Central Cascades Quota Announced--Send Objections to FS NOW!

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cunningkeith
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Central Cascades Quota Announced--Send Objections to FS NOW!

Post by cunningkeith » November 15th, 2018, 10:39 am

The Forest Service just announced its decision to set fees and quotas for day hikes and overnight stays in Three Sisters and Mt. Jefferson.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/n ... 483291.pdf

Please send your objections to this plan—it’s going to radically change how we enjoy our wildernesses. It will require you to pay fees online to compete for limited day-use and overnight permits for most of our favorite spots.

I understand the need for conservation, but this is going way too far. It requires permits in areas that have no evidence of overuse. Likewise, it sets quota and fees for camping on summer weekdays that don’t see heavy use.

For those very fragile, popular areas that do need quotas, the numbers that have been set are far too low. For example, Obsidian currently allows 40 overnight visitors. The proposed daily quota will drop to 13 groups.

They should scrap this plan and just focus on the few areas where there’s a problem (weekends at Jeff Park and Green Lakes). But assuming they plow ahead, at the very least the plan must allow people to cancel their permits with refunds. The current limited entry areas (Obsidian and Pamelia) are notorious for people buying permits and then never using them. That locks the rest of us out. Make the permits refundable so that people can cancel and others can use them! But better yet, kill this plan altogether!

______________________________________________________________________________________________
Here's how to object, according to the document--objections taken starting Nov. 9 for 45 days:


File electronically at the following URL (preferred method):
https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/P ... ject=50578

Send electronically via email to: [email protected]. Please put
“Objection” and "Central Cascades Wilderness Strategies Project" in the subject line

"An objection must include a description of those aspects of the proposed project addressed by the objection, including specific issues related to the proposed project; if applicable, how the objector believes the environmental analysis or draft decision specifically violates the law, regulation or policy; suggested remedies that will resolve the objection; supporting reasons for the reviewing officer to consider; and a statement that demonstrates the connection between prior specific written comments on the particular proposed project or activity and the content of the objection, unless the objection concerns an issue that arose after the designated opportunities for comment."
Last edited by cunningkeith on November 15th, 2018, 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

justpeachy
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Re: Central Cascades Quota Announced--Send Objections to FS NOW!

Post by justpeachy » November 15th, 2018, 10:57 am

There's already a thread on this subject here: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=27890

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cunningkeith
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Re: Central Cascades Quota Announced--Send Objections to FS NOW!

Post by cunningkeith » November 15th, 2018, 11:21 am

Thanks. Feel free to combine the two, but I think it's important that people have instructions on how to send objections to the FS and what needs to be included in the objections.

At this point, the FS will only look at detailed objections, reasons for the objections, and proposed solutions. We should be focused in our response to try to get the least worst final quota system.

As others noted, the FS DID change the proposal based on previous objections--notably, camping zones were scrapped, hunters were included.

I also think political pressure matters, especially to the Oregon delegates who are most directly impacted by this: DeFazio, Schrader, Walden, plus of course Wyden and Merkley. At least, send them an email.

Contact reps by going to their webpage and using “Contact” or “Connect” form
Senator Ron Wyden, Website: https://www.wyden.senate.gov
Senator Jeff Merkley, Website: https://www.merkley.senate.gov Webform
District 1 – Suzanne Bonamici, Website: https://bonamici.house.gov.
District 2 - Greg Walden, Website: https://walden.house.gov
District 3 - Earl Blumenauer, Website: https://blumenauer.house.gov
District 4 - Peter A. DeFazio, Website: https://defazio.house.gov
District 5 – Kurt Schrader, Website: https://schrader.house.gov

What about Bend tourism, chamber of commerce, equestrian groups, hunters, climbers, etc.? There is a large coalition who should oppose this.

justpeachy
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Re: Central Cascades Quota Announced--Send Objections to FS NOW!

Post by justpeachy » November 15th, 2018, 11:53 am

Important caveat to submitting an objection to the Forest Service: "During the objection period, only individuals or organizations that submitted specific written comments (36 CFR 218.2) during a designated opportunity for public participation (scoping; the 30-day comment period; or public meetings) may object (36 CFR 218.5). Objections must meet the requirements of 36 CFR 218.2."

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cunningkeith
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Re: Central Cascades Quota Announced--Send Objections to FS NOW!

Post by cunningkeith » November 15th, 2018, 11:56 am

I'm glad I already objected.

But to those of you who didn't, I'd still object now. And of course nothing precludes you from emailing your reps.

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Re: Central Cascades Quota Announced--Send Objections to FS NOW!

Post by Aimless » November 15th, 2018, 2:16 pm

"Objections must meet the requirements of 36 CFR 218.2."

This is the crux of the problem. Having already collected comments from the general public and incorporated them into this draft plan (well, at least that's their story and they're sticking to it) any further objections must show that the present draft plan somehow fails to follow the applicable laws, FS regulations, or policies. Which basically means that unless you made a comment during the initial stage AND you are an expert who can make a sound legalistic argument against any of the specifics, you are shut out of this stage of public comment. Just telling the FS again what a bad plan you think this is will be politely disregarded.

That is why the best recourse for non-experts would be 1) have an expert in the applicable laws, regulations and policies guide your follow-up comments, assuming you commented initially and are eligible to submit further comment, or 2) bypass the FS and complain directly to Oregon's senators and congressional representatives, who are not bound by the requirements of 36 CFR 218.2 in making their voices heard (and felt) at the Forest Service.

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Chip Down
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Re: Central Cascades Quota Announced--Send Objections to FS NOW!

Post by Chip Down » November 15th, 2018, 6:21 pm

I wish I could post what action I think we should really take, but I suspect it would just get edited, so use your imagination.

Thuja
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Re: Central Cascades Quota Announced--Send Objections to FS NOW!

Post by Thuja » November 15th, 2018, 8:28 pm

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Last edited by Thuja on March 8th, 2019, 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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retired jerry
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Re: Central Cascades Quota Announced--Send Objections to FS NOW!

Post by retired jerry » November 16th, 2018, 7:28 am

oh no, the USFS lynch mob :)

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BigBear
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Re: Central Cascades Quota Announced--Send Objections to FS NOW!

Post by BigBear » November 16th, 2018, 2:33 pm

Jerry: It is tempting to make a joke about lynch mobs having their place in the wild west, however...

Access to public land is an inherent right. Perhaps its covered under "freedom of assembly" or the 9th Amendments vague "other rights." There was a time when the rich believed public parks must be exclusive and the masses should not be allowed in. That belief had been swept away with the passage of time and public consciousness. Now, like the wind, it has blown its way back to our trailheads with fees and limited access.

Joining the mob to protect one's right to walk freely in the forest may be in order. I guess it depends on how deep in your heart the process of walking amongst the trees, taking in the vistas, and taking a breath of fresh air means to you. If your name was John Muir, I suspect you would be organizing the mob. If it were James Watt, you'd be running to the sheriff for help. It all depends on how much of your soul is connected to the forest.

I would be organizing the mob if I were younger, but my future trips to the forest have reduced in number due to a number of issues. I would hope that the more youthful OregonHikers would feel the urgency to take on this situation and keep the trails open for the public. Otherwise, you can stay at home and wish you had enough money to hike like you did in your youth.

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