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  1. #141
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Jurek made himself the face of the controversy, from flouting the laws in the park and the laws of the state, from hogging the summit sign for thirty minutes for sel-promotion, to his crew speeding into KSC after the parking lot was closed and the barrier was in place. He was the straw that broke the camel's back. He is part of the problem.


    Now, if any hiker wanted to reserve a cabin, leanto, or tentsite for a period of time, well in advance, they are campers, not hikers. Their money is being spent to support the park. Just climb the damn mountainif thats your goal, but you have time to spend in one of the more beautiful parts of the country. Take advantage of it.

  2. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by shivelight View Post
    Any conjecture about why the numbers from BSP's AT hiker planning document in the post above are so much higher than the numbers reported by the ATC
    Each year the names of those who have reported hike completions in the previous 12 months are published

    Not everyone who completes the trail notifies the ATC.

  3. #143
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Engine View Post
    The sea of toilet paper laying around, which is indicative of the considerable amount of human waste being deposited in a concentrated area, is possibly a threat to the immediate trail corridor. I would be curious to know what soil and water samples in the camping areas as well as the watershed downstream would tell us. Farther north it may not be such an issue, but the first few hundred miles of the trail see a lot of concentrated use every year.
    Which is why I proceeded that by saying that proper facilities -- well sited facilities -- would solve those kinds of problems.

    Simply reciting the mantra "more people bad, less people good" is a lazy approach.

    The problem you speak of is not the number of people or significant environmental damage, it is the ugly piles of **** that offend those walking by them. Farther north there are areas that get a tremendous amount of use, and the **** is dealt with.

    In the end, the "problem" people are wrestling with (for the most part) is really one of improving the recreational experience along a very narrow strip of land, for a small set of users. Those working on it should be appreciated, but proclamations equating those efforts to some noble protection of the wilds and off base.

    If BSP wants to preserve a special aesthetic for a limited number (and kind) of people they think are deserving of it more than others, they should just say so. Because that is exactly the direction they moving in.

  4. #144

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    I summited on Sep 10 last year. I was told by a ranger that no one stayed in the Birches the night before. However I reserved a campsite in KSC for the night of 9 Sep and allowed 5 other sections hikers to stay in my campsite that night. On the 10th there were enormous crowds going up Katahdin ( mostly day hikers and some thru hikers who I guess were shuttled in). My question is this. The ranger counted me as a section hiker but technically I was not since I was hiking from my campsite with 5 other section hikers. Is Baxter going to count this action against the numbers allowed by all AT hikers?

  5. #145
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xnav View Post
    I summited on Sep 10 last year. I was told by a ranger that no one stayed in the Birches the night before. However I reserved a campsite in KSC for the night of 9 Sep and allowed 5 other sections hikers to stay in my campsite that night. On the 10th there were enormous crowds going up Katahdin ( mostly day hikers and some thru hikers who I guess were shuttled in). My question is this. The ranger counted me as a section hiker but technically I was not since I was hiking from my campsite with 5 other section hikers. Is Baxter going to count this action against the numbers allowed by all AT hikers?
    I would say probably not since you rented a campsite. There is an automatic limit placed on hiking up Katahdin by the number of day use permits issued and the number of available campsites. Its a finite resource.

  6. #146

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    Numbers are the biggest problem, idiots will always exist. I don't know if it is allowed by Baxter, but one solution would be for the ATC to reserved campsites in Sep and Oct and allow those thru hikers who register on Springer to stay at those campsites and pay enough to reimburse the ATC. Overflow could stay in the Birches. An accurate estimate of arrivals would be needed but based on counts entering the 100 mile wilderness at Monson it could be pretty close then extra reserved spaces could be released back to Baxter. Baxter would have to allow an ATC rep to control the verification of thru hikers, but I think the database is there to do this. Hard ass rules would have to be enforced at these campsites - no alcohol, drugs, profanity, etc. (families are in close proximity) or Baxter will just end any proposed solutions to control numbers. The ATC rep at Monson would know if the campsites and the Birches are maxed out on any given day based on registered numbers and would tell the hikers if he needs to adjust his hiking schedule which would be much easier in Monson rather than showing up at the park boundary and being denied entry.

  7. #147

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    ...
    If BSP wants to preserve a special aesthetic for a limited number (and kind) of people they think are deserving of it more than others, they should just say so. Because that is exactly the direction they moving in.
    So if they stated clearly that their desire is to protect the land and the experience of visiting it so that those who wish to be respectful can enjoy the wilderness without destroying it you'd be OK with that? Because that is what they've been saying for decades now. Keeping people out is not their goal and in fact they want to share the beauty of the park with as many people as possible as that is actually their stated goal. As many as possible takes into account the impact that visitors have so is not an unlimited number.

    When the people are too numerous or simply too selfish to visit without doing damage then their access logically will be impacted. Blaming the park for that is rather silly as their first responsibility is to the land, not the people. That will not change, so if you want more access you need to work on changing the mindset of the visitors to be more responsible. Perhaps the park would be more accommodating if they felt that additional access would bring in users seeking to appreciate the wilderness respectfully. They certainly continue to work on increasing access to other parts of the park. Increasing thru hiker camping capacity would not be that hard, but dealing with the increased impact given current behavioral trends certainly would be. Until that changes don't expect to see a lot of effort being made to get more access for thru hikers.
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  8. #148

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    If BSP wants to preserve a special aesthetic for a limited number (and kind) of people they think are deserving of it more than others, they should just say so. Because that is exactly the direction they moving in.
    Understand that a special aesthetic for an unlimited number and kind of visitor (LD hikers) is what is unsustainable.
    All other user numbers are limited, as you know.
    Baxter isn't saying anyone is "more deserving," they're saying limits on users needs to be applied to all visitors.
    The actual direction the Park is moving toward is an end to all special treatment for LD hikers. They'll someday, and perhaps someday soon, have to act like all other Park visitors.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  9. #149

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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    Understand that a special aesthetic for an unlimited number and kind of visitor (LD hikers) is what is unsustainable.
    All other user numbers are limited, as you know.
    Baxter isn't saying anyone is "more deserving," they're saying limits on users needs to be applied to all visitors.
    The actual direction the Park is moving toward is an end to all special treatment for LD hikers. They'll someday, and perhaps someday soon, have to act like all other Park visitors.
    For clarity can someone please explain the pressure placed on the park by an average thru hiker? Are these pressures not remedied by more/better camping facilities and more/better trail maintenance? I apologize if this is obvious, but the problem with thru hikers does not appear to be well defined and is spoken of only in a general sense. I'm having trouble understanding why walking on the trail and hanging my hammock for one night is an issue.

  10. #150

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    Quote Originally Posted by squeezebox View Post
    And we can thank the jerk with the champagne bottle that we get hit with the fallout from his misbehavior.
    No.
    The Park director's letter to the ATC was sent several months before Jurek and crew violated State laws, Park rules, and agreements made beforehand. The Park attempted to help Jurek, and he spat in their face. The letter outlined years of accumulated concerns.
    ATC, while well meaning, has absolutely no control what-so-ever on the number of LD hikers that come to Baxter. In that regard, they're an extraordinarily powerless organization.
    BSPA is the only organization that can limit Park visitors. They've always done that for other visitors.
    And now, they're doing it for ATers, too.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  11. #151

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    I'm having trouble understanding why walking on the trail and hanging my hammock for one night is an issue.
    You're looking at from just the perspective of one LD hiker.
    Baxter is looking at it from the perspective of an ever increasing number of one set of visitors.
    What was not long ago a few hundred is now thousands and thousands.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  12. #152

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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    You're looking at from just the perspective of one LD hiker.
    Baxter is looking at it from the perspective of an ever increasing number of one set of visitors.
    What was not long ago a few hundred is now thousands and thousands.
    I understand that and have hiked enough trails to see what the crowds can do to them. The Alum Cave Bluff trail in the Smokies is very popular compared to when I hiked it 30 years ago. They are now doing major trail maintenance. The Chimney Tops trail in the Smokies is another example. Intensive trail maintenance successfully allows for bigger crowds. Better camping facilities, such as privies, allow for more campers. Why can't trail maintenance and camping facilities designed for higher numbers also be the solution at Baxter? We're only talking about a handful of thru hikers each day. The thru hiker numbers are tiny compared to total hikers on other trails.

  13. #153

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    baxter has usage capped effectively by defaults in all other areas

    except the AT access

    They are bringing that inline with their usage model

    They communicated this well to the ATC, that increasing #s without limit....were....a ....problem not consistent with their plan for BSP.

    The ATC responded by attempting to spread out future hikers to sobo and flipflops, and did NADA to assist in capping #s, because that isnt the ATC use model.

    And now the ATC still resists...

    http://www.appalachiantrail.org/home...h-and-analysis


    One has to wonder whats wrong with the people at the ATC.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 02-04-2017 at 13:07.

  14. #154

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    Why can't trail maintenance and camping facilities designed for higher numbers also be the solution at Baxter?
    Baxter wasn't intended for huge crowds.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  15. #155

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    The writer's aggressive tone, sneering that BSP wasn't smart enough to decide this by themselves, probably went over well at HQ.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  16. #156
    Registered User Engine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    The writer's aggressive tone, sneering that BSP wasn't smart enough to decide this by themselves, probably went over well at HQ.
    And who could blame them for be a bit agitated by a message written in that tone, but it doesn't appear, at least on the surface, that BSP has gone out of their way to be friendly toward the ATC either. At this point, both sides need to step back, take a deep breath and reevaluate their working relationship. Since this is purely an AT LDH issue, I feel like the onus is on the ATC to extend the olive branch.
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

  17. #157

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnacraft View Post
    Each year the names of those who have reported hike completions in the previous 12 months are published

    Not everyone who completes the trail notifies the ATC.
    Thanks, I didn't realize the ATC number is self-reported hikes only. That implies a very large number of hikers not checking in at Harpers Ferry, which surprises me. And just to confirm, BSP has higher numbers because of a registration process they require? I recall signing in at KSC, but I don't recall having to state I was a thru-hiker (however this was over a decade ago).

  18. #158
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    Baxter wasn't intended for huge crowds.
    To put the AT Hiker (I think BSP defines a thruhiker as anyone coming from Monson or farther south, not sure) usage in context, here are the total numbers of hikers registered on BSP trails.

    The Hunt Trail is the local name for th stretch of AT from KSCG to the summit.

    Other trails to the summit from other campgrounds including the Abol Trail, Saddle Trail and Cathedral Trail(?). Perhaps a couple others.

    Not sure what percentage of hikers using these trails up K are long distance hikers.

    IMG_3506.PNG

    IMG_3507.PNG

    IMG_3508.PNG

    I still can wrap my head around why BSP would seek to limit the number of SOBOs, since they plan and register exactly like any othe park user already.

    I think that if you were to uncover the Park's rational for that, it might be telling.

  19. #159
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    For those who like to crunch numbers, compare how many hikers (of all kinds) hike up Katahdin via the Hunt Trail in July and August, vs how many hike up that way in September and October.

    Does that tell you anything about the degree to which raw LD hiker numbers are the REAL problem?

  20. #160

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post

    I still can wrap my head around why BSP would seek to limit the number of SOBOs, since they plan and register exactly like any othe park user already.

    I think that if you were to uncover the Park's rational for that, it might be telling.
    BSP wants to cap # users.
    Parking does this by default
    People exiting the park sobo...dont park

    they are smart enough to know, that the ATCs plan is keep increasing #s, and shift many to sobo. Resulting in increases.
    Over the next 5, 10, 15 yrs they are looking at drastic increases in hiker #s. They say its maxed..now. No more.

    ATC is saying...they need to do scientific studies on THEIR land to determine and convince the ATC of what is sustainable.

    The ATC is looking foolish.

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