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The 2018 Superintendents Compendium is out

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Offline RichardM

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Re: The 2018 Superintendents Compendium is out
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2018, 08:10:16 AM »
I am working on extracting the text via Adobe Acrobat, but it is slow going.

Try this. I have run the thing through Acrobat OCR.
Thanks. Apparently I could use a tutorial on OCR with Acrobat.  :icon_rolleyes: Not sure what I was doing wrong, but I wasn't having much luck.

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Online Jim

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Re: The 2018 Superintendents Compendium is out
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2018, 09:07:06 AM »
Looks like there is one rule the NPS didn't follow, at least for a while.  Are PJ and the Basin still the only VCs that issue permits?

Section 2.10: Camping
   Backcountry Camping (a)
      Permits will be issued at Visitor Contact Stations park-wide.
      Permits may be obtained at any Visitor Center within the park.

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: The 2018 Superintendents Compendium is out
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2018, 10:32:48 AM »
"Commercially available bear resistant container designed for this purpose must be utilized by backpackers where bear lockers are not provided in backcountry sites. The permittee must show the permit writer that they have canister(s) in their possession before a permit is issued."

That sounds mostly for zone camping since most designated campsites have bear boxes and the ones that don't are for desert car camping.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Big Bend Chat mobile app

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Offline presidio

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Re: The 2018 Superintendents Compendium is out
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2018, 12:11:50 PM »
Looks like there is one rule the NPS didn't follow, at least for a while.  Are PJ and the Basin still the only VCs that issue permits?

Section 2.10: Camping
   Backcountry Camping (a)
      Permits will be issued at Visitor Contact Stations park-wide.
      Permits may be obtained at any Visitor Center within the park.

Not surprising. The people making the rules frequently exempt themselves from enforcement.
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Offline Peter O

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Re: The 2018 Superintendents Compendium is out
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2018, 07:09:35 PM »
"Commercially available bear resistant container designed for this purpose must be utilized by backpackers where bear lockers are not provided in backcountry sites. The permittee must show the permit writer that they have canister(s) in their possession before a permit is issued."

That sounds mostly for zone camping since most designated campsites have bear boxes and the ones that don't are for desert car camping.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Big Bend Chat mobile app

Yes, my question about the new bear canister provision relates to wilderness zone camping.  I used the term “backcountry backpacking” too broadly since that includes the park’s designated sites—where bear canisters are not an issue. 

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Offline presidio

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Re: The 2018 Superintendents Compendium is out
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2018, 12:40:18 PM »
Okay folks, I know you've been holding your breath.

Here it is....the comparison between the 2018 Compendium and the prior version.

A bit of editorial (the comparison is an attached PDF). Every year, when going through the document I am left amazed that it even is possible to use the park in light of the exceedingly abundant, and ever-growing, restrictions and requirements. The Compendium is all about minutely controlling you rather than allowing your enjoyment of the park.

As I've also noted before, the Compendium is so poorly written they should be embarrassed. For a comparison, take a look at the Grand Canyon Compendium.

https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/management/upload/2017-grca-supt-compendium.pdf

Ignoring a debate on the necessity for all the local regs at any park, the GRCA version has a mere 31 pages (same as BIBE) for a park that is 50% larger and with vastly more tourists and problems than Big Bend ever will see.

Additionally, some of the GRCA document length is consumed by lucid explanations of the rationale for the rule, something Big Bend never has done, and if they did so their document likely would balloon to 50 pages. So, GRCA has fewer rules, that are far better written, and seems to be able to get by just fine with that lesser amount.

More importantly, the GRCA version is readable and understandable. In contrast, the Big Bend version says a lot about the regulatory mindset of the park as well as their inability to craft the written word. Perhaps these folks are in the hinterlands for a reason.

There also are a number of other changes which comprise a butcher job compared to 2016/2017, with terminology conflicts and layout issues. Most of these deviations are ignored as not substantially affecting the crushing oversight either way. However, the park desperately needs someone who understands how to write regulations (ex: so your headlights illuminating an animal running across the road does not constitute a violation as a result of unforced, amateurish, errors in composition), as well as someone who knows how to edit a document for flow and consistency. Both sorely are lacking.

Enjoy (if you can call it that) reading.
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Offline dprather

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Re: The 2018 Superintendents Compendium is out
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2018, 12:56:57 PM »

At the end of the day, I agree with what Dprather said in More on Bear Canisters: “We intend to do what is expected of us and to carry a canister if that is the way it is.”  But I still hope that's not the way it is.


There might be a silver lining here.  If more are required to carry a bear canister, less might backpack the back country. 

This is a lousy, administrival way to reduce back-country numbers, but the numbers need to come down.
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline presidio

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Re: The 2018 Superintendents Compendium is out
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2018, 01:18:24 PM »
There might be a silver lining here.  If more are required to carry a bear canister, less might backpack the back country. 

This is a lousy, administrival way to reduce back-country numbers, but the numbers need to come down.

We already have too many restrictions on using parks.

The problem is not too many backpackers, but too many people who only know how to (or who will only) backpack in NPS areas.

Besides, the NPS has absolutely no interest in curtailing user numbers (regardless of their whining about overuse) as theirs entirely is a numbers game. Any decline in user statistics is cause for alarm if not panic.

Unlike the other federal land agencies, if the tourists don't come, the NPS has no reason to exist. It's been that way from day one.

Big Bend is not the only superior area to visit; not by a long shot.

As occasionally is reported here (including your trips) folks need to wean themselves off a 100% diet of NPS and use those other lands that are unpopulated, and just as (if not more so) spectacular.

Those lands require more initiative and responsibility, but the reward is far less regulation along with places the parkie crowd never will see.

There's far more challenge and adventure out there than repeatedly hiking the OML and worrying whether high clearance/4WD is needed to get into RGV  or Panther Junction.   :s_laugh:

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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 House Made of Dawn

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Re: The 2018 Superintendents Compendium is out
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2018, 01:32:05 PM »
Okay folks, I know you've been holding your breath.

Actually...yes, I have.  Thanks for doing this, Presidio. You do it very well.

For a comparison, take a look at the Grand Canyon Compendium.

https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/management/upload/2017-grca-supt-compendium.pdf

Ignoring a debate on the necessity for all the local regs at any park, the GRCA version has a mere 31 pages (same as BIBE) for a park that is 50% larger and with vastly more tourists and problems than Big Bend ever will see.

Additionally, some of the GRCA document length is consumed by lucid explanations of the rationale for the rule, something Big Bend never has done, and if they did so their document likely would balloon to 50 pages. So, GRCA has fewer rules, that are far better written, and seems to be able to get by just fine with that lesser amount.

These are all very good points.  I can't tell you (well, actually, I can...and did, in last year's Round the Bend in 16 Days trip report) how hard it is to sift through and clarify the various published (and non-published) BIBE rules, in order to plan a large, long, legal, multi-modal trip through the park.

Seems like the biggest changes are 1) requiring approved bearproof containers in the absence of NPS-installled bear boxes, and 2) actually demonstrating that users have the NPS-mandated equipment (i.e., bearproof containers, extra paddles/oars, etc.).  #2 makes perfect sense: I mean, if it's required, you should have it, and you should be able to show you have it. Last year, I did, and I did.  #1, however, is a little scary. If long-distance remote backcountry backpackers (e.g., HMoD) are now required to use bearproof canisters at all times, this is going to be a significant obstacle to long trips (I have it on good authority that HMoD can do it; he just won't like it; or think it empirically justified by historical data of bear/human interactions outside the Chisos). 

I agree with Dprather, if portable bearproof containers are required of all backpackers in BIBE, user-numbers are going to plummet. Bad for them, good for me.  Maybe. The places I go, I don't see anyone anyway.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2018, 02:14:08 PM by House Made of Dawn »
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Offline badknees

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Re: The 2018 Superintendents Compendium is out
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2018, 02:39:05 PM »
Seems kinda funny that the only place in the whole 1200 sq miles that any bear "encounters/incidents" have ever occured, are areas that have bear boxes!!!
Not all those who wander are lost.
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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: The 2018 Superintendents Compendium is out
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2018, 03:09:14 PM »
Seems kinda funny that the only place in the whole 1200 sq miles that any bear "encounters/incidents" have ever occured, are areas that have bear boxes!!!

I know, right? 

But there's method in the madness. If I was a public lands administrator in BIBE, given the inevitable intersection between seasonal user peaks in the Chisos and seasonal peaks in available bear food (mast), I'd limit camping sites in the Chisos and provide bear-proof food storage in those sites. What's "funny" is applying the same rubric to the inhospitable low desert despite an estimated maximum park-wide carrying capacity of 25 bears and zero documented case of negative bear-human interactions therein. If I understand the new rule properly, this is a solution in search of a problem.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline mule ears

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Re: The 2018 Superintendents Compendium is out
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2018, 03:24:32 PM »
I had noted the difference in camping radius around Mariscal Mine.  When planning our Dec. trip I carefully adhered to the .5 mile radius, 2 miles would have made it nearly impossible to walk the spine of the mountain and get an additional 2 miles away.  Guess the Fresno site is exempted.
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Offline badknees

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Re: The 2018 Superintendents Compendium is out
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2018, 07:03:34 PM »
I had noted the difference in camping radius around Mariscal Mine.  When planning our Dec. trip I carefully adhered to the .5 mile radius, 2 miles would have made it nearly impossible to walk the spine of the mountain and get an additional 2 miles away.  Guess the Fresno site is exempted.

I noticed that too. I guess because  Fresno  -it  is not a zone campiing site. I get the rule, but 2 Miles is arbitrary, unnecessary and a number pulled out of someone’s butt.
Not all those who wander are lost.
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Offline presidio

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Re: The 2018 Superintendents Compendium is out
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2018, 11:43:47 PM »
Okay folks, I know you've been holding your breath.

Actually...yes, I have.  Thanks for doing this, Presidio. You do it very well.

You're welcome and thank you.
_____________
<  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 presidio

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Re: The 2018 Superintendents Compendium is out
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2018, 11:51:55 PM »
Seems like the biggest changes are 1) requiring approved bearproof containers in the absence of NPS-installled bear boxes, and 2) actually demonstrating that users have the NPS-mandated equipment (i.e., bearproof containers, extra paddles/oars, etc.).

The extra paddle rule is logical, and I have no issue with it as it is a hedge against the very real danger of lost equipment in remote areas.

The bear containers? It is not logical and no problem requiring them has been demonstrated. As others have noted, it is a solution in search of a need.

The NPS crafts these rules in a vacuum; there is no public review or input. If they had to publish these like they should (and like every other agency must), the inability to defend or articulate a genuine need quickly would strip away some of this nonsense.

Of course, there are many sycophant tourists for whom no rule, restriction or cost is too much, so that would skew the result against logic.

The NPS simply does not like being required to expose their ideas to public scrutiny; they'd much rather just dictate them as they always have. That attitude repeatedly has been shown to result in poor rule crafting everywhere it is allowed to occur. It needs to change.
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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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