Central Cascades permit fees announced

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retired jerry
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by retired jerry » December 11th, 2019, 7:32 am

"actually less work"

then we can flaunt it for one year, we'll see what happens the next year :)

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cunningkeith
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by cunningkeith » December 11th, 2019, 10:32 am

For more fun reading, here is the handbook the FS purports to be following on this issue.

https://www.fs.fed.us/cgi-bin/Directive ... 2309.13!.. Click on "Recreation Fees" document.

Note that a "handbook" is not the law. The law is the FLREA. But I'd be curious if people read through the handbook and find instances where the FS seems to be violating its own handbook.

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jessbee
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by jessbee » December 11th, 2019, 12:24 pm

cunningkeith wrote:
December 11th, 2019, 10:32 am
For more fun reading, here is the handbook the FS purports to be following on this issue.

https://www.fs.fed.us/cgi-bin/Directive ... 2309.13!.. Click on "Recreation Fees" document.

Note that a "handbook" is not the law. The law is the FLREA. But I'd be curious if people read through the handbook and find instances where the FS seems to be violating its own handbook.
I will hold off on the argument of your definition of "fun reading," and point out these two quotes from that document that caught my eye.

Regarding the prohibition of charging fees, I'll just put this here:

"For camping at undeveloped sites that do not provide the minimum number of facilities and services required under section 32.3.

For dispersed areas with low or no investment unless specifically authorized under REA"
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Water
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by Water » December 11th, 2019, 3:20 pm

Jess, that prohibition is under standard amenity fee:
31.2 - Prohibitions on Charging Standard and Expanded Amenity Recreation Fees...
c. For camping at undeveloped sites that do not provide the minimum number of facilities and services required under section 32.3.
..
f. For dispersed areas with low or no investment unless specifically authorized under REA.
They're doing this under Special Recreation Permit which FLREA specifically defines as:
“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.”

Would you be surprised if their own manual is in conflict with itself? Emphasis mine.

Under definitions
Special Recreation Permit. A permit issued for specialized recreational uses of National Forest System lands per section 32.4 or 32.5.
32.4 Special Recreation Permits for Noncommercial Activities:
A noncommercial special recreation permit may be issued and a fee for the permit may be charged to allocate recreation capacity, to protect natural and cultural resources, to mitigate special health and safety concerns, or to provide other specialized services or facilities. Noncommercial special recreation permits are issued strictly under REA and are not special uses under 36 CFR Part 251, Subpart B.
So which is it? Apparently they want to define Special Recreation Permit foremost as a permit for Specialized Recreational Uses, but then they want to say Special Recreation Permit for Noncommercial Activities is not a special use. Their own manual says this is not a special use, so... according to FLREA [The actual law] which states Special use we have our answer.

Basically this new document introduced mid-comment period just tries to cover their back on the matter by introducing FS documentation about their own interpretation of the law. It doesn't actually address the inconsistency of referring to special use permits in FLREA as both something so unique and specialized, and something as mundane as dispersed unimproved camping in a wilderness even in an area that the FS has provided data that that the area is not overused.
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A. Hugh Jass
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by A. Hugh Jass » December 30th, 2019, 3:04 pm

The Statesman Journal has a good article on the permitting issue today (Dec. 30, 2019):

https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/ ... 733187001/

They have posted a link to all the comments (obtained by the freedom of information act). It has a searchable database: https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/P ... ject=50578

The database contains over 12,000 comments submitted about the fee proposal. And, no surprise, the responses are overwhelmingly against their fee structure proposal. And many complain, as I did, about the fees added on by recreation.gov. Recreation.gov is not a government entity. It is run by the for-profit company, Booz Allen Hamilton. So, when they added the fee of $1 for day use, and $6 for an overnight permit the software uses the same computer resources yet one is a buck and the other is $6. Makes no sense for the consumer, but makes perfect sense for the for-profit company BAH.

This all smells of corruption to me. Why not start with fees at the problem trailheads such as Devils Lake, Green Lakes, etc.? And only on heavy use days (weekends and holidays)? The proposal cited a lot of trash and toilet paper for reasons for limiting access. Really? My money is on the PCT as being the main culprit. I hike/trail run/ski the South Sister climbers trail about six+ times a year. I am generally impressed just how clean the areas near the trail are. I see occasional toilet paper, but far less than the Tumalo Mountain Trail.

The Forest Service says we've listened to people:
- We started with including limited entry at five wilderness areas for overnight use. Now it’s only three.

- We started with limited entry for day-use at 42 trailheads. Now it’s only 19.

- We started with permits required through the end of October. Now it’s only until the last Friday of September.
This is classic negotiation techniques. You ask for way more at the beginning, but later you "compromise". That way you appear to have given something up and look "reasonable"... but we gave up on this, that, and this -- see, we're reasonable. "Now, good news, my boss says I can knock fifty bucks off that undercoating."

Yeah, the management group administering this has contempt for us hikers. That's about all I see from this.

I don't complain (much) about my $25 fee to climb Mt. Shasta each year (this year I'm buying the $35 annual pass). I pay for it right at the Bunny Flat trailhead when I show up. All the money goes to the local forest service administration area. Not one dollar goes to Booz Allen Hamilton (recreation.gov).
Last edited by A. Hugh Jass on December 30th, 2019, 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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adamschneider
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by adamschneider » December 30th, 2019, 3:29 pm

Interesting that the interface lets you filter out "form letters": there are 12496 comments total, 1270 if you remove form letters. I wonder whether they officially carry different weight.

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cunningkeith
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by cunningkeith » January 5th, 2020, 1:33 pm

In order for the Forest Service to finalize these fees, they must obtain approval from a "Resource Advisory Committee." That committee will take oral public comments on Tuesday, January 14 in Keizer.

It would be great, if as many people as possible attended and spoke at this meeting. In order to reserve 3 minutes of speaking time, you must send an email to [email protected] by January 10, 2020.

Please attend if you can (I realize that it's during working hours, that 3 minutes is ridiculous, and that most people don't live Keizer, but I didn't make these rules :D ).

Link to the agenda is here
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DO ... 690770.pdf


January 14, 2020, 9:00am

Keizer Community Center, Claggett Room
930 Chemawa Road NE
Keizer, OR 97303

Individuals wishing to make an oral statement must request time in writing
from [email protected] by January 10, 2020.

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retired jerry
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by retired jerry » January 5th, 2020, 1:45 pm

hmmm... most of the way to Salem, 41 minutes from Tigard, that isn't too bad

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retired jerry
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by retired jerry » January 5th, 2020, 1:48 pm

I'll try emailing her

You can not submit in writing to an email address :)

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retired jerry
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by retired jerry » January 6th, 2020, 8:55 am

she replied to my email and said emailing her would be sufficient

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