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Phil
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PostSat Nov 17, 2007 7:21 pm 
Ooooooh! #2 is great up.gif

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geobob
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PostSat Nov 17, 2007 11:01 pm 
Perhaps the discussion of the litigation concerning the "new" ONP shelters would be better served in a different thread; however, I will continue here for the time being. I am sorry to admit that I was not aware of the "shelter issue" until reading through this post a couple of days ago. This is partly because I have fairly recently returned to Washington after a too long absence. So, I have tried the last couple of days to "come up to speed" on the issue, as well as other sensitive management issues relavant to the Olympic Peninsula. It is a work in progress and I would appreciate any input as to the history of the litigation surrounding the shelters. I have skimmed through the Olympic Park Associate's website enough to be quite alarmed at how they present their positions. In particular, I am disturbed by their article concerning the Dosewallips Road in the Summer 2006 issue of their newsletter "Voice of the Wild Olympics". But a discourse on OPA and their position on the Dosewallips Road is probably better placed elsewhere on this site, although, I feel it is badly needed. As for the shelter litigation, my first impression was "what a waste of time, effort, and money" (including your taxpayer dollars) on such a trivial issue. However, after reading enough of OPA's website to get an impression as to their perceived "agenda", which appears to me to be to restore the area defined in the 1988 wilderness act to a pre-european contact state, it became clear that if their litigation is a success, it could have serious implications for other more important park management issues (like relocation of the Dosewallips Road). From what I have read so far, it appears to me that the OPA argument against the shelters is that they are not "historic" restorations, but rather new constructions and that new constructions are not permitted under the Wilderness Act of 1988. I have not yet read the Wilderness Act of 1988, however, that is only one of several acts that ONP must function under. Unfortunately I think those acts are probably in conflict or open to interpretation, hence the litigation. A good summary of the acts that pertain to ONP are described in the introduction of the ONP Draft General Management Plan, dated May 2006. With regard to a relocation of the Dosewallips road, if OPA is successful in preventing placement of the shelters because they are considered new construction, then it sets a precedent to not allow construction of a "new" dosewallips road, even though it is just a relocation of an existing, and historic, olympic peninsula road. So, it appears that a park management issue that at first glance seems rather trivial, could have more serious and far reaching ramifications. Your thoughts on this issue are greatly appreciated.

I think there's an easier way on the far side
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Magellan
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Magellan
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PostSat Nov 17, 2007 11:25 pm 
The only point OPA made that I agree with: With serious budget shortfalls and more than a million dollars in storm damage to wilderness trails and bridges this year alone, the $160,000-plus being spent on this project could be put to much more beneficial use. I know it's not necessarily that simple, but if I had to choose one or the other, I would take the maintainence. $160K can work a few trails over.

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geobob
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PostSat Nov 17, 2007 11:28 pm 
restep..you are entirely correct about OPA vs OPI. OPA is the "institution" I meant to refer to. I realized this a few moments after my post and will amend it accordingly. You beat me to my amendment! As a further note: I am sure OPA is not opposed to this confusion.

I think there's an easier way on the far side
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reststep
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PostSat Nov 17, 2007 11:38 pm 
That is what I figured happened geobob. I will delete my post. There was some discussion about the Dose Road in This Thread Yeah, I too was wondering if the similarity in names was intentional. Actually though I don't know which group has been in existence the longest.

"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir
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geobob
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PostSat Nov 17, 2007 11:47 pm 
restep...no need to delete your post on my account

I think there's an easier way on the far side
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geobob
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PostSun Nov 18, 2007 12:46 am 
Noticed this in my recent issue of WTA
jupiter
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Seems like a bigger issue to me than the park shelters. I wonder how OPA is adressing this issue?

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RodF
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PostSun Nov 18, 2007 1:15 am 
geobob wrote:
With regard to a relocation of the Dosewallips road, if OPA is successful in preventing placement of the shelters because they are considered new construction, then it sets a precedent to not allow construction of a "new" dosewallips road, even though it is just a relocation of an existing, and historic, olympic peninsula road.
The shelters are within the Olympic Wilderness area, which encompasses 95% of Olympic National Park. However, the Dosewallips Road washout is not in any wilderness area; it's in Olympic National Forest. So there's no legal connection. There certainly is a consistent political or philosophical connection. One OPA board member stated it thus (and I'm paraphrasing from memory) "I experience sheer delight whenever any forest road washes out, and the more trouble they have reopening it, the more delighted I am. Because closed roads make our all-too-small wilderness areas bigger. Because wilderness begins where vehicles end." This is a respectable philosophical position, worthy of serious consideration. Just as "We should depose dictators who attack their neighbors and commit genocide against their own people" is also a respectable position, worthy of serious consideration. The problems arise when either (1) a principle is rigidly applied to all situations without weighing the practical consequences, and (2) adherents start making up "facts" (be it nonexistent WMDs, or nonexistent spotted owls) to fit their predetermined position. It is then no longer worthy of our respect.

"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir "the wild is not the opposite of cultivated. It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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RodF
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PostSun Nov 18, 2007 1:51 am 
Re: Mt. Jupiter road closure: the closed and gated section of road (and the trailhead) lie on private land (owned by Pope Resources). The trail enters ONF about a mile beyond the trailhead. So this isn't a public land management issue. ONF and OPA have no say in whether the landowner opens the gate. Pope does have a reasonable public access policy posted here. Now, the Staircase Road closure and Dosewallips Road washout are in ONF, and those are very much public issues!

"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir "the wild is not the opposite of cultivated. It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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geobob
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PostSun Nov 18, 2007 2:40 am 
Rodf...Thanks for your input as to the jurisdictions of the various governmental entities involved and I appreciate your input as to the legal juridictions of the Dose road and the Juniper Road logging. With regard to the Jumiper Road logging issue, one of my intended points was that if OPA was truly concerned with maintaining "wilderness" conditions on the Olympic Peninsula", they should concern themselves with larger issues such as expanding the existing boundaries of the "wilderness" rather than further limiting the already limited uses of an already federally-protected area.

I think there's an easier way on the far side
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RodF
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PostSun Nov 18, 2007 3:36 am 
Shacknasty Jim wrote:
...it's not only OPA that opposes the shelters. Here's a list of other organizations joining them: "OPA, The Wilderness Society, National Parks Conservation Association, The Mountaineers, Northwest Ecosystem Alliance, Wilderness Watch, Olympic Forest Coalition, Public Employees for Environmental Ethics and other organizations have written the Park Service strongly objecting to this project."
Umm, I think that's an (yet another) overstatement on OPA's part. First, Olympic Forest Coalition's letter objecting to the shelters was written by OFC's then-president, who is also a member of OPA's board of directors. These are not all independent groups. Several have "interlocking boards" or are in the same coalitions, so write letters supporting one another. Second, most of those groups objected to the means (lifting prefab shelters in by helicopter), not the ends (rebuilding shelters), so chose not to join OPA as plaintiffs in their lawsuit against the National Park Service. The only other local organization on that list, the Mountaineers, were quite clear about that. The bottom line is that there were only three plaintiffs: OPA, Wilderness Watch, and PEER. The rest walked away. Finally, this is tied to the Dosewallips Road closure only because OPA would like to expand the wilderness by eliminating the Dosewallips Ranger Station and campground, so has declared its intent to take legal action no matter what the upcoming Environmental Impact Statement finds. However, the two other groups who were co-plaintiffs (and provided the legal expertise and paid the bills) in their previous action are quite experienced and pragmatic, and are very unlikely to take on this losing battle. So I think OPA is blowing hot air (albeit quite effectively, so far) on this one. One must be very careful in parsing any statement from OPA. They don't lie, but they do deceive. They ignore all facts that don't suit their purpose. That's fair, I guess: they are an advocacy organization. But I don't like to be deceived. Apologies for taking this thread further off its original topic.

"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir "the wild is not the opposite of cultivated. It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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Magellan
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PostSun Nov 18, 2007 9:40 pm 
WTH? Mt Jupiter just got reopened? Are there even any trees left up that way? Poo on me for not getting up there the few months it was open this year. It reminds me of Higgins, only x10.

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