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jon

Mt Rainier Fee to increase from $15 to $25 in 2015

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My comments:

 

Increasing fees while limiting access will not build long-term support for national parks--particularly at MORA. Foremost, I'm referring to the closure of the Carbon River Road and the failure of Rainier Park officials to follow through on their own Environmental Assessment's commitment--a promise to allow cars one mile up the road to a turn-around/parking area just beyond the Old Mine Trail. Arbitrarily applying back-country/wilderness rules to Ipsut Creek Campground has also been a betrayal of promises made along the Carbon.

 

Secondly, I take issue with park official's failure to reassess the status of West Side Road twenty years after the Environmental Assessment that temporarily closed it. This was supposed to be done in 2012 per your original 1992 Environmental Assessment.

 

More money for MORA? Only if we can enjoy it in ways we were promised.

 

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I'd agree that communication on these issues has bee lacking, to say the least. And that some of the day-to-day operations, such as opening the Paradise Road in winter seem to be more geared towards what? I don't know, convenience of staffers rather than winter recreationists? Hard to tell.

 

But - the Park Service and other natural resource agencies - USFS, BLM, USFWS are the step-children of the Federal budget process. We're moving more towards a user-fee system than ever before - Congress, and your (OK, more like Iowa's) elected officials are starving these agencies given the demand for neglected infrastructure and level of use. And never mind about ecological restoration or research.

 

Seriously - in an era of dwindling budgets issues such as the West Side Road are not on the table, they are not even in the room.

 

 

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I'd agree that communication on these issues has bee lacking, to say the least. And that some of the day-to-day operations, such as opening the Paradise Road in winter seem to be more geared towards what? I don't know, convenience of staffers rather than winter recreationists? Hard to tell.

 

But - the Park Service and other natural resource agencies - USFS, BLM, USFWS are the step-children of the Federal budget process. We're moving more towards a user-fee system than ever before - Congress, and your (OK, more like Iowa's) elected officials are starving these agencies given the demand for neglected infrastructure and level of use. And never mind about ecological restoration or research.

 

Seriously - in an era of dwindling budgets issues such as the West Side Road are not on the table, they are not even in the room.

 

 

Back to your point on the Paradise Road. It can't be a budget issue - they open it, but the timing blows. I've seen rangers sitting there at the gate doing nothing and refusing to open the road until they feel like it. Then they partrol the parking lot telling people they need to hurry and get down from Paradise or the gate will be closed. Gee, maybe if you OPENED an hour earlier we'd clear out in time.

 

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Respectfully, Jim, Rainier Park officials found enough money to acquire, restore, and staff the new ranger station on the old Carbon Ranch site. Meanwhile, the WSRoad is 99% intact. It would cost next to nothing to open it to the public--just as it is now for NPS vehicles.

 

No, it's not about money. Still, if park officials would simply uphold their promises, folks like me would support their needed fee increase.

Edited by Fairweather

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I don't doubt that there are certainly funding issues but, like others, I get the sense that they don't mind shrinking access. Seems to be a combination of concern for resource damage and trying to simplify managing the herd.

 

I think many rangers could go farther to show how they are trying to facilitate and enhance the access of the user groups. This is a generalization, I'm sure there are rangers out there who are trying to help the average recreationalist, rather than corral them. But the stereotype exists for a very good reason, in my experience.

 

I'm much more sensitive to this now that I have short legged hiking companions.

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Your short-legged companions are exactly the reason West Side needs to be reopened. Fantastic day hikes that offer a great introduction to the outdoors. It's always ironic to hear NPS officials and staff complaining about crowds on trails out of Paradise and Sunrise--since some of this pressure could be relieved by restoring access to the Carbon and West Side.

 

That said, MRNP doesn't hold a friggin candle to the let's-lock-out-the-public agenda of management and staff up at North Cascades National Park.

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Your short-legged companions are exactly the reason West Side needs to be reopened. Fantastic day hikes that offer a great introduction to the outdoors. It's always ironic to hear NPS officials and staff complaining about crowds on trails out of Paradise and Sunrise--since some of this pressure could be relieved by restoring access to the Carbon and West Side.

 

That said, MRNP doesn't hold a friggin candle to the let's-lock-out-the-public agenda of management and staff up at North Cascades National Park.

 

You prompted me to look into this a bit last night - and I'd agree it's not clear why the road is not opened - at least say thru about this time of year. Seems it could be a viable recreation use option. Is there a capacity issue - parking, turn-arounds?

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Road seemed fine with adequate space when I walked it a couple years ago. There is only one minor wash out that HC cars would have no problem with. It is frustrating to have NPS trucks drive past you without offering a ride.

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That said, MRNP doesn't hold a friggin candle to the let's-lock-out-the-public agenda of management and staff up at North Cascades National Park.

 

I know, NCNP should get off their asses and put up a restaurant and tram already!! Why must one of the last remote areas in the lower-48 stay that way?? Europe has already proven you can place humanity on every square inch of the alpine, so let's get our act together.

 

Seriously though, I'm actually curious wtf you are talking about? I spend nearly all of my outdoor time up in the N Cascades, a large % of that in the NCNP. I have never been locked out of anything, nor unable to do what I wanted to do. If we are talking about washed out roads or something...well, that's what mountain bikes and not being lazy are for. Or is there something else in particular I'm not aware of?

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It seems as though fat asses lock themselves out of NCNP by eating too much. It's a choice.

 

Personal responsibility! Nanny mustn't spoon feed Big Baby!

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Specifically, Stehekin Road. And no, you can't ride your bike up the road either. The grade has been legally "enclosed" in the adjacent wilderness.

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It seems as though fat asses lock themselves out of NCNP by eating too much. It's a choice.

 

Personal responsibility! Nanny mustn't spoon feed Big Baby!

 

How thoroughly rude and elitist.

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FYI: You can ride your bike aaaaall the way to the end of the Stehekin road - 13 miles to the Car Wash Bridge - about 2 mi past High Bridge.

 

Fatties can get in shape and hike NCNP any time they want. They can get in shape BY hiking NCNP, even. Or they can just drive Highway 20 and the Cascade River Road.

 

It's truly a free country.

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Nice try, but of course you know I was referring to to closed grade beyond to Cottonwood.

 

Wait wait, your bitch about the NCNP "locking" people out is that the road is no longer usable up to Cottonwood camp? Why the fuck would anybody who purports to enjoy the outdoors want an old road regraded underneath Park Creek Ridge?? That is literally the heart of NCNP.

 

Should they reactivate that plan to force the road over Cascade Pass too?

 

Jesus man, the access is great and you can get to some amazing terrain, largely undisturbed. You make it seem like armed guards are keeping you of the park.

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Thank Dog for NCNP and its administrators. Keep keeping it wild!

 

The name of God has a lot of power of you yet, enough to make you afraid to invoke It. Interesting.

 

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Nice try, but of course you know I was referring to to closed grade beyond to Cottonwood.

 

Wait wait, your bitch about the NCNP "locking" people out is that the road is no longer usable up to Cottonwood camp? Why the fuck would anybody who purports to enjoy the outdoors want an old road regraded underneath Park Creek Ridge?? That is literally the heart of NCNP.

 

Should they reactivate that plan to force the road over Cascade Pass too?

 

Jesus man, the access is great and you can get to some amazing terrain, largely undisturbed. You make it seem like armed guards are keeping you of the park.

 

The NPS has spent some considerable time on that one - I was up there talking to them about it. Bottom line the road is in a bad place regarding flooding and some of the models indicate it's not going to get better with changes in hydrology. Because it's bounded on both sides by the wilderness it would take Congress to act to change it. This one seems an easy decision. Close the gate and let it be. I worked on another one on a USFWS refuge in AK with similar issues - different politics of course, the Feds chose not to move on the issue, and of course AK is now suing.

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That said, MRNP doesn't hold a friggin candle to the let's-lock-out-the-public agenda of management and staff up at North Cascades National Park.

 

I know, NCNP should get off their asses and put up a restaurant and tram already!! Why must one of the last remote areas in the lower-48 stay that way?? Europe has already proven you can place humanity on every square inch of the alpine, so let's get our act together.

 

Seriously though, I'm actually curious wtf you are talking about? I spend nearly all of my outdoor time up in the N Cascades, a large % of that in the NCNP. I have never been locked out of anything, nor unable to do what I wanted to do. If we are talking about washed out roads or something...well, that's what mountain bikes and not being lazy are for. Or is there something else in particular I'm not aware of?

 

I'm sorry josh, but this is priceless--coming from a guy (you) who crashed the washout gate on the Suiattle road in his 4wd Audi Quatro a few years back and posted the video online.

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1: The Suiattle River Road is not in the Glacier Peak Wilderness

2: There was no prohibition against driving to Downey Creek at the time. The route was wide open for any vehicle that could handle it. All that came later.

3: Josh was in Seattle when that video was shot. I should know - I shot it.

4: That complete Ptarmigan traverse was really awesome. Driving that 12 miles was sweet icing on a very delicious cake.

5: Josh, that was our very first meeting at White Rock Lakes, no? Why, I believe it was *sigh*

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