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ree
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PostMon Dec 02, 2019 10:06 am 
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Certain places in the Cascades are getting overrun.  Impact and crowding is becoming more evident.  Social media has definitely increased popularity of areas of the Cascades.  (Alpine Lakes Wilderness in particular.)  What do you think of a permit system?

Besides ameliorating impact, think of hiking 10 miles into a place, and finding only the crappiest camp left... If you find one at all.

Think of a long 10 mile hike in to a gorgeous alpine lake and finding SEVEN rafts floating on it.

It's happened to us!

So what do you think of a permit system? Yes/No/Maybe?
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ree
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PostMon Dec 02, 2019 10:12 am 
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I say yes.

Rec.gov does a good job of it in the Sierras.

I think it should be cheap, so as not to impact people in poverty.

I could really go on a big tirade about permits in North Cascades, but they should give it up to rec.gov too.  Their permit system is for the birds.

Alpine Lakes is long overdue for a permit system.  That place has been loved to death for years and everyone just stands by watching it happen.

So I say yes.
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Brian R
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PostMon Dec 02, 2019 10:16 am 
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Are you a California transplant, by any chance?
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MtnGoat
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PostMon Dec 02, 2019 10:41 am 
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nope. the permit system merely squishes the tube and pushes users to new places, which then engenders the demands to expand permit systems again...and repeat. Even the precedent of permit systems has been a bad thing, for this reason.

open more trailheads and access points to spread the impacts. more money for trail maintenance, roads, TH's, etc.

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markweth
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PostMon Dec 02, 2019 12:33 pm 
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MtnGoat wrote:
open more trailheads and access points to spread the impacts. more money for trail maintenance, roads, TH's, etc.

I'd much rather see this than permits, but unfortunately I think permits will happen before any additional funding is allocated for roads, trails, etc. Just a sad reality.
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Cyclopath
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PostMon Dec 02, 2019 12:39 pm 
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As long as the permit system applies to other people and not me, sure!
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PostMon Dec 02, 2019 12:51 pm 
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so... how's that permit system working out up in the Alpine Lakes area? Seven Lakes Basin? Jefferson Park?

doesn't sound to me like people are real happy with the systems currently in place. maybe I'm misinterpreting everything.

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Bedivere
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PostMon Dec 02, 2019 2:23 pm 
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No.  There are plenty of uncrowded areas to go, even in the Alpine Lakes.

There are certain areas that you just know will be crowded because they get all the attention online.  So be it.  If I want to go to those areas then I know I'll be dealing with crowds.  If I want an uncrowded hike, I know where to go.  I don't need government bureaucracy getting between me and my ability to hike where I want, when I want.

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Doppelganger
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PostMon Dec 02, 2019 2:43 pm 
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Bedivere wrote:
No.  There are plenty of uncrowded areas to go, even in the Alpine Lakes.

There are certain areas that you just know will be crowded because they get all the attention online.  So be it.  If I want to go to those areas then I know I'll be dealing with crowds.  If I want an uncrowded hike, I know where to go.  I don't need government bureaucracy getting between me and my ability to hike where I want, when I want.

While this does answer an important part of the permit question (probably the most important or only important part for some people) in how their ability to plan and choose might be affected, should we also be asking if we are ignoring impact to those areas?

Has the question of a permit system come about now because the majority are showing themselves as being unable or unwilling to mitigate impact? How else to address that?
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Cyclopath
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PostMon Dec 02, 2019 2:48 pm 
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People who didn't get a permit for one place will go somewhere else.  A permit system won't address impact, it will just spread it out somewhat where it's more concentrated now.

Unless we hire a lot more rangers to verify permits, many people will ignore the system.
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Brian R
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PostMon Dec 02, 2019 3:09 pm 
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"May I zee you papers, please?"
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markweth
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PostMon Dec 02, 2019 3:27 pm 
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Cyclopath wrote:
A permit system won't address impact, it will just spread it out somewhat where it's more concentrated now.

Do you think this is objectively a bad thing? I think dispersing people is usually a good thing, provided they follow basic LNT.
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Cyclopath
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PostMon Dec 02, 2019 3:39 pm 
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You could make an argument either way.  I know that a lot of people think it's better to concentrate impact for example on trails like Si and Mailbox, vs spreading it "everywhere."

I think that's better for wildlife.  I know there are plenty of "off the beaten track" places to hike without big crowds and if we institute restrictive permits in more and more places, it will be harder to find solitude.
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markweth
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PostMon Dec 02, 2019 4:01 pm 
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Cyclopath wrote:
You could make an argument either way.  I know that a lot of people think it's better to concentrate impact for example on trails like Si and Mailbox, vs spreading it "everywhere."

I think that's better for wildlife.  I know there are plenty of "off the beaten track" places to hike without big crowds and if we institute restrictive permits in more and more places, it will be harder to find solitude.

Yeah, that's about how I feel.

I think there is an interesting overlap between places that have been hyped up on social media in recent years and those that have permits, are probably in need of permits, or have recently implemented them. The Enchantments are a good example, as are the Central Cascades in Oregon and Conundrum Hot Springs in Colorado.

I'd be curious as to where people who got into hiking in the last few years via social media (which isn't a bad thing, no judgment intended) would go if permits were implemented in Alpine Lakes Wilderness. My guess would be the places outside of there that see the most "ink", for lack of a better word, on Instagram and the Washington Hikers and Climbers Facebook groups. Or maybe sections of the PCT. I doubt many would put in the effort to go to some of the "back of beyond" places in Glacier Peaks Wilderness or the Pasayten, especially since for the most part those places are still a bit under the radar.
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contour5
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PostMon Dec 02, 2019 4:49 pm 
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No permit system, please.
Solitude needs to be earned. Nowadays you have to be a little bit clever to find a “perfect” campsite. There are quite literally billions of them. Just go farther. Go off trail. When “the lake” is crowded, climb a hill. I end up doing these things more frequently nowadays, and it’s usually a bonus experience.
Permits are a total nightmare for me. I will refuse.

Kinda counting on grizzly reintroduction to thin out the untrailworthy...
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