Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Nisqually Corridor Management Plan - thoughts and ideas
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NacMacFeegle
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PostThu Oct 01, 2020 10:13 am 
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Mt. Rainier National Park is requesting input on the management of the Paradise area of the park. There are only 4 days left to comment on the Nisqually corridor management plan. I've put a lot of thought into the issue, and have published those thoughts in an article on my blog:

https://illuminationsfromtheattic.blogspot.com/2020/09/solutions-to-preventing-overcrowding-in.html

The main ideas I'm proposing are thus:

1.The ideal maximum visitation was reached some years ago, and plans for the park’s future should aim to reduce visitor numbers to what they were a decade ago.

2. In order to achieve this, we should reduce parking capacity and prevent parking outside of designated areas.

3. Most trailhead parking is adequate, so could remain the same, as long as overflow parking is prohibited. However, the large quantity of parking at Paradise and Sunrise leads to overcrowding in those areas, so the number of parking spots there should be reduced.

4. Parking lot capacity should be monitored by cameras and a computerized surveillance system that would automatically update a web page so that visitors could plan accordingly. This system would have the added benefit of counteracting trailhead crime.

5. Rangers at the park entrance could use this automated capacity tracking system to inform visitors of available parking upon arrival. Visitors could then essentially reserve a parking space by informing the ranger as to their destination. That parking space would then be updated to read “filled up” until a given period of time for the visitor to arrive, whereupon it would revert to potentially unoccupied.

6. Tour buses are frequently a source of significant excess crowds, and their presence in the park should be limited.

I discuss the issue in more detail in the blog post. The comment period ends on the 5th of October: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=323&projectID=95095&documentID=105822
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kw
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PostThu Oct 01, 2020 5:28 pm 
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I don't see NPS pursuing any plan that explicitly tries to reduce the amount of people in the park. It is by design that Paradise and Sunrise are the most popular places, it concentrates the disruption to the park's environment in an area that is designed for that disruption. The most likely plan is some kind of transit system that reduces the disruption that cars cause while still allowing access to the park for those who really want to experience it, it'll probably be similar to what you see in Zion, Yosemite, Denali, etc.
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altasnob
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PostThu Oct 01, 2020 5:38 pm 
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Thanks for the reminder to comment. Lots of discussion on this topic on this thread:

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8032419
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NacMacFeegle
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PostThu Oct 01, 2020 5:41 pm 
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kw wrote:
I don't see NPS pursuing any plan that explicitly tries to reduce the amount of people in the park. It is by design that Paradise and Sunrise are the most popular places, it concentrates the disruption to the park's environment in an area that is designed for that disruption. The most likely plan is some kind of transit system that reduces the disruption that cars cause while still allowing access to the park for those who really want to experience it, it'll probably be similar to what you see in Zion, Yosemite, Denali, etc.

They've actually proposed reducing parking areas and even closing roads altogether in the past - I think reducing visitor numbers is very much something they are considering.

I actually was an advocate for a shuttle system at Rainier for a long time, but unfortunately I've come to realize that the logistical problems of a shuttle system here make it fairly impractical and not entirely desirable. It boils down to the distances involved, which would make travel times and the number of shuttles required unfeasible. Zion and Yosemite work because distances there are relatively short, and Denali isn't really a comparable example. There's also the issue of where to put a parking lot - the lots at Zion are HUGE, and I certainly wouldn't want to carve out and pave over a chunk of lowland forest for a parking lot. I also would definitely not want shuttles in addition to cars, as that would only make the problem of overcrowding worse.

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Read my hiking related stories and more at http://illuminationsfromtheattic.blogspot.com/
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