Deschutes & Willamette NF propose new limited entry

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
derwoodynck
Posts: 270
Joined: April 21st, 2013, 2:26 pm
Contact:

Deschutes & Willamette NF propose new limited entry

Post by derwoodynck » June 1st, 2017, 7:06 pm

The Deschutes and Willamette National Forests are proposing limiting entry to some areas/trailheads in 5 wilderness areas, seeking public comments.

http://www.ktvz.com/news/limited-entry- ... /525374609

User avatar
-Q-
Posts: 1429
Joined: July 5th, 2008, 10:42 pm

Re: Deschutes & Willamette NF propose new limited entry

Post by -Q- » June 1st, 2017, 10:31 pm

Would like to see more specific information regarding exactly which trailheads would have limits for day hiking. What a shame it has come to this :(

User avatar
kelkev
Posts: 784
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: McMinnville, OR

Re: Deschutes & Willamette NF propose new limited entry

Post by kelkev » June 2nd, 2017, 5:05 am

I've smelled this one coming for several years.
"Going to the mountains is going home."
— John Muir

User avatar
arundodonax
Posts: 1043
Joined: August 12th, 2010, 8:02 pm

Re: Deschutes & Willamette NF propose new limited entry

Post by arundodonax » June 2nd, 2017, 6:25 am

-Q- wrote:Would like to see more specific information regarding exactly which trailheads would have limits for day hiking. What a shame it has come to this :(
The forest manager said this would first likely affect the popular trailheads on highways 22, 242 and 42. I'm guessing Whitewater, Obsidian (already permitted), Matthieu Lakes, Green Lakes, South Sister.

bushwhacker
Posts: 93
Joined: September 7th, 2009, 3:56 pm
Location: Troutdale

Re: Deschutes & Willamette NF propose new limited entry

Post by bushwhacker » June 2nd, 2017, 4:25 pm

Interesting reading. Wonder when something like this will hit the Mt Hood Wilderness or Eagle Cap Lakes Basin area.

Here's the FS link: http://data.ecosystem-management.org/ne ... ject=50578
The parts to look at are the PDF's under the 'scoping' and 'supporting' tabs.

One thing that jumps out is the purposed plan which appears to have quotas on all the trail heads:
plan.jpg
The other thing that jumped out is the 10% that are pigs in the woods:
work-jeff.jpg
work-sis.jpg
geez. Is this what we want our back country rangers doing.
2500 pounds of garbage hauled out.
1544 piles of human turds buried. (wonder what the dog turd and dog turd in a bag count was)

It's hard to blame the FS to looking at these desperate measures when you look at the increase in visitors over the past 5 years and the assumed increase in numbers in the future.

I would like to send them a note saying don't do 'this' but do do 'this' but I am not sure what 'this' would be. The 10% behaving badly ruining it for the rest of us.

Hopefully this won't end up being like the Mt St Helens climbing permits and all of the back country hiking/camping permits are gone on the first day they are offered.

User avatar
romann
Posts: 2378
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: Deschutes & Willamette NF propose new limited entry

Post by romann » June 3rd, 2017, 12:09 pm

Hmm... Does anyone know if there's any hiker quotas in Seattle area? Other than Enchantments and in National Parks, I don't think a lot of places in National Forest down there have limits on hikers' numbers - it's mostly camping and fire closeures. And their trails are way more crowded than anything around here.

Seems like overkill to me, though personally I understand FS employees who have to haul tons garbage and clean up after hikers.

justpeachy
Posts: 2726
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Re: Deschutes & Willamette NF propose new limited entry

Post by justpeachy » June 3rd, 2017, 3:35 pm

Does anyone know if there's any hiker quotas in Seattle area? Other than Enchantments and in National Parks, I don't think a lot of places in National Forest down there have limits on hikers' numbers - it's mostly camping and fire closeures. And their trails are way more crowded than anything around here.
Good question. Besides the ones you mentioned I don't know of any limited entry situations in the national forests near Seattle, but I don't hike up there as often as I do in Oregon. I assume the reason for that - and also the reason Willamette and Deschutes forests haven't done this before now - is a lack of manpower to enforce it.

I can't say I blame the FS for doing this. They're trying to make the best of a bad situation. In addition to the few bad apples who ruin it for everyone, there are just way more people hiking than there was before and our trails are being loved to death.

Check out these population numbers from this article.
Bend had a population of 91,122 as of last July 1, an increase of 4.9 percent from a year earlier.

Portland leads the way in absolute numbers, with a population of 643,863. That's another 9,200 residents, or 1.5 percent, over the 2015 total.

User avatar
BigBear
Posts: 1590
Joined: October 1st, 2009, 11:54 am

Re: Deschutes & Willamette NF propose new limited entry

Post by BigBear » June 5th, 2017, 8:48 am

I guess its an issue of what is meant by "public land?" Is it available to the public, or just the limited few with the means? Will national forest become as limited as the first city parks were in London...to the rich? Public land should be open to, well, the public, right?

There are too many hikers on the trails, that is true. So all of you who weren't hiking 5 years ago, you should not be hiking now, so the trails don't become overcrowded. Yeah, I didn't think that would fly either.

Perhaps the issue is that there are not enough trails. It does not appear that the ambiguously prohibited NW Forest Pass is going to trail maintenance or trail creation, just to enforcement of the ambiguously prohibited pass (a closed loop). So, throwing money at the situation isn't helping either.

I just hope the restricted entry proposal doesn't impact anywhere I still want to hike. My tired legs are enough of a hindrance to my hiking, I don't need some bureaucrat telling where I can and can't go. Maybe I can start a protest, and hike on the trail instead of down the center of Main Street. Who cares if no one hears me, the march will solve the problem in an of itself: I can hike. You can't stop freedom of speech.

Aimless
Posts: 1425
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: Lake Oswego

Re: Deschutes & Willamette NF propose new limited entry

Post by Aimless » June 5th, 2017, 4:41 pm

It makes sense to manage 'use' of public lands, in that 'use' would include all kinds of activities like logging, digging up plants to take home or sell, operating heavy machinery, mining operations, dredging, etc. Things get trickier when simply walking on public land is the 'use' being contemplated, but there really is a point where just walking can comprise a form of abuse, such as when thousands of people walk across delicate alpine landscapes and more or less destroy them. It's a gray area and judgment can fall on both sides of that line.

I agree that more trails would help, but they can't solve the problem of some places being far more attractive to visitors than others. Being more attractive means they will attract more people. As populations get bigger and mobility by automobile, snowmobile, ORVs, dirt bikes, mountain bikes and the like, mean ever increasing numbers of people will crowd into those few beauty spots, you either draw the line or you abdicate any hope of protecting those places.

I guess what tilts it for me is the idea that public land is not entirely for people. It belongs to the plants, trees, animals and bugs that live there full time, too. They deserve some consideration, too.

User avatar
kelkev
Posts: 784
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: McMinnville, OR

Re: Deschutes & Willamette NF propose new limited entry

Post by kelkev » June 5th, 2017, 8:29 pm

I don't have the scientific evidence to back this up, but I think that it's obvious that the steady growth of local population centers like Bend, Portland, and the Willamette Valley are simply sending more and more people to popular, well advertised/promoted/social media linked hiking sites. Kind of the perfect storm, so to speak. Unfortunately, it also brings a greater number of irresponsible hikers creating problems. Also, with so much trail maintenance focused on just the popular trails, it seems that the use is getting more and more concentrated in these areas. I know from first hand experience that the lesser maintained and lightly used trails in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness and the Willamette NF don't suffer the same number of issues as the popular ones do, like Marion Lake, Whitewater, Pamelia, etc.

No easy answers here. Our state is growing, the visitor count is increasing, and the slobs of society will ruin the easy access for all of us if we don't pay attention.
"Going to the mountains is going home."
— John Muir

Post Reply