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asdf
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PostMon Jun 22, 2020 2:30 pm 
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Feels like the trails have gotten a lot more crowded over the last 20 years.  Unsurprising given the population increase in the Sound area.

Kind of gotten to the point that I don't even bother to go backpacking on weekends since there's rarely solitude.  I just take the time off work and go mid-week.

I'm of two minds.  I don't like the crowds.  But I also do think more people appreciating the outdoors will lead to better stewardship.  Just...don't appreciate *my* outdoors  biggrin.gif

Anyone got any data on this?
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jinx'sboy
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PostMon Jun 22, 2020 2:43 pm 
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I would think WA State Interagency Committee on Outdoor Rec might be a good start.  I think you can find them through State parks website?

For Forest Service use - hereís a start.  https://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/nvum/
NVUM started about 2000, I think. 

Iíd imagine other Fed agencies have something similar.
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Anne Elk
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PostTue Jun 23, 2020 2:18 pm 
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asdf wrote:
Kind of gotten to the point that I don't even bother to go backpacking on weekends since there's rarely solitude.  I just take the time off work and go mid-week.

I was doing that 20 years ago for the same reason.  biggrin.gif

asdf wrote:
But I also do think more people appreciating the outdoors will lead to better stewardship.


That's a paraphrase of what Ira Spring said once when a comment came up at dinner re the crowds, ie, "if so many people didn't love the mountains, we wouldn't have things like NCNP, b/c they would never have been created w/o huge public support."
Stewardship is a function of self-education and commitment, and there seems to be no correlation to the # of people out there, if the trash, defacement, et al of the last decade are any indication. Plus reports of certain people taking 21st century equivalents of boom boxes out to their wilderness campsite. huh.gif

If comments I've seen in this forum re the usefulness of trail registers, how many people use them, etc, are any indication, I'd guess that any data you could find would be highly inaccurate. The # of permit application requests/year and visitor center contact records would tell you something, but only a fraction of the story.

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"There are yahoos out there.  Itís why we canít have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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meck
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PostTue Jun 23, 2020 7:05 pm 
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I've found that it has been kind of interesting to watch the # of TRs on WTA in the last 3 years.  With the "badge" system for how many TRs a user has contributed ('gamification' to encourage contribution?), it looks like a lot of people are posting a lot more TRs.  You can sometimes find multiple TRs for the same hike on the same day (Mt. Townsend, various lookouts in the Cascades, Lake 22 etc.).  I've kind of taken these as a barometer for how busy a trail is (and helpfully at least, most of TR authors note how busy the trail seems).

The thing that bothers me is that now many users are 'outing' offtrail locations on WTA that you could find solitude on at one time, Lightning Peak being one recent example (of course, I am also very guilty of doing the same on this site, ...I'm quite the hypocrite).  Other less popular trails in ONF/ONP (LoA for instance) have seen the number of TRs jump exponentially in just three years and anecdotally the THs that used to see just 3-5 vehicles on weekends seem to have twice that now (when I've visited them over the last 12 years).  I'm a bit more reluctant now to post TRs to such spots.  On the other hand... I'd rather have people learning to appreciate the amazing wilderness' we have in our country and be willing to defend them, than lose interest and let them disappear.

Maybe I should start leaving small posters on TH signs saying something to the effect of: "Did you like this trail? Did you find solitude here? Did you find that perfect hidden tent spot with the great view?  Maybe reconsider before posting on social media about it.  Leave the thrill of discovery for the next sojourner unspoiled; and if you want to share it, hike it with just your friends and not the whole world wide web."

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*Just say NO to Rent-Seeking, don't give up the concept of "ownership"*
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Washakie
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PostWed Jun 24, 2020 3:57 pm 
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Don't you have to tap your trail pass on the reader at the trailhead before you venture into the wilderness?

I suppose that's just a few years away.

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"The internet can make almost anyone seem intelligent"  - Washakie
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jinx'sboy
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PostWed Jun 24, 2020 4:38 pm 
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Washakie wrote:
I suppose that's just a few years away.

No...already happening with the nano chip that Bill gates slipped into your last flu vaccine.
(At least i think I read that on facebook......so pretty sure itís a true Ďthingí, now.)
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