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Cyclopath
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Cyclopath
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PostSat Aug 20, 2022 10:42 am 
dixon wrote:
$26 for a backcountry permit? I can't understand why there is a fee at all.
You're not getting your permit from NPS.gov, you're buying it from Recreation.com. A private company whose reason for existence is to make as much profit as possible. When you insert a for profit company between you and something, prices go up. Especially in a situation like this, it's not like there's competition. A permit in NCNP used to cost $0.

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philfort
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PostSat Aug 20, 2022 10:51 am 
Cyclopath wrote:
A private company whose reason for existence is to make as much profit as possible.
It's a government website.

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Cyclopath
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Cyclopath
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PostSat Aug 20, 2022 10:57 am 
philfort wrote:
Cyclopath wrote:
A private company whose reason for existence is to make as much profit as possible.
It's a government website.
Recreation.gov was an investment for Booz Allen, designed collaboratively with participating agencies, but at no cost to the federal government. Instead of a traditional cost structure, the unique contractual agreement is a transaction-based fee model that lets the government and Booz Allen share in risk, reward, results, and impact. This is a true public-private partnership—it uses no government money. https://www.boozallen.com/s/insight/thought-leadership/reinventing-the-recreation-gov-customer-experience.html Translation: we don't make our money by charging the government, we take a cut of the fees we collect.

JimmyBob
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philfort
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PostSat Aug 20, 2022 11:21 am 
Hmm, well they certainly keep that a secret on the website itself - not a mention of it anywhere. More info: https://www.outdoorproject.com/articles/no-recgov-doesnt-fund-public-lands Yikes... a bunch the info in my link even contradicts the booz hamilton site. Basically, the government paid them $182 million up front? (And yet they claim they only profit from transaction fees). The fees should really list out exactly how much is going to "booz allen hamilton" and how much is going to the government. More info: https://pmags.com/the-scourge-of-rec-dot-gov
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No doubt the BAH connection gets obscured on the rec.gov website for a reason. Many otherwise well-read people active outdoors aren’t aware that the site where they book their weekends and dream vacations funnel funds to a corporation to the tune of a $184 million contract and $1.5 million to implement. All these facts contrary to whatever corporate spin-doctoring is on the BAH site about a private-corporate partnership at no cost to the taxpayers.

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Cyclopath
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PostSat Aug 20, 2022 11:43 am 
I agree completely. I don't understand why the relevant agencies couldn't do this themselves and continue not charging for these permits.

Sore Feet
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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Aug 20, 2022 11:47 am 
The problem was that the Park Service and Forest Service were spectacularly incompetent when they did this themselves. Example when we did the John Muir Trail you had to apply by Fax when the permits became available 6 months in advance. Note this was in 2018 not 1982. In NCNP you had to line up at Marblemount RS in the wee hours of the morning for a permit the next day wasting two days at least. MRNP had an unwieldy system for the WT that assigned days like a 22 mi. hike from box canyon past Indian Bar and Summerland to camp at Sunrise camp. With who knows how many feet of gain to a lone woman. Of course there were “ways” if you were friends with a Ranger. Private government partnership is synonymous with corruption IMO. Rec.gov is a license to make money like Title insurance was back in the day, a corrupt system you cannot leagally avoid.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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FiresideChats
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PostSat Aug 20, 2022 12:18 pm 
dixon wrote:
Everywhere I have camped in the past few years has been busy with several parties there who do not have permits. So, I dont believe that the system is working and is being propped up by folks like us who play by the rules.
Are you in the cross-country zones, perhaps? I was surprised at the allowed numbers in those areas versus the developed camps.

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wade63
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PostSat Aug 20, 2022 4:12 pm 
"This kind of 'honor system' doesn't seem to work when the NPS insert so much friction into the system for those who are trying to do the right thing. The NPS should be clear about their goals, are they trying to protect the wilderness through limiting usage (in which case it's not working) or drive a revenue stream into the park?" It's about money. You are right it doesn't work. You and I can't fund the rangers it would take to enforce buying permits. It was better to be able to apply for free, at least the do gooders would go through that. And they would have a better chance at regulating. Online application for free is the way to go to monitor usage. Permit fees wouldn't buy one Ranger. But $26 to camp on our land, sorry, not inclined to do that. desk idiots.

Bramble_Scramble, dixon
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dixon
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PostSat Aug 20, 2022 5:16 pm 
FiresideChats wrote:
Are you in the cross-country zones, perhaps? I was surprised at the allowed numbers in those areas versus the developed camps.
Yeah, I was in Boston Basin/Snowfield Peak cross country zone which was a bit of a free for all, but noticed the same issues at Sahale camp, McCallister and also Sourdough. McCallister was a tough one as we arrived in the evening and all spots were full, two parties had no permits and since it was almost dark we luckily were able to befriend folks in the group spot and join their space. Not sure what else we could have done except hike back out 11 miles in the dark or make a new spot outside of the designated zone which would be super frustrating and make me feel bad. It's a challenging problem to solve as others have mentioned since it's impossible to enforce and relies on backcountry ethics.

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philfort
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PostSat Aug 20, 2022 5:28 pm 
I wonder what it'll be like in the off season. Do you still need to get a permit through recreation.gov? You used to just be able to pop by the closed ranger station and self-issue, and half the time there were no permit sheets left anyway, so you didn't bother.

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Chief Joseph
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PostSat Aug 20, 2022 6:32 pm 
They won't get any money from me, I will just stick to obscure or off trail hikes.

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.

moonspots
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BigBrunyon
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PostSun Aug 21, 2022 8:36 am 
Not quite to the point yet where you're seeing guys paralleling the trail 30 feet into woods in full camo, crawling in hands and knees to get in, which has become commonplace in THE ENCHANTMENTS.

mosey
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Sculpin
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PostSun Aug 21, 2022 11:07 am 
dixon wrote:
McCallister was a tough one as we arrived in the evening and all spots were full, two parties had no permits
We also met a party at McAlester that had no permit, they said a ranger in Twisp had told them that there was no enforcement in that part of the park. huh.gif YMMV. At the time, all the sites were reserved at all three designated camps, with about 20% actual usage. huh.gif huh.gif

Between every two pines is a doorway to the new world. - John Muir
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FiresideChats
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PostSun Aug 21, 2022 1:37 pm 
Sculpin wrote:
At the time, all the sites were reserved at all three designated camps, with about 20% actual usage. huh.gif huh.gif
From my recent experience at Grizzley Creek Camp - it seemed another party had a concurrent reservation, but we were the only ones there. A trickle of hikers on the PCT 5 miles away and no one at the large stock camp. Last August on the Rainbow Loop, all by my lonesome at Hidden Meadows and again at Dans. I was curious how my experience matched up with others. Sure seems like a lot of reservations are wasted, but if so, why? and that may be that is illusory.

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dixon
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dixon
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PostMon Aug 22, 2022 4:24 pm 
FiresideChats wrote:
Sure seems like a lot of reservations are wasted, but if so, why?
Part of the problem is since the process moved online people can reserve spots months/years in advance and since life happens, people don't show up. So NPS operate under the belief that a campsite/wilderness zone is full, yet in reality only a few people show up. It's the same with Front Country with the exception of after ~6pm its open season and all bets are off; no show reservations are expired. Personally, I don't think advance bookings work for this kind of stuff. I mean, who knows what they're doing August 23rd, 2023?

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