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#32328 - 07/23/13 10:08 PM Wag Bag "Hero" Gets Special Thanks
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
I just stumbled upon a really nice video celebrating the 1964 Wilderness Act and at the end of the video the credits include a "Special Thanks" to Steve Shackelton and guess who...

Garry Oye, the former Mt Whitney District Ranger who circumvented the National Environmental Protection Act to remove the toilet system and force Wag Bags onto Whitney hikers, despite overwhelming public opposition. He changed the preferred alternative in an Environmental Assessment during the public notice, lied about the public comments opposing his position, then implemented an alternative with known impacts without bothering to complete an official decision document. Thanks to his disregard for the legal process, Inyo NF can't even issue a Forest Order to back up their Wag Bag "solution." What the heck did Garry Oye do to get a "Special Thanks" in this video celebrating the 1964 Wilderness Act?

Other than giving "special thanks" to a person who blatantly disregarded environmental law and made a mockery of public input into the environmental process, it's a decent video.

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#32336 - 07/24/13 10:11 AM Re: Wag Bag "Hero" Gets Special Thanks [Re: SierraNevada]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7740
Loc: Fresno, CA
SN, which would you prefer, having the guy making pretty National Park videos, or burning down toilets and messing up environmental processes?

I'd vote to have him out there with the foot-rangers like Bob, Brian and Jeff, carrying out the used and abandoned WAG bags that have proliferated because of his legacy.

Related topic: Solar Toilets vs Carrying Wag Bags

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#32338 - 07/24/13 10:34 AM Re: Wag Bag "Hero" Gets Special Thanks [Re: Steve C]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Oye is the same guy who approved the continued use of rock bolts in the Parks. Another screwing-around-with-nature situation so we can have more fun, fun, fun... Can't climb a rock without help? Hey, just follow the bolt ladder, then you can brag and add yet another route to your I-love-me list.

Don't know how to shit in the woods without help? Don't worry, the government will issue you little baggies to help with your toilet training. Gawd!

http://www.outsideonline.com/adventure-t...Wilderness.html






Edited by Bob West (07/24/13 10:40 AM)

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#35548 - 03/28/14 06:34 PM Re: Wag Bag "Hero" Gets Special Thanks [Re: Bob West]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Well this special "hero" Garry Oye didn't like my comment I posted last fall on the YouTube video. Months ago I commented on his disregard for the NEPA process and disregard for public comments that he showed as Whitney District Ranger. Well, he followed my YouTube name to my YouTube channel, watched my daughter's high school graduation video and tracked me down at my work from there. He called me this week at my office. Here's how the conversation went:

Every time I started to talk, he interrupted me and wouldn't stop talking, mostly telling me what I think and how great he is. Apparently he's psychic and knows what I think, but he's not a very good psychic. After about 10 attempts to complete a sentence, I began to tell him how rude he was, but it didn't register. He was so rudely interrupting me that he didn't realize I was calling him out for rudely interrupting me. Eventually, I raised my voice and accused him of ignoring public comments just as he was ignoring me right then. Eventually it sunk in and he let me complete a sentence or two, but the general pattern continued. He's a horrible listener, but boy does he love to talk about Garry Oye and how much he knows, and what everybody else thinks. He knows pretty much everything, just ask him.

He was clearly concerned about how my comment was affecting his reputation, calling it "chicken shit" even. He tried to belittle me and my "hiking buddies on some chat room" which is you, by the way. I kept redirecting the conversation back to the successful toilet system at Long's Peak. He asked me to "define working system" but once I started to, he interrupted again.

Eventually we were able to have a decent back and forth discussion. We found common ground on using wag bags on Mt Shasta. "Who do you think implemented that?" he asked with a pathetic cry for appreciation. For the upper mountain on Shasta, it's about the only solution. There's also a solar toilet at Shasta, which demonstrates how the two systems can work together for the best solution. It's even great to have them available on Whitney, but not as the only solution for 20,000 people during the summer months. To remove the toilets and rely solely on wag bags, that's stupid in my humble opinion. I also acknowledged that the previous toilet system on Whitney was not working and the Rangers were put into a horrible position having to deal with it. That experience affects their thinking today and it's understandable. Anyway, we found common ground on a few things and I sympathize with the difficulty of the situation he was facing.

When I pressed him about how he handled NEPA, he was very evasive. He claimed, "I didn't need a decision document" Instead of explaining why, he went off on an unrelated hypothetical case about a "Do Nothing" alternative. But this was not a "Do Nothing" alternative. He implemented Alternative 5 (removing toilets and using wag bags) with a host of potential environmental impacts. The wag bags littering the trail and general noncompliance you see today are environmental impacts. It degrades the wilderness experience and could contaminate the water. From there, he tried to shift it onto me, questioning my experience with NEPA and bragging about his vast experience with NEPA in a condescending manner that was becoming repetitive. He never explained why he didn't need to complete the NEPA process.

There's one example that sums it up. When I explained how disgusted my 16-yr old daughter was about seeing wag bag after wag bag on the trail, he expressed no understanding of how a teenage girl would feel about that. Later in the conversation, it came out that he also saw several wag bags on the trail on his hike a few years ago. He brushed all that off like it was nothing, and then claimed that he won't be satisfied until there's 100% compliance. Basically trying to have it both ways. I could go on, but I think you get the gist of it by now. They just don't seem to care. There's only one thing that gets their attention. A lawsuit.


Edited by SierraNevada (03/31/14 11:27 PM)

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#35555 - 03/28/14 08:35 PM Re: Wag Bag "Hero" Gets Special Thanks [Re: SierraNevada]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1565
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
If its any consolation, you may find on doing a little research that no teenage girl, or anyone else, has to crap in a plastic bag in the Whitney Zone. Since there was never a Forest Order, there is no rule, and it is a completely unenforceable policy. Oh sure, they can withhold your permit until you take one, and they use all kinds of words like "only acceptable method" in their flyers and notices. But read 'em carefully: nothing Inyo publishes says that the usual methods are prohibited in the Whitney Zone, or that use of the wag bag is required. I challenge anyone, with all due respect to those hard-working rangers we know and love, to quote chapter and verse on the regulation that would be violated by using in the Whitney Zone human waste disposal methods that are acceptable in all other regions of Inyo and SEKI. I do not believe that any such regulation exists.
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#35557 - 03/28/14 10:02 PM Re: Wag Bag "Hero" Gets Special Thanks [Re: saltydog]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
You are absolutely correct, Salty. Inyo didn't finish the National Environmental Policy Act process. Therefore, they can't "require" the use of a wag bag. But what alternative does the environmentally conscious person have? Where you gonna go? Dig a hole in granite?

The solution is: "All the above." Toilets, Wag bags, Collection bins. Use them all. This problem deserves every available option to bring about the best possible result. Model the toilet system on the successful Long's Peak system in Colorado. Education the public and get as many people to use Wag Bags as possible. Install collection bins for people who don't want to carry their crap to the summit (and for the lazy A-holes that refuse to carry their waste downhill). This problem deserves every solution. If Mr. Oye could embrace such a multi-facitated approach, I think he could make a huge difference, even though he doesn't work at Inyo anymore.


Edited by SierraNevada (03/28/14 10:23 PM)

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#35561 - 03/29/14 12:13 AM Re: Wag Bag "Hero" Gets Special Thanks [Re: SierraNevada]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7740
Loc: Fresno, CA
I found this tonight:

Garry Oye's legacy:


More can be found here:
Exit Strategies Conference 2010 - Managing Human Waste in the Wild
Specifically, a Whitney presentation video and the slides from it. The presentation is long but revealing. The most remarkable point is what is missing -- any mention of public input or the NEPA process.

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#35571 - 03/30/14 05:37 PM Re: Wag Bag "Hero" Gets Special Thanks [Re: Steve C]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Ah, the mysterious fire of the Trail Camp Solar Latrine in the spring of 2007, I remember it well.

I would like to no hear how Mr. Oye is going to get 100% compliance. Hmmm...I can see it as the Netflix Orginal...As the Toilet Burns.

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