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Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......

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Offline Casa Grande

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Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« on: July 30, 2019, 11:54:46 PM »
Spoke to the park super, Bob Krumenaker on Friday.  He graciously offered his time to speak officially to me.  We spoke for a couple of hours over a variety of topics.  Thought I'd share those topics in separate threads to avoid confusing the conversation.  He told me some good news, except for one thing....

The permits for SELECT backcountry sites will be available to reserve online, however, there's a catch.....they'll be going up in price. No longer will there be a single flat rate for permits, as they will be going to a per night charge. This is going to make extensive night stays in the backcountry a bit more expensive. How much more expensive? He did not elaborate on the cost as I think it has yet to be determined.

The Super is a good guy, believes in transparency and is very open to listening to the public.  You may not like his answers, but he will listen, that I can promise you. 

More coming soon....

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Offline CC

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2019, 12:02:43 AM »
It would be nice if they had a per-night charge combined with a generous refund policy for cancellation of unwanted reserved days.  The backcountry permits are so inexpensive for so many nights, that people can bail out of a reservation halfway through and the site goes unused for several days.  I have seen backcountry sites that were “booked”, but had no occupants on my way in late in the day, and nobody there early in the morning either.


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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2019, 12:06:56 AM »
This may be a positive side effect of the increase.  Doubt they'll refund, but it might make people be a bit more discriminating about how many nights they'll stay when they make the reservation.
It would be nice if they had a per-night charge combined with a generous refund policy for cancellation of unwanted reserved days.  The backcountry permits are so inexpensive for so many nights, that people can bail out of a reservation halfway through and the site goes unused for several days.  I have seen backcountry sites that were “booked”, but had no occupants on my way in late in the day, and nobody there early in the morning either.


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Offline mule ears

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2019, 06:23:48 AM »
Lots of parks now charge by the night.  Great Smoky Mountains has for a while now and you can reserve everything online for the backcountry and print out your permit and never have to go to a ranger station.  I wonder if they will charge the same for zone camping?

Thanks for taking the time to have an in depth conversation with the Superintendent!
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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2019, 07:32:44 AM »
Lots of parks now charge by the night.  Great Smoky Mountains has for a while now and you can reserve everything online for the backcountry and print out your permit and never have to go to a ranger station.  I wonder if they will charge the same for zone camping?

Thanks for taking the time to have an in depth conversation with the Superintendent!
It is my understanding, there will be across the board increases in all campsites and permits, including zone camping.  The campgrounds will get a slight increase, but group camping will go up more.

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Offline DeserTrek

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2019, 08:14:22 AM »
Its been a long time coming.... This will make trips much more convenient. BIBE is a far drive for most of us, so after making a long drive, the last thing I feel like dealing with is waiting in a long line! In regards to refunds, generally they will give you a credit. That said, I believe you have to give them a certain amount of time for the notice. At least, this is how the Canyonlands NP operates.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2019, 09:21:25 AM »
Extremely glad you got to have that conversation, CG. That’s very encouraging!

As for the fees, I’m excited to hear that the park may implement online reservations. And I don’t mind paying more for permits. IMO they’ve always been a steal, though I can imagine an increase being a hardship for some.

I do, however, worry about a per night charge. That could result in a substantial increase in trip price for, say, someone who likes to take long 14-day sojourns through the remote backcountry zones.


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Offline Solo

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2019, 10:29:26 PM »
Lots of parks now charge by the night... I wonder if they will charge the same for zone camping?

That would be a slap in the face.  In my opinion they have no business charging for zone camping at all.  Enjoying the wilderness areas of the park, day or night, should be covered solely by the entrance fee, which is fairly high already for such an undeveloped park.  I can see charging for campsites which have to be serviced in some way, but not for the privilege of buying my own tent, carrying it on my own back to an undeveloped piece of desert, setting it up myself, and using precisely zero park resources.  The NPS need to stop treating visitors like customers.
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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2019, 01:04:57 AM »
Lots of parks now charge by the night... I wonder if they will charge the same for zone camping?

That would be a slap in the face.  In my opinion they have no business charging for zone camping at all.  Enjoying the wilderness areas of the park, day or night, should be covered solely by the entrance fee, which is fairly high already for such an undeveloped park.  I can see charging for campsites which have to be serviced in some way, but not for the privilege of buying my own tent, carrying it on my own back to an undeveloped piece of desert, setting it up myself, and using precisely zero park resources.  The NPS need to stop treating visitors like customers.

I know. It's a natural reaction, and I've felt it myself. We need zero park resources....until we do. Well, some of us.  I just became one of those this summer. Took forty-two years, but I finally joined the club.  Some of it is just an artifact of being in a national park with all the attendant rules, restrictions, and requirements. But.....BiBe is a national park, so no use bitching about the contract we enter into when entering into. Otherwise, head to the national forests or BLM land. It's a free-for-all there.
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Offline VivaTerlingua

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2019, 08:57:31 AM »
Its been a long time coming.... This will make trips much more convenient. BIBE is a far drive for most of us, so after making a long drive, the last thing I feel like dealing with is waiting in a long line! In regards to refunds, generally they will give you a credit. That said, I believe you have to give them a certain amount of time for the notice. At least, this is how the Canyonlands NP operates.

I completely understand that sentiment, but there is also a downside.  People start reserving sites farther and farther in advance and then you end up having to plan a trip months in advance.

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Offline presidio

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2019, 04:32:54 PM »

That would be a slap in the face.  In my opinion they have no business charging for zone camping at all.  Enjoying the wilderness areas of the park, day or night, should be covered solely by the entrance fee, which is fairly high already for such an undeveloped park.

Indeed.

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The NPS need to stop treating visitors like customers.

You're not just a customer, you're a financial resource to be tapped as often, and for as much, as possible for the privilege of being able to use your lands.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline presidio

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2019, 04:36:58 PM »
no use bitching about the contract we enter into when entering into.

You are not entering into any contract; you are coerced into acquiescence...a unilateral requirement for you to use the lands you own.

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Otherwise, head to the national forests or BLM land. It's a free-for-all there.

Not exactly, but USFS and BLM lands have a refreshing absence of the heavy hand favored by the NPS.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline presidio

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2019, 04:43:03 PM »
I completely understand that sentiment, but there is also a downside.  People start reserving sites farther and farther in advance and then you end up having to plan a trip months in advance.

Just buy the DVD and have the vicarious experience of watching others enjoy the things you used to be able to do when over-regulation was not the norm.

In the 70s a group of us arrived at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Summer season was well underway. Five minutes after parking we walked into the ranger station. Five minutes later we walked out with a multiday permit for the Inner Gorge. Thirty minutes after that we were on the trail.

Today? Good luck getting anything without meticulous planning and having numerous alternatives.
_____________
<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2019, 04:55:20 PM »
I completely understand that sentiment, but there is also a downside.  People start reserving sites farther and farther in advance and then you end up having to plan a trip months in advance.

Just buy the DVD and have the vicarious experience of watching others enjoy the things you used to be able to do when over-regulation was not the norm.

In the 70s a group of us arrived at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Summer season was well underway. Five minutes after parking we walked into the ranger station. Five minutes later we walked out with a multiday permit for the Inner Gorge. Thirty minutes after that we were on the trail.

Today? Good luck getting anything without meticulous planning and having numerous alternatives.

In the 70's there were a whole lot fewer people using the parks, much less the backcountry, much easier to do everything.  I was there too in the 70's, several trips, and never had any trouble getting a permit.

presidio, I wondered where you have been but now I am weakened by the fact that you are back.   :icon_rolleyes:
« Last Edit: August 02, 2019, 05:55:01 PM by mule ears »
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Offline presidio

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2019, 08:04:44 PM »
In the 70's there were a whole lot fewer people using the parks, much less the backcountry, much easier to do everything.  I was there too in the 70's, several trips, and never had any trouble getting a permit.

Yeah, I knew someone would bring that up. However, the NPS was a MUCH friendlier and easier to deal with agency way back then.

Probably directly related to the fact they attracted far less incompetent customers than today, and spent way less time trying to hold everyone's hand.


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presidio, I wondered where you have been but now I am weakened by the fact that you are back.   :icon_rolleyes:

I suggest rest, meditation and hydration, which will hasten the return of strength.

I come and go depending upon a variety of factors. I had not been on the site for six months and only logged on when I read about RichardM (not named) in another hit that popped up on a completely unrelated search.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

 


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