Lewis River area updates

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
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drm
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Re: Lewis River Recreation Area Reservation System Announced

Post by drm » May 19th, 2021, 2:00 pm

Which is why they haven't started the system yet, it's not the busy season yet. Though when I came out of my hike at Upper Falls last weekend, the lot was full and somebody was waiting for a spot.

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Charley
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Re: Lewis River area updates

Post by Charley » May 19th, 2021, 9:23 pm

Rant:

So we get crumbling facilities. . . and now we have to pay more for the pleasure of using them.

Our system is b r o k e n.

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drm
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Re: Lewis River area updates

Post by drm » May 20th, 2021, 6:53 am

Yes, now you will have to pay $2/day and will be guaranteed a parking space. I would add that folks here often complain that not enough is done with trails, yet the Lewis River Trail is one of the best maintained trails in the area. It gets cleared and fixed early every year due to early snow melt-off. Those who want to drive back-and-forth between trailheads that are a mile or two or three apart will have a problem. But it's a good situation for hikers as opposed to full parking areas.

Oh, and a number of the toilet facilities on the Lewis River corridor are slated for replacement. Not sure of the exact timing for that.

But the road remains in bad condition, a very tedious drive.

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Chip Down
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Re: Lewis River area updates

Post by Chip Down » May 20th, 2021, 4:32 pm

Charley wrote:
May 19th, 2021, 9:23 pm
Rant:

So we get crumbling facilities. . . and now we have to pay more for the pleasure of using them.

Our system is b r o k e n.
Actually, once you recognize that the purpose of government is to screw us over to the greatest possible extent, you'll see that our system isn't broken at all. It's doing exactly what it was designed to do.

Aimless
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Re: Lewis River area updates

Post by Aimless » May 20th, 2021, 5:28 pm

Easy on the politics, big fella. That isn't why we come here to enjoy this place.

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drm
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Re: Lewis River area updates

Post by drm » May 21st, 2021, 9:56 am

But, um, oh, never mind. (Looking for one of those emojis with a zipper over the mouth)

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Charley
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Re: Lewis River area updates

Post by Charley » May 23rd, 2021, 4:05 pm

Chip Down wrote:
May 20th, 2021, 4:32 pm
Actually, once you recognize that the purpose of government is to screw us over to the greatest possible extent, you'll see that our system isn't broken at all. It's doing exactly what it was designed to do.
I disagree very, very strongly.

I'm just going to leave it at that.

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Charley
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Re: Lewis River area updates

Post by Charley » May 23rd, 2021, 4:30 pm

drm wrote:
May 20th, 2021, 6:53 am
I would add that folks here often complain that not enough is done with trails, yet the Lewis River Trail is one of the best maintained trails in the area.
...
But the road remains in bad condition, a very tedious drive.
All very true. The longer form of my rant:

This is the vicious cycle of recreation facilities in our local Forests.
1. As fire and abandonment reduce the number of trails, people are forced into a smaller number of accessible trails.
2. Then, to reduce the resultant crowding, the FS institutes closures, hiking fees, backpacking fees, parking fees, all mediated through an opaque, sometimes hard-to-use website operated by a national security/intelligence contractor.
3. These hurdles effectively drive people into the remaining trails that don't require an online reservation or bushwacking through a forest of blowdown, increasing crowding.
4. Then, to reduce the resultant crowding. . . etc.

Rinse and repeat to the point of insanity.

Does anyone here see an off-ramp? Is there any solution to this, other than building new trails and maintaining more of the existing ones? Should we just let hiking become the exclusive activity of those who have the money, the internet savvy, and the ability to plan ahead in advance???

I honestly don't mind some crowding (Angel's Rest is my most-hiked trail, believe it or not), but obviously the Forest Service hates it, and is missing either the resources or interest in constructive solutions. Heck, when Splintercat and crew rehabbed the Owl Point Trail, that was technically illegal!

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drm
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Re: Lewis River area updates

Post by drm » May 24th, 2021, 8:54 am

Charley,

I really think we are dealing with two different groups. People who go camping once or twice a year, who have to reserve vacation time at their jobs, they like have things reserved, so they can plan ahead, know that there will be parking spaces, etc. Lots of them tell the FS they don't like crowds, though some don't mind them. And there will still be crowds at Lower Falls due to the large campground. If something goes wrong with their trip, well, the next one may be next year. Those of us who go frequently have a different set of priorities. Crowding is okay on one trip because we know how to avoid it on the next. But there are a lot more of them than us.

So I doubt that there is a way out. Areas that get discovered by the masses and are accessible to them will be changed. It's always been that way. In most cases, government agencies are supposed to design plans according to how the majority wants. Of course they don't always do that either, but I think in this case they are.

A couple years ago at a Lewis River backpack, there was a guy camped nearby who told me his Dad used to bring him to that exact same camp when he was a kid. That kind of longevity just doesn't always work. Places change and people who want a certain kind of experience are going to have to adjust locations to get that over time.

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Charley
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Re: Lewis River area updates

Post by Charley » May 24th, 2021, 1:34 pm

drm wrote:
May 24th, 2021, 8:54 am
I really think we are dealing with two different groups. People who go camping once or twice a year, who have to reserve vacation time at their jobs, they like have things reserved...
...
Those of us who go frequently have a different set of priorities. Crowding is okay on one trip because we know how to avoid it on the next. But there are a lot more of them than us.
...
In most cases, government agencies are supposed to design plans according to how the majority wants. Of course they don't always do that either, but I think in this case they are.
...
Places change and people who want a certain kind of experience are going to have to adjust locations to get that over time.
Good points. Maybe I'm too hard on the Forest Service; maybe they're following the clearly expressed will of the majority. Maybe I don't realize the rareness of my "democratize the Forest experience" attitude, compared to those who'd rather have a quieter, but more expensive, and far more bureaucratically controlled experience.

On the other hand, I have relatively less beef with the National Park Service, even though the NPS obviously has a heavier regulatory touch, in general. Perhaps I demand less of the NPS because I don't use any Park as a weekly getaway. But I do sincerely think that the NPS does a far better job of managing crowds and wild areas with constructive approach. Maybe that just reflects differing management ethics born of the original missions of the two agencies.

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