Penalty for not adhering to entry point

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: Penalty for not adhering to entry point

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat May 11, 2019 11:20 am

I suspect if a case were to go to court, a ticket issued by a volunteer would be struck down. There are some pretty strict laws regarding who can issue citations. It is a slippery slope from volunteers issuing tickets to citizen vigilantes. Agree- that is not where we want to go. There has to be a balance between writing reasonable laws and the public's willingness to abide by those laws, regardless of citations or not.

The entire quota-permit system is broken and needs an extensive overhaul. The real question is "What is the real goal and Is the system accomplishing those goals". I am not sure what exactly is the goal of permits. It certainly is NOT spreading out use. Use is still clumped up on a few more popular trails. This forfeits some of the wilderness in order to "save" other parts. Not sure that was the intent.

Still irks me that a permit to go up to Sphinx Creek is lumped in with those to do the overly popular Rae Lakes Loop, when after the first two hours, I totally leave that trail. And that is just one example. Rules like that sure stretch my willingness to abide by them.








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Re: Penalty for not adhering to entry point

Post by LMBSGV » Sat May 11, 2019 5:08 pm

The entire quota-permit system is broken and needs an extensive overhaul. The real question is "What is the real goal and Is the system accomplishing those goals". I am not sure what exactly is the goal of permits. It certainly is NOT spreading out use. Use is still clumped up on a few more popular trails. This forfeits some of the wilderness in order to "save" other parts. Not sure that was the intent.

Still irks me that a permit to go up to Sphinx Creek is lumped in with those to do the overly popular Rae Lakes Loop, when after the first two hours, I totally leave that trail. And that is just one example. Rules like that sure stretch my willingness to abide by them.
Exactly. When I sent in comments on the SEKI and Yosemite Stewardship plans, I suggested that the quotas be based on the entry trailhead, trip destination, and exit trailhead to take into account where people are going and so where they would be camping. It's ridiculous to equate someone doing the Rae Lakes Loop with someone going to Sphinx basin and Brewer Basin or someone going out of Rafferty Creek only as far as Vogelsang for a couple of nights with someone going out for several days and heading to the Clark Range or going out of Mineral King to Franklin Lakes to someone doing a ten day trip to Kern Canyon, Wallace Lake, and the Upper Kern.

Yes, that makes figuring out the quotas more complicated and it might require adjusting the quotas from year to year based on usage, but in this era of computer data analysis, I don't think that's overly difficult.

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Re: Penalty for not adhering to entry point

Post by oldranger » Tue May 14, 2019 7:10 am

LMBSGV wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 5:08 pm
The entire quota-permit system is broken and needs an extensive overhaul. The real question is "What is the real goal and Is the system accomplishing those goals". I am not sure what exactly is the goal of permits. It certainly is NOT spreading out use. Use is still clumped up on a few more popular trails. This forfeits some of the wilderness in order to "save" other parts. Not sure that was the intent.

Still irks me that a permit to go up to Sphinx Creek is lumped in with those to do the overly popular Rae Lakes Loop, when after the first two hours, I totally leave that trail. And that is just one example. Rules like that sure stretch my willingness to abide by them.
Exactly. When I sent in comments on the SEKI and Yosemite Stewardship plans, I suggested that the quotas be based on the entry trailhead, trip destination, and exit trailhead to take into account where people are going and so where they would be camping. It's ridiculous to equate someone doing the Rae Lakes Loop with someone going to Sphinx basin and Brewer Basin or someone going out of Rafferty Creek only as far as Vogelsang for a couple of nights with someone going out for several days and heading to the Clark Range or going out of Mineral King to Franklin Lakes to someone doing a ten day trip to Kern Canyon, Wallace Lake, and the Upper Kern.

Yes, that makes figuring out the quotas more complicated and it might require adjusting the quotas from year to year based on usage, but in this era of computer data analysis, I don't think that's overly difficult.
Be careful what you wish for. If destinations matter then you will lose flexibility if you decide to change your route and go someplace that is not on your permit!
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!

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Re: Penalty for not adhering to entry point

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue May 14, 2019 8:17 am

So what is worse, having to stick more closely to your plan, or not being able to get a permit at all? Those who have not tried to get a permit in the last five years or so may not realize how much use has increased in the last few years. It is really different now than it was a decade ago.

Say there are 30 permits per day available for the Bubbs Creek entry. Popular Rae Lakes Loop has 50 people submitting applications. On the other hand, maybe 2 people per day want to go up Sphinx Creek and the area could easily handle 10. The odd are that all permits issued will be given to Rae Lakes Loop hikers. The end effect is to concentrate use in the Rae Lakes loop. Is that what the permit system is supposed to do? There are two opposing philosophies here- one says that less damage is done by concentrating use, the other says that dispersed use is less damaging. And there is the issue of "solitude" as a wilderness goal. Most people on this forum who adhere to the concentrating use assume that THEY will get the rare permit so THEY can have complete solitude. Well, chances are you will not get that prize.

Another galling thing, is that the JMT and PCT backpackers basically get a free pass, regardless of the local trailhead quotas. Put that all on top of the popular Rae Lakes Loop, and the impact is significant. This seems absolute disregard of usage impacts.

Desolation Wilderness does their permits on a limit per day per zone. A bit more complicated. (Not sure that the costs I state are the current fees) You pay a maximum of about $15 per trip per person for the permit that supposedly offsets the administrative costs. In SEKI, the $15 fee is per group regardless of size (another galling thing), even for first-come permits, adding a $7 fee for the reservation. So why is doing a zone system impossible for SEKI? They already collect similar fees as Desolation. All they would have to do is change to a per-person fee rather than a group fee and have enough money to administer a zone system.

So what exactly is the purpose of the permit system? And are current regulations supporting that goal? Those are the real questions. I have never even seen an adequate answer to the first question. And how do you make the system fair for ALL users, not shutting out those with less technical skills in on-line permit savvy or those less wealthy (some locals can only afford trips close to their homes).

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Re: Penalty for not adhering to entry point

Post by LMBSGV » Tue May 14, 2019 2:07 pm

Be careful what you wish for. If destinations matter then you will lose flexibility if you decide to change your route and go someplace that is not on your permit!

That's not necessarily the case in the way I would envision including the destination as part of the quota. I envision it more like Yosemite with the Glen Aulin and Waterwheel Pass-through quotas. There's one quota for Glen Aulin and another quota for Waterwheel Pass-through. If one has a Waterwheel Pass-through, the only requirement for destination is that one camps beyond Glen Aulin. One can go to LeConte and Waterwheel Falls and Tuolumne Canyon or head up Cold Canyon and the PCT and all points beyond.

So if one has a permit for Rafferty Creek and stops at Vogelsang and another has a Vogelsang Pass-through permit, they are on a different quota. The person with the Pass-through permit merely has to camp anywhere beyond Vogelsang. Or WD's example of one quota for the Rae Lakes Loop and another quota for the Avalanches Pass Trail to Sphinx basin or Roaring River. The only requirement on the destination permit would be that one goes beyond a certain point. Once past that point, he or she is free to go anywhere.

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Re: Penalty for not adhering to entry point

Post by rightstar76 » Wed May 15, 2019 6:25 am

Let's try to find solutions, not blame JMT/PCT hikers. It's not their fault that the permit system at Road's End isn't as effective as it should be. Note the PCT long-distance permit restricts camping to the PCT. Also, the section between Sonora Pass and Kennedy Meadows South must be finished within 30 days.
https://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail ... ce-permit/

It may not be feasible for SEKI to implement a permit system like Yosemite. Currently, it doesn't appear there's even enough funds to pay wilderness rangers on the JMT in SEKI. They need to be paid!
https://www.gofundme.com/jmt-rangers

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Re: Penalty for not adhering to entry point

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed May 15, 2019 7:14 am

I am not "blaming" PCT and JMT hikers. They DO impact the Rae Lakes loop and many other areas. PCT permits are now in the thousands! To ignore this fact is to burry your head in the sand. They also exit trailheads, now particularly popular is Onion Valley. They spend the night (or two) out and go in on their original permit, which IS violation of the permit system. Talk about not "adhering to entry point" rules. What the PCT organization rules state and what quite a few of the PCT hikers DO are two different things. And if they were to actually get permits for re-entry, I doubt there would be any first-come permits available for anyone else. It is a problem- damned if you do enforce the rules (for the rest of us) , damned if you don't (with regard to wilderness impact). Granted the PCT is more of a pulse of impact, whereas the JMT is a constant impact. But they ARE a part of the problem.

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Re: Penalty for not adhering to entry point

Post by Steve_C » Wed May 15, 2019 8:33 am

Wandering Daisy, It is not illegal for any hikers to exit at Onion Valley, spend a night off-trail, and enter the next day. Inyo National Forest specifically allows that, even for people using an Inyo N.F. permit. However, it is only one night, and is supposed to be no more than 24 hours off trail, so two nights off breaks that rule.

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Re: Penalty for not adhering to entry point

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed May 15, 2019 2:09 pm

That is good to know- I will seriously consider this summer on my own trips! I do not believe either SEKI or Yosemite allows that, at least not for a regular permit. What about the other surrounding national forests?

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Re: Penalty for not adhering to entry point

Post by rightstar76 » Thu May 16, 2019 4:21 am

Wandering Daisy, you are right about SEKI and Yose not allowing it at trailheads within the park. Just a same day resupply. However, forest trailheads closest to the PCT are a different story. I think the 24 hour rule applies to them like Inyo NF.

I hear your frustration. There will always be hikers who break the rules and spend multiple nights away from all trailheads (forest and parks alike) and take more than 30 days. It's unfortunate and it has the effect of ruining it for everyone. I agree with you, there are thousands of long-distance PCT permits, but most of them are for hikers starting at the southern border. The PCTA doesn't give out very many long-distance permits for the JMT/PCT overlap, and for hikers wanting to start within the Southern Sierra, the trailheads are limited as well, only seven!
Starting in the Southern Sierra or overlap on the JMT/PCT section...long-distance permits in the Southern Sierra are limited. For the 2019 season, PCTA issued permits in this region will be held at the 2018 levels. 1400 permits are available for section hikes passing through the JMT overlap section from Mt. Whitney to Tuolumne Meadows. 600 of those permits may start at trailheads within the Southern Sierra from Kennedy Meadows South to Sonora Pass.
https://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail ... ce-permit/

Oops, in my previous post, I stated that the 30 day rule was for the section between Sonora Pass and Kennedy Meadows South. It's actually the section between Tuolumne Meadows and Crabtree Meadows.

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