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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retired jerry
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by retired jerry » November 15th, 2018, 6:03 pm

ha, ha,...

Yeah, I'll send in my comments like I did before

And call my congressmen

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retired jerry
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by retired jerry » November 15th, 2018, 6:21 pm

I took Keith's list and added phone numbers

I have heard they pay more attention to phone calls more, harder to spam

Senator Ron Wyden, Website: https://www.wyden.senate.gov (503) 326-7525
Senator Jeff Merkley, Website: https://www.merkley.senate.gov Webform (503) 326-3386
District 1 – Suzanne Bonamici, Website: https://bonamici.house.gov. (503) 469-6010
District 2 - Greg Walden, Website: https://walden.house.gov (541) 389-4408
District 3 - Earl Blumenauer, Website: https://blumenauer.house.gov (503) 231-2300
District 4 - Peter A. DeFazio, Website: https://defazio.house.gov 541-465-6732
District 5 – Kurt Schrader, Website: https://schrader.house.gov (503) 588-9100

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

Post by Water » November 15th, 2018, 6:30 pm

adamschneider wrote:
November 15th, 2018, 2:40 pm
Those of you who are howling the loudest about this, I have a serious question:

What would be YOUR solution?

...or do you not think that there's a problem?
The problem is relatively small, constrained to specific hot spots, at specific times of year. That is the sole problem. And I don't think it is really that bad unless you wanted solitude and showed up at peak times. The rest of it are ancillary problems that are relatively easy to mitigate. Thousands of pounds of trash is not being left. Feces could be remedied with a few box-pit toilets like in the Enchantments in these high use areas. Camping can be made with good durable surfaces, signage, and enforcement. Beyond that what are the glaring problems? The solution floated by the FS is entirely disproportionate to the problem. It is like going for gastric bypass when you're 10lbs overweight. There's a lot of other things they could do before reverting to locking down 79 entry points to wilderness areas for 6 months of the year, many of which are not even accessible for that entire time, let alone in the winter.

There's already rules and regs on every self-issue wilderness permit that govern how you should act with your recreation in the wilderness. Like camping on durable surfaces, distances from water, burying or packing out waste, etc. None of that is enforced worth a damn. So that's a problem, as much with the people who disobey those rules as those who make them. That's a damnation on the FS of their own dereliction of duty, as much as condemnation of people who don't respect nature enough to leave it nicer than they found it.

Separately, the FS has decommissioned miles of trail, campgrounds, and other recreational features in many national forests over the years. Including lots of trails in Mt. Jefferson Wilderness. At a time when you've got a brand new generation of people who are highly interested in the outdoors, just because they want to enjoy it differently than their parents and grandparents (by having technology with them) doesn't mean that they can't also respect these beautiful places. If anything this should be seen as a mandate to increase recreational opportunities. As it stands the FS is on a path to marginalize entire future generations of people from the outdoors through onerous process and access impediments. And when nobody cares, maybe they can allow some salvage logging in a wilderness area.. nobody is really there to object about it.

Sorry but people in wilderness is such a tiny little stupid problem in the scope of environmental issues. Someone referenced seeing gross stuff in 3 sisters wilderness on a PCT hike. How quickly do you think those signs of humans would go away compared to the hundreds of thousands of acres of clear cuts you see walking the PCT? How quickly do those go away? Mine tailings piles? Water contaminated by agricultural runoff and historical industrial dumping? I guess I just will never really be that fazed by footprints, mud, and less grass/sedges/moss in areas that are really popular with people, most who don't spend the night. For christ sakes without a forest fire Jeff Park will become entirely wooded eventually. Unless there's a moraine failure up high to send down a ton of material to choke out all the tree islands that are encroaching. But we need to preserve the meadow! (note I say that out of sarcasm, not to suggest we should willfully damage it, but that..it is in flux just as our use of it).
Last edited by Water on November 16th, 2018, 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Guy
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by Guy » November 15th, 2018, 6:34 pm

Exactly what Water said.

I'd also like to add how this is another example of how wilderness permits were used against the hiking community. The USFS like to say we should fill these out so that they can argue for more resources and funding but that's total BS. All the time people have been filling these out the USFS has been reducing access and trails and only using the data collected as an excuse to reduce access further.

One more point regarding overuse. I first climbed the South Sister from Devils lake in 1987 & have done it some 25 times since. There was far more trail braiding and damage in the 80's and early 90s on this route than there is now.
hiking log & photos.
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Chip Down
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by Chip Down » November 15th, 2018, 6:58 pm

BigBear wrote:
November 15th, 2018, 2:31 pm
USFS has issued an act of war to the hiking community.
I'm so glad you posted that. I think the U$F$ is openly hostile to recreational users. We need to stop pretending this will change through polite letter writing campaigns or complaining to our "elected" "representatives".
adamschneider wrote:
November 15th, 2018, 2:40 pm
Those of you who are howling the loudest about this, I have a serious question:

What would be YOUR solution?

...or do you not think that there's a problem?
I haven't been there in a long time. Can't say for sure. I know those who drool at opportunities to oppress will fabricate "emergencies". Yes, this is a fact. For sake of discussion, let's say there is a problem. Largely, it's self-regulating. As a trail becomes uncomfortably crowded, people will naturally seek alternatives. Or they'll hike that popular trail just once, and then move on. If people complain it's too crowded, and something should be done about it, that just makes me laugh. Hey buddy, guess what, you're exactly as much a part of the "problem" as every other person here. But let's say the problem isn't just overcrowding, it's degradation. It's been observed (most memorably by Jerry) that much of what we call environmental degradation is really just aesthetics. I'm not saying that isn't important, but let's not suggest the ecosystem is being irrevocably compromised.

Slightly off topic, but just barely: I'm fascinated at the U$F$ approach to St Helens: Funnel all climbing activity into one sanctioned route, with a paved road, and an outhouse at an elevation you wouldn't normally find one on a mountain, and a post-marked route, and a dedicated climbing ranger, and then justify the permit system by saying it would be a madhouse without it, while ignoring the fact that they created this pandemonium! Nobody ever goes high on MSH other than on the official sheep/lemming route, but U$F$ insists the permit system is necessary on the entire hill, to preserve the fragile cinder heap and prevent crowding. And then they sell a concession permit to MSH Institute as the final insult. (I assume money must have changed hands; I can't imagine U$F$ just gave that away.)

Again, slightly off-topic: Mt Hood has been raped by the ski industry, in pursuit of the almighty dollar, under the auspices of the U$F$, while obscenely lying to us that they act as responsible stewards of the mountain. Meanwhile, my boots on South Sister are deemed unacceptable. How is possible for hikers to not see through this scam?!

Can we just do away with trails? I don't like 'em anyway. :lol:

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

Post by Thuja » November 15th, 2018, 8:21 pm

I haven’t read the whole 200-some pages of the document, but hope it includes post-implementation plans, like:

- actively seek out data on actual usage of permits acquired by hikers
- seek data on changes to soil compaction, trash, and hiker “rule-following”/LNT compared to pre-implementation
- keep check on parking lot usage and issues
-adjust permit quotas to reflect actual usage and impacts post-implementation
- set parameters by which to decide to remove permits for certain areas or trailheads if found not necessary

Edit to add: determine research methods to measure impact of permit system by income status, as well as determine health costs (if any) of days lost hiking.

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Waffle Stomper
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by Waffle Stomper » November 15th, 2018, 8:34 pm

We just have too many people. It's all very sad. I'm wondering why they don't put limits on Mount Hood considering every trailhead seems to be packed. But then Mt. Hood isn't really a wilderness afterall.
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." - John Muir

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

Post by Crusak » November 15th, 2018, 9:11 pm

There are more than 4 million people in Oregon. Factor in the number of Oregonians as well as people from outside Oregon that want to hike and backpack in the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests, and I suspect most of us will have trouble finding permits during peak season. The quota numbers are laughably low for most areas. as many of you have pointed out.

There are certainly problem areas. My last trip to Marion Lake a few years ago was a horrible experience. Piles of trash everywhere, and an overabundance of visitors. I can see the need for more enforcement in areas like Marion Lake. But clamping down on 79 trailheads is overkill.

Part of me can see the need to limit visitors. I love going to Pamelia Lake, and since they started the limited entry permits for that area I've notice that it has been a more enjoyable experience, and the area looks much less abused. I suppose my biggest issue is with the ridiculously low daily limits. They need to double or triple those numbers.

I just read the 40-page proposal. They are limiting campfires above 5700' elevation in these wildernesses. I know many of you are against making campfires in wilderness areas, but I do enjoy having a campfire on backpack trips. If the conditions are safe and wood plentiful, I don't understand this limitation. I see it as another deterrent that is solely designed to discourage use.
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Charley
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by Charley » November 16th, 2018, 12:23 am

jessbee wrote:
November 15th, 2018, 5:27 pm
I live in Bend, where I've got a 30-minute drive to a bunch of trail access points in Three Sisters wilderness. If I have an afternoon off and want to take a quick hike on a trail that no one else is on, now I've got to pay for a permit every single time I do that? All of the THs on Cascade Lakes Highway will have a day use permit/quota. Instead I have to drive an hour and a half to two hours to the other side of the wilderness to take a day hike? Not going to happen.
I think a lot of people on this forum live in Portland. Imagine if the FS restricted 79 trailheads in the Columbia River Gorge. ORhikers all around town would be pissed. They'd be burning their NW Forest Passes at the Forest Service office. I'm hearing a lot of "this will help the wilderness" feelings; honestly I can't disagree with the motivation, but I think it's not that personal some of these people. The shoe's not on their foot. It's easy when you make a couple trips to that wilderness per year, but that's MOST OF the trails near a Bend resident!

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

Post by Webfoot » November 16th, 2018, 1:59 am

adamschneider wrote:
November 14th, 2018, 8:56 pm
Unfortunately, shutting down Instagram and Facebook is not an option.

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