Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

+-Calendar for sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!


Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP

  • 107 Replies
  • 35970 Views
*

Offline Beatrice

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 133
Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2013, 09:22:20 AM »
So now someone can lock up 15 days worth of campsites without stepping foot into the park for 24 hours???  Then the info will be dumped so it can not be tracked if it becomes a serial event?  Answer  :  We need to archive the data to keep this from happening!!!! :eusa_dance:

Now they will have an IP address for you and a working phone number.  Cross check that with your trip report pictures......faceb ook IP address.  Sure, I'm crazy.  Seen the NSA computer building in Utah????  They can't even protect the vital information with healthcare web site.  Didn't have time to test it!  How about this government web site?

We already drive by campsites that are permitted out all week and never see a car there.  How will this help?   Will it cost money to change your permit now midway through your trip?

So I show up on Friday of Thanksgiving week to get a permit for 2 weeks.  My favorite spots are reserved for some people showing up on Saturday.  Others have seem these good spots taken, so that start clicking on spots they don't want ,but look good on the map.  These "blue facers" ended up filling up Pine Canyon road and other spots that they know they don't want, but take just in case they can't get a non-reserve spot in the basin in the next few days.  I'm standing there with no options. A real person with money in my hand and a real desired itinerary.  Not some dork not working in their cubicle the day before, with a smart phone in his hand grabbing campspots he is not even prepared to stay in.  They should require the $10 up front when using the system to keep some of the riff raff from locking others out the first Friday of Thanksgiving.
While I understand and support your concern that sites will be reserved but not used, especially during peak times, (which it appears is being addressed by the automatic turnover, though there might be more ideal methods that could be suggested), I don't understand why it appears you believe "a dork in a cubicle" using a smart phone to book a site he intends to occupy is blue faced riff raff who is less worthy of that site than others.

*

Offline presidio

  • Soaptree Yucca
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 3431
Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2013, 10:20:40 AM »
They were discussing the danger of hiking solo as a woman and of the problems they'd encountered.
A couple people shared stories of near-rape circumstances from guys who knew they were solo and where they were camping. (One said a day-hiker shared the info with another hiker that a solo female hiker was down the trail, putting her in danger.) Some in-the-news stories were shared about solo backpacking women raped/murdered out on the trail. A general warning was given that women were followed by trail registers and other forms of semi-public documentation of their whereabouts and should go to great lengths to avoid letting people know were they were or where they'd camp.

Yep, all issues with the obsessive nature of the NPS requiring all kinds of info/data on what you want to do on their turf.

Quote
I've never camped solo, but I think I'd feel pretty vulnerable if my location was available online for all to know. If they knew I went to site X tonight, they'd know where I'd be all week--just as you so perfectly illustrated. Your innocent commentary on permit holder 000425's travels perfectly mirrored the not-so-innocent commentary.

It was an eye-opening conversation to me, especially as it had so many veteran solo backpacking women. After reading their convos, I strongly suspect their consensus would be that they'd not want the identifying number following them across sites posted for others to view, especially in such a public way. I wonder if it adds any great functionality for that number to be publicly visible.

From a cursory look at the permit website, it does not appear any personal data is available. Just the dates and the request number. If it is otherwise, then the NPS needs to immediately revise how this is managed.

Since the parks are not anywhere near as safe as the NPS desperately wants you to believe, personal responsibility is key. Get a concealed carry permit since with one you now can legally carry in national parks (the irritation and hand wringing of the NPS about this is irrelevant), become and remain proficient in its use, and refuse to either be afraid or a victim.

To those that will immediately rant about guns in parks...it's simple, don't get one. If you're not concerned about your safety in remote areas, I certainly am not, and neither is the NPS at the base level (they will show up after the crime if at all...they have to know about it before they can be bothered to leave their desks). I bet the guy that was murdered (crime never solved) in his tent at Pine Canyon many years ago was wishing at the end he'd violated the no-gun rule, because the funny hat people were miles and hours (maybe days...I forget) away.

Less seriously, don't forget about rogue park rangers, of which Nevada Barr frequently has written.  :willynilly:
_____________
<  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)

*

Offline presidio

  • Soaptree Yucca
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 3431
Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2013, 10:41:23 AM »

While I understand and support your concern that sites will be reserved but not used, especially during peak times, (which it appears is being addressed by the automatic turnover, though there might be more ideal methods that could be suggested), I don't understand why it appears you believe "a dork in a cubicle" using a smart phone to book a site he intends to occupy is blue faced riff raff who is less worthy of that site than others.

The problem is that this whole reservation process violates the first-come, first-served principle of using public land.

It's not clear whether there is a fee (in addition to the site fee) to do this particular online system, but would not be surprised to learn there is, or will soon be . There is a fee to reserve developed campground sites (and the NPS undoubtedly gets a cut of this fee, which likely explains why they instituted it). The NPS and fees is the government equivalent of crack-whores, they'll do anything for money.

With any camping reservation system, all you are achieving is allowing a select few to monopolize the available sites because they have the foresight, opportunity, or rigid schedule that makes such possible. Everyone else now has to compete, still, on a first-come, first-served basis for the remaining diminished pool of sites. How is that fair? It isn't; not at all, not one bit. Everyone should be on the same plane, especially since the NPS dictates how many can camp, where and for how long.

The only folks that really are happy with such a system are those that get a site without expending the effort of showing up and taking their chances along with the rest of us.

The absolute worst time to do this is "peak times". But, then, the rest of the year generally is no problem. So, why should the times of greatest demand result in the least ability to snag a site when you show up? Well, follow the money to understand the underlying motivations.
_____________
<  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)

*

Offline RichardM

  • Admin/Moderator
  • Global Moderator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 7608
Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2013, 11:20:45 AM »
Ok, so I'm a little late to head off any rants, but just for those who may have missed it, here are the instructions on the site:
This web site will step you through the completion of a worksheet request for a backcountry permit. A worksheet is not a permit!

Step 1 allows you to understand your camping options and to look at maps for the three types of backcountry camp sites:

Roadside camps allow you to drive your vehicle (on dirt roads) to the site.
Chisos camp sites are located in the park's central mountains and can only be reached by hiking and carrying your gear, food, and water. Vehicles can be parked in the Basin area.
Zone camping allows you to camp a half mile off the road almost anywhere (within certain limits) in the park.
Step 2 allows you to view a calendar of all the camp sites in the park. You can see which ones are available and, for some, see photos and other information about the sites.

Step 3 (when enabled) allows you to create and submit a request for a permit. After filling out information for your group, you will be guided to create an itenerary and to make camp site selections that can accommodate your group. If you prefer, you may wait until you talk to a ranger to make your campsite selections.

Step 4 allows you to review regulatory and safety information.

Step 5 Worksheet requests will be processed in the order in which they are created. A ranger will call your name or number to discuss your request. You will be able to make changes before your permit is issued.

So, unless I'm missing something, this online system only allows you to create a worksheet request based on the latest information. This allows you to virtually stand in line and gaze at the big board showing what's available, etc. While it's possible that they may move towards an online permit system which allows you to reserve online, this ain't it.

*

Offline Beatrice

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 133
Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2013, 11:35:41 AM »
Well, follow the money to understand the underlying motivations.
I want to make sure it is understood that I'm not debating or taking a stance in opposition to you or others. I'm discussing, asking, learning, and sharing.

I think an underlying motivation of being paperless/green, accurate, integrated, accessible, and of serving people quickly and efficiently in real time would lead to a computer-operated system, which further reduces workload (as the patrons fill out their own info before approaching).

Any system can be abused by the people on either side of the system. The information collected can be mishandled through negligence or it can be actively mined. The system can give access privileges to one group over another which the first group can passively enjoy or actively exploit.

For example, living life with a disability isn't easy, but the lack of accessibility to rides at Disney led to a separate, often shorter, line for those with accessibility issues. While there were plenty of other concerns that could lead to a less than full or enjoyable time for these families, this accessibility workaround created a particular passive privilege (shorter lines) that was enjoyed by those who otherwise would not have been able to access the rides.

There are some who then claim accessibility issues in order to enjoy this benefit despite having no such issue, which is an abuse of the system. As ride lines are revamped, the accessibility issue is removed and all go through the same line. The right to equal access is maintained while the abuse is curbed. No doubt, the other issues of living with a disability might now combine with the relatively longer wait time to make Disney undoable for some with disabilities who were able to manage some time at the parks because of the passive privilege. This is a huge blow for them. Others will be able to accommodate and integrate. Those without disabilities will perceive it as a leveling of the playing field and a positive from their perspective. The underlying motivation for all these parties is equal access for their group.

However, there is a woman with a disability who hires herself out as a high-end (re: expensive) personal guide to Disney, selling her disability access to families willing to pay to have a disabled "guide" in their party, which is cheaper than the exclusive Disney guides who grant true front-of-the-line access. This is an intentional exploitation of the passive privilege. Her income is going to nose dive. I'm sure she's not too thrilled by accessible lines, either, but for a very different and money-driven motive.

The current BBNP system requires reservations for primitive sites to be made no greater than 24 hours in advance. The paper and pencil model granted a passive privilege to those who have the ability to arrive early or those who have family/friends in the area or those who have enough money to pay someone to go there for them. The upcoming computer system will equal the playing field for many who could not physically stand in line 24 hours in advance while it could create a passive advantage to those 81% of Americans who are using the internet.

There are opportunities for the federal government to abuse or exploit the data. I think in this day, it is only prudent to address those concerns as much as possible in advance because the accumulation of data is a real threat to individuals and groups. There's a counter-fear that some patrons will abuse or exploit the access, but the only concerns I've seen put forward are that some people will enjoy a passive privilege that was historically enjoyed by others who don't want to lose that passive privilege (a moot issue, in my opinion) or that sites will be overbooked and underutilized because of the ease of access to the reservations (a possible issue).

To preemptively protect against these fears, more power is automatically given to the NPS (collect and store identifying data, take action against individuals based on this accumulated data), which is then used in circular logic to rule out the entire system as an abuse by the NPS.

I think it is far more prudent to put strict restrictions in place on the NPS side (no accumulation of data, for example) and to do a limited roll-out (as it appears is happening) to work out bugs in the system, to give responsibility and authority to the low-level people to address kinks in the system as they arise (the camp host or scheduling ranger can override the system, reassign sites under these general guidelines, etc), then to modify the process based on the real issues faced and not on the fear of what could be. This protects the patrons while giving the fullest, most accurate access to the park.

*

Offline Lance

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 856
Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2013, 12:20:26 PM »
Well y'all can debate all day long whether this is a good or bad thing.. but all I saw was a new, pretty backcountry zone map which I could not resist the urge to make a Google Earth overlay out of!!  Click on the zone to see the capacity.

Big Bend Backcountry Zones (3 MB)
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 12:35:46 PM by lsnead »

*

Offline Beatrice

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 133
Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2013, 12:25:37 PM »
Well y'all can debate all day long whether this is a good or bad thing.. but all saw was a new, pretty backcountry zone map which I could not resist the urge to make a Google Earth overlay out of!!  Click on the zone to see the capacity.

Big Bend Backcountry Zones (3 MB)
Sweet! That map has been up in a tab since I came across Jim's post of it. The overlay will be a nice help!

*

Offline Jim

  • BBNHA Volunteer
  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 542
  • Visiting BBNP since 1975
Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2013, 01:02:00 PM »
I've started a new thread at http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/backcountry-camping/backcountry-permit-software/ to answer technical questions about the new backcountry software.  Plese keep all political/NPS discussions here.  Thanks.

Jim

*

Offline Lissa

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 112
Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2013, 01:34:24 PM »
Jim - as I said in the other thread, thank you for that explanation of the software.  And I also have a semi-operational / software question for you, specifically if you think there is an (easy) way (technically) to take the permit numbers off of the public view of the site / make that information internal-access only? 

It wasn't something that had occurred to me prior to the discussion of solo hikers in the other thread, but after reading that I can understand the concerns with being able to track a permit number across sites (versus simply showing taken/available for a given site but without explicitly showing which permit number has which site).  Not sure how much of a real issue that is, but I can understand why having that out there would concern folks, and not sure having the actual permit # available for public view really helps the public with the worksheet process either.

*

Offline elhombre

  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1130
Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2013, 03:07:05 PM »
So, here is a question.  It is 12:00 noon.  I am standing in front of the ranger with my $10 ready to pay for Paint Gap #1 for tonight.  Earlier that morning at 8:00am, Joe "Blue face" Smartphone requested Paint Gap #1 through El Campo for that same night.  He will show up at 4:30 to pay his $10.  Who gets Paint Gap #1?
For 2 years the Fake News Media, Obama's FBI, CIA & DOJ, and Swamp dwelling Politicians COLLUDED, Illegally Spied,and LIED to America about POTUS in order to overturn an election

All the while demanding censorship and removal of opposition Conservative "hate speech" voices.  Globalists Hate Freedom

*

Offline Jim

  • BBNHA Volunteer
  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 542
  • Visiting BBNP since 1975
Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2013, 03:13:30 PM »
So, here is a question.  It is 12:00 noon.  I am standing in front of the ranger with my $10 ready to pay for Paint Gap #1 for tonight.  Earlier that morning at 8:00am, Joe "Blue face" Smartphone requested Paint Gap #1 through El Campo for that same night.  He will show up at 4:30 to pay his $10.  Who gets Paint Gap #1?

First permit issued gets the site, just like before.  Worksheets don't entitle you to any particular site at any time.  Worksheets are NOT reservations.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 03:22:51 PM by Jim »

*

Offline Lance

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 856
Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #26 on: November 06, 2013, 03:20:43 PM »
So, here is a question.  It is 12:00 noon.  I am standing in front of the ranger with my $10 ready to pay for Paint Gap #1 for tonight.  Earlier that morning at 8:00am, Joe "Blue face" Smartphone requested Paint Gap #1 through El Campo for that same night.  He will show up at 4:30 to pay his $10.  Who gets Paint Gap #1?

First permit issued gets the site, just like before.  Worksheets don't entitle you to any particular site at any time.
So since it's not a reservation system, but a replacement for the old pencil and pad method, elhombre should get the permit since he was there first?

*

Offline waddamaroon

  • Jack Rabbit
  • *
  • 43
  • Ate paint chips as a kid
Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #27 on: November 06, 2013, 04:23:00 PM »
So, here is a question.  It is 12:00 noon.  I am standing in front of the ranger with my $10 ready to pay for Paint Gap #1 for tonight.  Earlier that morning at 8:00am, Joe "Blue face" Smartphone requested Paint Gap #1 through El Campo for that same night.  He will show up at 4:30 to pay his $10.  Who gets Paint Gap #1?

First permit issued gets the site, just like before.  Worksheets don't entitle you to any particular site at any time.
So since it's not a reservation system, but a replacement for the old pencil and pad method, elhombre should get the permit since he was there first?

Yep.
Atta boy, girl!

*

Offline RichardM

  • Admin/Moderator
  • Global Moderator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 7608
Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #28 on: November 06, 2013, 04:27:40 PM »
So, here is a question.  It is 12:00 noon.  I am standing in front of the ranger with my $10 ready to pay for Paint Gap #1 for tonight.  Earlier that morning at 8:00am, Joe "Blue face" Smartphone requested Paint Gap #1 through El Campo for that same night.  He will show up at 4:30 to pay his $10.  Who gets Paint Gap #1?

First permit issued gets the site, just like before.  Worksheets don't entitle you to any particular site at any time.
So since it's not a reservation system, but a replacement for the old pencil and pad method, elhombre should get the permit since he was there first?
Well, that might just depend on his attitude when talking to the ranger...  :eusa_whistle:

*

Offline Lance

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 856
Re: Online Backcountry permitting now available for BBNP
« Reply #29 on: November 06, 2013, 04:29:47 PM »

So, here is a question.  It is 12:00 noon.  I am standing in front of the ranger with my $10 ready to pay for Paint Gap #1 for tonight.  Earlier that morning at 8:00am, Joe "Blue face" Smartphone requested Paint Gap #1 through El Campo for that same night.  He will show up at 4:30 to pay his $10.  Who gets Paint Gap #1?

First permit issued gets the site, just like before.  Worksheets don't entitle you to any particular site at any time.
So since it's not a reservation system, but a replacement for the old pencil and pad method, elhombre should get the permit since he was there first?

Yep.
Thank goodness.  Elhombre was worrying he'd have to finally break down and get a cell-phone!

 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments