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Williams Ranch Road closed to the public

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Offline RichardM

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Williams Ranch Road closed to the public
« on: February 12, 2018, 04:28:12 PM »
Williams Ranch Road closed to the public - February 12, 2018

Williams Ranch Road will be inaccessible to visitor traffic until further notice; no keys to the Williams Ranch Road gates will be issued at this time. Hikers and stock riders can still access Williams Ranch from El Capitan Trail.

Anybody know why?

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Williams Ranch Road closed to the public
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 04:33:01 PM »
Williams Ranch Road closed to the public - February 12, 2018

Williams Ranch Road will be inaccessible to visitor traffic until further notice; no keys to the Williams Ranch Road gates will be issued at this time. Hikers and stock riders can still access Williams Ranch from El Capitan Trail.

Anybody know why?

Curiouser and curiouser. Strange goings on at the NPS.


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Offline presidio

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Re: Williams Ranch Road closed to the public
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 06:24:46 PM »
Williams Ranch Road closed to the public - February 12, 2018

Williams Ranch Road will be inaccessible to visitor traffic until further notice; no keys to the Williams Ranch Road gates will be issued at this time. Hikers and stock riders can still access Williams Ranch from El Capitan Trail.

Anybody know why?

Might be a legitimate reason, or it may just be another exercise in the ever-expanding agency quest for "control" of the public.

The NPS is very good at denying access, but very, very bad about explaining why such actions are necessary.

This is exactly like the closure of Cottonwood Campground.

How hard is it to add a sentence explaining why it's being done? Instead, there only is the notice that it is closed and you can't use it. Someone on this site ferreted out that it has to do with maintenance on the water system there. Fine, no problem with that, but disservice was done to the  public by the manner in which it was announced.

This cryptic way of going about business is so wrong on so many levels, yet the agency either is tone deaf or simply does not care that they have a duty to properly and adequately inform the public, as well as to not unduly interfere with the public's ability to use a resource that ostensibly exists for their "enjoyment."

In the case of Williams Ranch, it would not surprise me at all if the NPS finally has reached the point of not wanting  unsupervised vehicle use out there. Yeah, you can hike out but it's a hell of a long way and very few tourists are going to do that. The now denied vehicle access is 14.6 miles round trip and the distance on the El Capitan Trail is at least that far (their helpful online map includes no trail mileages to easily determine that...another shortfall of information).

It would be interesting to know exactly how many vehicles used that route in a year. It always surprised me that the NPS would hand out a key and essentially welcome such usage. It's a nice place to go and I never saw anyone else there on my trips.

So, while you still can hike in, the elimination of vehicle access means "not welcome" and the visitation there will plummet from what almost certainly was already very minimal use in any case.

Of course, maybe there is some other reason that is withheld due to national security.



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Re: Williams Ranch Road closed to the public
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 06:59:21 PM »
it's a 9 mile hike. Less if you use the shortcut.

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Offline presidio

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Re: Williams Ranch Road closed to the public
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2018, 07:13:58 PM »
it's a 9 mile hike. Less if you use the shortcut.

One way?
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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 wrangler88

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Re: Williams Ranch Road closed to the public
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2018, 09:29:40 PM »
it's a 9 mile hike. Less if you use the shortcut.

One way?

Yeah, one way. Though it may not look it on the map, It's a tough hike.

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Offline TexasAggieHiker

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Re: Williams Ranch Road closed to the public
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2018, 09:36:53 PM »
This is exactly like the closure of Cottonwood Campground.

How hard is it to add a sentence explaining why it's being done? Instead, there only is the notice that it is closed and you can't use it. Someone on this site ferreted out that it has to do with maintenance on the water system there. Fine, no problem with that, but disservice was done to the  public by the manner in which it was announced.

This cryptic way of going about business is so wrong on so many levels, yet the agency either is tone deaf or simply does not care that they have a duty to properly and adequately inform the public, as well as to not unduly interfere with the public's ability to use a resource that ostensibly exists for their "enjoyment."
So putting out a press release, announcing it on facebook, and putting it out in the local media is "cryptic" and a "disservice to the public"?
https://www.nps.gov/bibe/learn/news/cottonwood-campground-closure-at-big-bend-national-park.htm
http://bigbendnow.com/2018/01/cottonwood-campground-at-big-bend-national-park-closing-for-maintenance-work/
https://www.facebook.com/BigBendNPS/posts/1776482182370093

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Offline Txlj

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Re: Williams Ranch Road closed to the public
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2018, 09:50:21 PM »
Im not local to the park and never nor will I ever be on Facebook.

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Offline wrangler88

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Re: Williams Ranch Road closed to the public
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2018, 10:00:06 PM »
Not that I have anything against the NPS or think they're up to no good but I have seen several instances that were strange. Like the plane crash but wasn't a plane crash/plane crash on Guadalupe Peak at Guadalupe Mountains a few years ago. What was that about? I read it was a small plane crash. There was a police officer at the trailhead keeping anyone from going up. And then I thought I read it wasn't a crash or they didn't find anything but never saw what it was.

Maybe I'm misinformed. But from what I know, I thought that was very weird.

Seen a few other instances that were fairly similar.

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Offline presidio

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Re: Williams Ranch Road closed to the public
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2018, 10:39:18 PM »
So putting out a press release, announcing it on facebook, and putting it out in the local media is "cryptic" and a "disservice to the public"?
https://www.nps.gov/bibe/learn/news/cottonwood-campground-closure-at-big-bend-national-park.htm
http://bigbendnow.com/2018/01/cottonwood-campground-at-big-bend-national-park-closing-for-maintenance-work/
https://www.facebook.com/BigBendNPS/posts/1776482182370093

Yes, it is.

I expect information to be on the NPS website for the park, not on facebook, or alternative websites (even BBC, though the info here generally is superior in content and quality).

I do not recall if the website originally said the closure was for maintenance, though it certainly says that now (but continues to offer no specifics).

I will not chase information across the internet, looking for things on alternative sites that ought to, in every instance, be on the official website.

The NPS can do better; they choose to not.
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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 mediopelo

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Re: Williams Ranch Road closed to the public
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2018, 10:46:02 PM »
The campground closings are posted on the official website.

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Offline presidio

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Re: Williams Ranch Road closed to the public
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2018, 10:49:03 PM »
it's a 9 mile hike. Less if you use the shortcut.

One way?
Yeah here are the trail distances:
https://www.nps.gov/gumo/planyourvisit/upload/Mileage-Chart-w-elevation.pdf

So, a 14+ mile hike in on the road, or an 18 mile hike by trail.

Yep, it still is "available" to the public, even though the NPS has closed it to use for all practical purposes.
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<  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)

Re: Williams Ranch Road closed to the public
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2018, 10:57:32 PM »
How da F**k is it closed to all???
1) put on your pack and boots
2) walk
3) camp at Williams ranch (Shumard)
4) walk back

I swear you'd complain to the hangman that the rope was too new.

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Offline presidio

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Re: Williams Ranch Road closed to the public
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2018, 11:33:35 PM »
How da F**k is it closed to all???
1) put on your pack and boots
2) walk
3) camp at Williams ranch (Shumard)
4) walk back

Indeed, you are correct.

I easily can do that.

But, a lot of other cannot or will not.

I am not an advocate of creating access where none exists, but I also am adamantly opposed to the closure of historical access, and especially without any justification for the action.

"It's Closed" does not adequately serve the public interest.

With the distances involved, the area is certainly "closed" to the majority of folks that might otherwise have visited using a perfectly adequate vehicle route that has been in existence for more than a century.

In the absence of compelling evidence not otherwise revealed, the present state of access can only be perceived as being at the whim of a bureaucrat with too much power and not enough common sense.
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<  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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