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cunningkeith
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PostWed Feb 20, 2019 9:32 am 
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Some of you may have heard that down in Oregon they are proposing new hiking/parking fees in the Columbia River Gorge and Central Oregon (plus limited quotas for day hiking).  This got me thinking about our old friend, the NW Forest Pass.

The Forest Service’s legal authority to charge for the NWFP at wilderness trailheads is clearly limited to sites that have all of the following:
“A permanent toilet facility” AND
“A permanent trash receptacle” AND
“Picnic tables”
16 USC § 6802

Here is the current list of sites that charge:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/r6/passes-permits/recreation/?cid=fsbdev2_027003&width=full

Question:  In your experience hiking at trailheads that require the NWFP, do they always have these three items?  If not, please list the trailhead that you have visited and which item it lacks (permanent toilet, permanent trash, or picnic tables).  Thanks!

P.S. There is separate authority that says you have to use these facilities to be charged for the NWFP, but I am asking a simpler question: Do these sites even have the items to begin with?
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Kim Brown
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PostWed Feb 20, 2019 10:21 am 
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How will the information you collect be used?

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cunningkeith
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PostWed Feb 20, 2019 11:25 am 
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Hi Kim, I don’t have any particular plan in mind.  The issue of fees has come up here in Oregon, and I thought it would be useful information to people on the forum.  I simply don’t have much experience with the Washington THs, and I’m curious to know.  FYI, it seems like many of the THs in Oregon don’t have all three amenities.  Since we’re all subject to the NWFP, I thought the “crowd” could share the info.

I should add that another potential "use" of this info would be a legal challenge to the NWFP.  But as other people have said on this site, most of us just pay and shrug b/c any sort of challenge isn't worth the time or effort.  Keith
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Chief Joseph
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PostWed Feb 20, 2019 11:56 am 
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I think that many FS employees depend upon the pubic's ignorance to collect fees without the proper Facilities.

Ex: A few years ago, I and a couple of friends were in our car preparing to hike to Pinnacle lake when a FS truck with two Rangers pulled up and asked if I had my pass. I actually did have a yearly pass, but it was in my other vehicle. He said to stop at the Verlot Service Center after our hike to show our pass. They were closed when we arrived. The TH does not have any facilities except an Info board.

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MyFootHurts
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PostWed Feb 20, 2019 4:06 pm 
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Cunning Keith sure seems interested in this topic

https://www.oregonhikers.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=28040&view=unread#unread
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Jeff
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PostWed Feb 20, 2019 4:25 pm 
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I suggest you read the FLREA in it's entirety a few times over. It clearly states what the requirements are. There are numerous court cases which then give conflicting interpretations of the law.
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Grannyhiker
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PostWed Feb 20, 2019 5:02 pm 
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My understanding is that the parking fees proposed for the Columbia River Gorge will be charged by the Oregon Dept. of Transportation, not the USFS.  The Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway that runs through the "waterfall corridor" belongs to the state.

Just another agency trying to separate hikers from their $$!  Makes it kind of hard on those of us in the low fixed income bracket.  The big bucks will come from the hordes of tourists--many international--many of whom aren't all that wealthy, either. 

Of course, there is no obligation for the state to provide amenities, which most of the Gorge trailhead parking lots don't have.

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cunningkeith
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PostWed Feb 20, 2019 5:40 pm 
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MyFootHurts wrote:
Cunning Keith sure seems interested in this topic

https://www.oregonhikers.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=28040&view=unread#unread

You're right!  smile.gif  As I said above, I'm interested in whether the Forest Service is providing these amenities in the two states where they charge for the NWFP.  That's why the question is posted here and in Oregon.

Quote:
I suggest you read the FLREA in it's entirety a few times over. It clearly states what the requirements are. There are numerous court cases which then give conflicting interpretations of the law.

I've read FLREA and all the cases.  There is zero dispute that in order to charge a "standard amenity recreation fee" (aka "NWFP") at wilderness trails, the FS has to provide:

“A permanent toilet facility” AND
“A permanent trash receptacle” AND
“Picnic tables”
16 USC § 6802

You're right that there's a dispute in the courts on whether the FS can charge people who don't use these amenities, but the weight of authority is against the FS on that question too.
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nordique
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PostWed Feb 20, 2019 6:04 pm 
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I have no problem paying for passes to park at trailheads and I'm disappointed that people expect trailhead parking to be free.  I pay more, every month, to climb at Vertical World three days a week--though parking there is 'free.'
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xrp
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PostWed Feb 20, 2019 8:45 pm 
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Jeff wrote:
I suggest you read the FLREA in it's entirety a few times over. It clearly states what the requirements are. There are numerous court cases which then give conflicting interpretations of the law.

There are two court cases ruled by the 9th Circuit that apply to the NWFP.

The first was Adams vs USFS.

I think this ruling came down in the 1st half of 2012.

The ruling said that amenities were part of the service that passes were tied to.

Didja notice the rapid proliferation of garbage cans, outhouses/porta potties/picnic tables/etc early summer 2012?

Whoops, then Fragosa et al vs USFS clarified Adams vs USFS and stated that permits are required only if you use the amenities.

Per those two 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rulings, you can’t be charged for parking, hiking, camping, pissing in the woods, crapping in the woods and then leaving. You can be charged if you sit on the picnic table, throw away your trash in the trash can and use the outhouse/porta pottie.
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xrp
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PostWed Feb 20, 2019 8:49 pm 
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Grannyhiker wrote:
My understanding is that the parking fees proposed for the Columbia River Gorge will be charged by the Oregon Dept. of Transportation, not the USFS.  The Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway that runs through the "waterfall corridor" belongs to the state.

Just another agency trying to separate hikers from their $$!  Makes it kind of hard on those of us in the low fixed income bracket.  The big bucks will come from the hordes of tourists--many international--many of whom aren't all that wealthy, either. 

Of course, there is no obligation for the state to provide amenities, which most of the Gorge trailhead parking lots don't have.

The good news is that you already have 2 9th Circuit Court of Appeals precedents for you to use when you sue the State of Oregon.

If the Feds can’t charge you for parking and hiking, then most likely, neither can the states.
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Bedivere
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PostWed Feb 20, 2019 10:57 pm 
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I recently heard someone saying that the FS was handing out tickets for not having a pass at the Deer Creek gate on the Mt. Loop highway.

Do they have the required amenities there???

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Kim Brown
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PostWed Feb 20, 2019 11:02 pm 
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More likely the sheriff's office ticketing people  for parking like idiots and  blocking in cars.

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Bedivere
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PostWed Feb 20, 2019 11:05 pm 
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Kim Brown wrote:
More likely the sheriff's office ticketing people  for parking like idiots and  blocking in cars.

I thought that was the most likely scenario as well, but he was insistent that it was the Forest Service ticketing people for not having a NWFP.  I informed him of the requirement to have the stated amenities and he said a FS ranger was leading a snowshoe trip there so that was an "amenity."  At that point I chose to disengage as the person was clearly incapable of logical thought processing but it made me curious.

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Chief Joseph
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PostWed Feb 20, 2019 11:20 pm 
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Bedivere wrote:
I recently heard someone saying that the FS was handing out tickets for not having a pass at the Deer Creek gate on the Mt. Loop highway.

Do they have the required amenities there???

At the intersection of the MLH and Deer creek road as of last summer there was an outhouse and a picnic table, not sure about the trash can.

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