Forum Index > Stewardship > Olympic Wilderness Stewardship Plan - comment by May 17
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trestle
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PostThu Apr 10, 2014 10:23 am 
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Last month a study was released touting how much money local economies benefit from nearby NPs. Now we have several proposals which will likely curtail visitation to the Park and will also likely affect the economic impact of the NP.

You can't have it both ways, ONP.

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PostThu Apr 10, 2014 10:43 am 
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johnson37, unless I've been misinformed, ONP is one of the largest cash-cow tourism draws in the State.
local "gateway" community economies near NPS facilities are significantly impacted by park visitation and access.

their newsletter below:

-

Olympic National Park News Release

March 3, 2014

Tourism to Olympic National Park Creates $220 Million in Economic Benefit; Report shows visitor spending supports 2,700 jobs in local economy

PORT ANGELES, WASHINGTON – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 2,824,908 visitors to Olympic in 2012 spent $220 million  in communities near the park. That spending supported 2,708 jobs in the local area.

“We are proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world to Olympic National Park,” said Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum.  We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”

“Every town around the Peninsula benefits from having this World Heritage park in our midst, said Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau Director Diane Schostak.  “Though we have wonderful park lodges, most visitor services are outside the park in nearby communities.”

“Olympic National Park is a one-of-a-kind place and we are delighted that it helps draw visitors to the Olympic Peninsula. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service - and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well.”

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 243,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion.

According to the report most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels and B&Bs (27 percent), and other amusement and recreation (20 percent).

To download the report visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm

NPS b-roll is available to news media to use in reporting on the 2012 National Park Visitors Spending Report at http://www.nps.gov/news/econ_b-roll.htm.

To learn more about national parks in Washington and how the National Park Service works with Washington communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/WASHINGTON.

-NPS-

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trestle
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PostThu Apr 10, 2014 5:45 pm 
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Yes, and if they curtail visitation through quotas, those numbers will see a significant change. Every proposal except A would place an artificial limit on visitation.

You can't have it both ways, ONP. On one hand they "welcome visitors from across the country and around the world" but then they propose to severely curtail visitation through the use of quotas, excessively burdensome regulations, and mandated permits for all/most activities.

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Tarzan
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PostThu Apr 10, 2014 7:59 pm 
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Dang you must be some smart feller. Let me tell people how I read this.
johnson37 wrote:
Yes, and if they curtail visitation through quotas....

Translation- If only a certain amount of people can visit...
johnson37 wrote:
Those numbers will see a significant change.

Translation-...the locals won't make as much money.
johnson37 wrote:
Every proposal except A would place an artificial limit on visitation.

Only Option A lets anybody and everybody enjoy the park.

johnson37 wrote:
You can't have it both ways, ONP. On one hand they "welcome visitors from across the country and around the world" but then they propose to severely curtail visitation through the use of quotas, excessively burdensome regulations, and mandated permits for all/most activities.

Translation- ONP You can't welcome people then try and cut everything.

Again, I did my best to make that post easy to understand.
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Tarzan
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PostThu Apr 10, 2014 8:13 pm 
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I was just translating. Personally, I would like to see the trails, pretty much, made into 'Ranger Only' trails. Allowing the visitors to truly explore as nature intended. Leaving most of the park to me.

But the right thing to do is share the National Parks with everyone.
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RumiDude
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PostThu Apr 10, 2014 8:51 pm 
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Tarzan wrote:
as nature intended.

There is no "intended" with nature; none at all. Nature does not have a mind.  Nature does not feel or think.

Rumi

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Tarzan
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PostThu Apr 10, 2014 8:53 pm 
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Quote:
There is no "intended" with nature; none at all. Nature does not have a mind.  Nature does not feel or think.  Rumi


You'll be surprised to know...Nature is God.
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RumiDude
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PostThu Apr 10, 2014 9:11 pm 
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Tarzan wrote:
Quote:
There is no "intended" with nature; none at all. Nature does not have a mind.  Nature does not feel or think.  Rumi

You'll be surprised to know...Nature is God.

Doesn't invalidate what I wrote. There is no mind, no think, no feel, and especially no "intended" in regards to nature.

Rumi

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trestle
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PostFri Apr 11, 2014 12:03 pm 
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Your translations are accurate enough. good job.

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RodF
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PostSat Apr 12, 2014 1:04 pm 
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Tarzan wrote:
Personally, I would like to see the trails, pretty much, made into 'Ranger Only' trails. Allowing the visitors to truly explore as nature intended. Leaving most of the park to me.

But the right thing to do is share the National Parks with everyone.

I admire your candor in posting your feeling, and in overcoming it.

NPS is a truly curious agency.  There is certainly a sense of "proprietary ownership" among certain personnel, who seem to believe they are in an agency "NP without the S" that serves the Park first, but the public only as a footnote... if at all.  I'm curious where this sense of "entitlement" comes from, and would appreciate your insight.

p.s. This attitude completely foreign to every trail crew member I've ever worked with, both Park staff and volunteers.  We all share the innate goal of maintaining trails for everyone
But I do share your feeling that anyone who doesn't like trails... well, doesn't need to use them, and is free to simply move 50 feet off to either side and scramble along!   biggrin.gif
The attitude that everyone else should do so, the trail is mine, that's what's so foreign to me.

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coldrain108
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PostMon Apr 14, 2014 10:16 am 
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Most of the Park is already left to you...

what % of visitors will be effected negatively?  99% of the visitors who spend money in the local communities will not be impacted at all unless they plan to close the Hurricane Ridge road, the Hoh Road, and all the beach access roads.  Is there a plan to let the "right out of the parking lot" nature trails return to wilderness?   ONP is not a cash cow because of backcountry visitation, it is from the miles long line of RV's at Kalaloch and the folks staying at hotels in Forks.  A week long bc trip costs 2 people 35$ and they are bringing their supplies from somewhere else, one night in PA costs 100$ plus and another 50$ for food at a local restaurant and then a bit for gas up and down the Hurricane ridge road.  That is where all the local economy $$$ comes from.  The bc visitors just get the infrastructure w/o really paying for it.

It is also a good thing that any backcountry visitor knows in the back of their mind that anything they do out there can be traced back to them and that there is a CC on file to pay for the damages.  I like this concept a lot.

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PostMon Apr 14, 2014 1:21 pm 
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coldrain108 wrote:
what % of visitors will be effected negatively?

Well, gee, why don't we ask them?  confused.gif  Oh, yeah, we did!

National Park Service
Comprehensive Survey of the American Public 2008–2009 National Technical Report


Q28. "The large national parks like Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Great Smoky Mountains are known for their natural resources. For example, they have interesting plants and animals, remote areas and wilderness, lakes or rivers, and starry night skies. I'm going to read you some statements about these parks and ask you how much you personally agree or disagree with each statement.

Q28h. "Basic visitor facilities should be provided in these parks, such as roads, trails, restrooms, and water fountains."

93% agree, 4% disagree, 3% neither.

Highlights.
"The areas with the highest percentages of residents who hiked or jogged during their visit were the Pacific West Region (73%) and the Intermountain Region (65%)."

"Both visitors (64%) and non-visitors (65%) agreed strongly that large national parks should provide basic visitor facilities, such as roads, trails, restrooms, and water fountains. However, they were less supportive of major facilities such as lodges, restaurants, and stores, with only 22% of visitors and 28% of non-visitors strongly agreeing that these should be provided [Q28]."

Hmm, coldrain, appears the American public strongly disagree with your opinion of what they seek when visiting large National Parks?  rolleyes.gif

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"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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RodF
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PostMon Apr 14, 2014 2:11 pm 
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coldrain108 wrote:
what % of visitors will be effected negatively?

Well, gee, why don't we ask them?  confused.gif  Oh, yeah, we did!

Olympic National Park Visitor Study 2000

"Importance ratings were provided by visitor groups for each of the individual facilities.  Those facilities receiveing the highest proportion of “extremely important” or “very important” ratings included restrooms (87%), backcountry trails (86%) and backcountry campsites (85%).

Figure 68: Importance of backcountry trails:
86% Extremely important
10% Very important
2% Moderately important
3% Somewhat important
9% Not important

Figure 70: Importance of backcountry campsites:
66% Extremely important
19% Very important
2% Moderately important
4% Somewhat important
9% Not important

Figure 83: Appropriateness of historic structures in park wilderness:
52% Always
33% Usually
14% Sometimes
1% Never

"Visitors were asked what types of activities members of their groups had participated in during their visit to Olympic NP.  As shown in Figure 18, the most common activities were: sightseeing/ scenic drive (88%), walking on nature trail (77%), enjoying wilderness, solitude, quiet (73%), viewing wildlife (72%) and hiking (71%). “Other" activities included visiting hot springs, photography, swimming and climbing.

"Visitors were also asked to list activities they had participated in at Olympic NP during past visits. Most visitor groups (88%) indicated sightseeing/ scenic driving, 76% had hiked, and 74% had walked on nature trails (see Figure 19). “Other” activities included cross-country skiing, picnicking and boating."

Hmm, coldrain, appears Park visitors strongly disagree with your opinion of what they seek when visiting Olympic National Park?  rolleyes.gif

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"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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coldrain108
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PostMon Apr 14, 2014 2:52 pm 
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I mean actually affected, like their actual visit impacted - to the point that they won't come back and visitation takes a hit.  If the trail to Cedar lake doesn't get maintained, how many of those people who stay in a room in PA to visit ONP would even know it was there in the first place?  Now if the Solduc Falls trail gets axed then you are right - is that a hike as described in the poll? Is that even in the "wilderness"?

You know quite well that the VAST majority of people who visit the park and spend actual money in the surrounding communities are not backcountry backpackers - those most impacted by the possible reductions.  The Wilderness character is pretty much just something that other people read about.

"Importance ratings were provided by visitor groups for each of the individual facilities."

What % of all visitors to the park are part of the visitor group that uses the individual facilities that are backcountry trails?  1%?  Could be higher I don't know the actual #.

So that means that 86% of that 1% say trails are important and only 66% of them said backcountry campsites were important - pretty small numbers,  It is the other 99% of visitors that actually contribute the vast amounts of money to the local economies.  What is their opinion on the importance of backcountry trails?  How are they impacted by trail maintenance reduction?

How much $$$ are the backcountry users providing to the surrounding communities?  I provide a couple of bucks if I forgot something at home and need to buy it.  I'll stay in a hotel if I'm going to the beach in the winter, but if I'm using the backcountry "facilities" I'm not going to be spending much $$$ in PA/Forks/Quinalt.

Statistics - how to get math to say anything you want it to.

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PostMon Apr 14, 2014 4:13 pm 
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figures don't lie, but liars figure.

you know... all those people hauling backpacks up backcountry trails didn't all procure all their gear and food from some foreign country or order it online from some east-coast distributor.
money in the till locally is money in the till locally, no matter how it gets there.
"locally", in this case, is the State of Washington, not just PA and Forks and Aberdeen-Hoquiam.

just an offhand guess, but from the dollar numbers cited in the "how much was your REI dividend?" thread I'd submit the dollars spent by backcountry users is a tidy sum. last time I checked, REI had its headquarters somewhere around here.

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