Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

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BigBear
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Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

Post by BigBear » April 10th, 2019, 10:12 am

If you liked the Dog Mountain hiking and parking fees, you'll love what USFS has put on the table for the rest of the Gorge. It's similar to the proposal in Willamette National Forest, but at this time, only effects your seasonal high-use weekends at any Gorge trail even remotely under the USFS' abuse, excuse me, authority.

Makes you wish you had stood up to USFS regarding that "unambiguously prohibited" Forest Pass or the Dog Mountain experiment, huh? And you may be thinking, oh, I'll just hike around Mt. hood when the snow clears, right? And you think the restrictions in the Gorge and Central Oregon Cascades won't infect the trails around Hood, right?

This will make public land for the rich only. So stuff that in your nap sack and smoke it. 2019 will be the swan song of trail hiking for many of us.

Aimless
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Re: Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

Post by Aimless » April 10th, 2019, 10:20 am

First, they came for the hikers in flip-flops, but I do not wear flip-flops when I hike...

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Bosterson
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Re: Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

Post by Bosterson » April 10th, 2019, 10:33 am

BigBear wrote:
April 10th, 2019, 10:12 am
If you liked the Dog Mountain hiking and parking fees, you'll love what USFS has put on the table for the rest of the Gorge.
...Which is what? (Is a link missing from your post?)
Will hike off trail for fun.

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Water
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Re: Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

Post by Water » April 10th, 2019, 10:59 am

link pls.

are you referring to the collaboration between 'metro' and USFS with regards to pay-for-parking and ahead of time permit stuff?

all garbage
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BigBear
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Re: Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

Post by BigBear » April 11th, 2019, 8:47 am

USFS has notified various "outfitter/guides" which include hiking clubs that they will soon be prohibiting hikes on the summer (and some spring) weekends at various trailheads. This was the first step in limiting access to Dog Mountain and USFS (where the 2nd S seems to stand for "sanctions" and not "service") has liked the Dog Mtn plan so much that they are aggressively considering to extend it to all Gorge THs that they can. Since Willamette NF is doing the same thing next year with the THs in the Jefferson-Washington-Three Sisters wildernesses, how long can it be before Mt Hood falls prey to the limits? USFS tried to limit Mt Hood int he late 90s by the feedback was so negative (94% of the respondents) that they backed off.

Since they got away with the NW Forest Pass being required in spite of Adams v USFS and Bark v USFS cases, they are proceeding with gusto to make public access more expensive.

Denial isn't just the name of a mountain in Alaska, it is soon the name of a whole bunch of fees and regulations that will be designed to keep the general public at home so those of means can have the solitude that money makes possible.

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BigBear
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Re: Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

Post by BigBear » April 11th, 2019, 8:50 am

This is what the Mazamas sent out yesterday from USFS:

We just received information today that may restrict our ability to lead hikes in the gorge on weekends during the summer. As many of you know, last year Dog Mountain instituted a permit system limiting access. However, because we use an outfitter/guide permit to operate Mazama programs in the gorge, we are held to different rules. Outfitter/guides are not allowed to take guided groups on Dog Mountain on weekends during the permit period, even if we buy permits.

Similar restrictions, less the permits, could be headed to the following trails. Sarah will be working to connect with our contact at the permit office at the Forest Service to see if there is some wiggle room on these new rules. However, if there is not, please be advised that the following restrictions will be imposed:

Angel's Rest TH and trail #415: Weekdays only between Memorial Day and Labor Day
Augspurger #4407: Weekdays only during permit period - end of March through July 1
Burdoin/Coyote Wall/Cather Creek Rec Area: Weekend use only before 11 a.m. and after 4 p.m. from March through mid-April
Catherine Creek #4400 and TH: Weekend use only before 11 a.m. and after 4 p.m. from March through mid-April
Deadwood trail #422: Herman Creek TH access, weekdays only between Memorial Day and Labor Day
Devil's Rest Trail #420C: Weekdays only between Memorial Day and Labor Day
Elowah Falls Trail: Weekdays only between Memorial Day and Labor Day
Herman Creek Trail/Herman Bridge Trail: Weekdays only between Memorial Day and Labor Day
Indian Point Trail: Is not a system trail and is not authorized for use
Horsetail Falls Trail & Trailhead: Weekdays only between Memorial Day and Labor Day
Larch Mountain Trail #441 & Trailhead: When accessing from Multnomah FAlls - Weekdays only between Memorial Day and Labor Day
Multnomah Falls: Weekdays only between Memorial Day and Labor Day
Multnomah Creek: Weekdays only between Memorial Day and Labor Day
Oneonta Trail #424: Weekdays only between Memorial Day and Labor Day
Wahkeena Return Trail: Weekdays only between Memorial Day and Labor Day
Ridge Cutoff Trail #437: Weekdays only between Memorial Day and Labor Day
Ruckel Creek Trail: Weekdays only between Memorial Day and Labor Day
Wahkeena Falls Trail #420: Weekdays only between Memorial Day and Labor Day

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Bosterson
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Re: Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

Post by Bosterson » April 11th, 2019, 9:47 am

Mazamas wrote:However, because we use an outfitter/guide permit to operate Mazama programs in the gorge, we are held to different rules. Outfitter/guides are not allowed to take guided groups on Dog Mountain on weekends during the permit period, even if we buy permits.
It sounds like that has to do with the guide/outfitter permits for big groups, and would not affect normal hikers? It appears that the USFS is just saying the Mazamas/et al can't take big organized groups out on weekends.
BigBear wrote:
April 11th, 2019, 8:47 am
Denial isn't just the name of a mountain in Alaska, it is soon the name of a whole bunch of fees and regulations that will be designed to keep the general public at home so those of means can have the solitude that money makes possible.
I hadn't heard of Mt. Denial, is it tall? :geek: As far as I can tell, whatever this restriction is on the Mazamas is about reducing overcrowding and not about money. It doesn't sound like whatever this is would create new permits that allow people to buy access - it would just reduce access for commercial groups on weekends.
Will hike off trail for fun.

Aimless
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Re: Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

Post by Aimless » April 11th, 2019, 10:09 am

It sounds like that has to do with the guide/outfitter permits for big groups, and would not affect normal hikers? It appears that the USFS is just saying the Mazamas/et al can't take big organized groups out on weekends.

That is precisely what I read it as saying.

Big Bear's interpretation is not supported by the text of this Mazamas communication. He seems to be convinced that such blanket restrictions will happen - and soon. Because this example cites a new restriction it becomes evidence that a whole parade of other restrictions are lined up behind this one, even though they cannot be seen with the naked eye. Who knows, he could be right in the end, but this USFS action does not provide any evidence of any new restrictions other than on big groups guided by outfitters or organizations, on certain weekends, in the Gorge, at a particular set of trailheads.

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Water
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Re: Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

Post by Water » April 11th, 2019, 10:22 am

of course he's right in the end.

You'd have to be a damn fool or willfully ignorant not to look at the trend-line of 'service' the FS provides vs access, and what steps (costs, advanced reservation, quotas) are involved to go hiking more and more. There's more fees and there's less to show for it. Unless there's some fundamental funding and culture changes that's not going to stop. Do you think I'm going to get better service if mt adams permits go from the mt adams ranger station to rec.gov?

imo WTA, TKO, and Mazamas to some extent (they have less of a relationship with FS and have at times brought their resources to advocate for preventing additional restrictions) have carried water for the FS for years, being a 'partner' as the FS offloads more and more responsibilities. They're in a no-win situation where they must maintain relationships with the FS in order to operate yet supporting FS policies causes access issues, decrease in FS work, and detriment to their member/user-base.
Feel Free to Feel Free

Aimless
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Re: Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

Post by Aimless » April 11th, 2019, 12:01 pm

You'd have to be a damn fool or willfully ignorant not to look at the trend-line

I agree that this action falls on or near the current trend line, and if one is going to predict the future the best available heuristic is to examine the trends established across the somewhat recent past and project them into the future. However, as anyone who has invested in the stock market can tell you, this method of predicting the future has definite limitations and can be seriously misleading. You can say "of course he's right in the end", and I while agree this is qualifies as an informed opinion, it still could be wrong in the end. It seems better to me to envision the outcome one thinks best and work toward that as best you can. When you assume that "of course" things will turn out badly, then that just greases the skids.

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