Ken M wrote:
You are contriving a bunch of scenarios that have no relation to the situation.
when I asked about "hasty searches", where a SAR group starts at a trailhead, then goes up the trail, then goes off the trail (a good description of climbing Whitney by the Mountaineers Route), you refer back to your previous post where you admit that you do exactly that.....without a RECREATION permit.
You make the case that you are "connected" to agencies, and that gives you special privileges to do what you do, in your NON-RECREATION pursuits, I am advocating that the USFS have enough grit to do the same with a group of people going out for what is almost certainly a body recovery, and for that exact purpose.
I do non-recreational work on that, and several other forests, and I'm never asked to get a RECREATONAL permit to do my work.
But the real tone of your post is that you guys are "special", and others are not, and should not get "special" treatment. I've never seen SAR people make that argument before.
NO. The "contrived" situations are outlining ways in which we are DIFFERENT. Not special.
Our SAR volunteers are sworn, unpaid members of the sheriff's office. We aren't law enforcement but we operate at the direction of deputies. We have a specific purpose and all the t's have been crossed and i's dotted so that we operate a certain way across various jurisdictions.
Exempting people from permitting on the basis that they are non-recreational searchers doesn't happen because they are not official search teams - they are recreational hikers who have decided to go looking for something. There's nothing established within the bureaucracy to deal with the situation. Just as there is nothing established to exempt a citizen from speed limits while trying to get a sick or injured person to a hospital. You don't get to arbitrarily say you deserve something different than they expect you to have - they have to agree to the exemption on some basis that makes sense to them. From their perspective, you're making an arbitrary distinction between recreational and non recreational, because those folks are NOT searchers in the sense that a volunteer who has been issued a DSW card (this is an official identification we all carry) is a searcher. And, to be an official search, it MUST be initiated by the agency, not the searchers. Therefore despite the fact that they are doing what is to them a non recreational task, they can't be searchers. They'll have to be classified as something else. This is a problem for a bureaucracy that rigid.
We're not special in the sense you're insinuating, I think. We're operating in an official capacity but under very strict guidelines. I'm not saying that non SAR folks can't be classified as non recreational and exempted from permitting but that it is not that simple - it's simpler to get permits, and seek the answers from the bureaucracies in question rather than posting on this thread. And I suspect that it won't be as immediate as just getting permits.
The bottom line is that it doesn't matter that it's a non recreational activity until the bureaucracy buys into the fact that it is, and changes its expectations or figures out what box the team belongs in. Which, it sounds like, is being negotiated, so this will be my last posting on this thread. You're free to call me sometime if this isn't clear enough.