Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Baker and Helens should be a National Park!
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Kim Brown
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PostThu Oct 06, 2022 8:44 am 
Ski wrote:
I'm all ears.
Pretty clever! smile.gif

"..living on the east side of the Sierra world be ideal - except for harsher winters and the chance of apocalyptic fires burning the whole area." Bosterson, NWHiker's marketing expert

Ski
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drm
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PostMon Oct 24, 2022 7:13 pm 
And there have been such suggestions for Mt Hood too. The main (only?) practical advantage I can think of for hikers is the vastly greater budget for trail maintenance. Think of those huge suspension bridges in MRNP. I can think of a place on Hood that could use that. I can only imagine what an engineer would do to the Loowit. Or maybe not - national parks still have plenty of very rugged terrain. Usually they just sanitize a few trails. As to the greater regulation, Rainier is really hard to get permits for, but Oly and NC are not so hard. They are larger. Rainier is unique in that the Wonderland has become A THING and there actually is not a lot of camping besides it. That combined with the parks relatively small size make the permit system, while needed, very onerous. Speaking of Mt Maggie loop, it's odd that it has such tight permitting while the Loowit has none. Not clear why that is. Bur overall while batter trails would be nice, I don't see them being ruined as they are. It would be different if they were getting clearcut or something. Mt Hood really really could use better trail maintenance. (never been to Baker, don't know a thing about it)

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Kim Brown
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PostTue Oct 25, 2022 10:58 am 
I don't want to deal with permits at all, but I'm not the target audience; a lot of people like them. I wish they'd limit Wonderland permits a bit more others can more reasonably backpack MRNP. But this comment is based on the ONE TIME I wanted a permit to join a buddy who was already camped and was told the Wonderland hikers had snapped them up, even those within a few miles of the site I wanted. That was nearly 2 decades ago and I'm still mad about it. embarassedlaugh.gif

"..living on the east side of the Sierra world be ideal - except for harsher winters and the chance of apocalyptic fires burning the whole area." Bosterson, NWHiker's marketing expert
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altasnob
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PostTue Oct 25, 2022 2:07 pm 
I may be weird, but I am a big fan of the structured, regulated recreation at national parks. I do most of my recreating in Rainier or the Olympics, or the national forests around those. There's 4 million people living right next door to these parks. They need heavy regulation. With that said, it is not too difficult to get away from the crowds if you think a bit out of the box. And I appreciate the well maintained trails, paved roads, and decent dirt roads, that make quick hits, and long day hikes, more feasible. I mostly do day trips these days.

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rossb
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PostWed Oct 26, 2022 8:15 am 
Late to the discussion, but here are my two cents: Years ago I was told by a geography professor that national parks were more about unique natural things than just natural beauty. In that sense, the Olympics definitely make sense as a national park (for the reasons mentioned). Glacier Peak does not, even though I think Glacier Peak has the best backpacking in the state. Rainier makes sense for various reasons (bulk, height, prominence, glaciers, biggest volcano in its range). Speaking of ranges, the Cascade Range is largely defined by the volcanoes. This is why it is weird that Mount Baker -- the northernmost volcano in a range defined by volcanoes -- is not part of the North Cascades National Park. dizzy.gif But then again, should it even be a national park? At best you can make the case that it is rare in the United States to have so many big, dramatic, glaciated peaks all in the same area. Fair enough. But why then, don't you include either of the volcanoes? It seems like it was nothing more than a marketing effort. The park (as being distinct from the surrounding areas) just doesn't make sense to me. If you are going to have a "North Cascades National Park" than at a minimum it should include Mount Baker. The case for making Mount Saint Helens a national park is very strong. It had a dramatic eruption quite recently. So far as I know, every other similar eruption took place in a very different part of the world (different plants, different animals). Thus walking around there, and seeing how the natural world adjusts to the life after the eruption gives visitors an experience unlike anything else in the world. As far as what this means for recreation, there are always advantages and disadvantages. National parks don't allow dogs. They tend to regulate backpacking tighter (with more permits). You can see this as good or bad, depending on your perspective. National parks tend to have more money, which is why (in my opinion) the quality of the trails are better. But this is a fluid thing. Various organizations (e. g. WTA) work on national forest land, and sometimes they get federal money for maintenance. The permit system is a big hassle, but sometimes that extends to national forest land as well (e. g. the Enchantments). As the number of people in the backcountry continues to grow, it wouldn't surprise me if more and more national forest land looks like national parks, either in restricting access (no backpacking) or asking for a permit. The greater Artist Point area seems like it is headed towards the former, while Park Butte the latter. In other words, pretty soon, those areas might as well be part of a national park, whether they are or aren't. I think turning Mount Saint Helens into a national park really does make a lot of sense, and is consistent with what it means to be a national park. The North Cascades National Park should include Mount Baker, but that park is weird either way. I don't feel very strongly about the designation, and care more about management. As I see it, the agencies are evolving to manage things in much the same way, even if they report to different bosses. Of course the fact that the USFS reports to the department of Agriculture (unlike the NPS, Fish and Wildlife Service, BLM) is especially weird, and likely complicates things.

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altasnob
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PostWed Oct 26, 2022 8:58 am 
rossb wrote:
Mount Baker -- the northernmost volcano in a range defined by volcanoes
Random tangent, but I thought Mount Garibaldi, which is a dormant stratovolcano, is considered the northern most volcano in the Cascade range? The North Cascades are unique enough to warrant national park status. But I agree that there doesn't seem to be much ryhme or reason for the current border.

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Secret Agent Man
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PostWed Oct 26, 2022 9:55 am 
altasnob wrote:
rossb wrote:
Mount Baker -- the northernmost volcano in a range defined by volcanoes
Random tangent, but I thought Mount Garibaldi, which is a dormant stratovolcano, is considered the northern most volcano in the Cascade range? The North Cascades are unique enough to warrant national park status. But I agree that there doesn't seem to be much ryhme or reason for the current border.
Garibaldi is north of the Fraser River, so it's not part of the Cascades mountain range.

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altasnob
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PostWed Oct 26, 2022 10:05 am 
Looks like we're both right, per Summit Guide to the Cascade Volcanoes by Jeff Smoot. It's not part of the Cascade Range because it is north of Fraser River, but it is geologically related to the Cascade Range.

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Logbear
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PostWed Oct 26, 2022 9:37 pm 
Ice Peaks National Park Proposal https://sites.google.com/site/mshprotectiveassociation/home/conservation-history/1937-ice-peaks-national-park-proposal

Genesis 1:24 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
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Stefan
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PostWed Nov 16, 2022 4:07 pm 
"should" is not a word I recommend.

Art is an adventure.
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Pyrites
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PostWed Nov 16, 2022 5:31 pm 
I read a report by a committee that was fighting as I remember creation of seven national parks in WA. Chair of committee was Dorothy Bullitt, mother of the Bullitt sisters we were more familiar with. Timber, motored recreation, transmission lines across the Cascades, minerals to be mined, even pounds of meat harvested by deer hunters. The lust was all inclusive I donít think the USFS was a member of committee, but at a time of govt data not being as accessible or open to public information request, they were committed to the project. 1950ís? I canít remember.

Keep Calm and Carry On? Heck No. Stay Excited and Get Outside!
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ScottP
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PostTue Nov 22, 2022 1:37 pm 
Secret Agent Man wrote:
altasnob wrote:
rossb wrote:
Mount Baker -- the northernmost volcano in a range defined by volcanoes
Random tangent, but I thought Mount Garibaldi, which is a dormant stratovolcano, is considered the northern most volcano in the Cascade range? The North Cascades are unique enough to warrant national park status. But I agree that there doesn't seem to be much ryhme or reason for the current border.
Garibaldi is north of the Fraser River, so it's not part of the Cascades mountain range.
Garibaldi, and the northernmost volcano, the Mt Meager massif, are part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc.

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