Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

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retired jerry
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by retired jerry » March 24th, 2019, 4:40 am

if they restrict usage at high use areas, that will drive crowds elsewhere

that will affect larger are of wilderness, better to confine people to a smaller area

if, for example, the wild animals are driven away from 1/4 mile from Green Lakes and the trail to it, no big deal, lots of other areas

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Charley
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by Charley » March 24th, 2019, 8:37 pm

retired jerry wrote:
March 20th, 2019, 11:52 am
I just got email from [email protected]

These alterations are heading in the right direction. I still believe the early season permits (for when the trails are usually still quite snow-covered) are absurd. The decrease in number of trailheads effected is an important step in the right direction. The option for a yearly pass (how would that work at lowering use at certain areas??) might help mollify Bend locals who would otherwise be looking at paying out the freaking nose.

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Bosterson
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by Bosterson » March 24th, 2019, 9:12 pm

Charley wrote:
March 24th, 2019, 8:37 pm
The option for a yearly pass (how would that work at lowering use at certain areas??)...
You wouldn't have to pay for a permit each time, but there would still be quotas so getting a permit wouldn't necessarily be a given...

A lot of how that would work was designated to be "outside the scope" of the current decision-making process, so for instance it's not clear whether if you and 3 friends want to go to S Sister from Devil's Lake, do you each have to try to get a permit on Rec.gov? Can you reserve the permits for your whole group, and if so, how many permits in the total day's quota can one reservation take out of the available pool? If one person has an annual pass, would the group's permits be free, or only 1 out of 4 of the permits? If you have an annual pass and don't need to pay the permit fee, is there still a "processing" fee or some such?

I like that they're offering compromise solutions (annual pass, reduced number of day use permit areas) but there are still so many unknowns about how the permit process will actually work (they seem to have the cart before the horse here), and I worry that creating scarcity at a large number of trailheads (vs just creating a handful of new limited entry areas at the most popular areas like Green Lakes and Devil's Lake and Tam McArthur Rim) will combine with online permit reservations to create a full on Enchantments effect where everything reservable will always be reserved for every day of the permit season, as the hordes with plenty of disposable income will not be deterred by the "nominal" fee (which needs to be low in order not to disadvantage people with less money) and will reserve permits they aren't sure they'll use but want to have "just in case." While the FS has promised some permits each day will be set aside for walk-ins, it's far from clear what proportion of the total permits that will be. Frankly, I would prefer for very few of the permits to be reservable, forcing people to follow through and show up on a first-come-first-served basis to get them (kind of like normal parking at trailheads!), but that of course then runs into issues about people who might go all the way out wherever and find that unfortunately no permits or left, and how/where does one go to pick up a "walk in" permit, etc etc. The whole thing is a bit of a cluster, it seems like it'd be easier if they just designed a few new LEAs at the most Instagrammable spots and left the rest of it alone.
Will hike off trail for fun.

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retired jerry
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by retired jerry » March 25th, 2019, 4:44 am

exactly Nat

and if they drive people from the crowded areas, like Green Lakes, then either people will go other places and make them crowded, or people will just stay in the city

better to contain people in the crowded areas to minimize impact elsewhere

and people should be encouraged to go out in our National Forest for all sorts of reasons

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BigBear
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by BigBear » March 26th, 2019, 11:08 am

It's a money grab, plain and simple. USFS has been trying to get $5 with its 'ambiguously prohibited' parking permit and is now cashing in on a $8/hiking permit fee. This is how privatization of public lands works: if you can't afford to pony up the money, you stay at home.

Look at the fiasco at Dog Mountain: you have an illegal parking permit and a separate hiking permit, but without both you just pay the fees and don't get to hike.

I'm glad that the steep slopes of Dog Mtn are getting too much for me, otherwise I would have gone in thru the backside and told USFS what they could do with their fees. Oh, my bad, I've already told them what they can do with their fees. ...and it sure felt good...ahhh.

Aimless
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by Aimless » March 26th, 2019, 12:45 pm

Maybe the FS thinks that if it creates more barriers to entry to wilderness areas, especially to overnight use, they'll have to dismantle fewer illegal fire rings, pick up less microtrash, and less damage from people hacking down trees for firewood or parking vehicles willy-nilly when parking lots overflow. From their point of view the wilderness basically manages itself and all their headaches come from managing people.

If I worked for the FS as a recreation-oriented employee I think I'd be tempted to view the public less as my bosses and more as the source of all my problems. As a member of the public, I am dismayed at the new obstacles they've put in my way and see no potential benefit in them for me. Finding solitude was never a problem for me under the old rules and the new rules don't seem like they actually address the problems they are supposed to solve. These fees might fund more backcountry rangers, but I suspect those rangers will spend more of their time enforcing the new fee system than in stopping damage to trails and campsites or fining people for destructive behavior. :(

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retired jerry
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by retired jerry » March 26th, 2019, 1:00 pm

Yeah, I'll take them at their word, the reason they're restricting use is to reduce crowdedness.

I think they should work more to mitigate the damage from humans before putting in restrictions. And if a few places are crowded, like Green Lakes, so be it. If people don't like crowds, go somewhere else. If more people go to Green Lakes, they won't be destroying the rest of the wilderness.

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Water
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by Water » March 27th, 2019, 9:44 am

There are already plenty of federal rules and regulations governing behavior and practices in the wilderness. Camping in meadows, fires in areas, etc. These aren't always clearly posted but when they are (I'd have to take some time to dig up a picture of the sign over on the way to Elk Meadows) it shows there are substantial fines and citation for breaking the rules, if you want to interpret them on their face. Sure it would be highly unlikely to get the maximum of 6 months in jail or paying a $5000 fine, but that is on the books. I am sure a judge can decide a $1000 fine or 1 day in jail, 100hr community service, etc as appropriate.

But these FS districts already couldn't do their job enforcing those regulations, clearly. So the easiest way to do their job is to create barriers to use and farm out the 'solution' to the internet. It would be like having a problem getting widgets from a supplier for a product you make that you sell a lot of, you instead tell the customer sorry you're not making that product anymore. Or something akin to that. Instead of seeing this demand and making more trails, or allocating resources from perhaps logging operations or elsewhere, to supporting the increased use. Keeping in mind they've decommissioned miles of trails over the last two decades in the same wilderness area they said are getting 'too much use. The FS has been all over on this, I mean is it environmental damage or is it crowds? They point to LEA (limited entry areas) like Pamelia and Obsidian as success stories, yet they don't use that model for the few high intensity places... They mention wilderness solitude but there's not an objective concrete measure of what that means the same way we can quantify environmental damage.
Feel Free to Feel Free

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Chip Down
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by Chip Down » March 27th, 2019, 6:54 pm

I bristle when I see the word solitude. The USFS deliberately funnels people into high-use areas, and then they wring their hands over crowding. Unfortunately, the salient example that springs to mind isn't wilderness, but it beautifully illustrates the USFS approach to land management: Monitor Ridge on St Helens. The hypocrisy is staggering.

Oh, and high-five to Water.


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