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New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby Saltydog » Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:38 pm

I spoke with Ed Dunlavey today and received the same message Mav did. I was hoping the communication would include the express reassurance that the rules have not changed and that permits will be issued on the basis of the present rules as stated in all of Yos Wilderness Office docs. In the absence of the express statement, however, I take Ed's communications to mean just that. I am also a a little disappointed that this does not include a commitment to put any interim changes out for public comment before implementation, but there may be sufficient private consultation and information gathering to serve the same purpose.



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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby maverick » Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:42 pm

My conversation with Inyo yesterday ended with, if Yosemite plans any changes that
would effect Inyo in any way, they would request these changes to be implemented in
2016 so Inyo could make their own adjustments, in other words, this whole thing may not
happen till 2016 Salty, but we will see what comes out of this meeting between the two
in the next several days.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby Hobbes » Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:48 pm

JWreno wrote:It is very easy to get a northbound permit out of Horseshoe meadows (Cottonwood Pass) and you can pick up the permit at the Mono Lake visitors center instead of dealing with Yosemite. I got my Cottonwood entry pass reservations within 2 weeks of departure, vs. the 24 weeks out of Happy Isles.


Entering from a low use/high quota TH is the key to any popular trail, whether it's the JMT, Whitney, etc. I never bother with reservations, knowing I can always get a walk-in entry permit. I hate the idea of planning, and prefer to get out based on conditions, desire, etc.

CW pass is a slam dunk; if all else fails, you can try Trail, which doesn't even have a quota. Once you've got a legit entry pass in hand, you're pretty free to go to whatever exit suits your fancy. Sure, you have to have a designated exit at the time of receiving the permit, but sometimes sh!t happens on the trail requiring, shall we say, a different exit plan.

As long as it's a logically continuous part of the trail/route where you haven't obviously jumped, then it's all good. For example, what do you think the demand is for CW pass to Sonora pass? Who's to know that you left the trail @ Tuolumne?
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby Saltydog » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:27 pm

Actually, SoCal, exactly the opposite is under consideration. One of the proposed rules is to limit to 30 per day permits stating an exit trailhead south of Red's, while imposing no quota on permits with exit trailheads up to Red's. How that is supposed to ease use of the most heavily travelled portions of the trail escapes me entirely.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:01 pm

I would not object to some more limits on the JMT. I do not feel it matters if you are on the JMT as a thru-hike or as part of any other hike. Hikers, regardless of the reason they are there, make the trail terribly crowded. There are so many great trails in the Sierra, no need for everyone bunching up on the JMT. I feel the same about bear cans and the JMT or PCT hikers. Same rules for everyone. You should not get a free pass just because you are on a thru-hike. Last year I also saw a ton of illegal camping along the JMT. Where are the rangers when they are needed?

One thing I think is needed, is a permit and limit for day hiking on the JMT, at least on its more popular section. It is becoming popular with trail runners, who usually do not get permits because they can cover 20-30 miles easily in a day, yet they impact the trail and the wilderness experience, just like any other backpacker.

I also think a dog should be counted as a person for permit purposes. (Hey, my dog thinks she is a person!). We even had to get a 3-"man" tent to handle the dog.

The authorities need to send out some college researchers - get some real "on trail" data to see exactly how many hikers there are and exactly how they become dispersed as they progress down the trail. I hate to see regulations imposed base on hear-say. In fact my own opinions may be way off- perhaps I just have been on the JMT at unusually busy times.

Although I agree that some limits need to be imposed, I would like to see proposed regulations made public for comments. I am not against regulations per se, just would like to see regulations that clearly address a real verified problem.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby Saltydog » Sat Jan 10, 2015 1:29 pm

My latest information, direct from the YOS Wilderness Manager, is that they do NOT intend to wait until 2016 for interim measures, that a draft will be submitted to the Superintendent on Monday, and that NOW is the only opportunity to weigh in on the proposed interime changes: limiting JMT access to HI and Tuolumne trailheads and limiting permits with any exit Th south of Red's to 30 per day.

Please participate in this survey By John Ladd. Yos is receiving comments on this issue only until Monday, and has no plans to make any proposed rule changes public until after it has enacted them. Let us know what you think of this procedure.

Link is here
Coment Period Poll http://bit.ly/JMTCmtPeriod
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby Steve_C » Sat Jan 10, 2015 2:51 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:I would not object to some more limits on the JMT. ... Hikers, regardless of the reason they are there, make the trail terribly crowded....
One thing I think is needed, is a permit and limit for day hiking on the JMT... they impact the trail and the wilderness experience, just like any other backpacker.
...In fact my own opinions may be way off- perhaps I just have been on the JMT at unusually busy times.
THIS ^^^ type of attitude makes me just want to scream in anguish! Hikers asking for other hikers to be banned.

Two points:
1. All you need to do to find "wilderness" is walk ten minutes at a right angle to the trail. The wilderness act does NOT require wilderness managers to guarantee any sort of "wilderness experience" to anyone walking down a popular trail. I feel it is wrong to think otherwise. The wilderness act only requires the opportunity for solitude. Those opportunities are there!!

2. Hikers spend hundreds (some thousands) of dollars on hiking gear and transportation. There should be an appropriate fee charged to hikers to enable hiring enough rangers to patrol and enforce the LNT rules. Doing that, rather than limiting numbers further, would go a long way protecting the wilderness.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Jan 10, 2015 3:08 pm

Hikers deserve a wilderness experience. The fact is that the JMT is in the wilderness. It is NOT in a "recreational area". At some point, too many hikers damage the very environment we go in the mountains to enjoy. As a "hiker", I agree with limitations, including limits that would restrict myself. Limits on the JMT do not mean limits on hiking - it just spreads out the use to other trails and trailheads that get less use.

The NP does not restrict hikers just for the sake of restricting people from enjoying the wilderness - they do it because they see damage and particularly are looking ahead to future damage. I am perfectly willing for "delayed gratification" and would rather wait a few years to get a JMT permit than get a permit any time I wish to go and end up seeing 50-100 people a day.

We backpackers do not have the "right" to unlimited access simply because we spend hundreds of dollars on equipment. This "entitlement" attitude, to me, is a problem.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby CharlieW » Sat Jan 10, 2015 4:28 pm

Assuming things happen as stated, what do folks think will be the actual effect on JMT traffic this year? Less total traffic once once past Tuolumne? Same traffic with more section hikers?

[Edit: deleted earlier post based on misunderstanding.] So if I understand correctly, the 30 slots are for each entry date. The new rules just formally define a "thru-hike" (i.e., going past Reds) and put a limit on that. Do we know how many of that 30 are from 24-week advance reservation and how many are walk up?
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby Saltydog » Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:22 pm

The new rule would not expressly define a through-hike. It would eliminate Glacier Point and possibly other TH permits from access to the JMT and would put a cap of 30 per day on permits stating an exit TH south of Red's. No such limit on hikes ending at or before Red's. This is according to a reliable report of a conversation with a Wilderness ranger. No one outside Yos admin has actually seen the draft rule nor does the WO apparently plan to release the exact language of the rule before it is implemented.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:27 pm

I can see that on longer trips, whether PCT, JMT, or whatever, it is more difficult to predict hiker locations as time goes on. The potential for "bunch-ups" is higher. Particularly if hikers slow down, which may happen quite often. Subsequent entering hikers then can catch up. Very similar to a highway congestion problem. Too many permits from "feeder" trails to the JMT can also cause crowding. Whatever the reason, I personally have witnessed this bunch-up effect on the JMT, and more so recently than 10-15 years ago. I can sympathize with the park service. Seems like something has to be done. The Whitney zone hit this point long ago. Sad to see that Yosemite is facing the same.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Postby Steve_C » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:43 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:
> Hikers deserve a wilderness experience
While hiking on the most popular trail in the Sierra? You've got to be joking!

LEAVE the JMT, and go find that wilderness. It's out there, and people shouldn't be trying to limit other's access to the trail. Hike off trail. Take a little-used trail. There are plenty of opportunities for solitude, without clamoring for more restrictions.

> We backpackers do not have the "right" to unlimited access simply because we spend hundreds of dollars on equipment. This "entitlement" attitude, to me, is a problem.

How does asking that Yos NOT reduce quotas equate to "unlimited access" or "entitlement" attitude??? The two ideas are miles and miles apart. Please stop asking for more restrictions. Nobody is asking for fewer.
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