NW Forest Pass misinformation, omission of America the Beautiful pass

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grizzlyg
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Joined: August 27th, 2019, 9:14 am

NW Forest Pass misinformation, omission of America the Beautiful pass

Post by grizzlyg » August 27th, 2019, 10:19 am

There are pages in the Field Guide that contain incomplete information regarding trailhead fees and passes, such as here:

Tom Dick and Harry Mountain Hike
https://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guide/Tom_Dick_and_Harry_Mountain_Hike

The page states:
"As of June 2019 a Northwest Forest Pass is required. Pass must be acquired beforehand as they are not sold at the trailhead."

In fact, the federal interagency pass named "America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass" is also valid for "day use" purposes at all National Forest trailheads. This five-agency pass was created by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, authorized by Congress in December 2004. There are currently six types; the Annual pass, Senior Annual Pass, Senior Lifetime Pass, Access Pass, Volunteer Pass and Military Pass.

These interagency passes are valid at ALL federal sites where "Entrance" or "Standard Amenity" fees (day use fees) are charged. The U.S. Forest Service's own web pages categorize "picnic areas, developed trailheads and destination visitor centers" as types of features subject to "Standard Amenity" fees, the only potential exception being "concessionaire-managed sites" where "pass coverage does vary" (e.g., the concessionaire at Trillium Lake doesn't honor the ATB pass).

I called the Zigzag ranger station and confirmed that the America the Beautiful pass is valid at the new Mirror Lake trailhead.

The Tom Dick and Harry Mountain Hike page should be revised as follows:
"As of June 2019, either a Northwest Forest Pass or America the Beautiful pass is required. Pass must be acquired beforehand as they are not sold at the trailhead."

References:
https://www.fs.fed.us/visit/passes-permits
https://www.fs.fed.us/visit/passes-permits/recreation-fees-passes
https://www.nps.gov/home/planyourvisit/interagency-pass-program.htm
https://www.recreation.gov/pass/atb

squidvicious
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Location: Troutdale

Re: NW Forest Pass misinformation, omission of America the Beautiful pass

Post by squidvicious » August 27th, 2019, 10:48 am

I wouldn't call it "misinformation." In fact, you'll find the USFS info says exactly the same thing: "A Northwest Forest Pass is required at Mirror Lake Trailhead."

Presumably anyone who bought an interagency pass did so specifically because they understood it would be valid at the various federal lands that collect their individual fees/passes, and would recognize that they're covered for someplace that says it requires the NW Forest pass.

grizzlyg
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Joined: August 27th, 2019, 9:14 am

Re: NW Forest Pass misinformation, omission of America the Beautiful pass

Post by grizzlyg » August 27th, 2019, 11:10 am

The USFS page you cited is wrong as well, but with all due respect, two wrongs don't make a right. It's a case of misinformation in both places.

Is it too much to ask Oregon Hikers Field Guide to get it right? Users look to the Field Guide as a good source of information, regardless of what pass(es) they've purchased or how much of the fine print they've read.

Many people bought the interagency ATB pass for access to National Parks, not realizing that the pass also grants them access to National Forest trailheads throughout the country.

I've seen the Field Guide disclaimers, but if the Field Guide is going to include a section called "Fees, Regulations, etc." then it ought to recognize the responsibility to get it right. I've provided some carefully researched information and a recommended wording that improves the quality of the Field Guide's information... you're welcome?

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BigBear
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Re: NW Forest Pass misinformation, omission of America the Beautiful pass

Post by BigBear » August 27th, 2019, 11:35 am

Of course, then there's the whole ignore the federal court rulings issue which has found the parking pass to be "unambiguously prohibited" if the public is hiking, backpacking or picnicking. See Adams vs USFS and Bark vs USFS. Too bad that Region 6 is illiterate wwhen it comes to court cases they lose as the defendant on record.

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Bosterson
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Re: NW Forest Pass misinformation, omission of America the Beautiful pass

Post by Bosterson » August 27th, 2019, 12:05 pm

Note that the Field Guide support forum is for discussion about the Field Guide itself, not debating the legality or applicability of passes. Also note to new user grizzlyg that regular users (like the ones commenting here) cannot update the Field Guide. Surely one of the editors will update this in due course.
Will hike off trail for fun.

grizzlyg
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Joined: August 27th, 2019, 9:14 am

Re: NW Forest Pass misinformation, omission of America the Beautiful pass

Post by grizzlyg » August 27th, 2019, 2:01 pm

Hi Bosterson,

Yes, I have a new account on this site, although I've been an active PNW hiker and climber for 30 years. I first tried to contact the primary author of the "Tom Dick and Harry Mountain Hike" page - Splintercat (Tom Kloster) - but could not find a way to send him a message, so I posted a message to this "Field Guide Support" forum instead.

Please advise on the best way to present this matter to Mr. Kloster or alternate editor(s).

Thanks,
grizzlyg

p.s. to BigBear, I am aware of the legal debates over various passes, and have actively participated in those debates in the past, but my focus here is simply to engage OHFG editors to help ATB pass holders understand and exercise their rights and privileges and realize the full value of their investment, as well as to serve as a reminder to others that an alternative to the NWFP exists, and finally to affirm the legitimacy of the ATB pass and advocate for its use, lest some USFS officers, over time, potentially forget that it exists!

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Bosterson
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Re: NW Forest Pass misinformation, omission of America the Beautiful pass

Post by Bosterson » August 27th, 2019, 2:46 pm

There are a bunch of Field Guide editors, so your first post was all that was needed. One of the editors will take care of it. In fact, since this topic is now about 6 posts longer than it needed to be, I'll go add your ABP note to the FG right now and we can call this taken care of. :)
Will hike off trail for fun.

grizzlyg
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Joined: August 27th, 2019, 9:14 am

Re: NW Forest Pass misinformation, omission of America the Beautiful pass

Post by grizzlyg » August 27th, 2019, 2:53 pm

Thank you, and thanks to all that contribute to this invaluable site. It's a treasure.
grizzlyg

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adamschneider
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Re: NW Forest Pass misinformation, omission of America the Beautiful pass

Post by adamschneider » August 27th, 2019, 3:25 pm

Do they seriously not have a place to buy a day pass at that fancy new trailhead??

Webfoot
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Re: NW Forest Pass misinformation, omission of America the Beautiful pass

Post by Webfoot » August 27th, 2019, 7:19 pm

Perhaps we should have a page on the Northwest Forest Pass hyperlinked from the trailhead pages, where details like this could be more thoroughly addressed?

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