Mt. St. Helens climbing permit changes

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drm
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Re: Mt. St. Helens climbing permit changes

Post by drm » February 28th, 2021, 8:01 am

Water wrote:
February 26th, 2021, 3:09 pm
Legitimate concern about people on foot disturbing wildlife during snow coverage is absolutely obliterated into a moot point when you consider the area that snowmobiles access on the south side of the mountain and plains of Abraham.
Why does one impact make another one okay? Each should be evaluated on it's own. It also depends on usage. Often in the winter there are key areas where scarce food is available, and impacts in those places are more important.

And I want to emphasize that I don't know why they are limiting MSH climbing permits. I did a quick search, but any web search for environmental impacts on MSH gets swamped by results studying the eruption. It's possible their only reason was crowding or something else not tied to environmental impacts. I have only been trying to make the point that winter does not preclude such impacts. But I would have to call them to try and get a direct response for the reason.

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Water
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Re: Mt. St. Helens climbing permit changes

Post by Water » March 4th, 2021, 9:22 am

One impact does not make the other okay clearly, it's the total disproportionality and method of addressing it that renders it a moot point. Like trying to stop oil leaks on driveways from washing into sewers is a good thing, even if there's large oil spills that happen around the country.

But imagine you live next to a plot of land full of extraction activities dropping gallons of oil on the ground daily. But you have a land manager coming to your house next door telling you can't have as many visitors arriving at your house because there's been a few spots of oil on your driveway.

Maybe that's a tortured analogy but the idea that they need to reduce access for people on foot along an extremely narrow corridor due to wildlife disturbance, yet snowmobile and helicopter flyover use goes almost unchecked over a much larger area immediately adjacent to this narrow corridor is farcical.
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retired jerry
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Re: Mt. St. Helens climbing permit changes

Post by retired jerry » March 4th, 2021, 9:48 am

"reduce access for people on foot along an extremely narrow corridor due to wildlife disturbance"

that always bugs me

where is the science behind that?

or are they just saying that as a justification?

there are occasional closures due to nesting birds, that makes more sense

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Water
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Re: Mt. St. Helens climbing permit changes

Post by Water » March 4th, 2021, 5:48 pm

This was a conjecture offered as a possible explanation for policy change on MSH access. You'd think land managers would be relatively transparent with public access management decisions, given a FOIA request could get it anyways. But that's moot, the FS says:
To better provide the public with opportunities to obtain a climbing permit for Mount St. Helens during the summer climbing season, some adjustments will be made to the Mount St Helens climbing permitting system this year.

They don't say to protect resources better, or in response to issues. So to suggest that change is in response to wildlife is as valid as speculating it is because climbers cause ruts in snow that increase melt rate, or hikers are wearing out the rocks with their traffic. It's not substantiated in this case. And juxtaposed with the motorized recreation in the same area it doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

The truth is the FS thinks vastly reducing access in spring is somehow connected to marginally offering more access in June/July/August. It's a farcical connection and the onus is on the FS to explain that. But they leave it to the public to speculate why. Net reduction in access = better public access. Right up there with ticketmaster convenience fees being so convenient. That's some 'special' customer service.
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Re: Mt. St. Helens climbing permit changes

Post by drm » March 5th, 2021, 7:52 am

Well, they do say that
This reduction is due to the need to minimize resource damage, maintain a quality visitor experience as well as
increase safety during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic by reducing crowding along the route during the
climbing season.
It is only one of three reasons mentioned, but it is mentioned.

Sometimes there is a disparate reaction to the magnitude of threats, but that can be due to what is possible. Dealing with snowmobiles is a daunting problem. They spread far and wide and are very hard to catch. I've seen this problem on Mt Adams where they go all over the wilderness and think that because the ground is covered with snow, it doesn't matter.

And for those who think everything the FS does is for more money, this obviously will decrease the funds they bring in.

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retired jerry
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Re: Mt. St. Helens climbing permit changes

Post by retired jerry » March 5th, 2021, 9:03 am

I don't think the FS does it for money

They have an attitude that if things start getting crowded, then restrict use

As opposed to the National Park Service that has more of an attitude to encourage visitors. And manage crowds

And it's not a moral failing of the FS, it's well intentioned

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