Central Cascades permit fees announced

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
adamschneider
Posts: 3048
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: SE Portland
Contact:

Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by adamschneider » February 6th, 2020, 4:50 pm

teachpdx wrote:
February 6th, 2020, 3:02 pm
Fees still happening, but apparently reduced.
A small silver lining for all of our "public comment".
I think that's an enormous silver lining.

But if none of the funds are going to the USFS, I don't quite understand how Recreation.gov gets away with charging 6 times more to book an overnight trip than a day hike.

User avatar
kepPNW
Posts: 6373
Joined: June 21st, 2012, 9:55 am
Location: Salmon Creek

Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by kepPNW » February 6th, 2020, 5:23 pm

adamschneider wrote:
February 6th, 2020, 4:50 pm
But if none of the funds are going to the USFS, I don't quite understand how Recreation.gov gets away with charging 6 times more to book an overnight trip than a day hike.
They say the rationale is that overnight is "like a reservation" while dayhiking is "like a ticket" to an event. It's just the square holes they had to fit the round pegs in to. So, basically, it was as though a programmer decided. :roll:
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 12853
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by retired jerry » February 6th, 2020, 5:55 pm

Does the fee just go to expenses of website?

My complaint is how they're limiting the number of people to the entire wilderness. For no good reason.

User avatar
jessbee
Posts: 822
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Contact:

Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by jessbee » February 6th, 2020, 8:50 pm

adamschneider wrote:
February 6th, 2020, 4:50 pm
teachpdx wrote:
February 6th, 2020, 3:02 pm
Fees still happening, but apparently reduced.
A small silver lining for all of our "public comment".
I think that's an enormous silver lining.

But if none of the funds are going to the USFS, I don't quite understand how Recreation.gov gets away with charging 6 times more to book an overnight trip than a day hike.
It has nothing to do with public comment.

It's illegal what they proposed to do in that short time frame. They're just buying time to stay within the law.
Will break trail for beer.

Blog and photos

User avatar
Water
Posts: 1269
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by Water » February 7th, 2020, 12:54 am

retired jerry wrote:
February 6th, 2020, 5:55 pm
Does the fee just go to expenses of website?
Yes it just goes to the Federal contractor Booz Allen Hamilton for the expenses of that website. There's no way they're just profiting greatly on the contract they won. If the 45+ minute wait time to talk to a human is any indication it's got to be incredibly expensive to maintain that website. They're probably lucky if they only break even when they have to host the complex and intricate booking of public federal lands and facilities which have a near insatiable demand from the public.
Feel Free to Feel Free

User avatar
mountainkat
Posts: 67
Joined: March 4th, 2015, 6:12 pm

Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by mountainkat » February 7th, 2020, 6:32 am

I read this article recently, and although it is maybe a tad cynical/sarcastic, it does summarize the trend in recreation that we are seeing and sheds some light on what's happening with Recgov.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.outdoo ... ands%3famp

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 12853
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by retired jerry » February 7th, 2020, 6:59 am

Good story

$6 fee seems reasonable to reserve a campsite, probably not a huge profit maker for BAH

My problem is still that over-use is not a huge problem. And that restricting the entire wilderness is over reaction.

FS should be encouraging more people to use the Wilderness

User avatar
mountainkat
Posts: 67
Joined: March 4th, 2015, 6:12 pm

Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by mountainkat » February 7th, 2020, 7:16 am

I agree. There are a few areas that get busy in the prime season. They can manage this with education, installing backcountry toilets, etc.

This plan just seems like the lazy way out and it does nothing to correct bad behavior. It just relies on reducing overall use over the entire area, which is ridiculous. I can't think of another hiking area in the country that limits day use to the extent this plan does.

User avatar
cunningkeith
Posts: 201
Joined: June 26th, 2010, 4:28 am
Location: Portland

Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by cunningkeith » February 7th, 2020, 8:29 am

This is a major victory. There's so way to spin it: The FS felt enormous public pressure and knew that litigation was coming. They also knew that they would probably lose in court, so they backed down. Good decision by whoever got sensible about this.

As to the current plan about having to go to recreation.gov, I agree with others that it's way too restrictive. Most of the 79 trails won't come anywhere close to reaching their quotas, but you'll still have to go to the website and buy a permit. So many unanswered questions:

-Can you get a free permit at the ranger station?

-Will they still divide the permits as they said they would?: "A portion of permits will be available for reservation well in advance of a trip, and the remaining portion will be made available immediately prior to a trip (i.e. the day before)."

-Can people change their dates or cancel their permits so that others can use them? If they run this like the Obsidian permits, then a large percentage of people will "grab" the permits on the release date and then not actually use them. Since the FS is now being more sensible, perhaps they'll design a better system this time.

-What is the staffing for enforcing quotas? I believe historically they have staffed two seasonal rangers at Obsidian during high-season weekends. I saw another one roaming around Tam McArthur once. That's obviously not going to cut it for 1/2 million acres.
Last edited by cunningkeith on February 7th, 2020, 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

Aimless
Posts: 1503
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: Lake Oswego

Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by Aimless » February 7th, 2020, 9:09 am

cunningkeith wrote:
February 7th, 2020, 8:29 am
-What is the staffing for enforcing quotas? I believe historically they have staffed two seasonal rangers at Obsidian during high-season weekends. I saw another one roaming around Tam McArthur once. That's obviously not going to cut it for 1/2 million acres.
Hush. No one is supposed to notice that.

The original proposal envisioned the permit system as creating a revenue stream capable of supporting a budget for new staff who would help help with both education and enforcement efforts. From what I can see (and I've only seen this thread, not an official press release) this revision of the plan doesn't provide the USFS for Willamette NF and Deschutes NF with any new revenue at all. With 79 trailheads and hundreds of thousands of acres to cover, their chances for effective enforcement are roughly nil. Except perhaps in those few high-volume, high use areas that we tried to tell them were the only sensible place to put quotas anyway.

This will almost certainly result in many people ignoring the quotas and permits altogether, which in turn will defeat the purpose of this enormously broad attempt to restrict access. Making rules that cannot possibly be enforced eventually creates resentment of those rules both among those who follow them and those who do not.

Post Reply