Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

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jessbee
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Re: Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

Post by jessbee » April 17th, 2019, 8:43 am

kepPNW wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 7:42 am

Perhaps the greater irony is that it's now been over four years since TKO changed the name of this forum from PortlandHikers to OregonHikers, and yet the focus hasn't seemed to change whatsoever. All that was accomplished was insulting a good many members, and driving them elsewhere.
No one is advocating for hikers outside of the Portland Metro area. Living in Bend I feel like I'm in a dead zone for hiking and trail advocacy. There is a huge mountain biker contingent here and they are organized and well-heard. Hunters and fishers, horseback riders too. NO HIKERS. People are more than happy to hike all the time but no one wants to step up and lobby for our needs. We have a massive amount of people using the trails in Central Oregon, can we get it together and stand up for ourselves? Anyone? Bueller?
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Bosterson
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Re: Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

Post by Bosterson » April 17th, 2019, 9:17 am

bobcat wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 7:32 am
As for "trail legacy," it took ten years for the Old Vista Ridge Trail to be officially declared open again (after TKO's initial guerrilla incursions), numbered, and put on the USFS lists. That's the sort of timeline you're looking at. And we had to sign a contract to say we'd maintain it in perpetuity.
That's one of the most bonkers things I've ever heard. What happens if TKO goes belly-up? Since the FS is abdicating all responsibility for maintaining the trail, does it go back to being unofficial and abandoned?

One of the most frustrating things about the trickle-down effects of FS budget cuts is the catch-22 wherein only official trails get maintained, only the FS is allowed to manage/maintain trails, the FS doesn't have the budget to maintain all the trails, so some trails are abandoned and thus no longer require maintenance.
Will hike off trail for fun.

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aiwetir
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Re: Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

Post by aiwetir » April 17th, 2019, 11:46 am

jessbee wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 8:43 am
No one is advocating for hikers outside of the Portland Metro area. Living in Bend I feel like I'm in a dead zone for hiking and trail advocacy. There is a huge mountain biker contingent here and they are organized and well-heard. Hunters and fishers, horseback riders too. NO HIKERS. People are more than happy to hike all the time but no one wants to step up and lobby for our needs. We have a massive amount of people using the trails in Central Oregon, can we get it together and stand up for ourselves? Anyone? Bueller?
I messaged my buddy at COTA about this. Maybe they have a hiking contingent or can provide for/create one.
- Michael

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Re: Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

Post by justpeachy » April 17th, 2019, 12:26 pm

Regarding the TKO board meeting at which the Central Cascades proposal was discussed, some of the board members were pretty familiar with the plan (myself included) and some were not. It's not like everyone was scratching their heads saying, "we have no idea what you're talking about." Writing a thoughtful and reasonable response to such a huge proposal (it was close to 200 pages if I remember correctly) takes time. The organization first has to discuss and agree upon their position regarding the proposal, and then come up with a well-written response that accurately reflects that position. Firing off a one-sentence response was not an option.
jessbee wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 8:43 am
No one is advocating for hikers outside of the Portland Metro area. Living in Bend I feel like I'm in a dead zone for hiking and trail advocacy.
It is TKO's goal to become a statewide organization advocating for trails and hiking communities all over, but it will take time.
kepPNW wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 7:42 am
Ten minutes on an agenda item that will impact the nominal area of interest, and the stakeholders this organization exists for, for generations to come? Seriously?
kepPNW wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 7:42 am
Perhaps the greater irony is that it's now been over four years since TKO changed the name of this forum from PortlandHikers to OregonHikers, and yet the focus hasn't seemed to change whatsoever.

I know that TKO-bashing is a beloved and favorite pastime on this forum, but keep in mind that TKO only has one full-time staff member (the executive director), a part-time volunteer coordinator, and a part-time admin person. All of them have very full plates and I suspect they probably work more hours than they're getting paid for. Board members are volunteers with lives, kids, jobs, etc. They too work hard. Organizations like Friends of the Gorge, WTA, and PCTA have paid staff whose job it is to research and respond to things like the Central Cascades proposal. TKO will get to that point someday, but they are not there yet.

Also, TKO had no paid staff whatsoever back when the name of this website changed from Portland Hikers to Oregon Hikers. They have had a paid ED for less than two years.

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Bosterson
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Re: Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

Post by Bosterson » April 17th, 2019, 12:59 pm

justpeachy wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 12:26 pm
Regarding the TKO board meeting at which the Central Cascades proposal was discussed... Writing a thoughtful and reasonable response to such a huge proposal (it was close to 200 pages if I remember correctly) takes time. The organization first has to discuss and agree upon their position regarding the proposal, and then come up with a well-written response that accurately reflects that position.
Given that initial EA was published a year ago, the proposed decision came out in November, and the final decision was just released this past week (I got mine in the mail), has TKO been able to conclude the necessary deliberations about its position on the Central Cascades plan? If so, what is TKO's official position at this time?
It is TKO's goal to become a statewide organization advocating for trails and hiking communities all over, but it will take time.
Does TKO have a stated plan about how it will advocate for "hiking communities" (even if it doesn't have the resources to actually do that yet)? I get the "trails" part, but to my knowledge, TKO does not appear to engage in (or even talk about engaging in) any advocacy about public access, the environment, etc - ie, "community" issues. For comparison, at the Central Cascades objection resolution meeting in February, the executive director of the Mazamas showed up to make a joint statement on behalf of them, the Access Fund, and 1-2 other climbing organizations about their opposition to provisions of the Central Cascades proposal. I understand you are saying that TKO is not developed enough to have the resources to engage in full advocacy, but if financial and staffing resources were not limited, is this issue something that TKO would be engaging with on behalf of the local hiking community? And why wouldn't TKO be able to partner with other groups that have more resources to engage in advocacy; putting one's name on a position, even if someone else is taking the lead, still carries weight.

I think this is part of what Matt is asking for clarity on from the TKO admins. It seems like a simple question, yet so far there has been lots of side-stepping and no direct answer.
Will hike off trail for fun.

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bobcat
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Re: Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

Post by bobcat » April 17th, 2019, 2:24 pm

Bosterson wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 12:59 pm
what is TKO's official position at this time?
As I said before, there is none. As Cheryl has noted, it's a complex issue that requires an equally complex response (if we were to be responsible), so in a way, I'm glad that we didn't spend too much time on it. Unfortunately, we simply weren't ready at the time to take it on (especially because we're not active in that region yet), and I'd chalk that up to the press of other Board business and the fact that everyone's a volunteer with another whole life.

So .. . I know what I think about the Central Cascades proposal, and I voiced it somewhere in a another thread (Select a handful of trailheads for weekend permits, the ones that get the highest Saturday overnighter traffic; the devil is in the details - Which trailheads? You'd have to do the research and find the statistics.). Whether that could have ended up being the official TKO position, I don't know.

There is a TKO Advocacy Committee, and I believe that committee is in the process of framing a set of parameters/philosophical stances that reflect TKO's attitude about issues such as these - which most definitely TKO should be taking on. And different trails groups (hiker, biker, etc.) are beginning to have a mechanism (the nascent Oregon Trails Coalition) around which they can voice statewide concerns. So . . . one hopes it will all come together soon enough in order to positively influence policy on behalf of the trail users constituency, who can voice their concerns individually during the appropriate windows or through their organizations.

TKO's progression in the last two years has been nothing short of remarkable and has far exceeded my somewhat jaded expectations when I joined the Board 3 1/2 years ago. There's no doubt that Portland is still our "base" but we are expanding geographically (north and central Coast, Hood River, summer work parties in the Wallowas, etc.), and that expansion is deliberate but also directly constrained by capacity/funding. No doubt also that the focus has been on trail work and building a reputation in that regard. Sure, I'd like to see a lot more with advocacy, but I'd rather see any TKO positions based on a carefully thought out public posture than on off the cuff pronouncements.

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Re: Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

Post by justpeachy » April 17th, 2019, 3:08 pm

bobcat wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 2:24 pm
I'd rather see any TKO positions based on a carefully thought out public posture than on off the cuff pronouncements.
Totally agree.

Neither John nor I are on the board anymore, so feel free to share your questions, concerns, and complaints directly with TKO. Here's the address: [email protected].

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Re: Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

Post by Guy » April 17th, 2019, 3:17 pm

justpeachy wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 3:08 pm
bobcat wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 2:24 pm
I'd rather see any TKO positions based on a carefully thought out public posture than on off the cuff pronouncements.
Totally agree.

Neither John nor I are on the board anymore, so feel free to share your questions, concerns, and complaints directly with TKO. Here's the address: [email protected].
Thanks Cheryl, Apologies if it seems like we are beating up on you and Bobcat that certainly isn't my or I'm sure anyone else's intent. It's just that you and Bobcat are often the only 2 folks to answer questions about TKO. Official responses from TKO when we ask about TKO's policy towards, permits, parking or just about anything go unanswered or get a "no position has been taken" answer.

For me at least it's important to know if an organizations goals are in line with my own before I would volunteer time or money.
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Ad monte summa aut mors

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Bosterson
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Re: Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

Post by Bosterson » April 17th, 2019, 3:21 pm

Guy wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 3:17 pm
Apologies if it seems like we are beating up on you and Bobcat that certainly isn't my or I'm sure anyone else's intent. It's just that you and Bobcat are often the only 2 folks to answer questions about TKO. Official responses from TKO when we ask about TKO's policy towards, permits, parking or just about anything go unanswered or get a "no position has been taken" answer.
Ditto. I also didn't realize you two were no longer on the Board at TKO.
Will hike off trail for fun.

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kepPNW
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Re: Forest Service punches hikers below the belt

Post by kepPNW » April 17th, 2019, 4:04 pm

justpeachy wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 12:26 pm
Regarding the TKO board meeting at which the Central Cascades proposal was discussed, some of the board members were pretty familiar with the plan (myself included) and some were not. It's not like everyone was scratching their heads saying, "we have no idea what you're talking about."
Hey Cheryl, I'm sorry if I painted with too broad a brush there. I'm sure there were varying levels of awareness, and I probably (over)reacted a bit quickly to bobcat's characterization.

justpeachy wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 12:26 pm
kepPNW wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 7:42 am
Ten minutes on an agenda item that will impact the nominal area of interest, and the stakeholders this organization exists for, for generations to come? Seriously?
kepPNW wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 7:42 am
Perhaps the greater irony is that it's now been over four years since TKO changed the name of this forum from PortlandHikers to OregonHikers, and yet the focus hasn't seemed to change whatsoever.
I know that TKO-bashing is a beloved and favorite pastime on this forum, but ...
To be fair, that first quote is hardly bashing, right? You even went on to say how complicated such a response may be. Ten minutes on the agenda? Once? If that's anything but a legit criticism, can you help me understand why?

The second quote... meh... Doesn't really seem so harsh as to qualify as "bashing" per se, does it? Has the focus changed? Was bobcat incorrect stating that there are not any sort of expanded USFS communications or relations outside the very local ranger districts? Seems the ones in Central Oregon would be the first ones to be reached out to, just given the general membership here. (If "community" advocacy truly is a key thing.)

Guess I just feel the "bashing" characterization to be a bit dismissive. Was just saying how things "seem" to be, from the outside looking in.

Bosterson wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 12:59 pm
Does TKO have a stated plan about how it will advocate for "hiking communities" (even if it doesn't have the resources to actually do that yet)? I get the "trails" part, but to my knowledge, TKO does not appear to engage in (or even talk about engaging in) any advocacy about public access, the environment, etc - ie, "community" issues.
justpeachy wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 3:08 pm
Neither John nor I are on the board anymore, so feel free to share your questions, concerns, and complaints directly with TKO.
Wow!!! I had no idea, either. So is there anyone at TKO that actually takes part in or reaches out to this, ostensibly their very own, community?
Karl
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