Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Helicopters and mules to move Quinalt lodge
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Logbear
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PostMon Aug 18, 2014 10:07 am 
If I had read Jeff's explanation before I attempted to answer questions asked by Contour5, and CHECKTHISOUT, I certainly would have replied differently or not at all.  Jeff's explanation makes perfect sense and now we have seen it.  And I believe it.

And I believe Jeff probably isn't making much if any money on this deal.  He is indeed doing a lot of work and sharing his expertise for free and I applaud his volunteerism.

Sorry if you took my reply the wrong way.  I applaud everyone's volunteerism.

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RodF
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PostMon Aug 18, 2014 10:21 am 
Chico wrote:
RodF wrote:
Last spring, he decided not to retire and sell off most of his mules,

This wouldn't be Ed H would it Rod?

It's Larry & Sherry B.  Same kind of people, though!  They're the ones who quietly year after year clear the Bogachiel Trail, the Dosewallips Trail, who reopened Snider Ridge trail, built a beautiful trail bridge and puncheon approach in North Olympic Land Trust's Elk Creek Nature Preserve near Forks, who are out clearing and brushing Mt. Muller trail every weekend they have free, packing in support of Washington Conservation Corps trail crews, and countless other projects on NPS and USFS trails for years as volunteers with Backcountry Horsemen of Washington.

Yes, they had hoped to retire this year.  But when they heard about the Chalet early this year, they put all that on hold, and at no small personal sacrifice.

Yes, they will be paid their standard rate.  But they took on months of caring for a pack string of animals, vet bills, farrier services, tack, feed, etc etc etc and just plain hundreds of hours of work.  It will not repay the sacrifice they willingly made.

And then you have the completely clueless contributions:
contour5 wrote:
But there's talk of mules. Somebody who knows somebody has some mules... and man are they expensive!

rolleyes.gif  Sigh! 

The one thing I can say with confidence about Larry & Sherry is that they knew exactly what they were taking on.

Jeff is a different case.  I warned him as best I could early in the year - "Wilderness", "minimum tool", "minimum necessary", etc etc - advised him that he really would have to do this with the absolute minimum necessary tools - I literally told him that they'd send him in with "nothing but a box of Cheerios, a bent tablespoon and a ball of string" and expect him to move the Chalet, so he really needed to figure out the absolute minimum equipment and then stick to it - and the full implications of all that have since fully set in!

Here's the deal.  Everyone here should recall the 2005 environmental assessment for replacement of the Home Sweet Home and Low Divide trail shelters.  In short, a series of alternatives were analyzed - cut trees and reconstruct them onsite, airlift in logs and reconstruct them onsite, prefab walls and assemble them onsite, or prefab them complete and airlift them in.  The most practical and lowest impact alternative was obvious, and work was initiated before the EA paperwork process was fully complete.  Bing!

Two big mistakes.  1) That defect in process was an opening for that decision to be overturned.  2) That decision itself had crossed a line by placing expediency above, or at least compromising, "minimum necessary" Wilderness principles.

These are lessons taken fully to heart now.  Countless hundreds, if not thousands, of hours have been invested to ensure this NEPA process has been fully scrutinized and "bulletproofed".  And no compromises are being made for the sake of expediency.

This has deep implications that affect hundreds of small decisions.  If you forget a screwdriver, you cannot just toss it into the helicopter that's flying in a thousand pound I-beam.  You must hike 13 miles down the trail, put it in your pack, and hike 13 miles back in.  Or load it on the next mule pack string.  No shortcuts.  None.

contour5 wrote:
As to cost- the contractor offered to do it for free, using volunteer labor. The helicopter needed to carry in the beams and other heavy items is already paid for...right? Seems like a no-brainer to haul the tools and supplies in on the same flights, and take them out the same way.

"Seems like a no-brainer" has not read the Olympic Park Associates & Wilderness Watch v Mainella decision.

This project is and will be done perfectly legally and in keeping with "minimum necessary" Wilderness principles, even though that sure doesn't mean that it will be done the simplest, most obvious, easiest or cheapest way.

Jeff has and is dealing with dozens of major changes in how he imagined this would be done, from the size of the steel down to every single screwdriver.  And sure, for those outside who don't understand why, it may appear crazy.  But every single decision here is highly constrained.

It's just truly remarkable that he's still got a great sense of humor about the entire thing, too!  He will make this work.  We are truly fortunate.

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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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contour5
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PostMon Aug 18, 2014 12:14 pm 
Quote:
"Seems like a no-brainer" has not read the Olympic Park Associates & Wilderness Watch v Mainella decision.

You got me on that one, Rod, I actually hadn't read that decision. And I'm still a little confused on the actual cost breakdown. Lots of numbers have been getting thrown around, but they keep going up.

Your earlier quote of "$40,000 and a chopper" was a little off. And obviously "free" isn't happening.

I would imagine that the $124,000 is only a fraction of what is actually being spent to save the chalet. With all the studies and EAs and NEPAs, and a probable second move of the building, the final cost could easily surpass a million dollars.

And for what? I agree that the historic nature of the building is of some merit, and it has a certain aesthetic charm, but the reality is that it's a glorified toolshed. It's seen very little use as a trail shelter for several decades, and isn't likely to be used as such in the future. Seems to me the money could be better spent on infrastructure that's actually of some practical use, like  trails, roads and bridges.

Quote:
including food and a cook for catered meals for four NPS employees who are supervising this.

Wait, these Park Service Employees don't know how to cook? Will we be flying in quonset huts and portable latrines for their eminences? Camp furniture? Will there be waiters in tuxedos and a maitre'd in a bow tie? Wine steward? Brandy and cigars?

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RodF
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PostMon Aug 18, 2014 2:52 pm 
contour5 wrote:
Your earlier quote of "$40,000 and a chopper" was a little off. And obviously "free" isn't happening.

Those are all the same numbers.  What has expanded is the "scope of work" and the decision to decline volunteers for liability reasons.

Imagine if you had 20 volunteers, each able to lift 50 pounds.  We could move a 1000 pound I-beam anywhere in a few minutes.  No volunteers: ok, so need either many contract workers, or draft harnesses for a couple mules, or a grip hoist and a place to anchor it (maybe dig a trench and bury a timber?  but then you have to have an archaeologist on site) or rollers and winch, and whatever the choice, it and everything involved to support that option has to be packed in.

Same thing with the steel, which is determined by the heli, which is determined by the marbled murrelet late nesting season, which is determined very conservatively by the USFWS.

Multiply that a hundred times, and you'll begin to get the picture.  JEFF HAS NOT CHANGED HIS OFFER - he has stood by it from the start.  Please read the final contract when it becomes available.

I also agree with you on the concept embodied in the Secretary of the Interior's first standard for treatment of historic properties, "A property will be used as it was historically, or be given a new use that maximizes the retention of distinctive materials, features, spaces, and spatial relationships."  The partitions should be torn out, hand-built furniture should be brought back, and open to the public in 2014 just as it was in 1931.  Thaw out your snowshoes beside the wood stove while watching elk browse and snow fall out the window.  Without that, the Chalet loses much of its raison d'etre.  Just my personal opinion.

But today's problem is the river, not the Chalet.  That's a future decision.  Today, it's like what do you do in the ER when grampa comes in with a heart attack?  Say hey, his best years are behind him, so why bother?  There is a future for the Chalet, if the public wants it.  And I know from a dozen other EV hikers' comments, your sentiments and mine are widely shared.

I will pack in the bow tie and cigars... I just cannot comment further, and may well be told I have to delete these postings entirely or be thrown off this project.  Please address such questions to Olympic NP Public Affairs Office.  I just dig dirt, stoop, fetch and haul stuff, that's really all I wanna do, dunno nothin' 'bout nothin' and don't wanna, so please ignore me.

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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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contour5
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PostMon Aug 18, 2014 3:41 pm 
Quote:
But today's problem is the river, not the Chalet.

I totally get that. That's the reason I support the move, despite the cost. Regulations are a double edged sword...

I applaud your efforts on behalf of our public lands, and sincerely hope that the chalet project goes smoothly and safely.

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Jeff's House
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PostMon Aug 18, 2014 8:32 pm 
Thanks Rod for you're posts. And that is just the tip of the iceberg of this whole thing. I hope it helps everyone realize what's really going on here.

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Chico
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PostTue Aug 19, 2014 11:14 pm 
Jeff,

We want to see video. Please. If nothing else, have the four park employees take it. That way they can share it with the rest of the park staff, and us.

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djt
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PostWed Aug 20, 2014 8:24 am 
I just want to say thanks to all involved.  Preserving historical structures like the chalet is a great gift to present and future generations.

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RodF
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PostWed Aug 20, 2014 10:44 am 
The vertical lift will take place at a fraction of an inch per minute, a literal snail's pace, and those only in steps as it is leveled and balanced and every detail like the chimney and porch is inspected.  The horizontal  move at inches per minute, but again most of the time, it won't be moving at all, as cribbing and moving rails are repositioned and shims set.  So video may be boring!  Perhaps the Park might set up a time lapse camera on a tripod, and take a slow-motion video like those of a flower opening?

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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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CHECKTHISOUT
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PostWed Aug 20, 2014 7:46 pm 
RodF wrote:
The lift will take place at a fraction of an inch per minute, a literal snail's pace, and those only in steps as it is leveled and balanced and every detail like the chimney and porch is inspected, and the move at inches per minute, so video may be boring!  Most of the time, it won't be moving at all, as cribbing and steel are repositioned and shims set.  Perhaps the Park might set up a time lapse camera on a tripod, and take a slow-motion video like that of a flower opening?

Sounds like it might be better to take the Helicopters in with mules then lift and move it with the choppers!  breakdance.gif

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Jeff's House
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PostWed Aug 20, 2014 8:30 pm 
That will be next! Remember, common sense does not apply.

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trestle
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PostFri Aug 22, 2014 6:51 am 
Tim McNulty wrote:
Among projects on the drawing boards are the... reconstruction of the North Fork Sol Duc Shelter.  This forgotten structure sits on an unused trail that had been abandoned for nearly a quarter century—until last year, that is. That’s when its reopening, through spotted owl and marbled murrelet habitat, was carried out by volunteers who had contracted to do the shelter reconstruction.

RodF wrote:
When someone assumes with no justification that others are governed by venal motivations...That attitude deserves to be called out.

Just a quote to call out this attitude for all to see. OPA and their like just cost us all at least several hundred thousand dollars, albeit indirectly.

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"Life favors the prepared." - Edna Mode
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monorail
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PostFri Aug 22, 2014 3:32 pm 
Where in this quote does McNulty accuse anyone of venal motivations?  I looked at the link and read the article, and there is no such accusation.  He's simply expressing the view that ONP was going overboard with construction projects in the wilderness.

It is certainly true, however, that quite a number of people on this site like to accuse OPA and Wilderness Watch (and anyone else who thinks wilderness areas aren't really the ideal place for major construction projects) of sinister motivations, entirely without justification.  So I'm glad you're calling out the bad attitude.

Also, how exactly did OPA cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars?

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Ski
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PostSat Aug 23, 2014 11:21 pm 
Rod spoke with EV the other day on the phone. Any idea on timeline on this deal?

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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RodF
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PostSun Aug 24, 2014 8:23 am 
A Park press release this week will include timeline and more information.

I know the Park is working hard to make sure this has minimal impact on the plans or schedules of Park visitors and through-hikers, and will entail only brief delays for hikers on the trail through EV.

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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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