Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      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!
Sign in to follow this  
pc22

Alpental winter upvalley travel restricted

Recommended Posts

Some clarifications for y'all:

The Wilderness Act of 1964 created a new class of protection for federal wildlands managed by 4 agencies - USFS and NPS (as mentioned previously) but also US F+W and BLM.

Much of the Wilderness in Washington came from the first Washington Wilderness Act (1984?) with additions, including the 3 NPS Wilderness areas in 1988.

Matt asks a common question. Why do we need Wilderness in a NP? The NPS has two main missions to protect/preserve special places and to provide for public enjoyment. Since 1916 the NPS has battled with these two ideas and sometimes the public enjoyment has won out over preservation - look at all the roads through our NPs and the grand old lodges. What the wilderness act does is prevent development in these areas - keeping them as places where "man is a visitor". Without the Wilderness protection we might have a tram up Ruby mountain in the N.Cascades (a very serious proposal. In the current search for ways to collect fees we can all imagine new roads, trams or backcountry lodges if the wilderness act didn't prevent them.

 

As for chainsaws- like any good piece of Federal law, there are plenty of exceptions. Many of the wilderness act exceptions are for the "administration" of the act.

The land management agencies have interpreted the act differently- the NPS allows chainsaws and even helicopters in wilderness when they are deemed the "minimal tool." The BLM sometimes drives ORVs into wilderness to manage grazing allotments.

 

anyhow, hope that helps..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"...like any good piece of Federal Law..."

Oxymoron? A ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ooo ooo....oh. Sigh.

 

Thanks for the clarification, geordie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

By the way, in my opinion the Olympic National Park is a textbook example of a park that is thoughtfully managed, with regard to access issues. You can drive your Winnebago right in to the Hoh Rainfores, up to Hurricane Ridge, and out to some of the most beautiful beaches in the universe, but most of the park remains wilderness. The closure/abandonment of the road to the Olympic hot springs twenty years ago was a good move, in my opinion, as has been the attempt to minimize access to the logging roads just outside the boundaries of the coastal wilderness strip. I don't think they manage for "solitude" - they don't really have to - and I have never heard of anybody having any permit problems. Whether you are wheelchair bound, tied to your WInnebago, a marathon trail runner or a peak-bagger, the Olympic National Park has something for you and it is not being run into the ground or developed. The surrounding Olympic National Forest, on the other hand, has almot completely been ravaged by the chainsaw. I wish there HAD been more designated wilderness there.

 

I agree 100% with this portion of your post. thumbs_up.gif Please keep in mind however, that ONP has strict overnight use limits in place at Lake Constance, Flapjack Lakes, All Costal sites, Royal Basin, Seven Lakes Basin, Grand Park, and a couple of other areas I can't think of right now. Whether or not these restrictions were "administrative" or based, once again, on 'solitude', I don't know. I think "preserving the user experience" is often NP/USFS code for solitude enforcement.

 

As for Muir and Schurman, these are within non-wilderness corridors. I can envision pressure groups trying to apply Wilderness Act standards in these areas if they perceive they can make a case and find a lawyer hungry enough to take it on, just as they have tried to do down at Mount Hood. ...But then again, I'm cynical regarding these matters. evils3d.gif

 

With all of the flooding of last October, you can also look for environmental groups to be petitioning for permanent closure of washouts. Look for these groups to be using salmon habitat/recovery/ESA as the mechanism with which they can make road repair costs prohibitive. Each year the list of permanent road/access closures gets longer, and unreasonable environmental mitigation is a BIG reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back on track.....

 

I emailed a bunch of people and Trevor Kostanich, a manager at Alpental, replied that yes, they are shutting down uphill traffic on the South side of the creek, but no changes to parking will be implemented at this time.

 

IMHO, this is scandalous. I could see why they would close 'their' trail to uphill traffic, but by closing the entire side of the valley they are restricting our ability to enjoy public land. I'm looking forward to seeing them try to enforce the rules.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fairweather, I believe the reason why WTA and other groups supported the FS plan chosen for the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie is that that valley is a rather unique environment. It is a rare, lowland forest that hasn't been logged in over 60 years. Without the road it will revert to a wild state. The section of the valley above Taylor River is served by an excellent trail on which a great deal of effort has been expended to improve it. I've hiked that trail numerous times and it is quiet, except when you hear a truck driving up the road on the other side of the valley. Access to Dutch Miller Gap will require an additional 12 miles of hiking, or you will have the option of taking your mountain bike on the closed road. That will remain a viable option for many years I expect, as the Goldmyer people will probably help to maintain the road.

 

There won't be any more tailgate fishing up there, but there will be a wonderful wilderness experience for those who are willing to spend the time to walk or bike in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hell !! Fuck IT !!! ( excuse my language, please )

I say, lets extend the damm road up to source lk, fill in

the lake with dirt, build our own parking looottt, say screw it to the ski area asholes, put our own gate, let no

other inn than climbers/hikers/snowshoers etc.

And then BOYCOT !!!! Alpental ski operators, by any means

example: picketing, internet, staged actions like slowdowns

on the Alpental rd etc. And inform them of our plans beforehand.

Happyyyy New Year to you too

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I believe the reason why WTA and other groups supported the FS plan chosen for the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie is that that valley is a rather unique environment. It is a rare, lowland forest that hasn't been logged in over 60 years. Without the road it will revert to a wild state. The section of the valley above Taylor .

 

Two things:

 

Officially the WTA supports Alternative E as CBS states. I will say however that internally it is a pretty contentious subject.

 

Alternative E says nothing about decommissioning the road.There is no reason to believe that there might be an attempt to log up in that valley at some point.

 

Personally I wouldn't have a problem with closing the road if it were to be permanent and if the area were also annexed to the ALW. Unfortunately I don't see that happening. Instead what we're going to get is a road that is only open to the inholders, and a huge amount of trail redevelopment up to the DMG area in order to make the trail accessable to stock. thumbs_down.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MaryLou,

 

Chainsaws and other such mechanical construction devices (bulldozers, etc.) are allowed only when a district manager applies for a waiver in such case. That is another layer of red tape that the local district managers must go through that bogs down the system.

 

Example: Work recently down on the Elbow Lake trail by Mt Baker required such a waiver when it entered Wilderness Area. That waiver took over a year to process and get approved. Because of all the muck that is required to do such acts, stagnant USFS Recreation/Conservation budgets, and Nepa and Sepa forms, a manager will take significant time to weigh the benefit/cost ratio.

 

I have a great deal of experience reporting about such topics. And I can say that 99% of the USFS employees at the district level I have worked with in the past are top-notch people that are dedicated to their work.

 

The problem with the USFS is not at the local level, as a USFS engineer once put it to me off-record "There are too many generals and not enough indians."

 

Bug put it correctly when stating it is the executive branch that ultimately dictates such policies. And the people that are making the greatest decisions are the farthest away.

 

As far as the Alpental situation, this is on the same level as Mt Baker Ski Area's backcountry policy from a few years back. It is on territory leased by Alpental and the return trail is a convienence for it's clientele. The biggest problem is the parking situation. There is definite need for a Sno-Park in the area. But given the state budget snafu, I don't think that is something that is going to happen in the near future.

 

Be polite and contact the people given above and voice your concern. Constructive opinions are the only way some sort of beneficial solution will come about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×