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

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Offline backpacker56

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #90 on: December 19, 2019, 07:56:30 AM »
What, if any, is the recommended action plan for opposing the ill-advised changes?
"Ah, sure, I'm a gnawed old bone now, but say, don't you guys think the spirit's gone!"

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #91 on: December 19, 2019, 09:16:18 AM »
What, if any, is the recommended action plan for opposing the ill-advised changes?

I would say that it is pretty much baked in now.  I have thought about coming up with some position/opposition statement that I would hand to the rangers at the desk at permit time (after they have written my permit) for them to give to the upper echelon.

My main objections are that zone camping is not the same as roadside camping and should not be charged the same rate and that using recreation.gov as the reservation/permit site for zone/Chisos camping or backpacking permits is a poor choice.  The need to look into the software that Zion and GSMNP use, it is far superior and makes more sense for backpacking itineraries.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline presidio

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #92 on: December 19, 2019, 12:56:54 PM »
What, if any, is the recommended action plan for opposing the ill-advised changes?

I would say that it is pretty much baked in now.

It should be apparent by now the NPS doesn't care what the public thinks, wants or opposes. Their public outreach is pro forma only; the decision about what they purport to be seeking input on already has been made. Public comment will not affect it one iota. It's just a dance they have to do (and likely would prefer it not be necessary).

In the NPS world, a single supportive comment overrides all objections. It's not unlike the 'attaboy' principle. A single 'oh s**t' negates all of them.

When you have superintendents spewing "support for these proposals was clearly indicated" without a shred of evidence released to the public to substantiate/validate that statement, the opaqueness and fallacy of the process is on full display.

Undoubtedly, there are more than a few sycophant supporters who never will object to any fee, restriction or requirement. In their minds the NPS can do no wrong. That is the demographic the NPS cultivates and pays attention to.

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I have thought about coming up with some position/opposition statement that I would hand to the rangers at the desk at permit time (after they have written my permit) for them to give to the upper echelon.

I appreciate the desire, but understand it will have no impact on management. It's possible not all the worker bees may be in agreement with what is going on (and they are the ones taking the brunt of any public dissatisfaction). But, you rarely ever will hear one of them voice any personal opinion (it's likely that departing from groupthink is unhealthy for employment/advancement). You couldn't even be certain they would pass the objection along. Also, don't be surprised if such a tactic gets you 'enhanced' attention from the NPS. If you're willing to call them out in public, there's no telling what else you might do while in the park.

That said, it could get interesting if many folks would do that (and do it in an audible, firm, but polite way) so other publics hear it.

Efforts would be better directed at elected representatives, in a manner that causes them to inquire of the NPS on your behalf. The NPS cannot ignore Congressional inquiry the way they ignore the public. Doesn't mean a single thing will change but you may as well have the politicos, who supposedly work for us, do something tangible and let the NPS feed them a line of BS.

It would be most effective is similar requests come from a broad geographic area. While they all will get the standard boiler plate response, it would demonstrate widespread discontent.

Understand though, that effective use of a Congressional inquiry requires ongoing effort as you have to make repeated requests to get beyond the boiler plate nature of this process. A Congressional letter back to you merely will spout whatever the NPS tells them. The representative will consider the matter closed (and they have 'successfully' represented you) UNLESS you continue to pursue the issue with ever-more specific requests. The point here is this: if you don't get real answers to your questions, you need to keep asking.

Objecting to the developed site fee raise is a non-starter, despite being too high for what is provided. However, the truly obscene increase in backcountry fees is another matter entirely. So, a request to an elected person should concentrate on that issue. Ask the representative to also get the statistical data (how many for, how many against) on public comments (and ask for the actual supportive comment text), comparative studies and anything else related to the issue. It would be quicker than any individual filing a FOIA for the same information.
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Offline Cookie

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #93 on: December 19, 2019, 02:34:06 PM »
A few thoughts....
I'm also curious how the "6 months in advance" will work. We like to go for 10 days around Thanksgiving and do a variety of backpacking and backcountry camping. If it's a day for day 6 month out reservation- meaning on May 20th November 20th is available to reserve on, the next day November 21st is now available--sounds like a nightmare trying to get a trip together if you want to backpack in the Chisos and stay in the now "reserve" sites like Twisted Shoe etc. It could take me 10 days to secure the permit if I'm reserving the sites online.

 I'm guessing you have one set of papers for the online reservation then have to go in and get your permit  for other sites that aren't reserved (like staying at Fresno or Roy's Peak)? I guess a benefit to the reserved spots is if you are coming in late you can go to your site you have reserved. Not helpful if you have to drive back to PJ the next day and wait in line to "check in" and listen to rules and regs. I wonder if:

"Visitors will be able to review the various campsites, check for availability, plan a backcountry itinerary, and obtain a permit for specific backcountry campsites before heading out to Big Bend.

And now my usual 10 day trip will go from $12 to $100.....and I'm getting exactly what for my $100 now??  :eusa_doh:

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Offline okiehiker

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #94 on: December 20, 2019, 05:01:13 PM »
I've been coming to the park regularly for 43 years. Usage has certainly increased dramatically in that time resulting in ever increasing difficulty in obtaining permits.
By 1980 I argued with park staff every time I visited suggesting that an advance permit system would require less staff time, allow for advance planning on the part of visitors, and be considerably safer.
I arrived with groups on 30 - 40 different occasions and had to modify the itinerary we had planned based upon what happened to be available on that particular day. The thought that an advance permit system will make it harder on those who walk in is simply wrong. Three weeks ago when I walked in there was not a single roadside campsite in the park available during the time we were there. Likewise when I get there next weekend the same will be true.
I bought two tracts in Terlingua Ranch this year because my decades-long practice of driving into the park after dark (it's 700 miles from my house so I can never arrive during the day) and "camping" aka sleeping for a few hours and being at the park headquarters when it opens is more and more likely to get the hell fined out of me. So now I own a place where we can arrive at any time and be legal.
The fee system is questionable, but worthy of discussion. Grand Canyon where rescues are much more common and the backlog for permits much more substantial charges $8.00 PER PERSON per night below the rim. My family trips... typically 15 people, 8 nights which had been $12 and now will be $80, would be $960.
It will be interesting to see how this evolves.
Funny... I have a story about that...

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #95 on: December 20, 2019, 06:17:55 PM »
okiehiker, as always good to see you chime in here from time to time, hope all is well!
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline Al

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #96 on: December 20, 2019, 06:27:37 PM »
okiehiker, as always good to see you chime in here from time to time, hope all is well!

Ditto!

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Online House Made of Dawn

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #97 on: December 20, 2019, 06:28:20 PM »
okiehiker, as always good to see you chime in here from time to time, hope all is well!

Ditto!

Ditto, ditto!


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