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What does a govt shutdown mean for access to NF and NP?

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Re: What does a govt shutdown mean for access to NF and NP?

Postby tomba » Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:35 pm

I plan to go for a 4-day hike in some high timberline area on Thursday. Some thoughts:

In SeKi (perhaps Tableland and beyond, or Monarch Divide) I would not need a ranger to get an off-season self-issued permit, but I am afraid that park entrances will be closed. Campgrounds (for Wednesday night) probably too.

Are there any other areas where I could get a self-issued permit?

I heard that for Desolation Wilderness one can print permit at home. If so, does it work for off-season (non-quota) time? Although I would rather go somewhere higher and more remote.

Perhaps I could go from some National Forest trailhead with no permit? It might be acceptable. I assume they would not close road access to trailheads (see also below).

It may be better to avoid trails in order to minimize chance of encountering a patrol (although see below). Any suggestions about such areas where one can go mostly cross country?

Sierra National Forest permits have to be reserved three weeks in advance. I usually don't have firm plans so far out. It may be a good opportunity to go there. I am thinking area near Clark Range: Jackass or Norris TH explore to near Tripple Divide Peak (hopefully can reach area north of it). Or perhaps start from Quartz Mountain TH and cross to Yosemite right away.

I just called the Sierra N.F. office in Prather. The person who answered said "I assume just go in". She heard of no roads being closed. I could talk to her supervisor on Monday.
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Re: What does a govt shutdown mean for access to NF and NP?

Postby dave54 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:32 pm

My October annuity from OPM has already been deposited and is safely in my bank account. I rarely use a NP campground and have no NPS trips planned for the next few months. So a shutdown is no concern to me personally unless it lasts longer than a month. Others will have some disruption in their plans, and many will go ahead and camp in the NF/BLM lands anyway, shutdown or not.

If there are any fed employees perusing this thread and get furloughed, go ahead and file for UIB, food stamps, cash assistance, or any other programs you qualify (do not assume you do not qualify -- you now have zero income and no estimated date of it resuming. Let the eligibility workers determine whether you qualify).
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Re: What does a govt shutdown mean for access to NF and NP?

Postby Tom_H » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:05 pm

rlown wrote:As for access, if no one is there to stop you, it's our land!


Well, yes and no. It's ours collectively, but it's not individually mine or individually yours. I wouldn't hesitate to go day hiking. I probably wouldn't hesitate to go backpacking without a permit. But there is a limit to the attitude, "It's our land." One day after school I was on duty in the student pickup area. Cars are expected to pull up, pick up the child, and then move on for other cars. You can't just park there. One day a stretched limo pulled up and parked. Several adults got out. I explained that they couldn't park the car and leave it there. They said their daughter was at another function and should be out in 10 or 15 minutes. I told them they'd need to move the limo. The father got ticked and started yelling, "I'm a tax paying citizen and my taxes pay for this school. I'll do any G..D..... thing on this property I want to." Sorry, but no.

It isn't your land nor my land. (When I say "you" it is not to RLown; it is to all of us.) It only belongs to me as a part of the collective citizenry. The law still is in effect regardless of a government shutdown. You still are not free to kill someone there. You are not free to go cut 100 cords of firewood for yourself. You are not free to go build a fire in areas that are under fire restriction. I guarantee you that if someone video recorded you doing any of those things there and submitted it to a LEO, you would be cited or arrested (depending upon the offense) and the fact that you did it during a govt. closure would be completely irrelevant.

My point is that while there may be no rangers present, if you do go in without a permit (and I would), still exercise good citizenship and stewardship of this precious wild resource that you share collectively with all the rest of us. Follow fire regs. Still use the bathroom away from trail and water. I tell my students, "Behave in class exactly as you would if your mom were standing there watching you." In the backcountry, we can conduct ourselves ethically whether a ranger is watching or not.
Last edited by Tom_H on Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What does a govt shutdown mean for access to NF and NP?

Postby rlown » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:18 pm

couldn't agree more. I was just being succinct. :retard:

The standard rules still apply, rangers or not.
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Re: What does a govt shutdown mean for access to NF and NP?

Postby mediauras » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:18 pm

So, the shutdown cometh. And I was supposed to hike out of Tuolumne Meadows Friday. Anybody know if they'll shut the gates to the park and close 120 through Yosemite? Just my luck...
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Re: What does a govt shutdown mean for access to NF and NP?

Postby vitaminC » Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:40 am

Kind of ironic that the Google Doodle today features YNP...

Image

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politic ... -1.1472463
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Lots of photos
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Re: What does a govt shutdown mean for access to NF and NP?

Postby Talimon » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:27 am

Sounds like all national parks are being vacated and closed. Also sounds like all Inyo permit offices are closed. But I don't see how they could "gate off" the trailheads, so I'm still planning my trip.
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Re: What does a govt shutdown mean for access to NF and NP?

Postby jimmeans » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:38 am

Talimon wrote:Sounds like all national parks are being vacated and closed. Also sounds like all Inyo permit offices are closed. But I don't see how they could "gate off" the trailheads, so I'm still planning my trip.


The access roads to many USFS trailhead areas are gated, especially those that routinely get closed in the winter. Closing those trailheads is easy. Swing the gate closed and put a lock on it.

Hopefully we'll see some reports regarding which trailheads have access.
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Re: What does a govt shutdown mean for access to NF and NP?

Postby bcaplins » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:18 am

I had a 3 day backpacking trip to Yosemite planned this weekend and now it looks like I need to relocate to a NF.

I would look forward to knowing what NF trailheads are still accessible by car (e.g. not gated off). I would be grateful for any info on the matter!
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Re: What does a govt shutdown mean for access to NF and NP?

Postby mort » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:44 am

Talimon wrote:Sounds like all national parks are being vacated and closed. Also sounds like all Inyo permit offices are closed...

I had called the Interagency Visitor Center at Lone Pine last week, and they said they'd be open, but today they are closed. They had no advice for picking up my wilderness permit. On the better news side the big campground on the road out of Bishop, Four Jeffrey, answered their phone and claimed business as usual.
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Re: What does a govt shutdown mean for access to NF and NP?

Postby zorobabel » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:53 am

Tom wrote:Does a shutdown mean that there will be no one patrolling the backcountry and therefore no need to worry about permits? ...just wondering.


My thoughts exactly. The question is - will they block roads to the trailheads? There are still people out there on trails with cars at the trailheads, they would get stranded, at least the cars.
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Re: What does a govt shutdown mean for access to NF and NP?

Postby GreenhornBackpacker » Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:09 am

The Mammoth Times is reporting that the Tioga Road is closed.
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