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Kiosk and locked gate - Vivian Creek Trail - So Cal

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Kiosk and locked gate - Vivian Creek Trail - So Cal

Postby KathyW » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:04 am

The Forest Service has installed a gate to the only parking area for the Vivian Creek Trail and is locking the gate for eight hours per day. There is no parking allowed along the road in the area. The gate and other improvements were installed to meet the requirements to collect the Adventure Pass Fee. In their quest for fees, the Forest Service has limited public access to a hiking trail. We may see access to other popular hiking areas limited as the Forest Service installs improvements to meet the requirements for fee collection (restrooms, picnic tables, kiosks, gates, and security).

We'd like to send a message that this is not an acceptable. Here's a petition against the locked gate at Vivian Creek's parking lot:

http://www.change.org/petitions/us-depa ... e_petition

Not about Vivian Creek, but has anyone read the plans for Death Valley? Permit requirements that will eventual lead to more fees, the NPS taking over cabins volunteers have been maintaining, and more commercial activities allowed. The push for more fees on public lands is increasing. It scares me because this might mean more development and commercial activity as well as increased limitations to access.

The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act expires next year. This is the act that allows for the collection of some of these recreation fees. If you don't want it renewed the way it is currently written, you might want to speak up.

More information:
http://naturalresources.house.gov/calen ... tID=337394
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Re: Kiosk and locked gate - Vivian Creek Trail - So Cal

Postby artrock23 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:35 pm

This news has unpleasant implications. I signed the petition, and hope others will do the same.
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Re: Kiosk and locked gate - Vivian Creek Trail - So Cal

Postby willytinawin » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:08 pm

They (govt) lost the lawsuit so they find a way around it (ie, install a porta potty and charge if you park within a mile of it). They also have deep pockets and can afford to drive those big trucks around ad naseum to collect the fees. Anyhow, thanks for the heads up, this is not good. Unfortunately, the power of the government will only continue to grow, and there's little that can be done to stop it. I guarantee you in a few years they will have drones up and running, (to 'keep us safe' of course) to spy on you as you hike the mountains. The freedom that we enjoyed a few years ago, affordable fuel, privacy, free access to our mountains (well, not quite free, we still pay taxes), is gone for good. The only way out in the short run is to poach, and go to the lesser used places, but when the drone network is up, then even that will not be private. Isn't technology wonderful?
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Re: Kiosk and locked gate - Vivian Creek Trail - So Cal

Postby tarol » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:09 pm

Um, those aren't the requirements for fee collection

The requirements, referred to as the six amenities, are improved parking, interpretive signs, bathrooms, picnic tables, trash cans, and security services (ie ranger patrols)
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Re: Kiosk and locked gate - Vivian Creek Trail - So Cal

Postby tarol » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:10 pm

deep pockets??

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013 ... -foresters

and drones watching wilderness hikers??
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Re: Kiosk and locked gate - Vivian Creek Trail - So Cal

Postby bscott » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:51 pm

KathyW wrote:The Forest Service has installed a gate to the only parking area for the Vivian Creek Trail and is locking the gate for eight hours per day. There is no parking allowed along the road in the area. The gate and other improvements were installed to meet the requirements to collect the Adventure Pass Fee. In their quest for fees, the Forest Service has limited public access to a hiking trail. We may see access to other popular hiking areas limited as the Forest Service installs improvements to meet the requirements for fee collection (restrooms, picnic tables, kiosks, gates, and security).


kathy~

i am with you in the desire to have the gate unlocked, but this argument is both factually and intellectually dishonest, as well as a slippery slope argument.

the locked gate is an attempt to prevent the sort of drunken shenanigans that have been happening to the use area. there is nothing worse than getting down from three days on the hill only to wade through broken beer bottles and shit covered bathroom floors.

this has nothing to do with "fees", and you know it. or at least, you should. we've had the discussion as to why this is happening on the sgwa board, a discussion you have been a part of, so i am disappointed to see such inaccuracies presented here.

you can argue over whether the locked gate will achieve the desired results (and i would agree with what i believe your stance is; i.e. that it will not), but to label this as nothing more than a money grab is neither fair nor accurate.
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Re: Kiosk and locked gate - Vivian Creek Trail - So Cal

Postby KathyW » Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:17 pm

brichardsson wrote:
KathyW wrote:The Forest Service has installed a gate to the only parking area for the Vivian Creek Trail and is locking the gate for eight hours per day. There is no parking allowed along the road in the area. The gate and other improvements were installed to meet the requirements to collect the Adventure Pass Fee. In their quest for fees, the Forest Service has limited public access to a hiking trail. We may see access to other popular hiking areas limited as the Forest Service installs improvements to meet the requirements for fee collection (restrooms, picnic tables, kiosks, gates, and security).


kathy~

i am with you in the desire to have the gate unlocked, but this argument is both factually and intellectually dishonest, as well as a slippery slope argument.

the locked gate is an attempt to prevent the sort of drunken shenanigans that have been happening to the use area. there is nothing worse than getting down from three days on the hill only to wade through broken beer bottles and shit covered bathroom floors.

this has nothing to do with "fees", and you know it. or at least, you should. we've had the discussion as to why this is happening on the sgwa board, a discussion you have been a part of, so i am disappointed to see such inaccuracies presented here.

you can argue over whether the locked gate will achieve the desired results (and i would agree with what i believe your stance is; i.e. that it will not), but to label this as nothing more than a money grab is neither fair nor accurate.


Yes, it does have to do with fees and you should know that.

Where Standard Ammenity Fees may be charged (This includes the Adventure Pass Fee): "Each site or area must contain six "amenities," which are picnic tables, trash receptacle, toilet, parking, interpretive signing and security."

Source:
http://www.fs.fed.us/passespermits/about-rec-fees.shtml

There are a lot less trailheads that now require the Adventure Pass Fee because they don't have the six required ammenities. The Adventure Pass should never have been required in places that did not have the six required ammenities. There is still is an issue with requiring someone to buy an Adventure Pass or other paying some other form of recreation fee in some of the areas that have the six ammenities if the person is just parking and walking through the area to access a trailhead.

I think you are being shortsighted if you don't see the connection.
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Re: Kiosk and locked gate - Vivian Creek Trail - So Cal

Postby bscott » Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:28 pm

KathyW wrote:Yes, it does have to do with fees and you should know that.


no it doesn't, and you saying it does doesn't make it so.

your argument would only be supported by someone who only uses the vivian creek trail head, and no other trail head, ever, and so, because of these locked gates, now must pay for a pass they would never use anywhere else and would otherwise not need to buy.

that's not the case, and you know it. i would be willing to bet you that no one, in the history of the universe, ever decided that, although they had previously resisted buying a pass, would now do so, just so they could access VCT.

the NFAP gets you access to dozens of local sites. having one more (or one less) site on the list is not going the impact the sale of one single pass.
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Re: Kiosk and locked gate - Vivian Creek Trail - So Cal

Postby KathyW » Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:11 am

?????

You could always shit in the wilderness instead of wading through broken bottles and shit in the outhouses at the picnic area.

It sounds like conditions have gotten a lot worse at the picnic area since they installed the gate, kiosk, and new restrooms. I've never seen conditions like you are describing in the years I've been hiking up there. I've never arrived early in the morning and found drunken vandals passed out on picnic tables after their night of adventure at the picnic area. I don't doubt that there are sometimes problems, but I don't think they happen on a regular basis.
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Re: Kiosk and locked gate - Vivian Creek Trail - So Cal

Postby willytinawin » Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:28 am

deep pockets??

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013 ... -foresters

and drones watching wilderness hikers??

Yes, deep pockets. Compared to your average dirt bag mountaineer, the govt (fed, state or local) is wayy wealthier, and does not sweat the cost of fuel, the taxpayers pay for it! You ever notice how govt employees sometimes leave their engines idling for long periods of time, do you think they care about agw (oops, bad word) or the cost of a fillup?

No drones not watching wilderness hikers YET. But in the future, I predict in less than 10 years, these "broke" govt agencies that desperately need to charge us for a mountain hike since they are so cash-strapped will somehow miraculously come up with the money for drones, and WILL then spy on wilderness hikers. In ten years time or less, you may opt to not pay the fee (fees are here to stay) and the drone will spot your car, use technolgy to get your plate #, and you will get the bill in the mail. Right now government agencies use Google Earth to go after people who do things on their property without a permit, but in the future, Google Earth will be replaced by drones. They fly at 15-20000' and you will never see them, but they will be watching. They will be "keeping us safe". Unfortunately, if someone smashes your window while you are out hiking, the drones won't have that information, but if you don't pay a required fee for example, they will notice. Right now drones are being used for watching storms, but at the rate the fires are increasing, they WILL be deployed by the forest and Park Services, and they will not just be watching for forest fires, they will be watching everything. Kinda creepy if you ask me, but some people will think it's great.

and as far as your article about running out of fire money, that's unfortunate, but PEOPLE are the ones that are starting most of these things, and the population of the world rising, the stupidity factor will never go away. THESE are the good ole days, in 20 years time we will long for $4 gas and $5 wilderness permits.
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Re: Kiosk and locked gate - Vivian Creek Trail - So Cal

Postby tarol » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:12 pm

The Falls Picnic Area, prior to the gate, was receiving regular bouts of vandalism, trash, graffiti, late night partiers, car break ins, damage to the special use permit cabins, etc. Incidents have gone down since installation of the gate.

The gate, entry kiosk were not constructed in order to charge fees. You don't need a gate or kiosk in order to charge the AP fee - as they are not one of the six amenities. The gate and kiosk were installed as part of a larger project at the picnic area that also addressed parking, accessibility and the water system that was funded through a National Forest National Priority Project. The work had nothing to do with local fee programs.

So, they are separate issues.

Back to the gate issue. I totally agree with the explosion of population being the problem. And about the rising stupidity factor, or not seeing the correlation of taking care of an area to having it still be there and enjoyable in years to come. There is no land ethic instilled in these folks that trash and destroy. And with internet sites like YouTube showing off all our beautiful waterfalls in So Cal, they in particular are drawing much larger crowds than in year's past, and they are getting trashed. Not just Big Falls - Bonita Falls, Cucamonga Canyon, Etiwanda Falls, Three Sister's, and there are a handful more that have seen huge increases in visitation and graffiti and trash. Agencies are trying a variety of methods to curb the damage to the environment - gates, permits, outright closures are all being tried.

In some cases generous volunteers are trying to reclaim the beauty of these areas - SGWA is one such organization that does a lot of trash and graffiti clean-up - and also tries to head off the problem by educating our visitors and trying to instill that land ethic within them. Without volunteers, these areas would be in even worse shape - as what some people think are deep pockets of the Forest Service, well if they were ever deep they certainly aren't now. There are a lot fewer boots on the ground to help take care of the land.

I think the best suggestion/compromise I heard was hikers who wanted to get an early start be given a combo to a lock on the gate. Any other suggestions? It would be best to include in the petition or letter to the District Ranger, as just a complaint without a suggestion to solve isn't as likely to go anywhere.
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Re: Kiosk and locked gate - Vivian Creek Trail - So Cal

Postby MoapaPk » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:35 pm

I think the best suggestion/compromise I heard was hikers who wanted to get an early start be given a combo to a lock on the gate.


I really like that solution. But will that happen? We used to get "overnight" and "late exit" passes rather easily from Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (in NV), but it seems like the overseers are now drunk with the power of telling people to go to Hell.
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Re: Kiosk and locked gate - Vivian Creek Trail - So Cal

Postby willytinawin » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:22 am

Since the original post was about San Gorgonio, here's a timeline of sorts. 50 years ago when you went to old Greyback you drove to Poopout Hill and hiked the peak. 40 years ago it was the same, but you had to get a (free) permit. 25 years ago, when I first went, you still got the free permit, but Poopout Hill was closed to vehicles, so you started from South Fork. Fast forward to today, you now must purchase and Adventure Pass, get a permit, park in the designated area only, you have to wait for gates to be unlocked, hike past trash and graffiti, etc. so freedom is diminishing. That's why I predict by simple trend analysis that the future will probably not be better. Unfortunately, this is due to two things: more people, and more governmental control. The biggest threat to San Gorgonio is a fire, in my opinion. But all the restrictions will not prevent that. I'm fairly certain that the person who started the Rim fire did not have a fire permit. Scofflaws will not follow the rules, and increased bureacracy and red tape, locked gates, etc only hurts the honest wilderness lovers who would never leave trash or start fires. The assholes are always going to be just that and will ignore the rules no matter how many are passed. I am 100% against fees, we already pay taxes, and 99% of us are not hurting anything, just trying to get some exercize and spiritual fulfillment and escape from a world gone mad.

Edit: I've seen some disgusting things on San G., once I was in the snow (off trail) above High Creek there's a lodgepole where someone carved "this is God's camp" into the tree. It really pissed me off. But compared to a big fire it's still relatively small.
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Re: Kiosk and locked gate - Vivian Creek Trail - So Cal

Postby bscott » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:52 pm

KathyW wrote:?????

You could always shit in the wilderness instead of wading through broken bottles and shit in the outhouses at the picnic area.



wheeeeee. non sequitur ftw.
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