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
kepPNW
Posts: 6352
Joined: June 21st, 2012, 9:55 am
Location: Salmon Creek

Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by kepPNW » October 10th, 2019, 6:47 am

johnspeth wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 6:16 am
Crowded trails in wilderness areas no longer meet the "solitude" requirement.
My recollection was the "requirement" is to provide for the opportunity of solitude. There is no rational way to argue that that opportunity doesn't exist from any of the affected trailheads by any definition of the word.
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

(Photos · PortlandHikers)

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 12776
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by retired jerry » October 10th, 2019, 7:34 am

thanks, that makes sense

maybe that would apply more to just the Green Lakes area or the Obsidian area but not the wilderness overall

I still disagree that there is an overuse problem in the Green Lakes area. If you think there are too many people there, go somewhere else. You can find a few places that are impacted, like right when you get to the lake, but if you walk all the way around the lake impact is minimal.

User avatar
Bosterson
Posts: 1998
Joined: May 18th, 2009, 3:17 pm
Location: Portland

Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by Bosterson » October 10th, 2019, 7:43 am

johnspeth wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 6:16 am
But there is a paragraph that says this: This authority is also used to issue special recreation permits to individuals for activities such as, white water river trips, off- highway vehicle (OHV) use and, in a limited number of cases, wilderness use. These permits are issued when we provide additional services beyond normal operation and maintenance, including constructing and maintaining specialized trails for OHVs and providing wilderness experiences in areas that receive high use.

The underlined part is a codified reason why a special use permit could be issued.
That quote isn't from the FLREA, it's from the 2005 transcript Kathy linked where an undersecretary from the USDA is talking about what the USFS believes the FLREA allows them to do. Keep in mind he also claimed the Act allowed the USFS to create "High Impact Recreation Areas" (HIRAs) where they could require a pass for broad areas that are "connected." HIRAs do not appear in the FLREA, and they were subsequently ruled illegal in Adams v USFS. So I do not think we should be taking the Forest Service's word for what they "think" the Act allows them to do.

Re the solitude "requirement," this came up in another thread and you should go reread the 1965 Wilderness Act. It actually defines "wilderness" as an area that
...has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation...
Emphasis added. It's silly to claim that "solitude" is not generally available if only one portion of a wilderness area is crowded; however, there is an "or" in the clause, and it would be absurd to claim that even a crowded trail is not "primitive." So even an area that lacks solitude but is "primitive" would still meet the above definition of "Wilderness."

The fact with these permits, though, is that they're a done deal but the fee is not, and fees are authorized by the FLREA. "Special recreation" permits are described in the FLREA as being for "special" use, like commercial use, guided use, etc. Regular hiking would not seem to apply.
Will hike off trail for fun.

User avatar
Born2BBrad
Posts: 982
Joined: May 1st, 2011, 7:26 pm
Location: The Dalles

Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by Born2BBrad » October 10th, 2019, 9:37 am

Was there any mention about enforcement or fines for not complying? Are there going to be rangers at every trailhead and all through each wilderness?

What if I enter from a place that is not a trailhead, like bushwhacking off-trail from a road? Would that be considered non-compliance?

What if the whole hiking community ignores the limited entry plan in protest? They can't arrest everyone. The FS better have a plan for a lot of angry people.

My short take on this whole thing:
- Some areas, like Green Lakes and Jefferson Park, on the weekends are overcrowded. I wouldn't argue enforcement of limited numbers of overnight visits there in designated campsites.
- Most other areas are not not crowded at all and do not need quotas imposed.
- Monday-Thursday do not get the traffic like weekends and should be exempt.
- After Labor Day the traffic plummets. Especially overnight visits.
- Very few people get into the high country until the snow melts. Beginning on Memorial Day is ridiculous.
- Where next? Mt. Hood NF, Wallowas?
Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again.
- Jean Luc Picard

User avatar
kepPNW
Posts: 6352
Joined: June 21st, 2012, 9:55 am
Location: Salmon Creek

Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by kepPNW » October 10th, 2019, 10:11 am

Born2BBrad wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 9:37 am
What if the whole hiking community ignores the limited entry plan in protest? They can't arrest everyone. The FS better have a plan for a lot of angry people.
The problem I'm seeing is, as a share of the "whole hiking community," there are very few loonies out there. And there seem to be an awful lot of casual hikers, maybe get out three or four times a summer, who have been hoodwinked into thinking this will actually provide them something of value. I've talked to rangers out there who tell me that's what people they encounter are actually telling them, as well. It's crazy... (Just how some politicians can convince people to vote against their own best interests, exploiting their vain hope/dream of someday inheriting multi-millions, or otherwise becoming impossibly wealthy.)
Born2BBrad wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 9:37 am
Are there going to be rangers at every trailhead and all through each wilderness?
Backcountry rangers would have no damn idea where you started, huh? Seems the 5th applies there. And the mention that no NWFP will be needed if you have a permit may tend to point to parking lot patrols, doesn't it?
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

(Photos · PortlandHikers)

User avatar
Bosterson
Posts: 1998
Joined: May 18th, 2009, 3:17 pm
Location: Portland

Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by Bosterson » October 10th, 2019, 10:54 am

Born2BBrad wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 9:37 am
What if I enter from a place that is not a trailhead, like bushwhacking off-trail from a road? Would that be considered non-compliance?
The FS states that permits are even required for off trail. It's unclear how that would be applied or regulated, of course. Again, the permits are a done deal - the issue now is to send the FS comments about the fees.
kepPNW wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 10:11 am
And the mention that no NWFP will be needed if you have a permit may tend to point to parking lot patrols, doesn't it?
That was something that came up during the permit objection process, but to my knowledge the FS did not formally address how passes work with these permits during the permit comment process. They said they would address this when they presented the fee proposal, but they have now (finally) done that and it's just a press release and makes no mention of passes. So as far as I can tell, absent evidence to the contrary you would be required to buy their limited entry permit AND have a NWFP. Furthermore, in technical terms the NWFP is an "amenity" permit (for parking, let's be honest) whereas these entry permits are "recreation" permits for hiking, so anyone can go park at any of the limited entry THs without buying a permit as long as they don't go hike... It seems like the most realistic outcome will be FS posting rangers to check permits at the TH as you enter the trail.
Will hike off trail for fun.

Aimless
Posts: 1485
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: Lake Oswego

Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by Aimless » October 10th, 2019, 11:10 am

Who knows what the implementation details will be, since they have not made public all the details that will need to be thrashed out? I presume the FS has no exact plans for administering the program beyond what they have announced and they will put some kind of plan together this winter that they'll start out with, then see where the flaws in the plan are once they try to act on it.

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 12776
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by retired jerry » October 10th, 2019, 12:43 pm

I know someone that got a $100 ticket for not having a NWFP. Funny thing is, he actually had one displayed, the LEO didn't see it.

I don't know what would have happened if he just didn't pay it. Would they issue a warrant and the next time law enforcement encountered him arrest him and take to jail? I find that hard to believe. Maybe put a hold on re-registering your vehicle the next time?

I don't think the FS would want to take this to court because it could be overturned. Better to just collect from those people that are willing to pay and hopefully there'll only be a few loonies that don't.

I'd be tempted to just park at TH, display my $10 for life senior access pass, and dare them to do anything.

I had a couple rangers stop me and ask me for my self issue permit once. I said it was in my pack and asked do I really have to dig it out? They said yes so I did.

If you pleaded ignorance they'd be likely to just give you a warning but that would defeat the idea of challenging this.

I like to fantasize about resisting but am usually pretty compliant :)

User avatar
Water
Posts: 1249
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by Water » October 10th, 2019, 1:01 pm

Bosterson wrote:
October 10th, 2019, 10:54 am
... So as far as I can tell, absent evidence to the contrary you would be required to buy their limited entry permit AND have a NWFP. ...
Trying to find the source but I believe they said if you have a permit you won't need a NWFP.

This FAQ on fees is helpful:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DO ... 670380.pdf
Q. What would happen if the fee is not approved?
A. There would be multiple impacts if the fee was not approved.
-The two Forests would struggle making enough staff available to help visitors obtain the newly
required wilderness limited entry permits.
-The two Forests would have limited capacity to educate visitors about Leave No Trace, the limited
entry permit system, and what makes wilderness special.
-The two Forests would not be able to increase trail maintenance activities,
-There would be fewer wilderness rangers making contacts, educating visitors about Leave No
-Trace, enforcing the permit system, cleaning up after visitors (burying human waste, carrying out
garbage, etc.).
-The two forests would be limited in growing volunteer and partnership programs, because our
current staffing workloads are at capacity.
So if you don't approve the fee.. sounds like their plan is effectively scrapped. You somehow get the permit (and pay rec.gov the service fee still--so crazy)..but they can do nothing, like their current sitch. I'd almost be fine with that. Hey how interesting that these fees are supposed to be helping increase funding for trail work! That's news to me..



As an aside to your point about the Wilderness Act:
From the FS Project Planning Page: https://www.fs.usda.gov/projectdetail/d ... EPRD543135
The goal of the project is to sustain recreational use in these five wildernesses while ensuring future generations can experience the natural and undeveloped qualities of these areas. Actions to reduce impacts are needed to meet the purposes of the Wilderness Act and to meet the direction in the Deschutes and Willamette Forest Plans. Throughout the process, the Forests will engage both local communities and communities of interest to bring the public’s energy and ideas into balancing the three important components (environmental, social, and economic) of sustainability while meeting the Forest Service’s wilderness commitments.

Management Direction
Legislative Direction: The Wilderness Act of 1964 specifies congressional policy to secure for the American people an enduring resource of wilderness for the enjoyment of present and future generations. It defines wildernesses as areas untrammeled by people that offer outstanding opportunities for solitude and directs agencies to manage wilderness to preserve natural ecological conditions.

The wilderness areas of the Central Cascades in Oregon were legislated in 1964, 1968, and 1984:

Mount Washington and Three Sisters Wilderness:Designated by Public Law 88-577 – Wilderness Act of 1964.

Mount Jefferson Wilderness:Designated by Public Law 90-548 in 1968.

Waldo Lake Wilderness designated and additions made to Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington and Three Sisters:Public Law 98-328, Oregon Wilderness Act of 1984.

Forest Service Regulations and Policy: Pertinent sections of the Code of Federal Regulations include 36 CFR 293.2(b) – Wilderness will be made available for human use to the optimum extent consistent with the maintenance of primitive conditions; and 36 CFR 293.3(a) - ….the Forest Service may require permits for, or otherwise limit or regulate, any use of National Forest land, including, but not limited to, camping, campfires, and grazing of recreation livestock. Forest Service Manual 2323.14 Visitor Management states “Plan and manage public use of wilderness in such a manner that preserves the wilderness character of the area. Provide for the limiting and distribution of visitor use according to periodic estimates of capacity in the forest plan.
Emphasis mine. So they're not legally allowed to develop these 'areas' so throw that straw man out. Seems like their interpretation of the Wilderness Act is interesting..

My read of this sounds like they can indeed limit use.. But charging to limit it. heck no. Not under FLREA. Special use my butt.

From the CCWS main page: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/deschute ... EPRD578153
Current management is not successfully addressing the impacts associated with growing use. Impacts from visitors include degradation and loss of meadow and riparian vegetation, tree damage, presence of human and dog waste, widening and braiding of trails, and compaction of sites.
I could print this out on a big banner and mail it to them 5 years in the future if they wanted an accurate prediction. Given that statement, on what track-record do they think anyone should give them the benefit of the doubt that they can do this with permits on the internet? it's a laugh.
§ 293.3 Control of uses.
(a) To the extent not limited by the Wilderness Act, subsequent legislation establishing a particular unit, or the regulations in this part, the Chief, Forest Service, may prescribe measures necessary to control fire, insects, and disease and measures which may be used in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons or damage to property and may require permits for, or otherwise limit or regulate, any use of National Forest land, including, but not limited to, camping, campfires, and grazing of recreation livestock.
So they're doing this under damage to property? hmm This all seems tenuous to me.
Feel Free to Feel Free

User avatar
Water
Posts: 1249
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by Water » October 10th, 2019, 1:37 pm

From the Final Decision Notice:
In order to provide for truck and trailer parking at some trailheads, the Forest Service will
include provisions for allowing a percentage of the parking slots to be reserved for stock use
(truck and trailer) at some trailheads where traditional stock use and parking had been developed
in the past, but not effectively enforced (for example, Devil’s Lake Trailhead).
This fee proposal makes no mention of the 'fee' for reserving parking spaces.. half baked idea, so where's the follow up on that BS?
Feel Free to Feel Free

Post Reply