Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Use this forum to post links to news stories from other websites - ones that other hikers might find interesting. This is not intended for original material or anecdotal information. You can reply to any news stories posted, but do not start a new thread without a link to a specific news story.
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Water
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by Water » May 28th, 2019, 2:27 pm

retired jerry wrote:
May 28th, 2019, 4:28 am
they could put tickets on vehicles

nice how they morphed to the fees will go to trail maintenance, that will sell better

I heard news stories on several TV and radio stations. They just reported what the FS said.

Tickets on cars, for what, parking on a FS road? FLREA explicitly states the FS cannot charge for parking. Cause they know that's not a different/shuttle car you dropped off if you weren't doing a loop?

Yeah now when it's time to comment on fees the narrative can be framed around 'paying for the trails'. When it was about limiting access and actually responding to the reality of enforcing 'unprecedented restrictions' the mythical 'beyond this project's scope' fees were referenced with all seriousness that they'll support enforcement.

The FS continually finds ways to lose credibility as far as I can see.
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Bosterson
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by Bosterson » May 28th, 2019, 3:18 pm

Side note: per the FLREA §6802(d): Limitations on recreation fees:
(3) Prohibition on fees for certain persons or places
The Secretary shall not charge an entrance fee or standard amenity recreation fee for the following:

(A) Any person under 16 years of age.
I don't recall specifically from the EA, but I presume children are subject to the quota restrictions? But per above, they are exempt from the permit fee. That said - Rec.gov charges the base $6 for the vendor, meaning if these permits are at least $10 then the remaining $4 is the "standard amenity fee." So are children still subject to the vendor service charge? You'd think that if the law is written to exempt them, then they would also be exempt from mandatory service fees that wouldn't be necessary without the permit system allowed by the FLREA...

Also, if marking whether you're an exempt child is done via self report on Rec.gov, are the enforcement rangers going to be checking IDs and birthdates at the TH to ensure compliance? Since under-16s don't generally have driver's licenses, are you going to have to bring your kid's birth certificate when you go hiking to prove their permit should be free? :roll:
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retired jerry
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by retired jerry » May 28th, 2019, 3:27 pm

"expanded office hours"
"additional rangers"
"trail maintenance"

Sounds to me like they're just saying whatever they think will get people to go along with their plan :)

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Water
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by Water » May 29th, 2019, 9:26 pm

Relayed to me is that the supervisor of the Deschutes National Forest, John Allen will be retiring at the end of next month. So kind of him to direct the massive changes coming to the district he managed right before he leaves. Seems like a totally normal course of action for someone who knows they'd be leaving their post... :roll:
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Water
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by Water » June 3rd, 2019, 9:45 am

https://www.bendbulletin.com/opinion/71 ... ness-plans

Editorial: Forest Service’s underwhelming wilderness access plan
If that wasn’t bad enough, because of federal law, the public has been asked to judge the merits of restricting access without knowing how much a permit will cost. The federal government gives absurdism a whirl from time to time, but that really is a stunning way to set policy.

Some people may welcome the limits as a way of making the wilderness more wild and exclusive. But make no mistake: It’s like putting up a Keep Out sign for the wilderness aimed at those with little money.

Deschutes National Forest Supervisor John Allen isn’t blind to those issues. He knows that some people will be disappointed at not being able to get the permit they want to enjoy one of the high alpine wilderness trails. He said in an interview with Wilderness Podcast that his staff is working to expand and develop some high-elevation trails in some non-wilderness areas for free.

But do you know what he mentioned? One was a trail to the top of Mount Bachelor. You can already take a chairlift ride to the top. How is that special? He also mentioned the possibility of another trail to the top of Mount Tumalo. Prepare to be underwhelmed.
Last edited by Water on June 3rd, 2019, 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Water
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by Water » June 3rd, 2019, 9:48 am

https://www.bendbulletin.com/opinion/71 ... itch-about

Editorial: Forest Service makes a flawed pitch about wilderness plan
In the minds of Forest Service officials, the number of people heading into the wilderness could still be the same — “no net loss of access.” People would just not be able to go on weekends or whenever they want, because they could not get a permit.

Sorry, when people can’t go, that is a net loss of access.

The Deschutes officials announced that they have sent a draft plan of how the fee system will work to their regional office. We requested a copy. The officials explained they were “not trying to hide something” but didn’t want to release it until it was further along. Sorry again. When you don’t make public the draft plan to charge the public for access to public lands, that is hiding something.
..
There was good news — as long as you don’t have a big family. Forest Service officials said they are trying to keep the new day permit fee to $5 per person. That is not finalized. The proposal is lower than what the Forest Service has mentioned in the past. But it will still be the federal government saying to people with big families: Your wilderness isn’t for people like you.

The FLREA explicitly states children under age 16 cannot be charged. How are they getting around that BS?
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Bosterson
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by Bosterson » June 3rd, 2019, 10:40 am

Water wrote:
June 3rd, 2019, 9:48 am
https://www.bendbulletin.com/opinion/71 ... itch-about

Editorial: Forest Service makes a flawed pitch about wilderness plan
There was good news — as long as you don’t have a big family. Forest Service officials said they are trying to keep the new day permit fee to $5 per person. That is not finalized. The proposal is lower than what the Forest Service has mentioned in the past. But it will still be the federal government saying to people with big families: Your wilderness isn’t for people like you.
Is that $5 for the "permit" - on top of the required $6 vendor Rec.gov fee? So are we at $11 per permit now?

I asked about the age limit previously. Under FRLEA, it doesn't seem legal for them to charge children under 16. Presumably some of these new fees will pay for the rangers to check your ID in order to hike... :roll:
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by Aimless » June 3rd, 2019, 11:37 am

Yeah. It's hard to believe that at some point next year, someone who is simply walking on public land could be engaged in a criminal activity!

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Water
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by Water » June 3rd, 2019, 3:43 pm

I don't know if the FS is actually issuing fines for not showing a NWFP when it says it is required, I haven't hung one for years and years now and haven't gotten a ticket.

Presumably the FS regional/local offices don't really read legislation with a fine tooth comb or the FLREA in much depth? I mean we've all heard how strained the FS is and that they don't have money to do their job so don't ask them to do anything (except restrict access, charge for it, and have the public do their trailhead and public-facing outreach for them). Surely they also cut resources on legislative specialists/legal review as well over the years. So "shrug" oops we didn't know we couldn't do that, don't blame us, our budget got cut!

Based upon explicit judgments against how they're operating and then continuing to operate that way. I mean someone in the FS knows of the rulings against them but I don't think it has been promulgated on down by any stretch of the imagination. Probably those in the know are in a holding pattern with it. Still get plenty of NWFP funds and have some basis for charging (people do use the amenities) and have taken the tacit approach of implying it is required without the clarification that it is required only for amenity use. I've asked on GPNF FB when they say 'remember to get your NWFP!' and they entirely ignore it.

So regarding charging kids, I would not be surprised in the least if they operate in a grey area with some legal standing that they can charge for certain things, but omitting details or 'interpreting' FLREA to their liking basically. "oh but it says 'persons' may be charged here, a kid is still a person! even though it says children may not be charged up above that.
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