Big Bend Conservancy
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.
Quote from: TexasAggieHiker on February 12, 2018, 09:36:53 PMSo 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.htmhttp://bigbendnow.com/2018/01/cottonwood-campground-at-big-bend-national-park-closing-for-maintenance-work/https://www.facebook.com/BigBendNPS/posts/1776482182370093Yes, 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.
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.htmhttp://bigbendnow.com/2018/01/cottonwood-campground-at-big-bend-national-park-closing-for-maintenance-work/https://www.facebook.com/BigBendNPS/posts/1776482182370093
Quote from: presidio on February 12, 2018, 10:39:18 PMQuote from: TexasAggieHiker on February 12, 2018, 09:36:53 PMSo 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.htmhttp://bigbendnow.com/2018/01/cottonwood-campground-at-big-bend-national-park-closing-for-maintenance-work/https://www.facebook.com/BigBendNPS/posts/1776482182370093Yes, 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.Your are completely ridiculous. The information IS on the NPS website, in addition to other media outlets. I gave you the link right there."(but continues to offer no specifics)""The park will replace an out of date irrigation system with a modern system and restore the landscape to facilitate proper irrigation of the low lying areas. The planned work will occupy the entirety of the campground and temporary closures will be enacted.Closures are planned January 29th through February 28th, 2018"Seriously what more information could you want???Your NPS hate shtick is an old, tired, and a blight on an otherwise awesome message board.
It seems part of human nature to prefer speculation over research. I just called the GMNP headquarters and asked about the Williams Ranch Road closure. I was told it was for road maintenance. The guy I spoke to was not a senior staff member, but he seemed frank, relaxed, and well informed, and didn't seem to be trying to hide anything. I suggested they might consider adding the road maintenance bit to the closure notice, because as written, it leaves the impression that access is being permanently discontinued.John
Well, considering the situation with respect to the north entrance to the park, that impression may not be far-fetched.thanks for calling btw.
Good point, sadly. I wish it wasn't always this complicated.
Quote from: House Made of Dawn on February 13, 2018, 01:18:18 PMGood point, sadly. I wish it wasn't always this complicated.I'm pretty sure that's part of Presidio's point. It doesn't need to be this complicated. The NPS seems to have difficulty with communication. To me, it would be hard to put out a notice about a closure without saying why. For the NPS, it seems they often neglect that part until somebody squawks.
Oh, I'm sure there's justification for it; we just don't know what it is.
It may be as much as a "cuz I said so"
I can think of several reasons why it may be closed, it may be something as simple as a property owner doesn't feel like granting access any more. Or vandalism. Either of those might require immediate action and notification but be reason for delay in crafting a more detailed public notification. Obviously just speculation on my part.
Also, that road is questionably characterized as "perfectly adequate vehicle route" and was not historically a public road. NPS frequently mentions the maintenance requirements and it wasn't opened until the 1980s. In fact the original master plan for the park had that road being paved, as well as a series of tramways up to the summit of Guadalupe Peak from Pine Springs.
Butterfield Stage RouteA segment of the historic Butterfield Stage route transverses the park from the northwest corner by the Salt Basin Dunes to its southeast boundary about a mile from the junction of U.S. Highway 62/180 and Texas Highway 54. Part of the road to Williams Ranch follows the alignment of the stage route.
Williams Ranch Access RoadUntil 1985, park personnel and visitors traveled the initial three and one-half miles of the 10-mile distance from Highway 62/180 to Williams Ranch over private property. ... the government owned an unimproved right-of-way nearby on which a road to the park boundary could be constructed. However, given the low level of traffic to Williams Ranch, and the willingness of the private landowner to allow traffic to use an already established ranch road, management did not feel an immediate need to build a road on the legal right-of-way.In 1985 park personnel engineered and built a new road within the legal right-of-way. The new road met the old road inside the park boundary, 2.6 miles from Highway 62/180, and shortened the route to Williams Ranch by nearly a mile.
Access to this part of the park will be by automobile along a road which will lie lightly on the land. State assistance will be required to provide an approach road from U. S. Highway 62-180 to the boundary. Access will be controlled, entrance fees collected, and information services provided at an entrance station. Scenic viewpoints with turnouts and orientation devices will be located along the road. A spur will lead to the Williams Ranch, the focus for historical interpretation in this area. Several miles north of the ranch, the main road will provide access to an area of grass and desert scrub communities. The road will continue west to the park boundary where it will connect with a county road to Dell City. There will be a primitive campground and parking... .Because of continuous protection needs and the icy road conditions during winter over Guadalupe Pass, it is proposed to have a district operations facility on the west side near the road, running from the State highway to Williams Ranch. Office, minor maintenance facilities, and residences will be required. An entrance station will be operated by personnel stationed here.Guadalupe Peak offers a key viewpoint from which the park's major features can be seen and interpreted. This high point, together with the adjoining lands, will be made readily accessible (this is regarding the proposed tramway discussed below) to visitors and will be developed for high-density use.... a mechanical lift system will transport visitors from the base to the top of the reef escarpment. The park's major interpretive efforts will be associated with this facility.The mechanical lift, rather than the private automobile, will be the key to enjoyment of the park upland by most visitors; nonetheless, the conveyor will provide much the same small-group atmosphere as a personal vehicle.The lower terminal will be part of the visitor-use complex, a compact unit providing parking, simple food service, orientation, interpretive services, and restrooms. The upper terminus will require a shelter to protect visitors from the extreme weather changes that occur frequently. The structure will house orientation devices and a contact station which will be manned as the situation requires.The lower terminus of the lift system would be located in Pine Spring Canyon approximately half-a-mile from U.S. Highway 62-180. The upper terminus of the lift will be located on a ridge approximately 500 feet below and east of Guadalupe Peak. The peak itself will be accessible from the terminus by a foot trail. The lift will closely follow the canyon walls in its ascent and will be inconspicuously located. The upper terminus, well below the summit, will not infringe on this natural feature. The lift system will provide an excellent vehicle for visual interpretation of the desert zone contrasted to the "Island in the Desert" zone of the park's forested high country.The length of stay on top will vary from a few minutes to half a day or longer. This will be truly a wilderness threshhold experience, for the visitor will actually stand at a portal and look into the park's primitive areas.It is intended that the surfaced trails in the threshhold zone (this is the upper terminus) will channel visitors and thus lessen impact on adjoining areas. To further protect the resource, restroom facilities will not discharge in the high elevation area. Instead, sewage will be transported to disposal locations near the lower terminus by means of the same conveyor system.(text on an illustration page): GUADALUPE PEAK CRITICAL VIEWING PLATFORMA LIMITED, WELL-DEFINED ZONE FROM WHICH A HIGH VOLUME OF VISITORS CAN SEE THE KEY ELEMENTS OF THE PARKThe primary base of park operations will be on the east side, in the Pine Springs/Pine Canyon area near the base of the escarpment. Actual siting should ensure that the base does not impinge upon the visitor-use area, either physically or visually, and that the development is not a scenic intrusion when seen from the State highway, McKittrick access road. Pine Top viewing area (upper tram terminus), or other visitor-use areas. (very important that the infrastructure does not detract from the view provided by other intrusive infrastruture)(text on another illustration page): PROPOSED ROAD TO FOLLOW APPROX. ALIGNMENT OF EXIST, JEEP TRAIL. (still the majority route of current access to Williams Ranch)VISITOR USEThe features which justified the establishment of the park, its exceptional scientific values and outstanding scenery, should be made available to the public through a variety of educational and inspirational experiences. Accordingly, all visitors should be offered the following opportunities:...To reach a strategic high point such as Guadalupe Peak where a 360-degree view provides an extraordinary perspective of the park. (YES!!!!)The mode or modes of access must be convenient and within the physical capabilities and financial means of the majority of visitors. Consideration should be given to the many potential wilderness opportunities elsewhere (because we're going to develop the crap out of the peak) within the park for hiking, riding, and climbing.Visitor use of the park will be seriously impeded until motels, restaurants, and campgrounds become available within a convenient distance.
ERRATA SHEETSince this document was prepared, the National Park Service has concluded to defer any decision on the tramway proposal. This decision was reached largely because of grave concern on the part of many interested persons, uncertainties of visitor use demand in the immediate future, much more pressing need for other facilities, and the current national economic situation. If and when consideration is given toward future tramway development, an Environmental Impact Statement on such a proposal would first be prepared and submitted for public review.
I gave you the link right there.
Your NPS hate shtick is an old, tired, and a blight on an otherwise awesome message board.
The road crew could just pull over and let you squeeze past.
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