White River NF (Colo) proposes permit/fees for Maroon Bells Wilderness

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chumley
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White River NF (Colo) proposes permit/fees for Maroon Bells Wilderness

Post by chumley »

Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Overnight Permit Fee Proposal

Public comments needed! The Forest Service is proposing a $12 per-person/per-night fee for overnight permits to the most highly visited areas of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, including the Four-Pass Loop, Conundrum, Geneva Lake, and Capitol Lake.

The Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is an iconic overnight wilderness destination that has been seeing significant impacts from heavy use for the past two decades, and revenues from the fees would provide a sustainable source of funds to address management challenges associated with over-crowding. More details and the opportunity to comment below. Let us know what you think by Sept. 15, 2021.
Apparently, the Forest Service does in fact recognize that overuse is antithetical to its mission.

I believe that this may be a model for overused wildernesses in other national forests, so you may wish to participate in the comment period even if Maroon Bells aren't on your regular visitation list.

I wish they could implement the entry limits and permits without a fee (and an exorbitant, NIGHTLY fee, at that). (Inyo NF in the Sierra Nevada currently charges $5 for an entire trip, plus the $6 Rec.gov processing fee, so there is an established precedent here, though not nearly as costly).

Public Comment Portal: https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/P ... ct=NP-2849

Info: https://www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/whiteriv ... EPRD931832
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friendofThundergod
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Re: White River NF (Colo) proposes permit/fees for Maroon Bells Wilderness

Post by friendofThundergod »

@chumley
I generally do not like to see these things, but at this point, I think it is what is best for these areas that are being loved to death. Maybe find ways to meet outdoor rec enthusiast in the middle with low cost permits, and user friendly systems for pulling the permit, along with maybe a peak season and a non permit season, but I am ok with this. Despite what REI says, its not in our best interest for everyone to opt outside and the spirit of wilderness must be upheld.

Now some national forest in Arizona need to get together and follow suit, I would start with a day use or overnight permit for any perennial creek, stream or river that flows through a wilderness within three hours of Phoenix.
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ShatteredArm
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Re: White River NF (Colo) proposes permit/fees for Maroon Bells Wilderness

Post by ShatteredArm »

I was just out there on the Fourth, probably about as crowded as it gets, and it didn't feel crowded. Sure, I saw quite a few people, but it's so big that there was plenty of space. Talked to a guy at the TH who had backpacked it, and he said he had no problem finding a campsite (although it's possible not everybody was camping on durable surfaces).

They already have a permit system for access to Maroon Creek, which is the "standard" start of the Four Pass loop. More difficult access roads from Crested Butte are already probably enough of a deterrent for access from that side (actually, there was a sign at the TH there where WR NF was patting themselves on the back for improving and expanding that TH). Only other way I can think of to get in there is via Snowmass Lake, which adds ~12mi RT.
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rustyshackleford135
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Re: White River NF (Colo) proposes permit/fees for Maroon Bells Wilderness

Post by rustyshackleford135 »

How would Edward Abbey suggest we handle this? :lol:
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sidhayes
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Re: White River NF (Colo) proposes permit/fees for Maroon Bells Wilderness

Post by sidhayes »

@rustyshackleford135
Resist much, obey little
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hikeaz
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Re: White River NF (Colo) proposes permit/fees for Maroon Bells Wilderness

Post by hikeaz »

Before permits there was never anyone at The Wave...just sayin'. And remember, these are the same gubment folks who years ago planted tamarisk (salt cedar) to control erosion.
"The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient."
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
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