even those restrictions to be too strict.

dn
What Don said.
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jessbee
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Re: Central Cascades Wilderness Strategies Update

Post by jessbee » May 1st, 2018, 8:57 pm

I have attended two local meetings in the last two weeks regarding this proposal.

All I can say is, PLEASE submit your comments to the First Service before May 21. In your comments, include:
  • What your objections are and WHY
    Which alternative you support and WHY
    What elements of your chosen alternative you'd change and WHY: for example, which trail head should/should not be included in the quota system.
The FS has made it clear that they will not do alternative 1. I encourage you to examine all 5 alternatives. Alternative 3 appears to have the least broad impact on users. But it has its issues IMHO.

The final decision goes to the Forest Service supervisors. They will take into consideration public comment. If you write a comment before May 21, you'll have the opportunity to appeal the decision of you don't like it. If you do not submit a comment, you will have no voice.

Per the Forest Service: "Comments may be submitted electronically to [email protected]. Please put “Central Cascades Wilderness Project” in the subject line of your e-mail.

Written comments should be sent or delivered to John Allen, Forest Supervisor, Deschutes National Forest, 63095 Deschutes Market Road, Bend, OR 97701. "

Please submit your comments to the Forest Service!!! They only got 500 comments the first time around. Considering that 500 people hike South Sister on a nice summer Saturday, that is not a lot of public interest.
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-Q-
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Re: Central Cascades Wilderness Strategies Update

Post by -Q- » May 1st, 2018, 9:48 pm

jessbee wrote:
May 1st, 2018, 8:57 pm
I have attended two local meetings in the last two weeks regarding this proposal.

All I can say is, PLEASE submit your comments to the First Service before May 21. In your comments, include:
  • What your objections are and WHY
    Which alternative you support and WHY
    What elements of your chosen alternative you'd change and WHY: for example, which trail head should/should not be included in the quota system.
The FS has made it clear that they will not do alternative 1. I encourage you to examine all 5 alternatives. Alternative 3 appears to have the least broad impact on users. But it has its issues IMHO.

The final decision goes to the Forest Service supervisors. They will take into consideration public comment. If you write a comment before May 21, you'll have the opportunity to appeal the decision of you don't like it. If you do not submit a comment, you will have no voice.

Per the Forest Service: "Comments may be submitted electronically to [email protected]. Please put “Central Cascades Wilderness Project” in the subject line of your e-mail.

Written comments should be sent or delivered to John Allen, Forest Supervisor, Deschutes National Forest, 63095 Deschutes Market Road, Bend, OR 97701. "

Please submit your comments to the Forest Service!!! They only got 500 comments the first time around. Considering that 500 people hike South Sister on a nice summer Saturday, that is not a lot of public interest.
Thanks so much for posting this jessbee. I am definetly going to submit my email tomorrow. I encourage all portland hikers to follow jessbee's advice and submit your comments of objection via email. Look at it this way... Spend 10 minutes sending an email now, or spend hours complaining about the unfair restrictions later. Just the members of this forum alone can help sway the decision a lot. Lets get it done together folks :mrgreen:

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