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      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
olyclimber

Lots of hikers

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I'm not crazy! 

And I do pine for those days in the mid-90's when you had well-known North Cascades trails to yourself.  Now I have to go Devil's Club wrestling to find some space.

  • Smells bad 1

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ha!  It's been awhile since I've listened to that.

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A friend of mine estimated that 600 people were on the Maple Pass Loop one day (hwy20 rainy pass) during the fall larch color change. He based his estimate on the  number of parked cars. The lot was full with cars parked along the exit road shoulder, and a quarter mile. along hwy 20 in each direction.

I know a lot of people, including myself, are heading off trail as a result of the over crowding.

A lot of us have been around long enough to witness the times before the spiderwork of social and climber trails developed, some of which I have contributed to reinforcing. Of course the result is poorly executed steep trails that erode and pass through sensitive areas.

Is the solution more developed trails, or take a number and queue up for your start time?

 

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57 minutes ago, Chris Hopkins said:

Is the solution more developed trails, or take a number and queue up for your start time?

More trails!  If you look at old maps, there are hundreds of miles of trails that have been abandoned.  Clear 'em out and publicize them! 

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I spent the last four summer working on a USFS trail crew. Our district has about 750 miles of trail (including many that never get maintained), and 5-7 people working on the trail crew depending on the year. Making abandoned trails a little more passable has always been my favorite thing about the job, but that doesn't happen often. In the last couple of years we've struggled to maintain even the most popular trails due to employee turnover and budget issues. The list of unofficially abandoned trails gets longer every year even though there are more people out in the woods than ever. 

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How do we effectively advocate for more trail maintenance funding @Dannible??

I've written my electeds several times but they never even respond on this particular issue, likely because I'm one of the only ones who has ever brought it up.  Get the big outdoor retailers involved like BD, Patagonia, REI??

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How do we effectively advocate for more trail maintenance funding @Dannible??

It has to start somewhere? Here?

I wonder how much the revenues have risen for the Northwest Forest Pass the last 5 years? Pretty good article about it here: http://www.oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2016/11/where_does_your_northwest_fore.html

Quote

In the last two fiscal years, Northwest forests have seen a surge in popularity. In 2015, fee dollars eclipsed $10 million for the first time. In 2016, they reached $11.5 million.

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, JasonG said:

How do we effectively advocate for more trail maintenance funding @Dannible??

I've written my electeds several times but they never even respond on this particular issue, likely because I'm one of the only ones who has ever brought it up.  Get the big outdoor retailers involved like BD, Patagonia, REI??

That is something I haven't thought much about in a while, honestly. The forest service, like much of the federal government, runs in such a convoluted way that it's hard to understand what's going on even when it's all around you. I get too focused on the job in front of me to look at the big picture these days. Most of the money that my crew runs on comes from state grants. The rest comes from the NW Forest Pass and other recreation fees, and allocated funds from the federal government. If it was up to me I'd say we should drop a few less bombs so that we could cut out a couple hundred more trails, but they never ask me. Maybe I'll try to think about it and get back to you.

Edited by Dannible
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1 hour ago, Dannible said:

If it was up to me I'd say we should drop a few less bombs so that we could cut out a couple hundred more trails, but they never ask me. 

Seriously, the shit we could do if we dropped a few less bombs...

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It's true, defense spending dwarfs all other sectors of discretionary government expenditures (when you exclude SS and Medicare/Medicaid, which are much larger than the miltary). 

No matter the administration.

Obama:

discretionary_spending_pie,_2015_enacted

A few less bombs would go a long ways on the forests.

 

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a good question is the makeup of the defense budget.  I think a good chunk of that 600 billion goes to peoples wages.

 

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Defense Department Base Budget

DoD requested $597.1 billion. It seeks to:

 
  1. Increase manning levels for all four branches from 1.314 million in 2018 to 1.338 million.
  2. A 2.6 percent pay raise for military personnel. It brings total compensation to $61,700 for enlisted personnel and $113,500 for officers. Those figures include tax-free allowances for food and housing.
  3. Continuing the Missile Defeat and Defense Enhancement initiative
  4. Increase procurement of preferred and advanced munitions.
  1. Modernize equipment for the second Army Armored Brigade Combat Team.
  2. Buy 10 combat ships.
  3. Increase production of the F-35 and F/A-18 aircraft. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program cost $400 billion for 2,457 planes, mostly for development and testing. 
  4. Modernize the nuclear triad too enhance deterrence.
  5. Enhance communications in space.
  6. Increase the use of technology innovation.

 

don't see the large amount of civilain employees working for DOD.

but there are quite a few things we cold do less with in that budget.   but there are a few good things in there.

 

 

  1. Increase procurement of preferred and advanced munitions.
  2. Modernize equipment for the second Army Armored Brigade Combat Team.
  3. Buy 10 combat ships.
  4. Increase production of the F-35 and F/A-18 aircraft. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program cost $400 billion for 2,457 planes, mostly for development and testing. 
  5. Modernize the nuclear triad too enhance deterrence.
  6. Enhance communications in space.
  7. Increase the use of technology innovation.

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Good point @genepires, but I think less people are also needed if we shrink our war machine.  Less weapons to maintain.

Of course, as @Dannible pointed out, things aren't simple to re-program at the Federal level.  I'd be interested to hear from anyone who works for or has worked at the Congressional level on the most productive path.  I suspect that it boils down to # of voices and seniority of your leaders in DC. i.e. the swamp.

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Spreading people out to relieve trail congestion will only work in the short term. From what I can tell is seems that adding easier access does not equal trail maintenance. Rather it appears to mean adding huge parking lots, garbage cans, cars, more horses,  fee boxes, dog shit and tons of clueless people who've never heard of LNT.   Better to just keep that crowd on the land they've already discovered because they're going to wreck it wherever they go. Eventually we'll run out of places to disperse them to. Then what?

Yes, It's way past time for the big gear makers and the giant corps that have made billions off the surge of new outdoor enthusiasts get in on the conservation, preservation and restoration act in a way that is more than just fodder for their monthly marketing campaigns. I'm not aware of anyone in the industry that's pushing something similar to Dingell/Johnson or Pittman/Robertson. If you want to affect change you'd be much better served by lobbying the corps that lobby congress. If you can get people to stop giving their money to the multi billion dollar companies that pay off our legislatures you might get someone to pay attention. Good luck with that.

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A war seems to be the most efficient way to both reduce population and available munitions, not to mention to cause a bone spur outbreak in ranks of the upper class.

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1 hour ago, olyclimber said:

A war seems to be the most efficient way to both reduce population and available munitions, not to mention to cause a bone spur outbreak in ranks of the upper class.

Start world war three, end it with nuclear holocaust, no more crowding on the trails, and no more government that funds military instead of conservation!

Seems flawless

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8 hours ago, JasonG said:

You're right @KirkW, we should just all kill ourselves now.

Well, that's not what I was implying but the idea might work. You first.

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Posted (edited)

The answer is in the original posted article! If avid high-profile social media hikers go on 'adventure' hikes on the formally-abandoned trails @dannible (and others) mentioned, and then Instagram the shit out of the hikes, as in "I'm doing this rad adventure, look at my millennial selfie to prove it!", then two more will go. And then two more. And then two more. And then USFS will get funds to maintain those trails. Before you know it, the trails will be popular again and back in shape. 

The Instagram effect is a real thing. To wit, last summer's climb du jour, the formally obscure Hellbent for Glory.

One issue might be a lot of those abandoned trails share parking with the well-used trails, so access will remain a strain.

This strategy less clearly helps our over crowded local climbing areas though. I don't know the answer for that. Its getting more crowded at every Washington crag every year. At least porta and permanent shitters are showing up in the right places lately. Thank you WCC for that.

- a s s m :yeti2:n k e y

Edited by assmonkey

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forget the feds.  pick an abandoned trail.  hike it with a pair of loppers, a pruning saw, and an entrenching tool.  convince acquaintances to do the same.  poof! free trail.

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