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Blake

Crazy Permit Fines

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I believe having a ranger willing to phone in a permit from the field would go a long way to help the parks get the info they need and make sure people out in the backcountry aren't doing anything totally nutz. It's the folks who dump trash or light big fires who really deserve a monetary fine.

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um... if everyone knew that they could get a permit in the field, then no one would get permits b/c everyone would just wait to get intercepted by a ranger... thus, only a small percentage of people would actually get permits... i can see why the park service would not find this strategy to be a good one...

 

and by the way, i certainly wouldn't count on any ranger at rainier issuing you a permit in the field, i'd say you're just as lucky to get a citation...

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They want information on use of areas of the park. To be fair they are trying to do that and a few other good things. Obviously the fines are a little steep.

 

Personally I like spending my free time in the coast range. Things are a bit more free form there. You do have to talk to the boarder guard if you're American. ;)

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what the fuck is the purpose of the permits anyways?

to convince me my hatred of Da Tool is worth discarding all the benefits of law'n'order for the joys of senseless nihilism

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regardless, the initial ticket-writing tool wins the dick of the day award and i can't see how my mind would ever be changed on that count

 

Amen.

----------------------

Are we sure it is a federal judge?

----------------------

Blake, I feel your pain.

Keep up the good climbs.

 

Breaking the law in an NP is going to be heard in Federal court because the Park is Federal land, so yeah. Same deal for not displaying the parking pass, it's Federal land. Like it or not, that's the deal. Being bold, special, and a climber written about in the national climbing mags changes nothing. I regularly tread on public land for administrative purposes (stocking fish as a volunteer for the State of Wa) and I still have to get all the damn permits. Same deal for real-life paid gummint employees. I heard a story from a guy just this week of some Fed fish bios getting busted for doing legit admin work in the Olympic NP without permits. They were just too damn lazy to get the permits and they got nailed just like the rest of us.

 

EVERYONE has to get the damn permits.

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Same deal for real-life paid gummint employees. I heard a story from a guy just this week of some Fed fish bios getting busted for doing legit admin work in the Olympic NP without permits. They were just too damn lazy to get the permits and they got nailed just like the rest of us.

 

EVERYONE has to get the damn permits.

 

Do backcountry rangers have to get permits? :/

Edited by robmcdan

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what the fuck is the purpose of the permits anyways?

 

In the National Parks, it's to (a) control how many people camp in certain places so they don't get trampled and ruined and (b) to record usage data to plan new trails, or trail re-routes, close trails or campgrounds, expand them, etc.

 

As for point (a), look at the wrecked conditions in many National Forest locations. They don't have this system (but are not chartered to do so). The NPS is supposed to preserve the National Parks in a way that generations from now, new users can go onto the land and it will be essentially unchanged from when we used it. Conservation.

Edited by builder206

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Builder, I think you have probably rather accurately described the justification for the permits but one point I wonder about is the idea that they use that information to plan new trails.

 

As far as I am aware, they have built ONE new trail in the North Cascades in the last twenty years. Thunder Knob. CLose to Seattle, they've linked pre-existing logging road with scraps of new trail in the Middle Fork, and they decided to adopt a popular fiserman's trail leading to a lake closer to Snoqualmie Pass.

 

I'm sure there are a few new trails here and there, but building new trails is definitely not a management priority and in fact - due to the grizzly bear rule - quite the opposite.

 

As to your point (a), I think a narrowly defined designated camping area in places like Boston Basin or the Enchantment Lakes would do more to protect the area from damaged from campers than a permit (quota) system.

 

Still, the good people at Marblemount do a great job in my book and I've never (almost never) had a complaint with them.

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They did build a Stonehenge-style sacrificial alter at Cascade Pass. Perhaps we can soon sacrifice virgins and albino sheep at all passes in the NCNP?

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what, you don't already? I thought everyone knew that a virgin (or given the relative scarcity of virgins, a sheep or goat) was pretty much the 11th essential for a successful summit bid.

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what, you don't already? I thought everyone knew that a virgin (or given the relative scarcity of virgins, a sheep or goat) was pretty much the 11th essential for a successful summit bid.

 

Sacrificing a King gets you a whole successful season.

 

I like this topic. The History of Western Civilization is retraced, from the first climbers roaming free across the (future) NCNP to craven trip planners needing permission to sleep on a rock.

 

The trip which these guys got fined for is a little different from the usual. Why couldn't the rangers have just taken a written description of the intended plan without trying to shoe-horn it into their permit system? The Kelly Bush post (thanks!) makes it sound as though there is room for flexibility. In a case like this, why not make the rules work for the users rather than other way 'round?

 

Also, the argument that everyone must be treated alike would seem to extend to the fines. $250 is not the same punishment for everyone.

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Also, the argument that everyone must be treated alike would seem to extend to the fines. $250 is not the same punishment for everyone.

The $250 fee isn't really excessive - it was simply the judge factoring in his time, his bailiffs time, his clerks time and his court reporters time. All together this easily adds up to more than $250. If you plead guilty just pay the fine; the judge has better things to do then listen to climbers explain why they shouldn't have to get permits.

 

If you feel strongly about it, try and get the law changed on the legislative level - don't try and argue with a judge.

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I once received a citation in Shenandoah National Park for building an illegal campfire. It was right after I got out of high school and was just learning about backpacking and rockclimbing. I was backpacking on the Whiteoak Canyon Trail with two buddies and lit a tiny little fire by our tent. We were quite a ways off the trail, but an intrepid ranger was hiking through just after twilight and spotted our fire. He came into our camp and wrote me up. I totally deserved it --mailed in my fine. When I started working for the NPS in the North Cascades and realized that writing citations for code violations was part of the job, it helped to know what it feels like to get ticketed.

I certainly can't vouch for every individual that dons an NPS Ranger uniform, I'm sure there's some jerks out there. In fact, I worked with one a few years back in Death Valley. I definitely take umbrage, however, at a sweeping generalization of all rangers as "tools". Those of you that want to label every ranger that way will be singing a different tune if you ever get into a tight spot and need a ranger's help.

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I once received a citation in Shenandoah National Park for building an illegal campfire. It was right after I got out of high school and was just learning about backpacking and rockclimbing. I was backpacking on the Whiteoak Canyon Trail with two buddies and lit a tiny little fire by our tent. We were quite a ways off the trail, but an intrepid ranger was hiking through just after twilight and spotted our fire. He came into our camp and wrote me up. I totally deserved it --mailed in my fine. When I started working for the NPS in the North Cascades and realized that writing citations for code violations was part of the job, it helped to know what it feels like to get ticketed.

I certainly can't vouch for every individual that dons an NPS Ranger uniform, I'm sure there's some jerks out there. In fact, I worked with one a few years back in Death Valley. I definitely take umbrage, however, at a sweeping generalization of all rangers as "tools". Those of you that want to label every ranger that way will be singing a different tune if you ever get into a tight spot and need a ranger's help.

not all rangers are tools - those that are dogmatic in enforcing the law are though - for example, the fire you built and cited for: a good ranger would write you up if it was october and there was a foot of dry leaves on the ground, a tool would write you up if it was january, snowing and 20 degrees below zero.

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I worked for a guy at the UI who had been a ranger in the Tetons. He liked his job and did all kinds of fantastic stuff like rescuing folks. Eventually though his bosses told him that in order to continue he was going to have to go to cop school, learn to pack heat, and then a couple days a week bust people for speeding on the highway in the park. He liked his job enough that he did that. When he would pull people over he would try and stick to handing out warnings and lecturing folks about the risk of hitting elk and such.

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Also, the argument that everyone must be treated alike would seem to extend to the fines. $250 is not the same punishment for everyone.

The $250 fee isn't really excessive - it was simply the judge factoring in his time, his bailiffs time, his clerks time and his court reporters time. All together this easily adds up to more than $250. If you plead guilty just pay the fine; the judge has better things to do then listen to climbers explain why they shouldn't have to get permits.

 

If you feel strongly about it, try and get the law changed on the legislative level - don't try and argue with a judge.

 

You know what - no one is guilty until proven innocent. You have a right to have your case heard. The judge does not have "better things to do". The judge is there because hearing cases is what he is supposed to do.

 

Penalizing someone for exercising their right to see a judge and plead their case is directly counter to the intent of the law.

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Also, the argument that everyone must be treated alike would seem to extend to the fines. $250 is not the same punishment for everyone.

The $250 fee isn't really excessive - it was simply the judge factoring in his time, his bailiffs time, his clerks time and his court reporters time. All together this easily adds up to more than $250. If you plead guilty just pay the fine; the judge has better things to do then listen to climbers explain why they shouldn't have to get permits.

 

If you feel strongly about it, try and get the law changed on the legislative level - don't try and argue with a judge.

 

You know what - no one is guilty until proven innocent. You have a right to have your case heard. The judge does not have "better things to do". The judge is there because hearing cases is what he is supposed to do.

 

Penalizing someone for exercising their right to see a judge and plead their case is directly counter to the intent of the law.

wacky canadian - we have no use for you due process law'n'order thang here!

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You know what - no one is guilty until proven innocent. You have a right to have your case heard. The judge does not have "better things to do". The judge is there because hearing cases is what he is supposed to do.

 

Penalizing someone for exercising their right to see a judge and plead their case is directly counter to the intent of the law.

 

He plead guilty. The judge only increased the fine after hearing a guilty plea followed by an explanation. You can't please guilty and then say "but". Think of poor Larry Craig.

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Also, the argument that everyone must be treated alike would seem to extend to the fines. $250 is not the same punishment for everyone.

The $250 fee isn't really excessive - it was simply the judge factoring in his time, his bailiffs time, his clerks time and his court reporters time. All together this easily adds up to more than $250. If you plead guilty just pay the fine; the judge has better things to do then listen to climbers explain why they shouldn't have to get permits.

 

If you feel strongly about it, try and get the law changed on the legislative level - don't try and argue with a judge.

 

You know what - no one is guilty until proven innocent. You have a right to have your case heard. The judge does not have "better things to do". The judge is there because hearing cases is what he is supposed to do.

 

Penalizing someone for exercising their right to see a judge and plead their case is directly counter to the intent of the law.

Only if you click your heels together and say "I want to go back to Kansas....."

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I don't understand why they even issue fines for failing to get a free permit. Why not just issue Blake et. al a permit from the backcountry, instead of a fine? :confused:

 

Unless they're looking to make money from the fines, that is. :/

 

THEY DON'T MAKE A DAMN CENT OFF OF FINES, PEOPLE!!!!!

 

That is becasue they are paying staff to issue fines to pay for more staff. Of course they are not making money off of it. it is a way to bring in money to pay for staff. No new trails recently other than the few mentioned above. I agree that Blake and Dan should have gotten a permit. I disagree with the ranger issuing a citation in a really remote part of the park and think it was foolish for Blake and Dan to protest the fine. I could understand poaching an area like BB or anywhere in Cascade Pass without a permit, when all of the permits are taken. I totally disaagree wth the park assessing large fines for free permits where nary a soul ventures in a given year. If the Ranger had an ounce or morals he would have issued a warning and if caught again, then slam them hard.

 

As for me, I get my backcountry permits, do not ga into areas where all permits are taken, but refuse to pay for parking at unimproved trailheads. I have two cards I hang in my window. One is the religion thing for the unimproved trailheads and one is an annual Forest Service Fee area parking permit for the improved trailheads. I have never in 7 years of hanging the religious tag on my rearview received a citation while parked at an unimproved trailhead and also never received a ticket for doing the same at the Stuart Lake trailhead when my regular pass had lapsed.

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You know what - no one is guilty until proven innocent. You have a right to have your case heard. The judge does not have "better things to do". The judge is there because hearing cases is what he is supposed to do.

 

Penalizing someone for exercising their right to see a judge and plead their case is directly counter to the intent of the law.

 

He plead guilty. The judge only increased the fine after hearing a guilty plea followed by an explanation. You can't please guilty and then say "but". Think of poor Larry Craig.

 

So why didn't the judge just impose the prosecution's desired fine? There's a strong implication that it was because Blake dared to show up in his court.

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