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Would banning dogs on the trails in the ALW north of I-90 change your hiking habits?
If I can't take my dog, I would go hike somewhere that I could take him/her
45%
 45%  [ 9 ]
I would leave fido or fluffy at home and go hike there anyway
55%
 55%  [ 11 ]
Total Votes : 20

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HikerJohn
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PostFri Jan 03, 2020 11:45 pm 
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Hey guys,
This is just a personal inquiry, nothing official.

Just saw a report that on ONE DAY the Snow Lake trail had nearly 1400 people on it-- an average of 800 persons per weekend day.
And Franklin Falls was not far behind it.

Especially Snow Lake, but none of these areas can handle that level of visitation unless they were turned into paved trails like at Paradise in MRNP.

The questions being raised are the obvious ones:  Permits?  Reservations required?  Put a gate guard at the bottom who will cut off hikers when a quota is reached?

My idea is simpler: what if we started by banning dogs in the ALW north of I-90?  Would that cut down the traffic?  At the least, it would reduce the amount of fecal material being deposited in the ALW (BTW, lots of blue bags in use, not many people hauling them out--196 picked up).

So, what are your thoughts?
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Randito
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PostFri Jan 03, 2020 11:54 pm 
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Where is the I don't have a dog option?

Also, there are already several destinations that already ban dogs, Headlight basin, The Enchantments for example.
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fourteen410
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 12:47 am 
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HikerJohn wrote:
Just saw a report that on ONE DAY the Snow Lake trail had nearly 1400 people on it-- an average of 800 persons per weekend day

How is this calculated?
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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 12:55 am 
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What do you expect it is Snow friggin Lake.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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cdestroyer
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 7:29 am 
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those trails mentioned must be rather close to some local town where people dont have to drive a great distance to get fido out of doors. if the doo doo gets deep enough will the trail users go somewhere else?
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Cyclopath
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 11:16 am 
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I like that people are hiking.  I don't think we should discourage it.

I don't have a dog, so this wouldn't affect me.  I'm sure it would reduce visitation to some extent.  Probably not hugely.

I find the piles of dog poop extremely gross, especially when it's rainy or the snow is melting.  I agree that's a problem.  I don't think high numbers of visitors is a problem.
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HikerJohn
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 11:23 am 
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fourteen410 wrote:
HikerJohn wrote:
Just saw a report that on ONE DAY the Snow Lake trail had nearly 1400 people on it-- an average of 800 persons per weekend day

How is this calculated?

They are using Infrared "trail counters"
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Chief Joseph
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 11:36 am 
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I don't care at all about places where there are too many people-dogs-poo, I simply don't go to those places. There are plenty of places to go where there are few people and off trail where there are usually no people.

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Damian
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 12:05 pm 
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HikerJohn wrote:
Snow Lake, but none of these areas can handle that level of visitation unless they were turned into paved trails

Sure it can.  It is, in fact.  Leave it.  Ruff.
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Kim Brown
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 12:30 pm 
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That level of visitation for those trails isn't new. The USFS specifically rebuilt Franklin Falls for heavy visitation. Selecting dog owners for removal from those trails to reduce visitation does nothing but alienate them, and it would be a poor management choice. If dogs are the issue, state it and manage accordingly.

Use another criteria. Bar people who like pop music and C&W. That will reduce it sufficiently, and bonus, only cool people will be allowed.

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" I'm really happy about this! I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  oldgranola, NWHs outdoors advocate.
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seattlenativemike
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 12:36 pm 
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Chief Joseph wrote:
I don't care at all about places where there are too many people-dogs-poo, I simply don't go to those places. There are plenty of places to go where there are few people and off trail where there are usually no people.

Exactly...and stay away on weekends if you must
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Anne Elk
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 12:39 pm 
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I don't have a dog.  But trails along the I-90 corridor have been a no-go zone for me since the 90's, as I took for granted there were more humans on those trail than I'd prefer to run into.  Sounds absolutely gross, now.

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Chief Joseph
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 1:01 pm 
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Although I do occasionally hike on crowded trails for some exercise and the "Eye Candy"....and take my son's or daughters little dog with me. I have cats, haven't taken them hiking, but I hear some people do.

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thunderhead
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 2:23 pm 
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Why can't snow lake handle this again?  Trail seems pretty clean to me with no significant areas of erosion.  Id like it to be a little wider to make passing the inconsiderate slowpokes easier but other than that very minor inconvenience i really think it holds up quite well.  And it even has that giant parking lot for busy weekends.

Given its crowds, snow lake handles it real well.
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Randito
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PostSat Jan 04, 2020 2:30 pm 
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Snow Lake is an extremely popular destination for good reason--fantastic scenery and easy access.

The trail has been heavily engineered to handle the load.  Asphalt wouldn't really improve its durability significantly as the trail bed consists largely of rocks and gravel.

The paved sections of trails at Paradise are useful in two regards, 1) The soil composition close to the parking lot isn't all rock.  2) The paved areas close to the lot are wheelchair access able.

Making the Snow Lake trail ADA accessible would involve re-routing as well as paving.   Seems like an unlikely expenditure of USFS funds and effort, especially since the wilderness boundary occurs before reaching Snow Lake divide and views of the lake.

If the Redtown trails, West Tiger 3, Rattlesnake ledge trail can survive the onslaught of pooping puppies that they receive every sunny day,  I think the Snow Lake trail will survive.

The problem is delusional individuals that have the egotistical demand that are entitled to hike in solitude on a trail less than two hours from two million people.
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