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Citizens Proposal for the Management of the Backcountry of Zion National Par

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by mike_dallin, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. mike_dallin

    mike_dallin Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Tom Jones" <ratagonia@...> wrote: > TTTTT - Uh, yes it does. By removing people from the permit queue, > it decreases the stress for everyone else. YOU, Joe, would get the > three tech canyons under your belt at the beginning of the trip, > then have clear sailing from there (except for MSAOs like Mystery > and The Subway).

    Buuuuuuuuuuuut... what about people who don't descend that many canyons per year in Zion? When I go to Zion, usually once every 2-3 years, I'll descend around 3 to 7 canyons. By your plan, for the first three I'd have to sit in line. For years I only descend 3 the pass won't help me. If I decide to get a pass to bypass the permit lines for the last 1-4 canyons, I have to pay "a significant fee" ($50? more?) for the pass. Now, if I do 4 additional canyons back to back (likely, since I would spend a week straight there doing canyons), I really only have to wait in line twice more, as each wait in line I could get the day's permit as well as the permit for the next day. So I would spend $50+ to avoid waiting in line twice. That's a lot.

    Also consider how much the permit queue will decrease with the pass. Does the park release any stats on the number of permit holders who get more than 3 permits in a year (that is, the number of candidates who would be eligable for a pass)? Can we compare this with the number of people in total who wait in line today? We could then see the percentage at most the size of the line would drop. I don't think it would be much but I'm speculating. If you add in a probable increase in Zion canyoneering over the next few years (due to a new Zion guidebook, plus a likely update to the Kelsey guide) I suspect the line lengths would stay the same if not increase even with a pass.

    A few other notes on the plan:

    I love the stuff about using more scientific methods to figure out canyon quotas. Good stuff.

    I didn't see anything talking about group size limits. I think large group sizes (more than a dozen) are big detractor to the 'solitude experience' and I wonder if Zion's fascination with solitude is due in part to complaints about bottlenecks in places like Pine Creek or jamborees in the Subway.

    I didn't see anything about that other park purpose for a permit system - controlling access in dangerous conditions. Today if the virgin is running higher than 140cfs, they won't issue permits. If they have any sort of pass system or trailhead permit registration, they can't enforce closures such as this. They have other closure situations where a permit would be denied as well, but with a trailhead permit system you can't control them. I don't think the park would go for a system that takes away this power from them.

    I personally would like to see a system that has more science based quotas (much as your plan advocates), has group size limits (say 6 for canyons with a lot of cold exposure like Kolob or time consuming technical obstacles, like Heaps, then 10 or 12 for the others), is easy/cheap for the park, and is convenient for me. Even something simple like allowing me to pick up a several days worth of permits 3 or 4 days in advance (or print out over the internet) would be acceptable to me.

    M
  2. Tom Jones

    Tom Jones Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "mike_dallin" <dallin@...> wrote:
    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Tom Jones" <ratagonia@> wrote:
    TTTTT - Uh, yes it does. By removing people from the permit
    queue, it decreases the stress for everyone else. YOU, Joe,
    would get the three tech canyons under your belt at the
    beginning of the trip, then have clear sailing from there
    (except for MSAOs like Mystery and The Subway).
    > Buuuuuuuuuuuut... what about people who don't descend that many > canyons per year in Zion? When I go to Zion, usually once every 2- > 3 years, I'll descend around 3 to 7 canyons. By your plan, for the > first three I'd have to sit in line. For years I only descend 3 > the pass won't help me. If I decide to get a pass to bypass the > permit lines for the last 1-4 canyons, I have to pay "a > significant fee" ($50? more?) for the pass. Now, if I do 4 > additional canyons back to back (likely, since I would spend a > week straight there doing canyons), I really only have to wait in > line twice more, as each wait in line I could get the day's permit > as well as the permit for the next day. So I would spend $50+ to > avoid waiting in line twice. That's a lot.

    I am, of course, trying to construct something that the Park can live with politically; in addition to meeting other requirements like fairness, convenience, meeting Park objectives, economy, etc.

    I believe the Park is concerned about the safety of the beginner - people like you, Mike, and Ram who rarely come to Zion. They want to be SURE you make it to the VC and have a discussion with the person behind the desk, so you won't hurt yourself. The quickest way into the Pass - do the Subway the first day, then Telephone and Behunin the second. There you go, one more visit to the VC, pickup your permit for Mystery (an MSAO, requires a permit regardless), and pay your fee - and you are now a pass holder, free to recreate in a primitive and unconfined fashion.

    If you come to Zion again, you need not check in at the VC unless you want to do MSAOs.

    And, my thought (but not stated) is that the PASS would be renewed each year by mail. So - meet the criterium just once, and you are in for life, as long as you renew.
    Also consider how much the permit queue will decrease with the > pass. Does the park release any stats on the number of permit > holders who get more than 3 permits in a year (that is, the number > of candidates who would be eligable for a pass)? Can we compare > this with the number of people in total who wait in line today? > We could then see the percentage at most the size of the line > would drop. I don't think it would be much but I'm speculating.

    The database program they use stores a bunch of data, but does not have sophisticated tools for extracting it. And even if it did, getting specific information out of the Park, unless you can get them specifically interested, is difficult.

    I think a lot of people go once or twice, but they go out with people who go many times. Many people lead trips fairly often. All these people could be out of the line.

    Also, an increase in the Subway Quota would decrease the pressure. If you read the 2003 or 2004 (I think) Backcountry report, there is a line in there about the non-conversion of about 33% of reservations and therefore loss. If folks were not SO worked up about getting their Subway and Mystery Permits, then the line would not form at 5:30 AM.

    > If you add in a probable increase in Zion canyoneering over the > next few years (due to a new Zion guidebook, plus a likely update > to the Kelsey guide) I suspect the line lengths would stay the > same if not increase even with a pass.

    My goal is not, per se, to decrease the length of the line. My goal is to eliminate unnecessary trips to the VC that interfere with the primitive and unconfined recreation experience. The line will ALWAYS be dominated by people getting permits for the Narrows and the Subway - these are the most popular hikes in Zion. And by other people getting overnight permits. But, for many people doing Pine Creek, a visit to the VC at 7 am is not particularly pertinent.
    A few other notes on the plan:
    I love the stuff about using more scientific methods to figure out > canyon quotas. Good stuff.
    I didn't see anything talking about group size limits. I think > large group sizes (more than a dozen) are big detractor to > the 'solitude experience' and I wonder if Zion's fascination with > solitude is due in part to complaints about bottlenecks in places > like Pine Creek or jamborees in the Subway.

    Just to be clear, when all this started, I asked the Park for their list of complaints. All these strict quotas MUST HAVE BEEN because of citizen complaints about overcrowding, right? There were zero, nada, zip complaints. Either no one formally complains, or the Park does not record complaints (or I should have filed an FOIA request, which may or may not have yielded different results).

    I think the current max group size of 12 works fine. Yes, the research literature indicates that people in the Wilderness do not like other parties that are unlike their own - including in the size of the group. But then again, I believe the Wilderness belongs to ALL Americans, including those who chose to recreate in largish groups. To me, the problem is more large, incompetent parties. At Tom Canyon Fests, we do quite large groups fairly often, and do about the same time as small groups do. Unfortunately, incompetents tend to canyon in largish groups.
    I didn't see anything about that other park purpose for a permit > system - controlling access in dangerous conditions. Today if the > virgin is running higher than 140cfs, they won't issue permits. If > they have any sort of pass system or trailhead permit registration, > they can't enforce closures such as this. They have other closure > situations where a permit would be denied as well, but with a > trailhead permit system you can't control them. I don't think the > park would go for a system that takes away this power from them. > While the Park has a GENERAL goal to promote safety, it is not the Park's job to protect you from yourself. First item on the permit - "Your safety is your responsibility". The interesting court case involving Zion made it very clear that the Park cannot protect people from natural hazards like cliffs, and does not have a duty to do so.

    I believe that people who have done three technical canyons are in a position to make decisions for themselves about whether conditions are suitable for their adventure. The Narrows at 140 CFS - well, the Narrows is an MSAO, so a through-trip would require a permit, not issuable. But quite frankly, I would like to hike UP and float DOWN the Narrows at 180 cfs - it would be a blast.

    I am hoping that the Park can admit that it is not my mother, and therefore not responsible for my safety.

    > I personally would like to see a system that has more science based > quotas (much as your plan advocates), has group size limits (say 6 > for canyons with a lot of cold exposure like Kolob or time > consuming technical obstacles, like Heaps, then 10 or 12 for the > others),

    As mentioned previously, I think the problem is competence, not group size. The heavy-hitter canyons place a premium on technique, and poorly managed, large groups can create a bottleneck. But, look over the stats for Heaps, Imlay and Kolob. Without day-by-day stats, obviously one cannot say conclusively, but there are rarely more than one party in there at a time. So who cares how big the party is? Are you concerned for their safety? Bully for you, but it is not the Park's job to manage people's safety, it is their own.

    > ...is easy/cheap for the park, and is convenient for me. > Even something simple like allowing me to pick up a several days > worth of permits 3 or 4 days in advance (or print out over the > internet) would be acceptable to me.
    M > Well, that's nice. Let me critique: It is not consistent with "Primitive and Unconfined". Can YOU figure out your canyon schedule 4 days in advance? I cannot, and I don't think I should have to. I want to go there, do canyons, go home, have a good time, stay safe. Visit the DESK when I want to do Mystery or The Subway, otherwise, be Unconfined.

    Thanks for the discuss. Have you written your letter yet?

    Tom
  3. mike_dallin

    mike_dallin Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Tom Jones" <ratagonia@...> wrote: > If you come to Zion again, you need not check in at the VC unless > you want to do MSAOs.

    That's another potential issue. What happens, a few years down the road and after Zion canyoneering becomes even MORE popular, and the Park decides to dramatically increase the list of MSAO's? If that happens, we basically have the current system, except I would own a nearly useless yearly permit.

    > And, my thought (but not stated) is that the PASS would be renewed > each year by mail. So - meet the criterium just once, and you are > in for life, as long as you renew.

    And that's another down side for me. In my original note, I said I go to zion once every 2-3 years. Now, to keep my yearly pass to use those times I do want to go, I would have to renew (at $50+ a pop) for years when I would never use the pass. Unless a pass is a one-time fee, but I've never heard of any park pass that is except for disabled and senior citizens.

    > I think a lot of people go once or twice, but they go out with > people who go many times. Many people lead trips fairly often. All > these people could be out of the line.

    So basically locals who go often get out of the line, but me, who visits only once every 2-3 years, either pays extra for a pass I'd never use, or waits in line. Can't you see the bias towards locals?

    > All these strict quotas MUST HAVE BEEN because > of citizen complaints about overcrowding, right? There were zero, > nada, zip complaints.

    My take is that it was a lot of anecdotal stuff. People mentioning to to the backcountry desk when they get their permit, but not filling out an 'official' complaint. Beats me. Maybe somebody should poll people in line to see what the population's thoughts are. Perhaps that is the scientific methods you refer to. Might be very informative.

    > I think the current max group size of 12 works fine. Yes, the > research literature indicates that people in the Wilderness do not > like other parties that are unlike their own - including in the size > of the group. But then again, I believe the Wilderness belongs to > ALL Americans, including those who chose to recreate in largish > groups.

    That could get old if you're stuck atop the Heaps raps waiting for a group of bumblies. Or worse, old if you're wet and getting colder and colder in Kolob waiting for a bunch of bumblies. You might not run into other groups often in those canyons, but the one time you do it can cause some serious problems.

    > While the Park has a GENERAL goal to promote safety, it is not the > Park's job to protect you from yourself. > ... > I am hoping that the Park can admit that it is not my mother, and > therefore not responsible for my safety.

    I think the park is more interested in protecting themselves from Kolob-esque lawsuits and the settlement they paid for it than to be your mother.

    > So who cares how big the party > is? Are you concerned for their safety? Bully for you, but it is > not the Park's job to manage people's safety, it is their own.

    I'm concerned for my safetey, balanced with my enjoyment of the canyon. You are assuming that the number of canyoneers won't continue to rise, even in very technical canyons. I hope you are right, but I have my doubts.

    The ACA just had a rendezvous with upwards of 120 participants in Zion. What if I inadvertently chose *that* weekend to go to Zion? I bet I'd find groups in any canyon I got a permit for.

    > Well, that's nice. Let me critique: It is not consistent > with "Primitive and Unconfined". Can YOU figure out your canyon > schedule 4 days in advance? I cannot, and I don't think I should > have to. I want to go there, do canyons, go home, have a good time, > stay safe. Visit the DESK when I want to do Mystery or The Subway, > otherwise, be Unconfined.

    Yes, I plan my schedule 4+ days in advance every trip I've gone to Zion. Since I don't live close I have to plan in advance, get permit reservations in advance and so on to ensure that I don't show up empty handed. I unfortunately don't have the luxury of waking up tomorrow morning and saying 'aaah, I feel like descending Spry today..." because, you know, the trailhead for Spry is an 11 hour drive from my house.

    All I'm saying is that your ideas are a great system for locals who aren't tied to a schedule, and assuming the park doesn't count every canyon as a MSAO. It holds very little benefit for people like me.

    M
  4. Tom Jones

    Tom Jones Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "mike_dallin" <dallin@...> wrote:
    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Tom Jones" <ratagonia@> wrote:
    If you come to Zion again, you need not check in at the VC
    unless you want to do MSAOs.
    That's another potential issue. What happens, a few years down the > road and after Zion canyoneering becomes even MORE popular, and the > Park decides to dramatically increase the list of MSAO's? If that > happens, we basically have the current system, except I would own a > nearly useless yearly permit. > Look at the usage figures. Not going to happen. Yes, a few might be added. But of the 55 canyons I have done in the Zion Area (includes out of Park), I propose MSAO status for only 4 (Subway, Narrows, Mystery, Behunin).
    > And, my thought (but not stated) is that the PASS would be
    renewed each year by mail. So - meet the criterium just once,
    and you are in for life, as long as you renew.
    And that's another down side for me. In my original note, I said > I go to zion once every 2-3 years. Now, to keep my yearly pass to > use those times I do want to go, I would have to renew (at $50+ a > pop) for years when I would never use the pass. Unless a pass is > a one-time fee, but I've never heard of any park pass that is > except for disabled and senior citizens. > If you only go to Zion for a few days every couple of years, then what the heck do you care? Just deal with the lines and permits as they now stand.
    > I think a lot of people go once or twice, but they go out with
    people who go many times. Many people lead trips fairly often.
    All these people could be out of the line.
    So basically locals who go often get out of the line, but me, who > visits only once every 2-3 years, either pays extra for a pass I'd > never use, or waits in line. Can't you see the bias towards > locals? > I would not call it a bias toward the locals. I would call it a bias toward the people that use the Park backcountry on an active basis, and don't want or need their hand held by the Backcountry Desk everytime they visit the Park.
    > All these strict quotas MUST HAVE BEEN because
    of citizen complaints about overcrowding, right? There were
    zero, nada, zip complaints.
    My take is that it was a lot of anecdotal stuff. People > mentioning to to the backcountry desk when they get their permit, > but not filling out an 'official' complaint. Beats me. Maybe > somebody should poll people in line to see what the population's > thoughts are. Perhaps that is the scientific methods you refer > to. Might be very informative. > Anecdotal Stuff is subject to listener's bias. The Park is required (by the regional office) to log complaints. I wonder if they do. Complaints are not subject to listerner's bias - response to them is.
    > I think the current max group size of 12 works fine. Yes, the
    research literature indicates that people in the Wilderness do
    not like other parties that are unlike their own - including in
    the size of the group. But then again, I believe the Wilderness
    belongs to ALL Americans, including those who chose to recreate
    in largish groups.
    That could get old if you're stuck atop the Heaps raps waiting for > a group of bumblies. Or worse, old if you're wet and getting > colder and colder in Kolob waiting for a bunch of bumblies. You > might not run into other groups often in those canyons, but the > one time you do it can cause some serious problems. > Yup, life is rough. Sharing is rough.

    This is why I bring up the issue of "technical crowding". Canyons like Heaps, Imlay and Kolob have a much lower carrying capacity than less-wet canyons, and the consequences of technical crowding are higher. The Advisory Panel should take this into consideration when reviewing MSAO status.

    I just don't look to the Park to solve all technical and social problems - because the cost of the elaborate system they construct to insure the idealized experience for Mike Dallin on his once-every- three-year weekend visit to Zion is too high.
    > While the Park has a GENERAL goal to promote safety, it is not
    the Park's job to protect you from yourself.
    ...
    I am hoping that the Park can admit that it is not my mother,
    and therefore not responsible for my safety.
    I think the park is more interested in protecting themselves from > Kolob-esque lawsuits and the settlement they paid for it than to be > your mother. > The law has been clarified, and Zion has proved resistant to suits in the recent court cases. Job done. Without all the rigemarole of signing a "I have looked at the weather forecast" affadavit, etc. I think the Park wants to be my mother, and protect me from all those nasty big bad boogie men lurking in the backcountry.
    > So who cares how big the party
    is? Are you concerned for their safety? Bully for you, but it
    is not the Park's job to manage people's safety, it is their own.
    I'm concerned for my safety, balanced with my enjoyment of the > canyon. You are assuming that the number of canyoneers won't > continue to rise, even in very technical canyons. I hope you are > right, but I have my doubts.

    No, I think the numbers will continue to rise. But look at the latest use figures. Usage is LOW! Very low. We don't know how many days canyons like Kolob, Imlay and Heaps say multiple parties, but from the latest published numbers, it looks like very few.

    If usage soars, then eventually all the standard canyons will become MSAOs, and we are where we are now.
    The ACA just had a rendezvous with upwards of 120 participants in > Zion. What if I inadvertently chose *that* weekend to go to > Zion? I bet I'd find groups in any canyon I got a permit for. > And I bet not, unless you were trying. Even in good weather, the 2 hour drive over to Kolob Terrace discourages ACA folks based at the Ponderosa from travelling over there. That gives you about 25 canyons you would not expect ACA folks in. Etc...
    > Well, that's nice. Let me critique: It is not consistent
    with "Primitive and Unconfined". Can YOU figure out your canyon
    schedule 4 days in advance? I cannot, and I don't think I
    should have to. I want to go there, do canyons, go home, have a
    good time, stay safe. Visit the DESK when I want to do Mystery
    or The Subway, otherwise, be Unconfined.
    Yes, I plan my schedule 4+ days in advance every trip I've gone to > Zion. Since I don't live close I have to plan in advance, get > permit reservations in advance and so on to ensure that I don't > show up empty handed. I unfortunately don't have the luxury of > waking up tomorrow morning and saying 'aaah, I feel like > descending Spry today..." because, you know, the trailhead for > Spry is an 11 hour drive from my house.

    The trailhead for Spry is 30 minutes from my house, but driving down to VC to get the permit and back up, with the tunnel wait, adds an hour minimum. MY compliance with the permit system TRIPLES my travel time; it does not do the same for you.
    All I'm saying is that your ideas are a great system for locals who > aren't tied to a schedule, and assuming the park doesn't count > every canyon as a MSAO. It holds very little benefit for people > like me. Mike. > Granted. Maybe it is ungenerous of us/me, but the ZCC Proposal holds much more benefit for people who are active users of the Park, be they locals, Salt Lakers or based in Massachusetts.

    I hold that part of Congress's intent when they said "primitive and unconfined recreation experience" includes that your trip to the Wilderness need not be confined by creating schedules days, weeks or months in advance, and securing permission from the land management agency to recreate on public land. For a few, specific objectives, where this is essentially the best way to manage them, sure. But not for the whole thing.

    What about people from Salt Lake City. Want to do an Imlay on Saturday? Okay, that means getting a reservation (if you can) at least several days in advance. Leaving work at noon in order to drive down and get your permit by 5 pm (Kolob Visitors Center, if they haven't turned off their computer early like they often do), then doing the canyon and going home.

    Anyway, good talkin'. Written your letter?

    Tom
  5. JoeB

    JoeB Guest

    >If you only go to Zion for a few days every couple of years, then >what the heck do you care? Just deal with the lines and permits as >they now stand.

    Tom - Is that really your official stance? Do you think that since I come to Zion only 1-2 weeks each year, that I should just deal with the line as well? If so, how many people do you think you are alienating in your proposal? I'll be sure to "write my letter" and say how I don't care for the ZCC proposal, because it's trying too hard to make life easy and *cheap* for a relatively small amount of people, while the rest of us chumps are doing it the old way.

    I've been coming to Zion regularly for 30 years now; I don't need my hand held either. But I'm not at all for favoritism just because you want easy access to do spur of the moment canyons without visiting the VC like the rest of us. Try getting delayed in Vegas at 2pm knowing that you have only 3 hours to drive to the VC before it closes; we all have our sob stories about trying to get permits. Now if you come up with a proposal that keeps it safe and easy and practical for ALL OF US, I'll stand behind you. -Joe

    P.S. I'd actually vote for enhancing the existing Express Permit system, because quite frankly, that has already made life more pleasurable. Pay-per-play without having to go to the VC and its "membership" lasts three years. Not a bad start! I thank you if you had anything to do with that.
  6. mike_dallin

    mike_dallin Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Tom Jones" <ratagonia@...> wrote: > If you only go to Zion for a few days every couple of years, then > what the heck do you care? Just deal with the lines and permits as > they now stand.

    One time I went to the park, ended up sitting in line for several *hours* to get a permit, started hiking much later than planned, ended up in the narrows after dark, barely made the last shuttle out. I care because I don't want that experience again, nor should anyone else, whether local or far-flung visitor.

    > I just don't look to the Park to solve all technical and social > problems - because the cost of the elaborate system they construct > to insure the idealized experience for Mike Dallin on his once-every- > three-year weekend visit to Zion is too high.

    I doubt I'm the only one in my situation. I know many many people who go to Zion on a basis as limited as mine, and by your proposal, we are all stuck with the current turkey of a permit system.

    It sounds like your proposal is to ensure the idealized experience for Tom Jones. Why should they ensure yours and not mine?

    > The law has been clarified, and Zion has proved resistant to suits > in the recent court cases. Job done. Without all the rigemarole of

    Can you site those cases?

    > If usage soars, then eventually all the standard canyons will become > MSAOs, and we are where we are now.

    Exactly. The proposal is a temporary fix at best. It may work for 20 years, it may be 5. Why not fix it right now?

    > And I bet not, unless you were trying. Even in good weather, the 2 > hour drive over to Kolob Terrace discourages ACA folks based at the > Ponderosa from travelling over there. That gives you about 25 > canyons you would not expect ACA folks in. Etc...

    That's all well and good assuming that all future rendezvous from every organization is based at the Ponderosa from now on. What are the chances?

    > What about people from Salt Lake City. Want to do an Imlay on > Saturday? Okay, that means getting a reservation (if you can) at > least several days in advance. Leaving work at noon in order to > drive down and get your permit by 5 pm (Kolob Visitors Center, if > they haven't turned off their computer early like they often do), > then doing the canyon and going home.

    I suppose I'd have to give the same answer you give when people complain about crowds in their canyon of choice on weekends, or wish to have a zero-encounter wilderness experience. Go somewhere else. Not a very desirable solution, is it?

    > Anyway, good talkin'. Written your letter?

    Composing it as I speak. Er, type. Just sorting through issues first.

    M
  7. beadysee

    beadysee Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "JoeB" <joe@...> wrote:
    >If you only go to Zion for a few days every couple of years, then
    what the heck do you care? Just deal with the lines and permits as
    they now stand.
    Tom - Is that really your official stance? Do you think that since I > come to Zion only 1-2 weeks each year, that I should just deal with > the line as well? If so, how many people do you think you are > alienating in your proposal? I'll be sure to "write my letter" and say > how I don't care for the ZCC proposal

    Yeah, coming across as pretty self serving and a tad arrogant.

    Not sure the rest of the ZCC are either up to speed on this, or agree.

    I'm for ditching the permit system altogether. As usual. Win win for everyone.

    -Brian in SLC
  8. mike_dallin

    mike_dallin Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "beadysee" <beadysee@...> wrote: > I'm for ditching the permit system altogether. As usual. Win win > for everyone.

    Yay Brian, you're my hero. Let's hope this one is the preferred alternative. :)

    M
  9. adkramoo

    adkramoo Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "mike_dallin" <dallin@...> wrote:
    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "beadysee" <beadysee@> wrote:
    I'm for ditching the permit system altogether. As usual. Win win
    for everyone.

    > Yay Brian, you're my hero. Let's hope this one is the preferred > alternative. :)

    Yeah, I would LOVE to see them ditch the whole system. Will they? Ahhhhh, well.

    I think Joe and Mike were a little hard on Tom, in assuming just his being self serving. I couldn't produce such a detailed document, without drawing fire for the way it comes accross or impacts someone. The guy is trying so hard to make changes. I don't mind it helps the regular user more than the casual one. I go to the Fiery Furnace in Arches, once or twice a year....for 30 years now. they have a system for frequent users. More than a couple of times a year. Doesn't help me, so I go through all the hoops, everytime. I would love to bypass it, after all, I DO know the regs, support them and help others to comply, but I am OK enduring the extra hassle a few times annually and am glad that others who go regularly can avoid the "dance."

    With just a bit of modification..... Proposing that the entire system be, go as you go, except for 4 canyons, the high use ones. Get some kind of long term "I test OK" registration, for indidviduals. No paying, beyond perhaps an initial charge. No renewing hassle, except formalities and no charge for renewing or maintaining status. Find some way that the park can keep track of what canyons get done how much. They won't go for less. I used to go to Zion more. I would likely go a bit more, if the system were made reasonable. I think we need to get what we can, regardless, of keeping track of who benefits more than who. On my last trip, it was a nightmare of changed permits, unused permits and plans changed in accordance with the need to navigate the system, not saftey, not effiecency. Miles and hours of driving. Cell phone recoordinations, with folks coming in. We have to find some agreement and pound home at them. We have to be realistic about what is possible to get and we have to work, somewhat together...Please. ;-) More suggestions we can mostly all get behind? R
  10. Tom Jones

    Tom Jones Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "JoeB" <joe@...> wrote:
    >If you only go to Zion for a few days every couple of years, then
    what the heck do you care? Just deal with the lines and permits as
    they now stand.
    Tom - Is that really your official stance? Do you think that since > I come to Zion only 1-2 weeks each year, that I should just deal > with the line as well? If so, how many people do you think you are > alienating in your proposal? I'll be sure to "write my letter" and > say how I don't care for the ZCC proposal, because it's trying too > hard to make life easy and *cheap* for a relatively small amount > of people, while the rest of us chumps are doing it the old way. > Well, uh, kinda sorta...

    Ideally, we ALL would come to Zion, go out, do canyons have a good time. Fill out trailhead permits. Perhaps stand on line for permits for a few canyons, Subway, Mystery. (This is actually what Congress told the Park Service to do, IMHO).

    And I'd love to support that, but I think it is WAY OUT THERE FOR THE PARK SERVICE. I'm advocating a system that I think is a big stretch for them, but just possible. I don't imagine them giving up more control than what I am advocating.

    > I've been coming to Zion regularly for 30 years now; I don't need > my hand held either. But I'm not at all for favoritism just > because you want easy access to do spur of the moment canyons > without visiting the VC like the rest of us. Try getting delayed > in Vegas at 2pm knowing that you have only 3 hours to drive to the > VC before it closes; we all have our sob stories about trying to > get permits. Now if you come up with a proposal that keeps it safe > and easy and practical for ALL OF US, I'll stand behind you. -Joe

    Then YOU, too, have three technical permits with your name on em in the system, and can sign up for THE PASS next time you are in town.
    P.S. I'd actually vote for enhancing the existing Express Permit > system, because quite frankly, that has already made life more > pleasurable. Pay-per-play without having to go to the VC and > its "membership" lasts three years. Not a bad start! I thank you > if you had anything to do with that. > On-line reservations I have found useful. I have not successfully printed out an on-line permit yet, but then again, in the summer I am in Springdale 2X a week, so can pick stuff up.

    Thank you. What made the difference there was MANY people complaining about how bad the system was, so they made improvements.

    Tom
  11. Tom Jones

    Tom Jones Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "mike_dallin" <dallin@...> wrote:
    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Tom Jones" <ratagonia@> wrote:
    If you only go to Zion for a few days every couple of years,
    then what the heck do you care? Just deal with the lines and
    permits as they now stand.
    One time I went to the park, ended up sitting in line for several > *hours* to get a permit, started hiking much later than planned, > ended up in The Narrows after dark, barely made the last shuttle > out. I care because I don't want that experience again, nor > should anyone else, whether local or far-flung visitor. > Nice Wilderness experience, eh?

    My apologies, I spoke in haste. Three permits in the system with your name on it? Get yourself THE PASS.
    > I just don't look to the Park to solve all technical and social
    problems - because the cost of the elaborate system they
    construct to insure the idealized experience for Mike Dallin on
    his once-every-three-year weekend visit to Zion is too high.
    I doubt I'm the only one in my situation. I know many many people > who go to Zion on a basis as limited as mine, and by your > proposal, we are all stuck with the current turkey of a permit > system.
    It sounds like your proposal is to ensure the idealized experience > for Tom Jones. Why should they ensure yours and not mine?

    Uh, see previous post in response to Joe. Yes, I'd love to shoot for killing the whole Turkey (x subway, Narrows, Mystery), but I think the Park Service cannot even think about that.

    My informal survey indicates about half the people in the early- morning line would be eligible for THE PASS. Would decreasing the line by half make your visit more pleasant?

    Increasing use limits in The Subway (and Mystery) could dramatically decrease the difficulty of getting the coveted Subway Permit. Thus, people seeking the Subway would not have to queue up at 6:00 am to stand a good chance of getting it. This might eliminate about half the rest. Would this make your visit to Zion more pleasant?

    Then again, no reason you could not get THE PASS via mail several weeks before your trip. Would this make your visit to Zion more pleasant?

    The law has been clarified, and Zion has proved resistant to
    suits in the recent court cases. Job done. Without all the
    rigemarole of
    Can you site those cases? > NANCY ELDER and JEFFREY D. EGGERTZ, v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA http://tinyurl.com/btnc7

    If usage soars, then eventually all the standard canyons will
    become MSAOs, and we are where we are now.
    Exactly. The proposal is a temporary fix at best. It may work > for 20 years, it may be 5. Why not fix it right now?

    Based on what happenned to backpacking, I would expect Zion backcountry usage to plateau out in abut 5 years at maybe 3X current (restricted) usage.

    What do YOU consider "Fix it right"? I've proposed the least restrictions that I think the PS can live with, and flexibility for changing attitudes in the future.
    > And I bet not, unless you were trying. Even in good weather,
    the 2-hour drive over to Kolob Terrace discourages ACA folks
    based at the Ponderosa from travelling over there. That gives
    you about 25 canyons you would not expect ACA folks in. Etc...
    That's all well and good assuming that all future rendezvous from > every organization is based at the Ponderosa from now on. What are > the chances?

    I guess I've lost the thread of what the complaint is here?
    > What about people from Salt Lake City. Want to do an Imlay on
    Saturday? Okay, that means getting a reservation (if you can)
    at least several days in advance. Leaving work at noon in order
    to drive down and get your permit by 5 pm (Kolob Visitors
    Center, if they haven't turned off their computer early like
    they often do), then doing the canyon and going home.
    I suppose I'd have to give the same answer you give when people > complain about crowds in their canyon of choice on weekends, or > wish to have a zero-encounter wilderness experience. Go somewhere > else. Not a very desirable solution, is it? > Nope, never is.

    Of course, when I say "go somewhere else to have a zero-encounter experience", I mean WITHOUT the intervention of the Federal Government to artificially create such an experience. If Imlay were a pleasant rolling woodland in Michigan (sorry Joe), then managing for zero social encounters MIGHT be appropriate. But Imlay is one of the finest, most beautiful hunks of real estate in the US of A and a somewhat higher level of use is appropriate. I'm not advocating steel stairs and ski lifts ala Antelope Canyon, but I don't think the govmint needs to intervene until several days with usage of 24 or more occur in one summer.
    > Anyway, good talkin'. Written your letter?
    Composing it as I speak. Er, type. Just sorting through issues > first.
    M > Thanks. I'll be out for the weekend, so please do not feel neglected if I do not respond promptly. Heading to Vegas for a little climbing - gotta get there by 5 pm to secure the perm... uh, well, I guess I don't.

    Tom
  12. Tom Jones

    Tom Jones Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "mike_dallin" <dallin@...> wrote:

    Anyway, good talkin'. Written your letter?
    Composing it as I speak. Er, type. Just sorting through issues > first.
    M > Perhaps you could start it with:

    I generally support the ZCC proposal, except it does not go nearly far enough.

    (for your consideration)

    Tom
  13. mike_dallin

    mike_dallin Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "adkramoo" <adkramoo@...> wrote: > Yeah, I would LOVE to see them ditch the whole system. Will they? > Ahhhhh, well.

    No, but what nice thought, eh?

    > I go to the Fiery Furnace in > Arches, once or twice a year....for 30 years now. they have a system > for frequent users.

    So what is Arch's system? I know the deal with watching the video etc (they still do that?) but know nothing of their express system. Is it adaptable to Zion?

    M
  14. mike_dallin

    mike_dallin Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Tom Jones" <ratagonia@...> wrote: > Perhaps you could start it with:
    I generally support the ZCC proposal, except it does not go nearly far > enough.
    (for your consideration)
    Tom

    Sorry Tom, we'll have to agree to disagree on this one I suppose.

    M
  15. adkramoo

    adkramoo Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "mike_dallin" <dallin@...> wrote:
    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "adkramoo" <adkramoo@> wrote:
    I go to the Fiery Furnace in
    Arches, once or twice a year....for 30 years now. they have a system
    for frequent users.

    > So what is Arch's system? I know the deal with watching the video etc > (they still do that?) but know nothing of their express system. Is it > adaptable to Zion?

    I probably should just wait for Youth, or Moab Matt or someone to answer. I am recognized in the park and they always ask me why I haven't gotten on board with this little express system. I ask if the system has changed or is it still an annual pass and meant for those that go many more times, more than once or twice a year, which is my max. They say yes and I shrug. Yes they still do the video and it really hasn't been updated forever. I still have a crush on this dark haired gal, with a 1970's shag haircut. I'm sure she hasn't aged ;-). They still have the same tacky lines. I sometimes bring popcorn and we always take advantage of the indoor environ (I tend to go in the cold months) to put on damp shoes and change clothes for the day. I think it is important that the theatre get stained just a little by red and white Utah sand, but not so much as to make work for my breathern, the janitor. Keeps it real. I very seriously admonish my partners with several apparently arbitrary lines, before the video starts. It is always worth a hardy laugh when the lines come up in the video. Applicable to Zion? It is just for one place, as opposed to those 55 canyons Tom refers to. Not sure. I thought the express was free, but never followed along far enough to be sure. The FF permit used to be free, then it was $5 for the permit, then it became $5 per person. I think there still is a period in the winter where the permit is free or reduced. Maybe something like $3 for the whole permit, if not free? Not sure. I suspect that little benefit won't be long lived either. Ram
  16. gootwan

    gootwan Guest

    I just don't get all flack Tom is getting. What is wrong with making life a little easier for the locals who use the canyons all the time? It sounds like some of you have this "if I can't have it no one can" attitude.

    Like Joe I've been coming to Zion for 30 years about once or twice a year. How are people like us hurt by the locals having easier access to the canyons? What have we lost?

    I think you're on the right track Tom.

    Jordan

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "mike_dallin" <dallin@...> wrote:
    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Tom Jones" <ratagonia@> wrote:
    Perhaps you could start it with:

    I generally support the ZCC proposal, except it does not go nearly far
    enough.

    (for your consideration)

    Tom
    > Sorry Tom, we'll have to agree to disagree on this one I suppose.
    > M >
  17. Tom Jones

    Tom Jones Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "gootwan" <j.egertson@...> wrote:
    I just don't get all flack Tom is getting. What is wrong with > making life a little easier for the locals who use the canyons all > the time? It sounds like some of you have this "if I can't have it > no one can" attitude.

    While it may SEEM like I am local-preferencing (and this might be much of the effect), really I am pushing the Park where I think they can be pushed. Please please please, lobby the Park for even less if that is what you want. THE TIME TO LOBBY THE PARK IS NOW. THE END IS AT HAND.
    Like Joe I've been coming to Zion for 30 years about once or twice > a year. How are people like us hurt by the locals having easier > access to the canyons? What have we lost?
    I think you're on the right track Tom.
    Jordan > Thanks Jordan.

    Tom
  18. JoeB

    JoeB Guest

    Don't get me wrong; I whole-heartedly support what Tom's doing, I just want to flesh out some of the details to make sure that the goals and results actually work for all of us, not just some of us. Such is the world of politics and proposals. :) Tom's a tough cookie, I know he can take my abuse!

    BTW - Am I the only person who knows about and takes advantage of the online Express Permit system? This was already a step in the right direction and I would like to see it enhanced (which it easily could be). For out-of-towners like me, it's a lot more cost- effective to do the pay-per-play permits than it is to slap down $50 in an annual pass system. I wouldn't want to see the Express Permit system replaced or killed by a new Annual Permit system.

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "gootwan" <j.egertson@...> wrote:
    I just don't get all flack Tom is getting. What is wrong with making > life a little easier for the locals who use the canyons all the time? > It sounds like some of you have this "if I can't have it no one can" > attitude.
    Like Joe I've been coming to Zion for 30 years about once or twice a > year. How are people like us hurt by the locals having easier access > to the canyons? What have we lost?
    I think you're on the right track Tom.
    Jordan
    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "mike_dallin" <dallin@> wrote:

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Tom Jones" <ratagonia@> wrote:
    > Perhaps you could start it with:


    I generally support the ZCC proposal, except it does not go nearly > far
    > enough.


    (for your consideration)


    Tom


    Sorry Tom, we'll have to agree to disagree on this one I suppose.


    M
    >
  19. Tom Jones

    Tom Jones Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "JoeB" <joe@...> wrote:
    Don't get me wrong; I whole-heartedly support what Tom's doing, I > just want to flesh out some of the details to make sure that the > goals and results actually work for all of us, not just some of > us. Such is the world of politics and proposals. :) Tom's a tough > cookie, I know he can take my abuse!

    Thanks, Joe. Unfortunately, the timing did not allow me to put the proposal out for general review before sending it in the Park Service. And, that that doesn't kill me, doesn't kill me. Sticks and stones, so to speak.
    BTW - Am I the only person who knows about and takes advantage of > the online Express Permit system? This was already a step in the > right direction and I would like to see it enhanced (which it > easily (could be). For out-of-towners like me, it's a lot more > cost-effective to do the pay-per-play permits than it is to slap > down $50 in an annual pass system. I wouldn't want to see the > Express Permit system replaced or killed by a new Annual Permit > system. >

    The ZEP is of little use to me. Before you can run a permit, you have to get a reservation. Reservations can only be obtained two or more days in advance. I look for the ZEP for last minute planning, but it cannot be used for this, only for advanced-planning canyons. Still, it is a very useful system, and I am sure will be retained.

    Tom
  20. --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Tom Jones" <ratagonia@...> wrote: > Ideally, we ALL would come to Zion, go out, do canyons have a good > time. Fill out trailhead permits. Perhaps stand on line for > permits for a few canyons, Subway, Mystery. (This is actually what > Congress told the Park Service to do, IMHO).
    And I'd love to support that, but I think it is WAY OUT THERE FOR > THE PARK SERVICE. I'm advocating a system that I think is a big > stretch for them, but just possible. I don't imagine them giving up > more control than what I am advocating.

    Sounds like your admitting the Park service does whatever they want regardless of what public opinion is. Perhaps if you say pretty please in your letter, and your view doesn't stray too far from the system in place, they might throw you a little bone. Frankly the Park service can go on doing whatever they want, and I will do the same. The Park can have their warm fuzzy feeling of control with a ridiculous permit process while hundreds of us go on poaching canyons as if there were no permit process.
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