New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

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Saltydog
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Post by Saltydog » Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:34 pm

Late night update from the Yos Wilderness office. The Wilderness Manager asked me to clear up a couple of points from my post yesterday so here they are. Yesterday I reflected what I see as Yos managements firm commitment to the principle that once you have complied with the trailhead conditions of your permit, i.e stayed in LYV, or not, stayed in Illilouette drainage, etc, you may hike to anywhere in the wilderness.

HOWEVER, if you choose to go into the Sunrise drainage, you are contributing to the problem that Yos is wrestling with; impacts in the Sunrise and Lyell drainages. Which by the way is illustrated by some numbers Ed Dunlavey passed along to me today. How many JMT-access reservations would you estimate were issued by this date in 2012, 2013, 2014 and this year? Understanding JMT access permits as individuals with reservations to the usual trailheads and exit points at Red's or farther south? If you already know this, let the others have a chance.

Meantime, another clarification: it turns out that the current entry trailhead quotas are NOT on the table in the present effort. That means that not only will the total permits quotas at a given trailhead not be changed, but the allocation of split traiheads will not be changed. I E. Glacier point will remain at 30 per day, split 10 and 20 betweem LYV and Illilouette. What they are looking at adjusting is the passthrough quotas and exit quotas. I know: I do not understand either how adjusting passthrough and exit quotas is going to address total numbers travelling from LYV to Tuolumne: I am just reporting what I am told is going on.

OK, ready for the answers to ttoday's quiz? Check back here in an an hour or so.








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Charlie
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Post by Charlie » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:14 pm

I really don't want to know. Well, I do. But it's going to depress me.

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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Post by caddis » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:43 pm

there were 31 reported bear incidents in the Yosemite Wilderness; 30 of which occurred along the JMT
This seems like a meaningless and yet misleading stat. I'd venture to guess that all of these bears are conditioned/problem bears already. Most likely learning their trade in the campgrounds and then shipped off to the backcountry (I've read in the past that the Lyle Canyon area is known for this). So where would a problem bear go for an easy meal in the backcountry....The place with the most hikers! It aint rocket science but it sure is a cheap shot at backpackers as if they are the true source of the problem
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New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Post by AlmostThere » Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:45 pm

they stopped relocating Bears years ago when it was proven that the Bears would just go back to where they were. sending them as far away as Sonora pass was ineffective – bears would travel back no matter how long or far, just to get back to their happy hunting grounds.

The majority of the incidents in the park are generally in the front country – in past years as many as 500 incidents with a fraction in the backcountry. But the JM T is ripe for exploitation by the animals – loads of tourists doing a thru hike and ignoring advice not to hang food are a lot of the issue.


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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Post by Saltydog » Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:02 pm

some current numbers from the reservations office for 2015 reservations.

For JMT permits, we are 242% of last year, 608% of 2013 and 1216% of 2012. (523 people in 2015, 233 in 2014, 86 in 2013 and 43 in 2012

For all reservations, the office is about 165% of last year.

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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Post by AlmostThere » Wed Jan 14, 2015 7:50 pm

Saltydog wrote:some current numbers from the reservations office for 2015 reservations.

For JMT permits, we are 242% of last year, 608% of 2013 and 1216% of 2012. (523 people in 2015, 233 in 2014, 86 in 2013 and 43 in 2012

For all reservations, the office is about 165% of last year.
Wow.

I guess it's easy to see what the fuss is about... I knew they were slammed just from seeing the lines in person, but that's a lot of reservations.

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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Post by maverick » Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:54 pm

That is a lot of people for such a short section, with these numbers, and even if their were enough rangers
to enforce the current regulations, I can see the need for some limitations being imposed, intelligently,
one trail (wilderness section) can only handle so much human/animal impact.
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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Post by HikeSierraNevada » Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:56 am

I was initially dismayed about the public input process, but now that I understand the urgency better, I've come to realize it might not be practical for the usual lengthy process of soliciting input like a typical environmental review. That's not a perfect process either, and it doesn't seem to be required for the administrative changes they are proposing. I've been emailing Ed Dunleavy and he called me yesterday to clear up a few things, but we didn't get to all the details. He's connecting personally and he seems to value public input. It's probably more effective to deal closely with a few who show interest and awareness of the problem than to try and handle a mass of comments. Its certainly more expeditious, but its then incumbent on those involved to communicate with others. So I'll keep posting what I learn, and please keep posting your ideas. I assume others in direct contact are doing the same thing. Funneling communication requires extra effort on both ends to make it an open process.

I'm still trying to get detailed information about trail usage and actual impacts. The gross numbers reported above need to be considered in context of where people are entering (HI vs TM vs ??), how many are thru-hikers, and what work-a-rounds do people come up with. They seem to be most concerned about overuse in the Sunrise Creek area and Lyell Canyon. The solutions seem to be focused on adjusting or creating pass-through quotas from Glacier Pt TH to address Sunrise; and a new exit quota to address Lyell Canyon. This has been described above, but I'm trying to get more information to better define the problem. Their administrative solutions are limited without going through a lengthy review process, so don't propose dramatic solutions at this point. They intend to address this in a more holistic way in a future Wilderness Plan Update. I stressed the importance of coordinating with other jurisdictions and they will do that better in the future. I got the sense they haven't done that yet.

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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Post by Hobbes » Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:36 am

Those are crazy numbers; looks like Wild did have an impact. I betcha the age groups comprising the increases are 20-somethings. Very reminiscent of what happened to Malibu after Gidget created a surf craze. However, with Malibu being over-run, it launched surf explorations - which is the lead-in rationale expressed in Endless Summer.

You have to feel for Bay area peeps - they are getting the brunt due to Yosemite. Not to be too flippant, but if you mentally write-off Yos and commit to another 2-3 hours of driving, you can gain access to east side passes. Heck, roll into the Mammoth office, grab a Pine Crk permit, and you're off & away with nary a soul. Ditto for Mono & Green crk/Parker/Bloody cyn, or Bishop & Taboose. No fuss, no muss.

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Re: New Yosemite JMT Permit Rules?

Post by cahiker » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:07 pm

some current numbers from the reservations office for 2015 reservations.

For JMT permits, we are 242% of last year, 608% of 2013 and 1216% of 2012. (523 people in 2015, 233 in 2014, 86 in 2013 and 43 in 2012 - See more at: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12174&start=36#sthash.0kD32xV6.dpuf
Are we reading too much into these numbers? It's only January, and permits can only be requested 24 weeks in advance. That means these statistics are primarily for permits issued for May and June. In a typical year this is fairly early for a full JMT hike. I can see that back in 2012 people had 2011 fresh in their minds when there was still a ton of snow at the end of June, so they would be more likely to request a permit for later in the summer. Now that we've had 3 years of drought in California, maybe people are forgetting that lingering snow is still likely in May and June and requesting more early permits. Maybe once we know the total number of permits for the year the increase won't be nearly as dramatic.

Or maybe the Wild-influenced people who know little of Sierra seasons and haven't done much research are requesting all the May and June permits... Who knows... This was just a thought.

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