USFS oppression marches on with proposed high-Hood permit

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.
User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 14056
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: USFS oppression marches on with proposed high-Hood permit

Post by retired jerry » February 2nd, 2023, 3:13 pm

"I am not a rich person by any means but I have never found it to be a hardship to buy a $30 dollar a year trail park pass."

yeah, same here

funny how people over react to small fees but not so much for more major problems

just speaking for myself (over reacting to small fees)

User avatar
Water
Posts: 1338
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: USFS oppression marches on with proposed high-Hood permit

Post by Water » February 3rd, 2023, 6:40 pm

Jesse wrote:
February 2nd, 2023, 12:58 pm
Heck, I'm even fine getting a permit to climb a mountain if it means it's a calmer and less crowded experience. The main negative change I have seen to our public lands in recent decades in the explosive overuse of recreation sites by the social media/instagram crowd.
This sounds like your problem. This is the exact same argument a minority of people made about the Central Cascades Wilderness permits. They went to South Sister on an August Saturday at 7am to climb it said they couldn't find easy parking and then saw 'tons' of people on the trail, so they support the permit system if it means their experience would be better! What an snobby and selfish position to take, somehow your experience and definition of too many people needs to be catered to, to the exclusion of others from public lands. Not to mention a private for-profit contractor siphons a bit of dollars off of every permit transaction. Maybe go climb South Sister on a Weekday in late September if you aren't a fan of crowds. Or Mt. Hood on a Weekday in March. genius solutions here.


tHe sOcIaL mEdIA cRoWd iZ rUinInG ThE oUtDo0rs!


I'm trying to understand, are you criticizing people who hike with a phone? post about it on social media? How are sites being over-used by people on social media? You mean people going because they saw it on social media? over-crowded or over used? both? I know people in their 40s and 50s who have hiked and backcountry skied for the last 25 years who are on social media, are they part of the problem? Or they're not because they don't take a selfie? Talk about non-specifics and non-solutions. anecdote anecdote anecdote. A real solution would be to find a way to prevent outside places from being posted on social media and remove a lot of existing content, theoretically that would solve this issue, right? no?

It's interesting that the argument shifts from having some mercy for the poor forest service dealing with demand to now "well $30 isn't much!" Okay. A lot of this is the principle, is the money being efficiently used? Does any of it actually go to trails or meaningful services (such as on Mt. Hood)? Have past expenditures been properly guided? The Gifford has a proposal to remove an existing privy because it does not get much use. And to build a new one at other locations. With an outstanding maintenance backlog, what is the justification for building more trailhead facilities that need services throughout the forest? How could this help to long-term address the maintenance backlog if appropriated funding is expected to keep decreasing? The FS has no explanation to answer this other than potentially (and in actuality), raising user fees. Instead of trying to decommission and centralize bathroom areas to fewer locations. Unless you think a trail can't exist without a privy at the trailhead.

The FS made their bed by treating recreation as a secondary use of the forest and seem to have been unable to make any strategic vision or plans to address what would be an inevitable increase in use as population grows over time. FLREA as legislation is supposed to supplement existing appropriations:
Recreation fee revenues are a critical source of such supplemental funding. FLREA will significantly enhance the Departments’ efforts to address the deferred maintenance backlog at our National Parks and will enable us to better manage other federal lands.
https://www.doi.gov/ocl/flrea And yet...magically, almost 20 years later, there's more deferred maintenance than ever! amazing.

But FS units have shifted existing allocations elsewhere while overall funding has also decreased, and somehow it is the public's fault. And people like you (Jesse) are carrying water for their lame arguments. Solutions, I am saying making a permit so less people can access the forest (central cascades) or climb the mountain, isn't a solution to increased use. We're at the end of the line of decades of systemic abuse and industrialized extraction of FS resources and there's this idea that increased recreational use is this sudden burden which needs to be tightly regulated. Yes, in some select areas, there is damage. Demonstrate it with evidence and provide an evidence based plan that addresses it will fix it. Though most of the 'damage' is due to lack of education about practices, so there's no evidence the permits themselves are fixing it. The FS has also never apparently tried enforcement it seems, other than at parking lots. While they had a count of how many fire pits they knocked down and pounds of trash pulled out of the central cascades, they were never able to provide how many warnings and/or citations they issued for fires in alpine environments, camping in no-camping areas, etc.
Feel Free to Feel Free

User avatar
Water
Posts: 1338
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: USFS oppression marches on with proposed high-Hood permit

Post by Water » February 4th, 2023, 12:09 am

by Jesse » Fri Feb 03, 2023 11:58 pm

Dang, you seem like a pretty angry guy. I don't think this conversation is going to go anywhere. You seem really riled up and I am certainly not going to change your mind. Hope you find peace.
Damn straight I'm angry and riled up on this topic. After 90 years of debasing the forest for resource extraction to serve economic goals while making recreation a secondary or tertiary focus, the second there's real increased demand for recreational opportunities, the forest service is aww shucks we have no money for that! Even though they've been charging fees for 20 years in the NW that are supposed to have enhanced the existing recreation opportunities that existed back then.

Monetization of Wilderness is especially egregious, we have very different values if that doesn't bother you. Why does a for-profit federal contractor make money off the public every time you buy a permit? Even if you cancel, those fees aren't refundable.

If you're passionate about your beliefs, let's cover two topics, why does the FS continue to pursue capital projects with amenity/service outlays at remote trailheads when they already have a huge deferred maintenance budget that never seems to decrease? Wouldn't it make sense to shutter all these trail trash cans and privy's and picnic tables and 'security' at remote trailheads and strategically make some clusters/portals of access at a handful of spots around a National Forest? that's a proposed solution to that mess.

And why should the public be excluded from public lands so you personally have a 'calmer' experience? Shouldn't the bar for restricting access to public land be higher than that? I've always found I can get the 'serene' experience I want at almost any generally popular spot by strategically choosing when I go.

make a convincing argument and you can change my mind. I suppose I could be more polite but my patience is gone for hearing forest service platitudes. Just today the MHNF emailed me that climbers take up parking for people coming up to ski at timberline lodge before the lifts even open, so they want money that climbers pay for a permit to go towards addressing improving that situation. On top of the snopark pass they pay for. And yet they dropped fees for OHVs because state registration fees go towards maintaining OHV areas and they were worried about double-taxation. Also dropped fees for OHVs because it seemed like OHV users might cause damage in new places to avoid the fees. Lesson learned, threaten to trash a new place if they put a fee on your activity.
Feel Free to Feel Free

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 14056
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: USFS oppression marches on with proposed high-Hood permit

Post by retired jerry » February 4th, 2023, 8:16 am

uh oh, Water is riled up :)

I agree with you but no reason to attack Jesse. I appreciate other people's opinions.

A year ago I passed someone between Middle and South Sister, who recognized me from here. He expressed the same opinion - he liked the reduced crowds personally, and said that he was able to get a permit so that's not a problem. We respectfully disagreed :)

The reason they put pit toilets at trailheads is because there's a law that says they can't charge a fee for parking unless there are amenities including a toilet. Congress should pass a law that says they can charge for a trailhead if the money goes to trail maintenance. Or better yet, increase funding - it's inefficient to charge a fee then enforce it

User avatar
drm
Posts: 5945
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: The Dalles, OR
Contact:

Re: USFS oppression marches on with proposed high-Hood permit

Post by drm » February 8th, 2023, 7:15 am

Toilets are one of the things that polls the highest when the FS or other agencies ask. Most people don't like going natural, and there is plenty of evidence they either can't, won't, or do a very poor job of digging holes when that is called for.

The kind of person who is regular on a site like this just isn't a typical public recreationalist.

It is also important to remember that most FS staff live in rural communities that continue to prefer resource extraction to recreation, and that doesn't fail to have it's impact too. The multi-use mission leaves that staff able to prioritize how they want in many cases, and so different national forests have different priorities.

User avatar
Water
Posts: 1338
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: USFS oppression marches on with proposed high-Hood permit

Post by Water » February 13th, 2023, 11:45 pm

This is not true about toilets. GPNF specifically did a survey of users for their Proposed Program of Work. 60% to 40% preferred primitive (no facilities) recreation experiences. https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DO ... 670981.pdf - Appendix F, page 81:
primitive vs developed.png
It is only once you break down that 40% response, toilets are at the top of that minority of preferred recreation users. But Highways regularly have 30 minute stretches between bathroom rest areas, sometimes much longer. Why does the FS insist on providing services at end-of-the-line remote areas, and continue to put more resources into facilities that will only contribute to their ongoing deferred maintenance backlog?

MHNF could do something like 5-8 sites that have bathrooms, info kiosk, trash. It would be easier for them to maintain, have a public presence at (maybe actual security services like cameras). They could give site-specific attention beyond these areas as needed. ZigZag, Govy, Ripplebrook (kind of have this already), Hood River, Frog Lake, Bear Springs, and name 2-3 more higher traffic areas (maybe right by Hood River Meadows, maybe another up the Clack). Thinking about the proximity from these locations to the hikes in their vicinity, are people unable to do their business at the facilities 20-35 minutes from a TH? Are people really mentally thinking "and then I'll poop when I get there" either on the way to or way back from a hike, as it relates to the Trailhead? this is rhetorical but it seems like this same 'calculation' could be done. "hey we're passing the ZigZag hiking staging area, anyone have to go?" These sites could also be good spots for car pooling the final bit to rougher trailheads (or encourage this behavior, especially if there was FS presence/security at them).
Feel Free to Feel Free

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 14056
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: USFS oppression marches on with proposed high-Hood permit

Post by retired jerry » February 14th, 2023, 6:07 am

good idea

they could have one on Lolo Pass road at the intersection to Ramona Falls trailhead which would cover a lot of trailheads. I guess one at Zigzag Ranger station would cover that. They have a nice, permanent toilet there already.

although maybe the Ramona Falls trailhead is so busy, and with less experienced hikers that that would be a place to have a toilet.

User avatar
drm
Posts: 5945
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: The Dalles, OR
Contact:

Re: USFS oppression marches on with proposed high-Hood permit

Post by drm » February 16th, 2023, 8:17 am

It is only once you break down that 40% response, toilets are at the top of that minority of preferred recreation users.
Yeah, since you only posted the first result, I thought I would do the one below it.
people like toilets.JPG
And nothing requires that only the people who were among the 40% in the result you posted responded to this. The entire group did. I would add that within the Gifford Pinchot NF - which this survey was done for, the great majority of trailheads require no fees and have no facilities other than a kiosk - I would say more than 60% of the trailheads.

Having the toilets at a centralized location as opposed to trailheads might work in some cases. For the Mt Adams area, it would make sense to have one next to Road 23. I don't think any of the Mt Adams trailheads have toilets except the South Climb. You have to visit a campground.. For Indian Heaven, a number of trailheads are in campgrounds.

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 14056
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: USFS oppression marches on with proposed high-Hood permit

Post by retired jerry » February 16th, 2023, 8:47 am

I like those concrete panel outhouses

They seem pretty indestructible to vandalism, and don't rot away

I assume they're expensive

User avatar
Charley
Posts: 1759
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Southeast Portland

Re: USFS oppression marches on with proposed high-Hood permit

Post by Charley » February 16th, 2023, 5:26 pm

retired jerry wrote:
February 16th, 2023, 8:47 am
I like those concrete panel outhouses

They seem pretty indestructible to vandalism, and don't rot away

I assume they're expensive
I'd never seen one until I moved here in 2007. They're the best! So much more sturdy and easier to sanitize than the many alternatives.
Believe it or not, I barely ever ride a mountain bike.

Post Reply