Mt. St. Helens climbing permit changes

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bushwhacker
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Mt. St. Helens climbing permit changes

Post by bushwhacker » February 21st, 2021, 12:07 pm

I didn't see this posted yet and since the new permit system begins on March 1 (for the month of April) I thought I would throw this out here.

The Forest Service has tweaked the MSH climbing permit system for 2021.

Here's the link for the announcement: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/giffordp ... EPRD880000

Highlights:
1) Permits issued though Recreation.gov on a monthly basis instead of all at once for the entire season.
2) 300 permits per day instead of 500 from April 1 though May 14.
3) 110 instead of 100 from May 15 through the end of October.
4) Cancellations excepted 7 days out instead of the old 14 days out.
5) No change to the winter season (November though March).

I think my only real objection to this is the cut from 500 permits to 300. Seems like once again there is going to be a artificial limit placed on the supply which will just increase the demand elsewhere (Guessing that the 200 per day loss are supposed to fight over the 10 per day gain in May 15 - October. The math doesn't seem to add up here.).

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Chip Down
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Re: Mt. St. Helens climbing permit changes

Post by Chip Down » February 22nd, 2021, 12:07 am

The climbing permit system exists to protect natural and cultural resources and unique biological communities on Mount St. Helens. Climbing permits help reduce overcrowding and support climber safety and education programs.
While climbing other routes isn't explicitly banned, they present Monitor Ridge as the default route, maintain a dead-end road to the TH which is considerably higher than the other south side trailheads, and then say they need to limit crowds because the mountain is oh-so fragile. I ain't buying it.

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drm
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Re: Mt. St. Helens climbing permit changes

Post by drm » February 23rd, 2021, 7:38 am

Seems to me that having hundreds of people every single day on a narrow corridor on a mountain has a pretty obvious environmental impact. I certainly know it does on Adams. We've all seen and repeatedly commented on how lots of people who visit the mountains and hiking trails do not follow even basic LNT guidelines. I was thinking of spending some time looking up the studies on this issue, but it just seems so patently obvious to me. In this case, if it spreads the usage, that's a good thing.

bushwhacker
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Re: Mt. St. Helens climbing permit changes

Post by bushwhacker » February 23rd, 2021, 3:45 pm

drm wrote:
February 23rd, 2021, 7:38 am
In this case, if it spreads the usage, that's a good thing.
Seems like it is taking people off the hill when it's most likely snow covered (low impact) and adding them to times when it's not snow covered (high impact). Sorry I don't see how that's a good thing.

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drm
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Re: Mt. St. Helens climbing permit changes

Post by drm » February 23rd, 2021, 7:04 pm

I don't want to speculate too much without looking up the documents, but snowy times are the highest impact season for wildlife, when they have a hard time finding food and getting around, and so have the lowest amount of energy. But that would depend on whether the crowded areas are places that have resources that wildlife need. But since they are decreasing the daily count, I think they have found environmental impacts from having 500 people in one place.

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Charley
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Re: Mt. St. Helens climbing permit changes

Post by Charley » February 25th, 2021, 1:19 pm

drm wrote:
February 23rd, 2021, 7:04 pm
I don't want to speculate too much without looking up the documents, but snowy times are the highest impact season for wildlife, when they have a hard time finding food and getting around, and so have the lowest amount of energy. But that would depend on whether the crowded areas are places that have resources that wildlife need.
Good point. I had never thought about that. I mainly think about off trail travel causing erosion and plant compaction. There are lots of elk on the north side of the mountain- I wonder if some wander around to the south side in the winter? I would guess they'd move down the Toutle River. . . but I'm a carpenter/musician, not a biologist.

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Water
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Re: Mt. St. Helens climbing permit changes

Post by Water » February 26th, 2021, 3:09 pm

Legitimate concern about people on foot disturbing wildlife during snow coverage is absolutely obliterated into a moot point when you consider the area that snowmobiles access on the south side of the mountain and plains of Abraham.
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Bosterson
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Re: Mt. St. Helens climbing permit changes

Post by Bosterson » February 26th, 2021, 5:20 pm

Water wrote:
February 26th, 2021, 3:09 pm
Legitimate concern about people on foot disturbing wildlife
Some mountaineers have said that the wildlife actually love the MSHI helicopter flyovers and crater tours, and whip out their elk digicams to get pictures of the flying metal birds to show their friends later.
#pnw #bestlife #bitingflies #favoriteyellowcap #neverdispleased

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Chip Down
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Re: Mt. St. Helens climbing permit changes

Post by Chip Down » February 27th, 2021, 5:37 pm

Bosterson wrote:
February 26th, 2021, 5:20 pm
Water wrote:
February 26th, 2021, 3:09 pm
Legitimate concern about people on foot disturbing wildlife
Some mountaineers have said that the wildlife actually love the MSHI helicopter flyovers and crater tours, and whip out their elk digicams to get pictures of the flying metal birds to show their friends later.
I've personally witnessed goats being startled by helicopters, and scampering off. Of course, my sample size is small. Like humans, surely some goats are more timid than others.

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Charley
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Re: Mt. St. Helens climbing permit changes

Post by Charley » February 27th, 2021, 9:03 pm

Water wrote:
February 26th, 2021, 3:09 pm
Legitimate concern about people on foot disturbing wildlife during snow coverage is absolutely obliterated into a moot point when you consider the area that snowmobiles access on the south side of the mountain and plains of Abraham.
True! :lol:

"The national forests are lands of many uses – and many users.” Richard E. McArdle

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