Central Cascades permit fees announced

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Bosterson
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Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by Bosterson » October 8th, 2019, 8:43 am

The Deschutes and Willamette National Forests are asking for input on a
proposed special recreation permit fee as a part of the new limited entry system for day and overnight
use in three Central Cascades wildernesses. The limited entry system will go into effect beginning the
summer of 2020. The special recreation permit fee, if approved, also would go into effect in the summer
of 2020.

The Forest Service has proposed the following structure for the special use permit fee:
  • No special use permit fees for youth 12 and under, though each person requires a limited
    entry reservation regardless of age.
  • Day-use permit fee $3.00 per person (needed at 19 trailheads, no fee 60 trailheads)
  • Overnight permit fee $5.00 per person, per night (needed at 79 trailheads)
The special recreation permit fee will be required from the Friday before Memorial Day to the last Friday
in September in the Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, and Three Sisters wilderness areas. The special
recreation permits would be available through the Recreation.gov website.

Limited entry reservations would include the special recreation permit fee, plus the processing fees
charged by Recreation.gov. The processing fees are currently $1 per person for day use and $6 per
overnight group.

Public input will inform the Forest Service’s final proposal for the special recreation permit fee structure,
how the fees should be invested, and any concerns or suggestions related to the special recreation
permit fee. The public comment period on the proposal begins on October 9, 2019 and end on
November 25, 2019
.

The final proposal will be presented to two Resource Advisory Committees, one on the east side of the
Cascades and one on the west side of the Cascades. The Resource Advisory Committees will give the
Forest Service recommendations on the fee structure. The Regional Forester for the Pacific Northwest,
Region 6, will make the final decision.

Comments on the special recreation permit fee be mailed to the Willamette National Forest, ATTN:
Recreation Fees, 3106 Pierce Parkway, Suite D, Springfield, OR, 97477. Comments can also be submitted
by email to [email protected] or dropped off at any Willamette or Deschutes
National Forest office during business hours.
I wonder how much "revenue generation" they actually think they're going to get out of that. What a fruitful process this is. :roll:
Will hike off trail for fun.

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xrp
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by xrp » October 8th, 2019, 11:16 am

A related article:

https://www.oregonlive.com/travel/2019/ ... areas.html

It would be interesting to see how this would stand up in court in light of the Fragosa et al and Adams cases.

To my knowledge, permit areas like the Enchantments have not been challenged in court. I wonder how a challenge would fare with the Fragosa and Adams rulings.

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teachpdx
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by teachpdx » October 8th, 2019, 11:50 am

Here's a link to the draft document, in case anybody needs a refresher on which trailheads/areas will have restrictions.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/n ... 483291.pdf

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retired jerry
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by retired jerry » October 8th, 2019, 12:20 pm

they have a similar plan in the Sierras - most all trailheads require permits which have quotas

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jessbee
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by jessbee » October 8th, 2019, 12:34 pm

retired jerry wrote:
October 8th, 2019, 12:20 pm
they have a similar plan in the Sierras - most all trailheads require permits which have quotas
For day use or overnight use? Surely there is no day use quota system anywhere in the country as big as this one.
Will break trail for beer.

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Bosterson
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by Bosterson » October 8th, 2019, 12:45 pm

retired jerry wrote:
October 8th, 2019, 12:20 pm
they have a similar plan in the Sierras - most all trailheads require permits which have quotas
Jerry, the initial permit quota proposal is over and done with and the decision has already been made. That topic has been beaten to death here, so no need to revisit it.

This topic is about the new comment period for their proposed fees for those permits, which would go into effect in summer 2020.

I have been reading the FLREA and am at a loss to see where it authorizes a permit fee like this. (References in their announcement, above, to a "special recreation permit fee" are inaccurate, as special use permits are specifically defined by the FS as being for commercial use, or noncommercial use for large groups.) Limited entry permit fees do not seem to meet the criteria for being either standard amenity fees or expanded amenity fees, so does anyone know where in the FLREA they're using to justify this? What piece of legislation authorizes Limited Entry Areas like Obsidian?

Also note that the FLREA specifically says that no fee can be charged to "persons under 16 years of age," whereas the proposal for the Central Cascades would require a permit fee for anyone over 12.
Will hike off trail for fun.

Aimless
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by Aimless » October 8th, 2019, 12:57 pm

Limited entry reservations would include the special recreation permit fee, plus the processing fees
charged by Recreation.gov. The processing fees are currently $1 per person for day use and $6 per
overnight group.
So, to be accurate, the total charges made for these new fees would be:

$4 per person, per each non-overnight day use, of 19 trailheads.
$5 per person per night for overnight stays -- plus an additional $6 reservation fee, regardless of number of persons or nights reserved - at 79 trailheads.

In truth, I personally can absorb these costs without batting an eye, but that seems irrelevant. This is a burden imposed on all users of public lands that should never have been necessary. The bigger issue is how restrictive this becomes, when you factor in quotas and the number of reasons why reservations made and paid for far in advance might have to be abandoned, with no possibility of those reservations being refunded, or unused reservations becoming available for use by others.

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cunningkeith
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by cunningkeith » October 8th, 2019, 3:35 pm

The FS does not charge for day hiking in the Sierra. During the comment period, I asked this question and the Oregon land managers could not name a single forest in the country where fees and quotas are charged for all overnight camping AND a portion of day hiking.

Under the FLREA, the only way that this is legal is to call the Central Cascades fee a "special recreation permit fee." Here's the text (I don't think the FS could convince a court that the Central Cascades permits satisfy the test):

(h)Special recreation permit fee
The Secretary may issue a special recreation permit, and charge a special recreation permit fee in connection with the issuance of the permit, for specialized recreation uses of Federal recreational lands and waters, such as group activities, recreation events, motorized recreational vehicle use.

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adamschneider
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by adamschneider » October 8th, 2019, 4:18 pm

cunningkeith wrote:
October 8th, 2019, 3:35 pm
The FS does not charge for day hiking in the Sierra.
They do at Mt. Whitney. And it's a lot more than $4.

Aimless
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by Aimless » October 8th, 2019, 4:45 pm

(h)Special recreation permit fee
The Secretary may issue a special recreation permit, and charge a special recreation permit fee in connection with the issuance of the permit, for specialized recreation uses of Federal recreational lands and waters, such as group activities, recreation events, motorized recreational vehicle use.


Hmmm. It seems a stretch to call just walking on a trail or sleeping at night a "specialized recreation use of Federal recreational lands". Every person who is capable of walking and visits any portion of Federal recreation lands is almost certain to walk at some point in their visit. The examples cited make it fairly clear that this was not the law's intent. It was intended for truly specialized uses such employing the trail system as part an Ultra Marathon competition with dozens of competitors.

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