Inyo N F wilderness permit reservations

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grampy
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Re: Inyo N F wilderness permit reservations

Post by grampy » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:33 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:57 pm
... Now you have to pay the toll to Reserve America to even get in there. About doubled the camp fee. Depressing.
just to clarify, Camp 4 reservations are (per new policy) through Recreation.gov , whose operation is now contracted out to Booz Allen Hamilton (a big hitter amongst gov’t contractors). Reserve America operated the Rec.gov site until last year.
... but agree with your point, W.D.
rightstar76 wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:14 pm
If INF and now YOSE for Camp 4 think that a computer only reservation system is going to eliminate crowds, they are completely out of touch with reality. People will come anyway. Also, as some people have mentioned, you can cancel your permit online and it doesn't always show up on the ranger's computer. So while the corporations running the reservation websites are making lots of money, hikers are spinning their wheels making more reservations and paying more money! There needs to be a better and fairer way to do this.
It is likely that contracts for operating .gov websites are awarded at a high level in the Agriculture and Interior Departments, rather than lower in the U.S. Forest Service and Park Service, respectively. “Fairness” gets pushed aside if these higher-ups are angling for a lucrative “revolving door” job in their future.

Also want to clarify that from my experience (and Sir BC’s) that maybe the desk rangers don’t have computer “privileges” to cancel your original reservation for you; thus making YOU (the reserving hiker) responsible for cancelling it yourself.








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Re: Inyo N F wilderness permit reservations

Post by Jimr » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:24 pm

Huh, I had a different experience when I did something similar in Mammoth. I decided I wanted to go in a day earlier than my permit (on a different trailhead) so I went to grab a walk-up permit starting a day before my reserved permit. My plan was to make sure I could get the walk-up permit and then cancel my existing permit. However, when I gave the dates I wanted and the ranger went to print the permit she said that she couldn't issue it because I already had an existing permit (that I hadn't yet mentioned to her). She said I had to cancel that one first before she could issue the new permit, which she did for me. I have to admit that I didn't confirm that it also showed as canceled on Recreation.gov, so maybe it wasn't actually released back to the pool there?
I had the same experience when my son and I had permits for Pine Creek. We went to Lone Pine RS to get a permit over Paiute pass. We got all the way to the end of the process when an alert came that I already had a PC permit on the same entry date. The ranger could not finish it until the first permit was cancelled, so he changed the name on the new permit to my son's name, secured that permit, then cancelled mine.
“Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.”

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Re: Inyo N F wilderness permit reservations

Post by rightstar76 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:27 am

Grampy, thanks for the wisdom. Those higher-ups do indeed have a gold plated "revolving door".

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Re: Inyo N F wilderness permit reservations

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:10 am

Numerous time the computers have been "down" when I stopped in at the Mono Lake ranger station. In that case they just wrote an old fashioned non-computerized permit. I also got a lot of good information from the rangers. I think the experience now will be more like what we get with those annoying automated "phone mazes". "Improving the user experience" seems to be a euphemism for budget cutting. The cost is now on us,a few rangers get jobs eliminated and we loose the person-to-person contact. But my main fear is that those more computer-adept than me will be able to shut me out of getting any permit by figuring out cleaver ways to beat the system.

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Re: Inyo N F wilderness permit reservations

Post by rightstar76 » Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:46 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:10 am
Numerous time the computers have been "down" when I stopped in at the Mono Lake ranger station. In that case they just wrote an old fashioned non-computerized permit. I also got a lot of good information from the rangers. I think the experience now will be more like what we get with those annoying automated "phone mazes". "Improving the user experience" seems to be a euphemism for budget cutting. The cost is now on us,a few rangers get jobs eliminated and we loose the person-to-person contact. But my main fear is that those more computer-adept than me will be able to shut me out of getting any permit by figuring out cleaver ways to beat the system.
I remember when obtaining a walk-up permit in Inyo NF was a relatively stress free experience. I would walk into a ranger station, talk to a ranger, find out what was available that day, and that was it. With the new policies in place regarding obtaining wilderness permits in Inyo NF, avoiding smartphones is no longer an option. Pretty soon, all trailhead walk-up permits will be eliminated. So now our wilderness experience must begin with a smartphone. And it's becoming stressful in a way that we haven't experienced before:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/24/well ... onger.html
Any time you check your phone, you’re likely to find something else stressful waiting for you, leading to another spike in cortisol and another craving to check your phone to make your anxiety go away. This cycle, when continuously reinforced, leads to chronically elevated cortisol levels.
This reminded me of a quote from William Tweed's book Uncertain Path: A Search for the Future of National Parks, page 113:
In our entertainment-driven culture, especially among younger users, wilderness has become not so much a place to find quiet reflection as a playground for physical and mental testing. How far? How fast? How high? Does all this activity fatally compromise wilderness? Perhaps not, but it does change it.
I would like to add that it's also becoming a place where you have to have a smartphone. A definite change in the wilderness experience. Stressful and physically unhealthy.

Thoughts?

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Re: Inyo N F wilderness permit reservations

Post by SSSdave » Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:15 pm

I cannot imagine any logic Inyo might have to expand the no walk-up policy beyond Whitney so not something we should be worrying about. Whitney is a special nonsense social media popularity case like Half Dome. I welcome policy makers making efforts trying to improve permit situations for both though I have never had interest in either.

What I read on the other board's thread that is huge, is that SEKI has dropped the Inyo face-to-face permit pickup requirement. For years have been suggesting they keep a register of experienced permitees together with a simple online test for each permit and then give them a bye for the face-to-face. If they really were serious about the rules they would have all adults in groups sign off on permits even if they are not leaders as there are many backpacking in groups that obviously do not know the policies. And there should be more backcountry rangers plus consequences in the ability to obtain permits for those breaking important policies in the backcountry.

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