Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Baker and Helens should be a National Park!
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Schroder
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PostWed Aug 10, 2022 2:35 pm 
Kim Brown wrote:
I have a copy of the Ice Peaks National Park study under Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes - the Ice Peaks area was huge, and included practically the entire planet.
Described by Harvey Manning here in 1963 http://npshistory.com/newsletters/the-wild-cascades/may-june-july-1963.pdf

uww
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Randito
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PostWed Aug 10, 2022 2:43 pm 
DrScience wrote:
The biggest challenge faced by popular parks such as Great Smokies, Yosemite and Mount Rainier is how to protect the park from its visitors
This statement is at odds with history. Yosemite was a very popular tourist destination before it was protected by National Park status. E g. Camp Curry in Yosemite was a private campground for Yosemite visitors that were not as wealthy as those staying at the resort built at Mirror Lake Resort https://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/yosemite_nature_notes/46/2/mirror_lake.html#:~:text=The%20Mirror%20Lake%20House%2C%20as,and%20removed%20Mirror%20Lake%20House.

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Kim Brown
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PostFri Aug 12, 2022 7:54 am 
Schroder wrote:
Kim Brown wrote:
I have a copy of the Ice Peaks National Park study under Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes - the Ice Peaks area was huge, and included practically the entire planet.
Described by Harvey Manning here in 1963 http://npshistory.com/newsletters/the-wild-cascades/may-june-july-1963.pdf
Thanks Randy; I did locate the 1937 Ickes report on Ice Peaks I mentioned earlier, and placed it on my coffee table two weeks ago. Step One. But haven't yet cracked it open to provide any whizzy quotes here. I'm only two weeks into Step Two; I believe in a calm, cautious approach. clown.gif But within the NC3 article you posted is a citation for Vanishing Forest Reserves, Problems of the National Forests and National Parks by Willard Van Name. <===link to a PDF to read. Interesting reading, though I have only glanced at it. It's clear that NC3 became fast disciples of Van Name (Goldsworthy gushes about the publication). Nc3 worked hard on our N Cascades National Park. I wonder how divisive they were in their work then. I doubt no one came through it unscathed. I've seen how they work nowadays, and I've seen other ugly stuff from many different walks of life regarding Wild Sky and other environmental and conservation issues. Environmentalists are wicked to each other. Absolutely awful. But we have great stuff.

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treeswarper
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PostThu Aug 25, 2022 11:09 am 
I resent all the rules, planning and control that is done is a national park. I haven't been to many because I am traveling with a dog and national parks are in no way dog friendly. Grand Canyon did have a kennel that housed my friend's dog while we hiked, but I wonder if that still exists? You can't walk on a trail with your dog, yet you can have unleashed children running around. Hunting is not allowed in parks so wildlife becomes stupid and dangerous from being around stupid people. We have too many people coming to this state as it is. We don't need more. I had a memorable day, which would not have been possible if the blast zone of St Helens was a park. The road was gated so I could ride behind the gate on my bike with The Used Dog galloomping along. No cars, only a few movie people wandering around and doing what they do. Probably more solitude than in a wilderness that day. We have enough over regulated pieces of ground for those who like that. Leave the rest as it is.

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Bosterson
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PostThu Aug 25, 2022 4:59 pm 
treeswarper wrote:
I had a memorable day, which would not have been possible if the blast zone of St Helens was a park. The road was gated so I could ride behind the gate on my bike with The Used Dog galloomping along. No cars, only a few movie people wandering around and doing what they do. Probably more solitude than in a wilderness that day.
up.gif up.gif It's great when they close the gate at Coldwater for the winter. I once walked the frozen road surface on New Year's Day from Hummocks to South Coldwater and then snowshoed up the ridge. No one else out there except an RV parked at the gate with some skis learning up against it. On the drive in, there were a bunch of local families stopped on the side of the road to take their kids sledding. If the area becomes a national park, none of that happens.

Go! Take a gun! And a dog! Without a leash! Chop down a tree! Start a fire! Piss wherever you want! Build a cairn! A HUGE ONE! BE A REBEL! YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE! (-bootpathguy)
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joker
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 11:06 am 
Yeah, this plus the need to get on the reservations site to fight for permits in the nanosecond after the reservation window opens (or gamble on walk up luck) in order to camp in the backcountry in the Park are both concerns that leave me underwhelmed by NCNP expansion notions. I'm content to leave the Mt Baker Wilderness boundaries as they are, along with the NCNP boundaries.

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jaysway
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PostTue Sep 13, 2022 9:32 am 
joker wrote:
Yeah, this plus the need to get on the reservations site to fight for permits in the nanosecond after the reservation window opens (or gamble on walk up luck) in order to camp in the backcountry in the Park are both concerns that leave me underwhelmed by NCNP expansion notions. I'm content to leave the Mt Baker Wilderness boundaries as they are, along with the NCNP boundaries.
Mount Margaret Backcountry permits are already difficult to get and sell out seconds/minutes from when they are put on sale for the most desirable camps and weekends. If the area became a national park I wonder if the Loowit would start requiring permits as well? Anecdotally I've seen more reports for the Loowit this season so I wonder if the camping situation is getting crowded or not?

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joker
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PostTue Sep 13, 2022 10:41 am 
I have less of a take on the implications of MSHNM becoming a NP. My knee jerk reaction regarding NCNP expanding is "nope" though.

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zimmertr
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PostTue Sep 13, 2022 11:00 am 
jaysway wrote:
joker wrote:
Yeah, this plus the need to get on the reservations site to fight for permits in the nanosecond after the reservation window opens (or gamble on walk up luck) in order to camp in the backcountry in the Park are both concerns that leave me underwhelmed by NCNP expansion notions. I'm content to leave the Mt Baker Wilderness boundaries as they are, along with the NCNP boundaries.
Mount Margaret Backcountry permits are already difficult to get and sell out seconds/minutes from when they are put on sale for the most desirable camps and weekends. If the area became a national park I wonder if the Loowit would start requiring permits as well? Anecdotally I've seen more reports for the Loowit this season so I wonder if the camping situation is getting crowded or not?
When Neek and I did the Loowit Trail in July there were maybe 10 tents, mostly concentrated in the Plains of Abraham. But in general I didn't really think the trail looked very fragile. We saw perhaps 50 people all day long and I think the trail could support even more.

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jaysway
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PostWed Sep 14, 2022 8:33 am 
zimmertr wrote:
jaysway wrote:
joker wrote:
Yeah, this plus the need to get on the reservations site to fight for permits in the nanosecond after the reservation window opens (or gamble on walk up luck) in order to camp in the backcountry in the Park are both concerns that leave me underwhelmed by NCNP expansion notions. I'm content to leave the Mt Baker Wilderness boundaries as they are, along with the NCNP boundaries.
Mount Margaret Backcountry permits are already difficult to get and sell out seconds/minutes from when they are put on sale for the most desirable camps and weekends. If the area became a national park I wonder if the Loowit would start requiring permits as well? Anecdotally I've seen more reports for the Loowit this season so I wonder if the camping situation is getting crowded or not?
When Neek and I did the Loowit Trail in July there were maybe 10 tents, mostly concentrated in the Plains of Abraham. But in general I didn't really think the trail looked very fragile. We saw perhaps 50 people all day long and I think the trail could support even more.
That's awesome to hear smile.gif. I want to do the whole loop, or at least the Plains of Abraham depending on timing, next season! It looks amazing.

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Bosterson
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PostWed Sep 14, 2022 10:39 am 
zimmertr wrote:
jaysway wrote:
Mount Margaret Backcountry permits are already difficult to get and sell out seconds/minutes from when they are put on sale for the most desirable camps and weekends. If the area became a national park I wonder if the Loowit would start requiring permits as well? Anecdotally I've seen more reports for the Loowit this season so I wonder if the camping situation is getting crowded or not?
When Neek and I did the Loowit Trail in July there were maybe 10 tents, mostly concentrated in the Plains of Abraham. But in general I didn't really think the trail looked very fragile. We saw perhaps 50 people all day long and I think the trail could support even more.
One thing to note re NP status is that both of those areas are currently accessible for free day use. I'm sure camping in the Large Marge backcountry is fun, but the Coldwater side is only 2h from Portland and there are lots of good day trips that can be done, including long 20+ mi days, with no permits or reservations required. This would presumably change with NP status. Ditto for Loowit. I'm sure it's fun to backpack but it is a very doable 32 mi dayhike (seeing all sides of Helens in a single day is neat). Otherwise, you can access various parts of it for shorter day trips without needing permits or reservations. Again, this would presumably change with NP status. So changing the area into a NP would presumably make access harder/more restricted than it currently is in this otherwise not terribly crowded spot. The question is whether that tradeoff is worth it for NP status - right now I would say no. Side note to Jaysway: the Helens area is nice in fall, so there's still time to visit this year. smile.gif

Go! Take a gun! And a dog! Without a leash! Chop down a tree! Start a fire! Piss wherever you want! Build a cairn! A HUGE ONE! BE A REBEL! YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE! (-bootpathguy)
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Ski
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PostWed Sep 14, 2022 10:48 am 
We currently host no fewer than three world-class National Parks in Washington State, two of which are among the crown jewels of the National Park System: Olympic and Rainier, both of which are unequaled by anything on the North American continent. We do not need another National Park, and with it all that it entails. The National Monument status assigned to Mt. St. Helens is more than adequate "protection" (for all of you worrywarts about that issue.) Several times in this thread it's been made clear the reasons Mt. Baker was not included in North Cascades National Park. That ship has sailed. It's not coming back. I am really curious about the reason this thread started. Just because it's "fantastic"? Lots of things are fantastic. That doesn't necessarily mean they're candidates for National Park status. I vote NO, NO, and NO.

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Logbear
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PostWed Sep 14, 2022 8:32 pm 
North Cascades Conservation Council didn't include Mt Baker in their proposed North Cascades National Park boundary back in 1965. This map is in the book "The Wild Cascades: Forgotten Parkland".

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jinx'sboy
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PostWed Sep 14, 2022 9:13 pm 
Ski wrote:
We currently host no fewer than three world-class National Parks in Washington State, two of which are among the crown jewels of the National Park System: Olympic and Rainier, both of which are unequaled by anything on the North American continent.
“Unequaled by anything” is pretty bold. I’d bet folks in Alaska, Wyoming, Arizona, California, Utah, Montana and Colorado would argue differently. As would those in British Columbia, Alberta, the NWT and the Yukon. And that is just in the western part of the Continent. And no, I don’t think Baker or St. Helens deserve NP status.

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NacMacFeegle
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PostMon Oct 03, 2022 3:36 pm 
As a Mt. St. Helens local, I would only support turning it into a National Park if that included at least doubling the monument in size to include the High Lakes, Green River headwaters + several miles downstream of the monument, Vanson Peak/Goat Creek area, N. Fork Toutle Valley (including tributaries) down to Kid Valley, Toutle State Forest, Big Bull and Little Cow Mountains, Kalama River/Merrill Lake/ Lakeview Peak area, the land down to the Swift Reservoir Lower Lewis River area plus the Dark Divide, Strawberry Mountain and Quartz Creek areas of Gifford Pinchot. The undeveloped interior of the current monument should become designated wilderness, regardless of whether it stays a monument or becomes a NP. Mt. Baker would probably be better off in N. Cascades NP, though there too I'd say that acquiring NF, private, and state land for the park outside of the designated Wilderness should be the goal of such a park expansion. We should also expand Mt. Rainier NP. South to Packwood, including Skate Creek and the High Rock Area. East to the confluence of the Mowich and Puyallup Rivers, extending from this point South to SR 706 and North to Carbonado, then from Carbonado it would extend East to the White River. The idea would be to re-wild a buffer zone around three sides of the current park. Olympic NP also needs to be expanded, both along the Western edge of the mountains, and along the coastal strip. We also really need to start converting large areas of industrial timber plantation into entirely new National Parks. The Willapa Hills, Doty Hills, Kalama/Coweeman hills, The Rockies (mountains NW of Morton), Snoqualmie foothills, etc. could all be re-wilded and transformed into hiking and camping destinations. We could easily double the visitor capacity of our existing public lands in this way while simultaneously improving ecosystem health, transitioning rural areas away from extractive industry economies, sequestering carbon, and reducing regional symptoms of climate change (extreme heat, wind, drought, etc.). Oregon could also use a couple of these timber plantation to national park conversion projects. Creating new public lands and restoring them is the #1 best way of decreasing the pressure afflicting existing public lands in the Pacific Northwest.

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