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#36956 - 05/31/14 09:54 PM Re: Torching Whitney Toilets [Re: Yury]
JAGCHiker Offline


Registered: 11/13/11
Posts: 45
Loc: GC
Here is an exerpt from Garry Oye's Bio: (He is now the Chief of Wilderness Stewardship for NPS.)
"In his current position as Chief of Wilderness Stewardship, he oversees management of 44 million acres of Wilderness and 26 million acres of proposed Wilderness. He also has been active in providing International assistance to Protected Area managers around the globe."

Mt.Whitney is just a small part of his domain now.....(Maybe we should buy stock in WAG BAGs)

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#36958 - 06/01/14 12:34 AM Re: Torching Whitney Toilets [Re: JAGCHiker]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7740
Loc: Fresno, CA
If people are wondering, Doug deleted the thread on his board as a direct result of my post that I quoted earlier in this thread. Post#36586

Doug called it "attacking a Federal employee by name". Someone else called it "spewing verbal garbage". I have also seen accusations of "character assassination", "disreputable tactics", and libel.

The one item where I can understand the complaints is identifying the former Whitney District Ranger by name. However, even there, public officials are held to a higher level. Anyone interested can look up defamation and public figures (Let me google that for you). The main issue here, though, is that everything we have written and everything in the video in the first post of this thread is true, as stated by the former Whitney District Ranger himself.

I would like to ask people who have complained, PLEASE give the specifics where anything written by myself or others is false or incorrect.
---

More importantly though, naming names is not the point. The goal here is to let people know the how, what and why, and maybe stir more sentiment toward asking Inyo National Forest to move ahead with a less hazardous and unpleasant method of dealing with the problem.

We now have rangers whose duty is to collect abandoned wag bags, hikers who have to handle and carry waste for hours and days next to their food and supplies, and the unsightly problem of the abandoned wag bags. A much better solution has been demonstrated and is currently working well in an area with higher elevations than the old toilet locations on the Mt Whitney Trail, and with higher daily visitor numbers. Wag bags are a "third world" solution for Mt Whitney, and should be used ONLY when there is no alternative.

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#36967 - 06/01/14 09:26 AM Re: Torching Whitney Toilets [Re: Steve C]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
I remember when a public official who shall remain nameless, said he did not want people under his aegis handling human waste because they were not trained to do so...at least that is what he said in a a response to my letter. It appears he does not have a problem with volunteers and seasonal employees he does not supervise handling human waste as a result of actions.

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#36972 - 06/01/14 09:49 AM Re: Torching Whitney Toilets [Re: Steve C]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Steve C

I would like to ask people who have complained, PLEASE give the specifics where anything written by myself or others is false or incorrect.

The wilderness act directly and specifically makes illegal what you want to do. If the USFS moves forward with what you want, it will be sued silly.

There has been a remarkable change in federal managers. Where in the past, there was a "wink, wink, nod, nod" approach to violating the Wilderness Act when convenient, that is no longer the case, and there are zealous defenders of that Act, both in the gov't and outside.

So, before anything else, one would have to ask the question "is a permanent structure CURRENTLY legally build-able in wilderness". Federal managers have gotten legal opinions, and they are told "no". Cite your legal opinions if you think different.

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#36979 - 06/01/14 01:07 PM Re: Torching Whitney Toilets [Re: Ken]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Ken is correct that building new toilets is more difficult once the old ones were torched. However, there are clauses in the Wilderness Act to allow minimum structures necessary to provide for public access etc. The debate just has to start over from scratch now, but the outcome could go either way. Another option would be to add language in the next Wilderness Bill to remove this area from Wilderness designation, say up to Trail Crest, as many have proposed.

Ken, please backup your claim, "Federal managers have gotten legal opinions, and they are told "no". What legal opinions are you referring to and do they really apply to toilets on Mt. Whitney?

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#36980 - 06/01/14 01:56 PM Re: Torching Whitney Toilets [Re: SierraNevada]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
"The debate just has to start over from scratch now, but the outcome could go either way. Another option would be to add language in the next Wilderness Bill to remove this area from Wilderness designation, say up to Trail Crest, as many have proposed."

Undoing an act of legislation?? It would seem that Sysiphus would have better luck getting his boulder up the hill. Anyone who hikes in areas designated 'National Forest' only dreams of his/her favourite areas being protected by a Wilderness designation. The plunder and pillage of unprotected areas would certianly rank high in the minds of those who would oppose reversing the protected areas back to unprotected.

At the risk of turning the discussion into a polemic, I pose the query:

How strong IS the public outcry to replace the toilets? I ask this because most folks I quiz on the topic simply shrug their shoulders and say "its only a one-time inconvenience, anyway" (most people are not 100+ trips up the trail)
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#36981 - 06/01/14 01:59 PM Re: Torching Whitney Toilets [Re: Ken]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7740
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Ken
Originally Posted By: Steve C

I would like to ask people who have complained, PLEASE give the specifics where anything written by myself or others is false or incorrect.

The wilderness act directly and specifically makes illegal what you want to do. If the USFS moves forward with what you want, it will be sued silly.

There has been a remarkable change in federal managers. Where in the past, there was a "wink, wink, nod, nod" approach to violating the Wilderness Act when convenient, that is no longer the case, and there are zealous defenders of that Act, both in the gov't and outside.

So, before anything else, one would have to ask the question "is a permanent structure CURRENTLY legally build-able in wilderness". Federal managers have gotten legal opinions, and they are told "no". Cite your legal opinions if you think different.

Interesting that you worry about lawsuits, Ken. I recall your email to me about SierraNevada bringing on a lawsuit over the bypassing of the NEPA regulations.

Unfortunately the unnamed district ranger used the same "wink, wink, nod, nod" approach by bypassing the NEPA process and ignoring the SEKI and public's input. In fact, I have a copy of your own letter written 1/24/04, opposing replacing "the Whitney trail toilets with a pack-it-out system". I'll be happy to post it here.

Your letter brings up the same health and sanitation issues that we are trying to raise now.

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#36982 - 06/01/14 02:11 PM Re: Torching Whitney Toilets [Re: Bee]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7740
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Bee
How strong IS the public outcry to replace the toilets? I ask this because most folks I quiz on the topic simply shrug their shoulders and say "its only a one-time inconvenience, anyway" (most people are not 100+ trips up the trail)

I would like to see a few of those folks speak up here.

It is my opinion that people accept the disgusting solution because they see no alternative. I would suspect that people who do the "once-and-done" hike will remember for their entire lives the disgusting experience of rolling-their-own and carrying it in their pack.

It does not need to be that way. There are viable solutions.

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#36985 - 06/01/14 02:33 PM Re: Torching Whitney Toilets [Re: Steve C]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Steve C

I would like to see a few of those folks speak up here.


Well, uh, the point is that they were not bothered enough about it to waste their time posting that they were not bothered enough about it.
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#36987 - 06/01/14 03:36 PM Re: Torching Whitney Toilets [Re: Bee]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Bee, I wouldn't speculate why people do or don't post their feelings about this topic, but it would be an unscientific survey even if they did. I can tell you my teenage daughter was disgusted by the idea of going in the bag and also by having to step over bags on the trail. She held it and will never do that trail again.

If you go by the public comments on the Environmental Assessment, the public overwhelmingly supported new toilets, but the numbers depend on how you count the public comments. There was a petition that had 85 signatures in support of new toilets, but that only counted as 1 public comment by Inyo. But even by their count, it was something like 3:1 in support of new toilets. If you count those signatures as comments, then it's something like 7:1. Either way, it's a landslide.

As for support of the packout system, it was mostly 3 or 4 hiking groups and their members writing separate letters. I think the total was around 18. Some of those letters expressed a desire to reduce the quotas and they saw toilet removal as a step in that direction.

This stuff is all in the public record, you can get copies of the comments from Inyo if you go through the protocols.

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#36990 - 06/01/14 04:50 PM Re: Torching Whitney Toilets [Re: Steve C]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: Steve C

[to Ken] Your letter brings up the same health and sanitation issues that we are trying to raise now.

Ken, in addition to your medical concerns for spreading Hepatitis B through handling WAG bags, your comment letter on the EA (public record) also expresses frustration with the environmental review process. You called it "bait and switch" referring to the abrupt change in the proposed action just as it went out for public comment. You were correct IMHO, it does seem like "bait and switch".

Edit typo: Ken's letter said Hepatitis "B" not "A" - hey I'm not a doctor.


Edited by SierraNevada (06/01/14 04:57 PM)

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#36992 - 06/01/14 05:38 PM Re: Torching Whitney Toilets [Re: SierraNevada]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 1023
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: SierraNevada

Edit typo: Ken's letter said Hepatitis "B" not "A" - hey I'm not a doctor.


A is fecal-oral transmission. Like that description? It is accurate.

That reminds me I need to get my repeat A vaccination for travel to a third world country

B is body fluid/blood similar to HIV

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#36993 - 06/01/14 08:04 PM Re: Torching Whitney Toilets [Re: Steve C]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Originally Posted By: Ken
Originally Posted By: Steve C

I would like to ask people who have complained, PLEASE give the specifics where anything written by myself or others is false or incorrect.

The wilderness act directly and specifically makes illegal what you want to do. If the USFS moves forward with what you want, it will be sued silly.

There has been a remarkable change in federal managers. Where in the past, there was a "wink, wink, nod, nod" approach to violating the Wilderness Act when convenient, that is no longer the case, and there are zealous defenders of that Act, both in the gov't and outside.

So, before anything else, one would have to ask the question "is a permanent structure CURRENTLY legally build-able in wilderness". Federal managers have gotten legal opinions, and they are told "no". Cite your legal opinions if you think different.

Interesting that you worry about lawsuits, Ken. I recall your email to me about SierraNevada bringing on a lawsuit over the bypassing of the NEPA regulations.

Unfortunately the unnamed district ranger used the same "wink, wink, nod, nod" approach by bypassing the NEPA process and ignoring the SEKI and public's input. In fact, I have a copy of your own letter written 1/24/04, opposing replacing "the Whitney trail toilets with a pack-it-out system". I'll be happy to post it here.

Your letter brings up the same health and sanitation issues that we are trying to raise now.


Yeah, main difference between us, Steve, is I know when I've lost, and don't make war on those who beat me to try to damage them and their families.

You're repeated crazy concept of what public comment is about just befuddles me. You have this pathologic repetitive thinking that public comment is some sort of vote. It is not, it has never been, and it will never be.

I am not worried about lawsuits, so DO NOT put words in my mouth, mister. However, the USFS is. They have staff attorneys...just like your company. And just as your company does not publish those opinions, neither does the USFS. Don't be a dunce about it. But if you had good relationships with the managers, they would TELL YOU about things. Having lost a couple of multi-million dollar lawsuits for violations of the Wilderness Act in the last decade, the USFS is very leery of the consequences of violations.

I have not seen the water reports for the stream flowing down the east side of Whitney, but I know what they show. Must be ESP.

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#36995 - 06/01/14 09:15 PM Re: Torching Whitney Toilets [Re: Steve C]
dbd Offline


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 212
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: Steve C

...
Interesting that you worry about lawsuits, Ken.
...


Law suits are not a worry. They are a certainty. There is no path from where we are now to a future with solar toilets on the Whitney trail that does not include law suits. The only future without law suits is the continuation of the current situation. No federal agency seems willing and able to make change happen.

That means that we must find or create an entity that is clever enough to force the change and has enough resources to prevail. We can't do that without gathering as many different groups as possible to a common table.

Originally Posted By: Steve C

Unfortunately the unnamed district ranger used the same "wink, wink, nod, nod" approach by bypassing the NEPA process and ignoring the SEKI and public's input. In fact, I have a copy of your own letter written 1/24/04, opposing replacing "the Whitney trail toilets with a pack-it-out system". I'll be happy to post it here.

Your letter brings up the same health and sanitation issues that we are trying to raise now.

I think Ken has been consistently in favor of solar toilets as have I. Why do -you- seem to have forgotten that? The reason that I am taking part in this thread (and I suspect Ken's is as well) is that I am concerned with how we can get you guys to stop pissing on that common table. I have not asked Doug Sr lately but I suspect that he would be perfectly happy with a world that had solar toilets on Whitney. I think he's just too smart to get caught letting you and Sierra Nevada piss on the table on his watch. And if you actually want there to be solar toilets on the Whitney trail you should thank him.

It's 2014 and you guys are still pointing fingers into the past. We all get it, we all got years ago. Can we clean up the table and move on? It's time to bring as many folks to the table with us as we can.

Dale B. Dalrymple



Edited by dbd (06/01/14 09:54 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling correction

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#37003 - 06/02/14 04:49 AM Re: Torching Whitney Toilets [Re: dbd]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Dale, I think you should check with people before speaking on their behalf. I don't recall any posts supporting your presumption of what Ken and Doug think. It would be great if they got on board with new toilets, but that's not what they've been writing.

I agree that a lawsuit is likely if new toilets were proposed, but there would be no monetary penalty involved, just the cost of litigation. That's the price of change these days and the outcome is rarely as clear cut as some would presume. The history of the issue and the alternatives available, as seen in that video, will be important issues, I would think.

The following is quoted from a US Forest Service Guideline, "Minimum Requirements Decision Guide" regarding exceptions to the Wilderness Act:

Management of Recreation
2323.13
-
Improvements and Nonconforming Facilities and Activities
Provide facilities and improvements only for protection of the wilderness resource. Document and justify conditions for providing facilities and improvements in the forest plan. Install facilities as a last resort only after trying education, other indirect management techniques, or reasonable limitations on use.
2323.13a

Campsites
3. Human Waste Management. As a last resort to protect the wilderness resource pit or vault toilet structures may be used.

Edited to fix layout of pasted quote


Edited by SierraNevada (06/02/14 04:51 AM)

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#37007 - 06/02/14 09:35 AM Re: Torching Whitney Toilets [Re: dbd]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7740
Loc: Fresno, CA
DBD, it is revealing and refreshing that you support something other than the wag bag pack-out system.

As for your crude description of this process, I do not understand how bringing to light completely new and revealing information on how the current situation came about can be described as you have.

Yes, the situation occurred ten years ago. The conference presentations were made four years ago. The video presentations were made public (Link to Exit Strategies conference) recently, and they were just noticed a month or two back. I think your description could use some moderation.

I am sorry if you feel that revealing an historic event is pointing fingers and worse. Seems more like a case of shooting the messenger here.

Now can we PLEASE move forward? If you support something, saying so is a start. Thanks!

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#37015 - 06/02/14 12:52 PM Re: Torching Whitney Toilets [Re: Steve C]
dbd Offline


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 212
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: Steve C
DBD, it is revealing and refreshing that you support something other than the wag bag pack-out system.

Steve, if you think that my support is in anyway new or surprising you suffer a tremendous misunderstanding of the solar toilet threads. There are decent people who wish to support the solar toilet issue but can't because of the sleazy way you insist on presenting the issue.
Quote:

As for your crude description of this process, I do not understand how bringing to light completely new and revealing information on how the current situation came about can be described as you have.
...
I think your description could use some moderation.

I selected my description carefully because it expresses the repugnance that decent people have for your -method- of presentation. My description may falls short of the bad feeling you are creating in would be supporters. I hope that that will make you reconsider your methods. Decent people don't abandon their manners and morals because you are excited about an issue even if it does get more web hits.

Quote:
...
Seems more like a case of shooting the messenger here.

Exactly. It isn't about the message. We shooters agree with you on the issue. But the messenger who insists on pissing on the table should always be shot before the message is read. I'd like to think that that is what Lazarus Long would do. (Long is the character credited with: "Beware of strong drink, it can make you shoot at the tax collector and miss")
Quote:

Now can we PLEASE move forward? ...

The only thing holding us back is your history of making messes on the table and the repugnance decent people feel about your behavior (not the information, not the issue). If you want to move ahead, what are you going to do to bring back the supporters you and SierraNevada have so actively acted to alienate?

Dale B. Dalrymple

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#37016 - 06/02/14 01:49 PM Re: Torching Whitney Toilets [Re: dbd]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7740
Loc: Fresno, CA
dbd: Oh good grief! Would you PLEASE write a clear and concise paragraph or two as an example showing how you would present the wag bag/toilet history along with a point to move forward.

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#37020 - 06/02/14 04:07 PM Re: Torching Whitney Toilets [Re: Steve C]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
What "table" are you talking about, Dale? All I see is a bunch of empty chairs and a pile of ashes. There's nobody at a table.

Moving past all the "shoot the messenger" nonsense, I found 3 cases of Wilderness Boundary Adjustments that illustrate how the trail could be removed from Wilderness without lawsuits. Congress creates wilderness, they can change it as they see fit. The key is to swap equal or greater acreage to ensure no net loss of wilderness. Small areas have been carved out by a short Legislative Act for common sense reasons due to management difficulties, not unlike the Whitney Trail up to Trail Crest. I'm just going to list them with links for now to keep this short. It may be better to start a whole new thread because I can see this generating a lot of discussion for those with time to digest it.

1. Mt Naomi Wilderness Boundary Adjustment Act ***** Senate Bill***** ******House Bill***** *****Forest Service Testimony in Support

2. Mt. Nebo Wilderness Boundary Adjustment Act (House Bill)

3. Cumberland Wilderness Boundary Adjustment Act (Long Bill - See Section 145)

Article about Passage of Cumberland Wilderness Boundary Adjustment Act

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#37044 - 06/03/14 06:15 AM Re: Torching Whitney Toilets [Re: Bee]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: Bee
Undoing an act of legislation?? It would seem that Sysiphus would have better luck getting his boulder up the hill.

That's what I thought too, but I was surprised to learn it's been done before when an area is too difficult to manage as wilderness. If they tried to drop quotas dramatically, this idea might actually be "on the table" but of course very controversial. Recall that Congress recently stepped in on behalf of the commercial packers, so these things do actually happen.


Edited by SierraNevada (06/03/14 06:46 AM)

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