Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Use this forum to post links to news stories from other websites - ones that other hikers might find interesting. This is not intended for original material or anecdotal information. You can reply to any news stories posted, but do not start a new thread without a link to a specific news story.
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retired jerry
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by retired jerry » May 10th, 2019, 2:45 pm

maybe now is the time to complain to your congressman and senators. Phoning them is good.

maybe congress should allocate some money so they can improve things to accommodate bigger crowds

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

Post by Bosterson » May 10th, 2019, 3:10 pm

That article was basically a summary of FS talking points, with little to no rebuttal from the people and groups who opposed this plan. (All of us objectors got written notice of this decision in the mail a couple weeks ago.) There were other ways to go about addressing this problem, and the abstracted and dissociated emphasis on "solitude" at the expense of other factors is pretty absurd; the Wilderness Act is now over 50 years old and is effectively an anachronistic dinosaur regarding how it defines solitude. "Spreading out" usage from popular areas to less popular ones to enforce nominal "solitude" is a zero sum game like trying to reduce traffic congestion in cities by building more freeways - it just creates more driving. With this as precedent, there will eventually be quotas and access restrictions everywhere.

My favorite part of the article:
However, the permits will cost at least $6 based on the vendor fee required by Recreation.Gov — which the Forest Service is required to use. Officials said there would be an additional fee to pay for increased enforcement of the new regulations.
The FS proposals that led to this made clear that they see this as a fundraising opportunity. The need for enforcement funds is understandable, but this kind of thing is supposed to be paid for by their budget (allocated by Congress) rather than by shaking up the public. The funniest part is the will charge us for access and then charge us again to police the access they grant us.

There also will apparently be an annual pass option, but there are no details on how that will work - will you still need to pay the $6 "service" fee every time you make a reservation, even if you have a pass? Can you make a reservation with someone else's pass if that person is going with you? Etc. Those pesky details will all be worked out "later." :roll:
Will hike off trail for fun.

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

Post by Guy » May 10th, 2019, 3:24 pm

For someone like me with limited free time (basically just Sundays) it's going to shut me out from (legal) entry but I guess that's what they wanted anyway. I did submit comments and objections like others here but my opinions like those of others were only given lip service.

Now how does that Judas Priest song go again...
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jessbee
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by jessbee » May 10th, 2019, 5:00 pm

There must be another public comment period coming up to discuss the actual fee structure. And since it's different than the previous decision making process, that means EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU can participate. Let's take this opportunity to inundate the FS with what we think about these fees.
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retired jerry
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by retired jerry » May 10th, 2019, 6:52 pm

""Spreading out" usage from popular areas to less popular ones to enforce nominal "solitude" is a zero sum game like trying to reduce traffic congestion in cities by building more freeways - it just creates more driving. "

Except they're not building many other areas, so it will just be preventing people from using the National Forest. People will have to stay in the city or go to Forest Park or something.

I think the FS should have the objective of getting more people out into the National Forest and other areas. People will be more likely to support preservation of Wilderness. I've had great experiences over the years and wish other people should also experience this.

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

Post by Aimless » May 10th, 2019, 8:47 pm

jessbee wrote:
May 10th, 2019, 5:00 pm
There must be another public comment period coming up to discuss the actual fee structure.
That is an interesting assertion. Is it founded on certain knowledge? My impression is that the fee structure would not necessarily require the full-dress public comment process that was required for the plan overall. Fees and enforcement were integral to the goals and means contemplated in the original plan which was already released for comment and now has been 'finalized', while the exact fee structure would be considered as just minor details. That is, unless they are grossly disproportionate to the requirements of the plan.

My sense is that the remaining remedies are either political or legal. And in order to make a legal case, it would be necessary to show the FS did not follow the procedures required by applicable law, or that the plan in itself constitutes a violation of existing law. I doubt either path is very promising and would require some very specialized lawyering.

The political remedy might be a bit easier, but only if one of our senators or representatives decides to make it a high priority and pushes very hard. That would require a separate campaign to arouse public indignation and raise the political stakes to the point where complacency on the issue on the part of our reps would seem politically hazardous to them. That's not impossible, but takes a lot of coordinated effort and energy from a lot of people.

We may just have to live with the inconvenience and make undesirable adjustments to our hiking habits. Yeah. It sucks. But is fighting it worth the aggravation? I'm not yet sure it is. I have other priorities to attend to.

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

Post by Bosterson » May 10th, 2019, 9:16 pm

retired jerry wrote:
May 10th, 2019, 6:52 pm
""Spreading out" usage from popular areas to less popular ones to enforce nominal "solitude" is a zero sum game like trying to reduce traffic congestion in cities by building more freeways - it just creates more driving. "

Except they're not building many other areas, so it will just be preventing people from using the National Forest. People will have to stay in the city or go to Forest Park or something.
It wasn't a perfect analogy. I meant that that like freeways, the solution creates more of the problem. If you use an antiquated notion of "solitude" as justification to lock down some areas, people will swarm the next area, which then itself will need to be locked down, repeating ad infinitum, until all areas are locked down - hence, zero sum game.

Aimless - yes, the FS specifically said that there would be a second comment and objection period once they unveil their plans for the fee system (which they haven't worked out yet?); all our comments about the fees to date have been met with the dismissal that it's outside the scope of their permit system process, and the fees will be a separate thing. There will be a comment period in the future for the fee amounts, how they are implemented, etc, once they release the next proposal for the nuts and bolts of the fee system.
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by Aimless » May 10th, 2019, 9:41 pm

OK. Thanks for the clarification.

It would be reasonable to expect that the $6 portion of the fee is non-negotiable, given the dictate that the FS MUST use a reservation system that requires a $6 fee just for its use. Getting the total fee down to $8/permit would be about as reasonable as we could hope to see, and it would be on the high side for a lot of hikers. My hope would be that a certain number of same-day permits might be set aside and made available directly from ranger stations, on trails where day hike permits are going to be required. Maybe those fees would at least go directly into the FS budget, w/o the $6 bite.

If the FS really envisions paying for enforcement out of user fees, I think they are going to find they can't raise enough money to cover those costs effectively. An exorbitant fee would just reduce compliance, reducing the number of fees collected and the money to pay for enforcement. A sensible fee might allow them to pay for two or three rangers to cover dozens of trailheads in three entire wildernesses. I'm really not sure how they will swing this in a way that makes sense and won't fall apart fairly quickly as people begin to realize how meager the enforcement really is, except at Green Lakes TH.

Later edit: It occurs to me that if the trend of the past decade continues undisturbed, then during high fire season the FS will pull all available personnel to work the fires, and that permit-enforcement rangers would be pulled off enforcement, like just about everyone else who is considered 'detachable'. So that, the portion of the user-fees that are meant to pay for enforcement would be sucked into the fire-fighting budget, like so much of the FS budget already has been. :o

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

Post by Guy » May 11th, 2019, 4:30 pm

Where is the $6.00 minimum just for Rec.gov coming from? Isn't USFS already using Rec.gov to to issue $1.00 per person permits for Dog Mt?

I bet they already know what they want and after a lot of "pretending to listen" they will go ahead and do what they already know they want to do.

My bet is $10.00 per person per day. Lets see how close I end up being!
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Water
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Re: Visit the Central Cascades while you still can...

Post by Water » May 12th, 2019, 11:44 pm

"But both Allen and Peterson (Forest Service Supervisors) said having limited entry on such a large scale — across three wilderness areas and 450,000 acres — is an idea without much precedent."

Imo that says it all. Frankly it makes it indefensible. You're gonna tell me central Oregon faces pressures worse than wilderness areas outside of Denver, LA, Seattle, Boston? I think not. Either this is the trend for everywhere and you're gonna slam the door on the outdoors for generations henceforth. I mean if it's the way for these wildernesses, then certainly Mt hood, Indian heaven, all of alpine lakes wilderness, etc. Or it's a clear overreach, punitive, out of touch, and misguided.

They interview the trail crew leader in the article who says it doesn't even seem like wilderness to him. So the f%*& what? That's like, your opinion dude. It's worth jack squat to me. How come I'm not finding myself thinking that when I go there?

I hope this blows up in their face like a larger scale failure of Jeff Park camping spot reservation system (https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/ ... /96216430/). Good luck ever getting goodwill again from me, Forest diService.
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