Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

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Chip Down
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Re: Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

Post by Chip Down » October 8th, 2021, 6:27 pm

retired jerry wrote:
October 8th, 2021, 11:01 am
they're making this too difficult
It's not a bug, it's a feature.
The race to maximize complexity and authoritarianism will continue unabated, because the victims don't care.

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drm
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Re: Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

Post by drm » November 7th, 2021, 5:11 pm

https://www.oregonlive.com/travel/2021/ ... -fall.html

Coverage of the many unused permits and also how traffic went up after the permit season ended. They talked about tweaking the system next year, but no details on how they might do so.

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Charley
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Re: Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

Post by Charley » November 8th, 2021, 10:46 am

An interesting quote from Forest Service officer Lisa Machnik: “We’re not in any way trying to keep people out, so it’s concerning when people don’t show up for their permit and don’t return it into the system,” Machnik said. “That just takes away an opportunity from somebody else.”

Excuse me???

“We’re not in any way trying to keep people out"????????

This is demonstrably false. In fact, keeping people out is the entire point of the permit and reservation system. It irks me that FS officials will say something like this. It's a lie.

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Re: Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

Post by Aimless » November 8th, 2021, 11:24 am

That was such an obviously silly thing to say and so easily seen as inaccurate, by even a child, that it seems more like a massive and embarrassingly public brain fart than a premeditated intention to deceive.

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retired jerry
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Re: Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

Post by retired jerry » November 8th, 2021, 12:11 pm

One thing that I was skeptical of was

"Wilderness rangers in the Deschutes National Forest have reported seeing indications that some wildlife have returned to popular recreation areas in the central Cascades this year. At Green Lakes, rangers reported seeing montane fox, fresh bear scat, and fresh elk tracks over the summer."

Was this a scientific study with numbers or was it just an impression. With a desire to justify the program.

I think they should do real studies. Are populations decreasing? And what actions are we doing that could make this worse? I suspect that habitat loss would be a big factor. Humans hiking in the wilderness only occupy a small part of the total area. But that's just my guess, needs to be verified.

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Charley
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Re: Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

Post by Charley » November 9th, 2021, 10:38 pm

retired jerry wrote:
November 8th, 2021, 12:11 pm
One thing that I was skeptical of was

"Wilderness rangers in the Deschutes National Forest have reported seeing indications that some wildlife have returned to popular recreation areas in the central Cascades this year. At Green Lakes, rangers reported seeing montane fox, fresh bear scat, and fresh elk tracks over the summer."

Was this a scientific study with numbers or was it just an impression. With a desire to justify the program.
If true, it'd be great news! It does seem like this would be a good time for one of those exogenous studies.

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Re: Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

Post by justpeachy » November 10th, 2021, 7:22 am

I attended one of the online information sessions about this last year and the Forest Service sees the permit system as a redistribution of hikers, not a restriction. They took the total number of visitors from the season with the most recent data (from 2016, I think?) and spread that number out over all the trailheads when determining the quotas. So the system technically allows for the same number of visitors, it's just spread out over all days and all trailheads. So perhaps the Forest Service really believes they are not trying to keep people out. They argue that they are just redistributing people, spreading them out.

It was incredibly naive, though, to not foresee that people would fail to cancel their permit if they weren't going to use it. Anyone who has ever worked with the public could have predicted this most predictable of human behaviors. Jamie summed it up in the OregonLive article:
Canceling a permit doesn’t refund those fees, meaning those who go through the cancellation process would be doing so not for any personal gain, but out of consideration for their fellow hikers.

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Re: Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

Post by adamschneider » November 10th, 2021, 10:39 am

So what's the solution? Attach a $50 deposit to each permit that you get back when you scan a QR code at the trailhead? :roll:

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Re: Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

Post by johnspeth » November 10th, 2021, 10:59 am

adamschneider wrote:
November 10th, 2021, 10:39 am
So what's the solution? Attach a $50 deposit to each permit that you get back when you scan a QR code at the trailhead?
You jest but that's the only way to solve the problem (using money to incentivize permit holders to sell back their permits). We live in a highly evolved capitalist society. Money is the preferred currency for all things we need or want, including buying and selling back permits.

Of course any such significant monetary incentivization will be rejected (probably has already). So my opinion is the permit system will eventually fail and be abandoned. We're already half way there.

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Re: Over Half of Central Cascades Permits Go Unused

Post by Aimless » November 10th, 2021, 11:04 am

justpeachy wrote:
November 10th, 2021, 7:22 am
They took the total number of visitors from the season with the most recent data (from 2016, I think?) and spread that number out over all the trailheads when determining the quotas. So the system technically allows for the same number of visitors, it's just spread out over all days and all trailheads.
If they wished to simply redistribute hikers more evenly, rather than reduce their numbers, then adding restrictions on every point of access on every day of the primary hiking season ignores the realities of human behavior. Presumably, if they had kept access freely available at less popular trailheads and on the less popular days of the week, then hikers would have redistributed themselves voluntarily. Then unused permits would be far fewer, the costs of both permits and enforcement would be less, and the public would be happier. And if the results of this approach were insufficient it would be a simple matter to extend the permit system until the result met their claimed goals of "not keeping people out", by allowing just as many hikers to use the wilderness as before, while increasing the solitude of the wilderness experience. :roll:

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