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RumiDude
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Marmota olympus
PostFri Nov 16, 2018 12:26 pm 
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Stefan wrote:
This is what happens when people have sex!  Damn people! : )

Desertsp wrote:
@Stefan
That is EXACTLY the cause!

That, and outdoor recreation has become more popular as the population has grown.

Desertsp wrote:
The US population has increased 1.6 times (192 to 326 million) since the Wilderness Act was signed. Meanwhile, did the amount of recreational land go up by even one acre?

An even more important question is are we properly funding our recreational lands? Here is a blog piece which considers that question and answers with a resounding "No!"

Rumi

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Ski
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PostFri Nov 16, 2018 6:09 pm 
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You mean nobody saw this coming?

This is the inevitable outcome of an increasing population and the increasing popularity of outdoor recreation.

Lands management agencies are charged with "protecting the resource". At some point that will ultimately come down to limiting the user load.

Honestly: is anyone really surprised by this?

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RumiDude
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PostFri Nov 16, 2018 8:16 pm 
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Here is a more comprehensive article on the whole thing.

Rumi

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"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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rubywrangler
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PostFri Nov 16, 2018 9:16 pm 
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RandyHiker wrote:
poop management-- probably will not what most people envisioned as their job when they applied to the USFS to become a ranger.


Climbing Ranger Reflections
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Jeff
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PostFri Nov 16, 2018 9:39 pm 
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thxII38 wrote:
There's been "talk" about this for a couple of years now.   South Sister is my "Mailbox Peak" conditioning hike down here in Bend.  Some weeks I've done two or more climbs.  I do it in June as a snow climb (or ski).  In August as a trail run. 

I'm not happy about the changes.  That said, the SS climbers trail is extraordinarily overcrowded in the summer, and particularly on the weekends.

Maybe it's crowded because people hike it multiple times a week?
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Joseph
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PostSat Nov 17, 2018 8:46 am 
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Desertsp wrote:
@Stefan

That is EXACTLY the cause!

The US population has increased 1.6 times (192 to 326 million) since the Wilderness Act was signed. Meanwhile, did the amount of recreational land go up by even one acre?

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.TOTL?locations=US

Its partly the cause. There are other factors: social media blasting to the world where all the cool wilderness sites are.  Massive influx of young Millennials with extra $$ to spend at REI and free time to go hiking and take selfies which they post on social media so other narcissistic fools can go there and do the same. 

Here's an example: we had an intern from Ohio who had never been to the NW and hadn't hiked much in her life.  She told me she had heard about a place called the Enchantments and was thinking of hiking up there "over the Memorial day weekend" and hiking to Colchuck and over Aasgard.   I was surprised at first she even knew of all that, but then realized that she probably learned about it from friends and social media.
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Joseph
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PostSat Nov 17, 2018 8:54 am 
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Jeff wrote:
thxII38 wrote:
There's been "talk" about this for a couple of years now.   South Sister is my "Mailbox Peak" conditioning hike down here in Bend.  Some weeks I've done two or more climbs.  I do it in June as a snow climb (or ski).  In August as a trail run. 

I'm not happy about the changes.  That said, the SS climbers trail is extraordinarily overcrowded in the summer, and particularly on the weekends.

Maybe it's crowded because people hike it multiple times a week?

That's what I was thinking too. Would be nice if there was a permit system that limited the # of uses by someone, instead of a lottery for everyone.  Its too bad that the person who hikes the mountain 20 times a season would have the same chance for a permit as a person who simply wants to hike the mountain once.
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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Nov 17, 2018 9:01 am 
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3 Sisters, Jefferson, and Washington WA are hardly undiscovered gems in Oregon waiting to be discovered by social media. They are and have been the most popular hiking areas since the 60s. The PCT traverses all of them. It is just a general increase in hiking popularity. Oregon ISIS different from WA and CA in that the really scenic areas in proximity to populated areas are quite limited. The Cascades in Oregon are volcanic which limits the scenic alpine areas to just high altitudes near strato volcanos. There are scenic areas in Eastern Oregon such as Steens and the Wallowas but they are far from Portland.

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Joseph
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PostSat Nov 17, 2018 9:17 am 
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reststep wrote:
I don't know. There were some large parties going to the mountains before social media.  These pictures are of a Mountaineers outing in 1919.

Those large parties at Mt. Rainier cannot equate to the hordes of hikers in the mountains today (along with their dogs).

I always find those early photos interesting. They had cabins at Sunrise up until the 40's and car camping until even later.
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RandyHiker
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PostSat Nov 17, 2018 3:06 pm 
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rubywrangler wrote:
RandyHiker wrote:
poop management-- probably will not what most people envisioned as their job when they applied to the USFS to become a ranger.


Climbing Ranger Reflections

Thanks for a very informative link.
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DIYSteve
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PostSat Nov 17, 2018 6:00 pm 
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Malachai Constant wrote:
3 Sisters, Jefferson, and Washington WA are hardly undiscovered gems in Oregon waiting to be discovered by social media. They are and have been the most popular hiking areas since the 60s. The PCT traverses all of them. It is just a general increase in hiking popularity.

OR Cascades are narrow E-to-W, which concentrates people near the crest, and there are limited number of portals. Contrast WA Cascades N of I-90, much broader E-to-W, which allows people to spread out via more portals. Mt. Jefferson Wilderness is the most wild area in OR but cannot compare to the wildest parts of GPWA, ALWA, Olympics or North Cascades.
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water
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PostMon Nov 19, 2018 4:04 pm 
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the social media hate is kind of funny and reflects as much on the people complaining about it as whatever is inherently bad with social media.

You can phrase it like this if it helps you put it in better context. To set the scene you're talking to someone who is 19 right now:

"Sonny, when I was your age we didn't have those confangled gadgets, just a sextant and a mercury barometers! And a horse that I was too poor to ride on dragged me to the trailhead by my suspenders. It's very wrong you like to take technology and connectivity with you when you are getting physical exercise in the wilderness! We would be much better off if you just let us old generation enjoy the wilderness until we died and then nobody more would go there!"

fwiw I'm getting towards my late 30's. That's how the social media hate sounds. I even hear it from people my age. It's incredibly trendy to hate social media, and convenient. "oh it's popular? I hate it!" But welcome to reality. It's here, it isn't going anywhere. It'll evolve.

So the flip side of this could be, no social media, and.. you have an entire generation of people who don't begin to get into the outdoors at all? That's the better proposition? Sorry, the way people use the outdoors has evolved through time too. Just because a new generation wants to bring tech with them doesn't mean they can't get educated to still treat places right.

Way to trash your co-worker who knew about colchuck and Enchantments all the way from Ohio and recognized how gorgeous it is and wanted to see it for herself, even if it was entirely motivated by narcissistic social media likes. So what. Maybe you'd prefer they talk to you about a mindless sitcom?? So what if her plan was uninformed. I'll take an under-informed person who has greater awareness of the world over someone so small minded they don't know about anything beyond their backyard.


As for this entire plan, it's a joke and stupid, arbitrary, putative caps. The short and sweet is that for 13-15 days a year at peak of summer, a handful of trails are wildly popular. There's almost no enforcement now with existing regs and laws that directly address the issues. There's definitely some habitat issues with people camping in areas--but that's still wildly improved from 20 years ago around Green Lakes and Jeff Park. There's some feces issues. Install a pit toilet or two like they have in Enchantments? Minimal trash. Solitude is a relative thing.. If you don't like busy, don't go at peak times?

Instead they think they're going to lock down 79 trailheads. And claim that fees will fund increased enforcement. Meanwhile they've decommissioned tons of miles of trails in Mt. Jefferson Wilderness over the last 20 years. Instead of seeing increased visitors as a mandate to increase recreational opportunities and step up enforcement of existing laws and regs (all already there..big potential fines for breaking them)..they think this online permit bullsh## will save the wilderness. A permit doesn't do jack to change culture of how people treat a place. It's as silly as thinking the online social media will break the wilderness.

this plan is as dumb as getting a gastric bypass when you're 10lbs overweight and haven't done anything less invasive to try to lose weight.

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MultiUser
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PostMon Nov 19, 2018 5:18 pm 
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Joseph wrote:
That's what I was thinking too. Would be nice if there was a permit system that limited the # of uses by someone, instead of a lottery for everyone.  Its too bad that the person who hikes the mountain 20 times a season would have the same chance for a permit as a person who simply wants to hike the mountain once.

I agree, it seems like if there's a cap on users, there should also be a cap on how many times one can 'win' the lottery.  Thinking of the enchantments here, vs. say, a big horn sheep hunting tag in Oregon, where the latter is 'you win it once per lifetime'.  Although I'd rather see the enchantments like system of day use at will, but permit required for overnights.
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joker
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PostTue Nov 20, 2018 10:31 am 
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water wrote:
It's as silly as thinking the online social media will break the wilderness.

I certainly don't think social media will break the wilderness. But I do think that the way its currently tending to be used has a tendency to create some ultra concentrations of use on some places that really show the wear, rather than helping disperse the use. I expect that in a few decades the emerging norms around avoiding things like location tagging of pretty photos of as yet "undiscovered" gems will be more prevalent and just as expected by the mainstream user as not burning or burying your trash while backpacking (which was SOP for many when I was a child). There are better ways to motivate more people to get outdoors than instagram trophy hunts.
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RandyHiker
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PostTue Nov 20, 2018 1:00 pm 
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The ethic that evolved during the '60s was "take only pictures, leave only footprints".  That was a vast improvement.

I've visited "Delicate Arch" twice, once in August 1973 and again in April 2018.

The difference in numbers of people was striking.  I recall seeing only a few others the first time, but hundreds the second.

Both were great experiences.

Instagram hikers are a thing, but I'm not in the camp that it is a bad thing, rather I'm encouraged by the fact that a new generation values the outdoors and "real experiences" and hasn't succumbed to living a completely "virtual life" and doesn't care whether places like "Bears Ears" are opened to oil production.
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