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#41336 - 01/09/15 04:28 PM Change in the wind for JMT access?
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1559
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
For those of you who do not follow the JMT media sites, the background to the following post is briefly:

Some Rangers in the Yos Wilderness office and some Staff in the Reservations office have been denying permit reservations in recent days based on draft rule changes that have not yet been implemented at the Yos end of the trail. These purported restrictions have run from denying permits that would allow access to the JMT from anywhere except Happy isles an Tuolumne to imposition of a quota on JMT throughikers based on whether stated exit trailheads are north or south of Red's. Those of you familiar with TH permit policy will recognize both of these purported changes as radical departures from present policy.

Long story (500 posts on JMT FB page) short, a brief but furious letter writing campaign and some meetings between Yos, Inyo, Sierra NF and SEKI over the past few days have resulted in the following communication:

"Dear Yosemite Hiking Community,

I wanted to take this opportunity to share information with you about the John Muir Trail (JMT) within Yosemite National Park. Over the last several years, Yosemite National Park has seen a significant increase in demand for permits to hike the JMT. During that time, there also has been an increase in the number of impacts related to JMT hikers along the trail corridor. Last summer, for example, there were 31 reported bear incidents in the Yosemite Wilderness; 30 of which occurred along the JMT. In addition, popular backcountry camps have seen a sharp increase in overnight users which is affecting the quality of the visitor experience. The increased demand for JMT permits has also lead to some hikers skirting the traditional permit system, which has made it more difficult for non-JMT hikers to obtain wilderness permits for other trails within Yosemite National Park.

The National Park Service is working with its neighboring agencies to develop an interim solution that will protect natural resources, provide for a quality visitor experience, and maintain hiking access throughout Yosemite—including the JMT. Implementation of an interim solution will be communicated to the public and the hiking community.

The National Park Service will continue to work with social media sites to ensure current, accurate, and up to date information is shared. We look forward to a solution that enables access and protects the park resources that attract JMT hikers.

Finally, I would like to apologize for any confusing or mis-information that has reached the Yosemite (John Muir) hiking community. I understand and appreciate your support for Yosemite’s Wilderness and invite you help us protect its truly unique qualities.

Sincerely,

Ed Dunlavey
Wilderness Manager, Yosemite National Park
National Park Service
Yosemite National Park
http://www.nps.gov/yose/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/YosemiteNPS
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/YosemiteNPS
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/YosemiteNPS"

Mr. Dunlavey asked me to post this here and elsewhere, and I gladly do so because it is clear to me that the apparent interagency effort that is under way may affect access to the entire JMT including Whitney summit approaches from the west.

I am hoping that there will be more opportunity for input from the hiking community than this letter implies before any interim changes are implemented.
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#41340 - 01/09/15 10:22 PM Re: Change in the wind for JMT access? [Re: saltydog]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7577
Loc: Fresno, CA
I wish they could be more proactive in trying to find ways to enable hikers to enjoy the trails rather than using the tired old "let's restrict access" methods.

It appears unfortunately, that few alternate methods will be tried.

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#41342 - 01/10/15 07:18 AM Re: Change in the wind for JMT access? [Re: saltydog]
Krishna Offline


Registered: 04/15/11
Posts: 101
Loc: Woodridge, IL, USA
Salty:
Thanks for sharing. Do the new rules apply for 2015 or for future? I saw some discussion on this in the yahoo JMT group but not sure whether it applies for now. I am planning another JMT in August and would start my fax blizzard from mid Feb. Sending Fax seems to be so archaic but nothing else works!
Are you planning for JMT too this year? Just curious.
Krishna

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#41343 - 01/10/15 11:11 AM Re: Change in the wind for JMT access? [Re: Krishna]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1559
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
The new rules are being drafted. The problem arose when a couple of Yos rangers and some staff in the Conservancy office which makes the reservations started implementing them before they were approved and adopted. As a result, several people have had completely legitimate reservations wrongly rejected. I and some others have been working with the Wilderness Office to assure that this stops and that all reservations are treated under the rules now in place. So as of this moment, no changes have been made. That could change any time however. Right now, the plan is to have draft language on the Superintendent's desk on Monday, so if you have an opinion on the matter based on the background I have posted, please contact the Wilderness Office by email as soon as you can.
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#41345 - 01/10/15 12:24 PM Re: Change in the wind for JMT access? [Re: saltydog]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1559
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Please participate in this survey By John Ladd. Yos is receiving comments on this issue only until Monday, and has no plans to make any proposed rule changes public until after it has enacted them. Let us know what you think of this procedure.

Link is here:   Coment Period Poll
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#41347 - 01/11/15 08:53 AM Re: Change in the wind for JMT access? [Re: saltydog]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Hello. As Salty and I have discussed on the JMT survey, the poll is worded in a way that is problematic, and it seems to ask whether you think certain groups (including this one) should take a group position on government action (rather than just asking what the individual group members think). Personally, I do not think that groups like Whitneyzone and the JMT FB group should take official/group positions on government action.

Is Whitneyzone going to be taking a position, as an entity, on this issue? I understand that the WHA board is not currently operational, so I am not sure how any official group position could appropriately be established or communicated.

Thanks.

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#41348 - 01/11/15 10:45 AM Re: Change in the wind for JMT access? [Re: saltydog]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1251
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Things happen where people are...go figure.

Everyone gets upset when access is restricted, it is a knee jerk reaction. No one likes when something they had is taken away, even if they have never used it. See the brouhaha over access to Vivian Creek Trailhead before 6 AM a few summers ago. We demand this, we demand that and we don't care what the end result is...as long as you find in our favor.

Number of people leading this charge at the meeting to discuss this and that...zero.

I like to hear both sides before making a decision one way or another. I'm sure the NPS will have their facts, figures and empirical statements at any meeting with the hiking public on this, if it happens after the hue and cry. I hope the public does a better job than those did locally.

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#41349 - 01/11/15 10:57 AM Re: Change in the wind for JMT access? [Re: Akichow]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 542
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Originally Posted By: Akichow
Hello. Personally, I do not think that groups like Whitneyzone and the JMT FB group should take official/group positions on government action.

Thanks.



Hi Karin,
You are likely more qualified than I to argue this point, but, the poll is a bit of a sham. It only asks if "The Groups of which I am a member should / should not take a position in favor of a public comment period of at least three weeks before Yosemite imposes any new restrictions (in 2015 vs. 2014) on Yosemite entry permits designed to limit JMT thru-hikes going past the boundaries of Yosemite NP".

It offers no other alternatives. No option asking if the individual should take a position. Further, it is only asking if the group should take a position regarding a "public comment period", not on the actual proposed rule changes. It is unclear to me why the poll was created. Perhaps to "show" some interest in what the public thinks? Still, in my mind a sham.
Have I missed something?

On the issue of "groups" taking positions on government action, this seems to me to be a US tradition. Consider the role of Unions in government. While I am not a fan (in general) of unions, there is an expression that I like that says: "If you got a Union, you probably did something to deserve it". If the government does not take into consideration the public's point of view then collective bargaining is something to be considered. Yes/No?

John


Edited by John Sims (01/11/15 12:18 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling

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#41350 - 01/11/15 11:37 AM Re: Change in the wind for JMT access? [Re: John Sims]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1559
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
John, I think I can help here. I agree that the wording is at least ambiguous and could have been better. But it is certainly not a sham: it is an attempt to keep a window open that is about to shut. If it were being taken by the government agency, I agree it looks more like an attpt to stonewall, but it is not: it is a sincere attempt by John Ladd, a respected leader in the JMT community, to get Yos to listen better before it acts.

I am interpreting it as a call for members of the group to weigh in, not the group, as a single entity, to adopt a position. Most of them, after all cannot: they are not legal entities but an association of individuals. WHA ironically is incorporated and theoretically could make a decision as an entity, but even for us I treat it as a call for individual opinion, not actual group action.

If the poll is a problem, I would skip it and make direct comments, while we can, to the Yos administration. They do not intend any public comment period at present, and plan instead to submit draft language for discussion and the signature of the Superintendent tomorrow.

They can do this because the proposed rules are within the Superintendent's discretionary authority, and do not expect them to grant any request for an open comment period, but there's a chance.

So if the issue is of interest to you, I would urge you to make your views known, both on the comment period and the underlying rules, without delay, to

Don L Neubacher
Office of the Superintendent
Yosemite National Park
209-372-0496
YOSE_Superintendent@nps.gov

Kevin Killian
Chief Ranger
Yosemite National Park
209.372.0211(O)
209.631.7748 (C)

"Kevin Killian" < kevin_killian@nps.gov
"Mike Gauthier" < mike_gauthier@nps.gov

Ed Dunlavey
Wilderness Manager
Yosemite National Park
W-209-372-0501
C-209-201-7846
Ed_Dunlavey@nps.gov
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#41352 - 01/11/15 02:44 PM Re: Change in the wind for JMT access? [Re: saltydog]
Roleigh Martin Offline


Registered: 04/22/11
Posts: 7
Loc: Reno NV
I worded the initial survey before it got converted to a Survey Monkey survey. I agree with the criticisms made in its wording.

I have a Master's Degree in Sociology with strong emphasis on doing survey research. I remember my instructor talking about the importance of the wording of one's question. Not many people realize how poor is the question "How old are you"? A much better question is "On your latest birthday, even if that is today, how many years old did you become?" Of course many survey researchers do not care about 100% precision when the questions have to become so wordy, so many just ask "How old are you?" not caring that maybe 5 to 10 percent (can't remember the exact number) round up their age if their birthday is immediately around the corner in the future.

Well, it appears that I forgot much of those lessons, had I given it more thought I would have worded the survey to keep it more simple: "Do you propose that for Yosemite's immediate interim solution is to have Yosemite initiate a formal comment period seeking public input lasting at least three weeks? Answer Yes or No or Other only." I should not have complicated the question asking what the person thinks the group should do. I apologize. The questionnaire was made worse when the "Other" was removed (done while I was out hiking, not by me). "Other" is always an important answer to handle complexities (such as what if the person belongs to two groups, one whom he/she wishes to communicate Yes to Yosemite, while the other group "No".

I do not think the answers will vary more however, than if it was an age question and the first worded question was used rather than the second worded question.

We are going to share the survey results with Yosemite so they can appreciate the question, as it was presented, and the answers, as they were presented, just as they exist (uninterpreted by us). I am in favor of explaining the poor wording of the questionnaire and how for a small percentage the answers may be off, but I think it is safe that the percentages are correct give or take 5 percent. Personally I bet they are correct give or take 2.5 percent.

ps -- in case the above is not 100% clear, I agree that nobody should speak for a social group on behalf of the group. To provide a link to a survey done by members of the group and to let the survey and its data speak for itself, that is acceptable, just so long as zero interpretation of the data leads one to believe they're speaking for the group. I am only going to provide links to the Survey Monkey summary results, not even to the underlying data (I don't have that access anyway, only John Ladd does, who made the actual survey, I just provided the wording). I am sorry the wrong impression was made. I was in a hurry yesterday morning to lead a snowshoe hike for the Sierra Club and "haste makes waste". Bummer.

pss -- I am also providing to the park links to the posted-to six JMT social group forums so they, if they want, can register for the forums, and gain access to all the comments made (including all the criticisms and apologies made).

Roleigh Martin
Lead Moderator, John Muir Trail Yahoo Group


Edited by Roleigh Martin (01/11/15 03:41 PM)
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#41353 - 01/11/15 04:47 PM Re: Change in the wind for JMT access? [Re: John Sims]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Quote:
John Sims

On the issue of "groups" taking positions on government action, this seems to me to be a US tradition. Consider the role of Unions in government. While I am not a fan (in general) of unions, there is an expression that I like that says: "If you got a Union, you probably did something to deserve it". If the government does not take into consideration the public's point of view then collective bargaining is something to be considered. Yes/No?

John


Hey John,

So yes, groups often take positions. The ACLU. The Republican Party platform. But they (groups) often don't take positions as groups. Not every group has, as part of its mandate or purpose, collecting data and/or formulating positions in an effort to influence government decisions. I think that groups as politically and ideologically diverse as many discussion boards are (like WZ) go down that road at their peril -- bad feelings, resignations, etc. Think about some of the topics we've had -- wag bags, the Whitney permitting system -- and how it would play out if WZ was to start taking official positions as a group on such things, in an effort to influence government decisionmakers. Of course, if that is what the board of WHA decides (once the board is operational again), that is its prerogative. But I'd like to know that -- speaking only for myself, I join groups like this for advice and information, not for political engagement, and not to have an entity speak on my behalf. So that is relevant information.

In any event, from the emails above, I don't think that is what is contemplated. Does not sound like WHA's board has made a decision to take a position on either the process issue or the substance.

Thanks.

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#41354 - 01/11/15 05:32 PM Re: Change in the wind for JMT access? [Re: Akichow]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1137
Loc: NorCal
I just did the survey and used the "other" text box to add feedback. I wrote, "wilderness decisions and rule making benefit from public input, from individuals as much as official decisions from social media groups."

The current results are 92.4% in favor of a public comment period.

If you've ever participated in an environmental review process, you probably realize government decision makers respond to organized groups much more seriously than individuals because groups have collective resources to represent a possible lawsuit. But those are mostly environmental groups with an agenda. Social media groups are not typically agenda driven, they're usually a sounding board for opinions to be expressed and information to be shared.

Furthermore, decisions claiming to represent an entire group should not be left to a handful of board members, in my humble democratic opinion. If a group wants to take a position, it should be voted on.

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#41358 - 01/11/15 08:01 PM Re: Change in the wind for JMT access? [Re: Roleigh Martin]
Roleigh Martin Offline


Registered: 04/22/11
Posts: 7
Loc: Reno NV
What I just emailed Yosemite NP

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, Jan 11, 2015 at 7:47 PM
Subject: 92% of nearly 300 surveyed JMT hikers request a public comment period from Yosemite prior to any rule changes

1/11/2015 7:41 PM

Ed Dunlavey
Wilderness Manager
Yosemite National Park

Donald Neubacher
Office of the Superintendent
Yosemite National Park

Dear Mr. Dunlavey and Mr. Neubacher,

A group of the Facebook JMT members communicated after the personal feedback they directly got from you two last week and the concern was that an intermediate solution is going to be proposed to the Superintendent on 1/11/2015 or thereabouts. Another member at the Facebook JMT group suggested that JMT hikers recommend to Yosemite National Park, first, a public comment period. He mentioned that he had “seen this done at other national parks for issues of much less consequence. Shenandoah National Park just ended a long comment period regarding a proposed entrance fee increase. I would think that something as important as a major change in wilderness use should justify a similar comment period.”

Thus, a survey was conducted via social media over the weekend to find out how JMT hikers felt about a public comment period preceding a significant change in the Yosemite permits used by JMT hikers. Please note, a consensus on an outcome was not sought, rather just one on the process for Yosemite changing the rules that will affect JMT thru-hikers. As of writing this email, nearly 300 members of the hiking community have responded, with around 92 percent supporting the opportunity to publicly comment on any changes before they go into effect.

If you want to see the results of the poll (a Survey Monkey poll), this link will lead you to them. This page has continuously updated votes.

http://bit.ly/JMTCmtPeriodResults

The survey is still open to be taken and is available here:

http://bit.ly/JMTCmtPeriod

The first link above will probably include a few votes that come in late Sunday or early Monday. Every effort was made to make sure there were no double votes and that the poll encouraged those who were opposed to a comment period would vote. The main protection against double voting was that the survey was set to accept only one vote per IP address (essentially, one vote per computer). While it is possible that one person could go to different computers and vote several times, it is unlikely that any person could significantly altered the responses by doing so.

Invitations to take the survey were made by John Ladd, Roleigh Martin and Peter Hirst on six social forum JMT groups. The survey answers indicate which groups are involved and below are links to the threads where the invitations were announced. Registration might be required to access some of these links. They are provided in case you desire all relevant information about this questionnaire.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2240988980/permalink/10152675739968981/

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/johnmuirtrail/conversations/topics/48315

http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads..._JMT_acc#UNREAD

http://www.whitneyportalstore.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=99106#Post99106

http://www.highsierratopix.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12174#sthash.3l5PxRi7.dpbs

http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,78265

In hindsight, I wish I had removed the wording (I accept the blame for it) about whether or not the group should take a position or not about the public comment period. I wish I had limited it just how that one respondent individually feels. Criticism was made, which I 100% agree with, that these JMT social groups should avoid forming consensus positions. The groups are for individuals who know or want to know more about the JMT, not to agree politically about things. (By visiting the links above, you can see how many felt.) The JMT community though is regularly surveyed for their individual opinion and experiences. John Ladd leads that effort although I have done a few myself. One other hindsight reservation: an earlier draft of the question was about any proposed changes to the rules affecting JMT Hikers. The Survey Monkey question, strictly worded and read, leads one to think the group only cares about any proposed quotas being put on those JMT Hikers who thru-hike south of Yosemite. I can assure you the bulk of those surveyed, if not all of them, feel equally the same for any proposed rule changes that affect JMT hikers. (I was absent most of Saturday leading a Sierra Club snowshoe hike and missed this wording change.)

Last, a couple of the JMT Social Groups listed in the directory I provided recently, I did not have time to reach out to them with the survey invite. However, I am sure we reached out to substantially over 95% of those online concerned about the JMT in our invitations who are members of the groups documented in that earlier directory I sent you this last week.

Respectfully,

Roleigh Martin
Lead Moderator, John Muir Trail Yahoo Group
Reno NV 89523

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#41359 - 01/11/15 11:08 PM Re: Change in the wind for JMT access? [Re: Roleigh Martin]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7577
Loc: Fresno, CA
I spent my time this evening writing an email to Yosemite. I hope someone there actually reads it. Unfortunately, it is likely to be one drop in a flood, so won't carry much weight.

As we have seen in the past, there are so many diverse opinions within any group. I myself have been down on unions for years, but have recently seen firsthand why they serve an important role. We have seen opposite opinions on the wag bag issue on the Whitney Trail. I have read opinions diametrically opposite from mine on the Yosemite JMT permit issue from other hikers.

So I wrote my email keeping it short, mentioned the Wilderness Act, and suggested a way to maintain current quotas while improving the management of the heavily impacted trails.

But as I wrote, it is likely just a drop in a flood. So I am not expecting a positive result.

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#41361 - 01/12/15 12:30 AM Re: Change in the wind for JMT access? [Re: Steve C]
Roleigh Martin Offline


Registered: 04/22/11
Posts: 7
Loc: Reno NV
I think if John Muir was alive today, he'd be laughing and crying about there only being one long trail in the Sierra named after him as if he only favored one long trail to hike in the high sierra. There should be multiple 210+ mile long trails in the High Sierra to hike, on established trails. The National Parks and National Forests should be leading the way in suggesting hikers to try out a variety of long distance Sierra trails.

The best documented 200+ mile alternate Sierra trail is the Theodore Solomons Trail but it is not documented on any Tom Harrison, nor any other map. You have to obtain an out of print book since 1992.
See http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Theodore-Solomons-Dennis-Gagnon/dp/0934136343/

I have shown on a JPG how the Theodore Solomons Trail looks at the following link but I realize a big problem with the TST is it has too much Middle Sierra and not enough High Sierra in it.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7L_TrVYTWZRSERYNURPYkdOMU0/view?usp=sharing

But there should be numerous more. And they are there to be documented. One can start trails in Yosemite and leave the park at it's southern borders headed to Clover Meadow and go over 1, 2 or 3 passes during that time, then head ENE over to Devil's Postpile. Three to four different uses of existing trails to do that trek. The passes available (depending on which of the routes that you choose, using existing trails) include Merced, Fernandez, Red Peak, Isberg, and Post Peak. It's too clumsy to think of doing all 5 in an alternate JMT hike.

One can enter the JMT at Rush Creek going over anywhere from 1-to-4 passes, starting at 4 different starting points (Mono Pass, Walker Lake, Parker Lake Road, Silver Lake). These last 2 options have you only go over Agnew Pass if you backtrack 7/10ths of a mile after doing Agnew Pass. The first two options have you go over Mono, Parker, Koip and Gem passes.

Farther south, there are other options, like continuing South at Middle Fork Junction to Bubbs Creek instead of going due East to Mather Pass, or going over Goodale Pass versus Silver Pass farther North.

In Colorado, there are three long distance trails, each sharing parts of trails used by the others. There is the CT (Colorado Trail) West Spur Trail, CT East Spur, and the Colorado section of the Continental Divide Trail.

After all, it's not like the JMT is fixed forever to be one trail. The JMT took a different route at various points of its development. I wish I could get my hands on historical JMT routes during the trail's historical development.

There is also the Big SEKI Loop (only 154 miles) but it could easily be appended to to make 210 miles.
See http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/...thread_id=73686

Once these trails are mapped, cool names should be given to them. Having the park or forest service do such is the best idea. I like the name "Stephen Mather" for one of the newer documented long trails. - See more at: http://www.highsierratopix.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12174&p=91809#p91809
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#41362 - 01/12/15 04:05 AM Re: Change in the wind for JMT access? [Re: Roleigh Martin]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 592
Loc: Manchester, NH
"I do not think the answers will vary more however, than if it was an age question and the first worded question was used rather than the second worded question."

And on what basis do you offer this opinion?

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#41363 - 01/12/15 07:13 AM Re: Change in the wind for JMT access? [Re: KevinR]
Roleigh Martin Offline


Registered: 04/22/11
Posts: 7
Loc: Reno NV
A shared hunch and because there was much discussion in the threads once someone criticized the wording of the question because (a) one could be for a public comment period individually but (b) against the group taking any position on any issue, so they'd vote "no". It's possible the opposite could take place but that would be a very strange sentiment. So the value of 92% if it could more than likely go up rather than down had it been better worded, there is not that much percentage spread left to play with, hence the possibility that the percentage being off is a tiny percentage of the whole. Perhaps 93% or 94% might have asked for a public comment period. It would be about the same number of people who would answer the age question wrong by stating they are 1 year older than their last birthday because they're having a birthday tomorrow or next week.
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#41364 - 01/12/15 07:46 AM Re: Change in the wind for JMT access? [Re: Roleigh Martin]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1137
Loc: NorCal
Thanks for the polling effort and for openly discussing the unfortunate wording. Its really just a technicality and we shouldn't lose sight of the goal.

Let stay focused on the goal- the importance for wilderness managers to solicit and respect public opinion, if for no other reason than to make their job easier. People cooperate better when they feel part of the process, even if it doesn't go the way they wanted. We've seen firsthand on Whitney the effect of circumventing public process and then trying to solicit public cooperation. Its counter productive to ignore the input of the governed, especially for wilderness management where little oversight is possible.

So thanks again, Roleigh.

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#41371 - 01/13/15 09:23 AM Re: Change in the wind for JMT access? [Re: SierraNevada]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1559
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
An update from the Yosemite Wilderness Office. I had another very constructive conversation with Ed Dunlavey, Wilderness Manager, yesterday. Learned the following. They are continuing to look at ways to accomplish the dual goals that were reflected in the reported proposed rule changes: balance traffic flows within the Park so as to protect rescources along the JMT and balance access to the wilderness between hikers staying primarily in Yosemite and long distance and through-hikers leaving Yos. As I understand Ed's assurances, they are decidedly NOT contemplating simply removing or shutting down JMT access from any trailhead, including Glacier Point. That would abdicate what Ed confirmed is an imprtant principle of the trailhead permit system: they do not tell people where they can and can't hike, beyond the trailhead and first night requirements. T he specific example Ed cited was the Glacier Point/ Illilouette permit. A hiker with that permit must spend the first night in the Illilouette drainage, but then may go down to the JMT at LYV and continue up the Sunrise drainage to Tuolumne. That will not change. The mechanism they are looking at now is to simply reallocate the total GP quota to more Illilouette permits and fewer LYV permits. He did emphasize that the Sunrise Creek drainage (LYV to Cathedral Pass) is the area of primary concern. It had reached its visitor capacity almost 5 years ago when the last calculation was made. Next in importance is Lyell Canyon, which was nearing capacity in the last study and is believed to be at or over capacity now. For the second rule, designed to balance intra-Park trips with JMT distance and through-hikes, they are still looking at an exit TH quota. They have found, however, that establishing Red's as the cutoff point for the quota is not going to work, and the quota is likely to apply to any trip south of a point much nearer Yos. In my written comment that I sent this morning, I raised the question of whether the principle of not establishing quotas based on exit TH - the policy clearly stated in YO Wilderness permit materials - was not just as important as not restricting travel routes beyond the entry trailhead. I restated that issue to Ed today, but still have not received an clear answer,On the question of public comment, no change. The adjustments they have in mind do not amount to Federal Register rulemaking, and are within discretionary authority already provided by law and rule. If we can keep these lines of communication open and constructive, however, I have every reason to believe that our voices will be heard and surprises will be minimal. That's news from Lake Helengawn, where all the women are acclimated, all the men are resupplied, and all the hikes are above 9,000 feet, on average.


Edited by saltydog (01/13/15 09:29 AM)
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#41373 - 01/13/15 11:18 AM Re: Change in the wind for JMT access? [Re: saltydog]
Roleigh Martin Offline


Registered: 04/22/11
Posts: 7
Loc: Reno NV
Ed Dunlavey called me as well this morning, just got off the phone with him. I was focused on hiking SE out of Yosemite on either Fernandez Pass, Isberg Pass, or Post Peak Pass (the 3 different trail paths on established trails to leave Yosemite in that direction), all headed towards Clover Meadow, if there is foreseen (by him) any impact in 2015 about those options being changed. He answered that he does not foresee a change there for any interim changes (or for 2015). Regarding the option of Mono Pass, the park is concerned that abuse is not done there such as they've seen people seek permits to hike North from Tuolumne to Glen Aulin and then they turn around on day two and hike south onto the JMT. They would not want people to hike over Mono Pass, turn around or go cross-country and end up going over Donahue. The park wants people (rightly) to abide by the permit they get. If such honest practices are the overwhelming norm then there should be no change to the Mono Pass route in 2015 over what it was in 2014. He did mention one has to hike south into Inyo National Forest (it's always been this case) before they can camp, if they start with the Mono Pass permit. So that is for people already altitude acclimated to take that more challenging option.

Like Peter Hirst said, they are most concerned about using the permit reservation practices they have in place now to reduce use of the Sunrise parts of the JMT and the Lyell Canyon/Donahue Pass part of the JMT for those who are thru hikers.

Last if people intend to cross-country their permit obtainment is a whole different story. He limited his discussion with me for permit reservation applications where the hiker intends to use established (printed on national maps, as he said, which include Tom Harrison maps).

Again, for the time being nothing has changed. Reservations are to be processed now as they were in 2014. The preceding paragraphs is about any interim solutions made by and announced in the near future by Yosemite (nothing is concrete yet!)

I am sending the above wording to Ed Dunlavey if I misunderstood, I will correct the above posting.
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