Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

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gallione11
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Re: Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

Post by gallione11 » October 1st, 2021, 11:44 am

I must say I did enjoy having a guaranteed parking spot for Green Lakes a couple times this year, but man, did the trails ever seem empty. The one time we did the full hike, we say maybe 9 other groups. Granted, it was a Monday and we started early, but it just felt a little weird compared to how it usually is.

We were back in the area last weekend and drove by that TH Saturday (day after the permit season ended) around 8:15am and cars we're already overflowing onto the highway. Our way back through there after kayaking around noon, it had to be at least 50+ cars on the highway shoulders.

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retired jerry
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Re: Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

Post by retired jerry » October 1st, 2021, 12:16 pm

Has anyone had their permit checked?

I did a week trip and no one checked mine.

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Crusak
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Re: Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

Post by Crusak » October 1st, 2021, 12:26 pm

retired jerry wrote:
October 1st, 2021, 12:16 pm
Has anyone had their permit checked?

I did a week trip and no one checked mine.
I had two permits this year, one in August and one in September. To my surprise I never saw any rangers the whole time on either trip, first time in many years of visiting the Mt Jefferson Wilderness that I haven't encountered a ranger and undergone their inquisition. :D
Jim's Hikes

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gallione11
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Re: Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

Post by gallione11 » October 1st, 2021, 1:41 pm

retired jerry wrote:
October 1st, 2021, 12:16 pm
Has anyone had their permit checked?

I did a week trip and no one checked mine.
I did at Green Lakes for 3 of my 4 day use hikes there, and on the one they didn't check (it was early), they were there checking on our way out. Expected that they'd check one of the busier permit areas though.

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retired jerry
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Re: Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

Post by retired jerry » October 1st, 2021, 2:26 pm

Over the years I've probably spent 50 nights in the Three Sisters

Once, an aggressive pair of rangers checked my permit (the free, self issue, unlimited version). A couple times I passed a ranger and had a pleasant conversation but no check.

I've probably spent twice as many nights on Mt Hood during permit season. No permit checks. A couple friendly rangers.

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Charley
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Re: Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

Post by Charley » October 3rd, 2021, 10:16 am

I'm endlessly disappointed that the TKO didn't see fit to fulfill its mission by opposing these over-strict regulations when they were first opposed. The TKO could take a step in the right direction by encouraging the FS to back down from its maximalist position and reduce the number of trailheads and months covered by the system.

The Mazamas took a position against the regulations. Will the TKO stand up for us?

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bobcat
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Re: Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

Post by bobcat » October 3rd, 2021, 6:52 pm

I no longer serve on TKO committees, but I was on one at the time TKO was crafting a response to the proposal. I don't know what the final version was or if it was sent, but at least there was an effort. Basically, TKO was asking for a much reduced, less complex permit system. The problem is that TKO doesn't have a relationship with either the Willamette or Deschutes national forests, so is relatively unknown to them. Organizations with direct ties would have far greater influence.

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Charley
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Re: Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

Post by Charley » October 5th, 2021, 9:26 am

bobcat wrote:
October 3rd, 2021, 6:52 pm
I no longer serve on TKO committees, but I was on one at the time TKO was crafting a response to the proposal. I don't know what the final version was or if it was sent, but at least there was an effort. Basically, TKO was asking for a much reduced, less complex permit system. The problem is that TKO doesn't have a relationship with either the Willamette or Deschutes national forests, so is relatively unknown to them. Organizations with direct ties would have far greater influence.
I stand corrected. It's too bad that effort didn't have the intended effect.

Alway
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Re: Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

Post by Alway » October 8th, 2021, 8:35 am

jdemott wrote:
September 23rd, 2021, 8:06 am
Every year, we spend seven to ten days in central Oregon with our kids, and now grandkids. Hiking in the Cascades is always a big part of our family activities. This year we considered reserving some permits at the beginning of the season, but we ultimately decided to wait for some of the seven-day reservations because we really didn't have a clue in April as to what days we would want to hike in August.

We were able to get permits on the seven-day schedule by logging in promptly at the opening time each morning, although we failed on one day when we were about five minutes late logging in. We did easily get a permit on the next day, however.

We were no-shows on one of our hikes when we woke up to find hazardously smoky conditions. We were also guilty of over-reserving in the sense that we got permits for day hiking for the whole family and on some occasions a few family members elected to do something other than hiking.

Having smaller crowds at Green Lakes was a big positive. I know some folks are opposed to any limits, but the crowds had really gotten out of hand in prior years, so I hope the Forest Service is able to fine tune the reservation system to make it work with fewer problems. It seems like the problem is really limited to a few of the most popular locations, like Green Lakes. A few miles down the road, there were almost no hikers going to the Sisters Mirror lake area.
I was in the Mirror Lakes area in 3 Sisters this year and there was absolutely nobody there, we were all alone. Ran into a ranger that expressed similar thoughts that this thread is expressing: that people are reserving spots but not showing up. She told me they're working with the software development company they contract out to create the permit system to try to alleviate this problem. I'm glad to know it's on their radar at the very least.

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retired jerry
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Re: Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

Post by retired jerry » October 8th, 2021, 11:01 am

"they're working with the software development company they contract out to create the permit system to try to alleviate this problem"

they're making this too difficult (as is the whole concept of having permits)

just allocate twice as many permits under the assumption half will go unused

after a season, determine if it was too busy or not busy enough and then the next year change the number of permits

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