As Brian said, hikers can freely enter @ Trail pass, which doesn't have any quotas. Impose a quota there, and hikers will just move further south. Pretty soon, you'll have quotas for entering the trail down near Tehachapi. At what point would this kind of policy directive begin to lose any bearing with public interest, but rather be perceived as retaliatory?Wandering Daisy wrote:You also make the PCT entry trailheads subject to quotas, just like are most of the Sierra trailheads. Hobbes, I just do not buy your "throw up the hands" and let it all fall apart attitude; stick your head in the sand and hope it will all pass.
I'm not hoping current demand will pass; rather, I recognize the symptoms of what is actually in store. Many posters here can remember when the Valley had some semblance, some shred remaining of delivering a peaceful outdoor experience. I cannot specifically recall when the Rubicon was crossed, but suffice it to say, there's no going back. You can add the over-use phenomenon to the entire California coastline, pasture/farming areas turned into housing surrounding city centers, and traffic conjestion/air pollution in every major metro region.
Here's the problem someone like you is going to encounter if you decide to become a more vocal advocate for limiting access:
One, practically the entire length of the PCT runs through Congressional districts that have Republican house members. These counties/districts are in general fairly conservative, and do not philosophically agree that government has the right to control public access. (Much less manage large swaths of land, BLM, forest or even some parks.)
Two, the PCT has become a major seasonal business. The managers/rangers who are posted/live in the Owens valley and would be charged with conducting studies, holding public hearings, etc, either have friends, family members or they themselves are engaged in businesses that benefit from this foot traffic.
Three, you're not a CA native, so you'll be perceived as a newcomer, an outsider trying to impose your ideals on those who are from here. Even worse, you're a commuter from a relatively comfortable suburban region that has the time, ability and means to be able to enjoy the wilderness on the restrictive basis you're advocating.
From a political perspective, this is a recipe for getting mauled and raked through the coals. Any push for restrictions will have to come from locals. Good luck on that, because the nature lovers are well outnumbered by long time residents who support (free market) economic land use policies.
Here's the bottom-line: population growth is the great unspoken driver. Not just in Calif, but globally. If you have a chance to travel to Europe, you many notice there's never a down time nor so-called shoulder seasons any more. Rather, it's literally packed like Mardi Gras everywhere all the time.
Harlen could probably add some dimension to what's happening in the Himalaya. The locals are no longer satisfied with being 'quaint & rustic'. Rather, they like the tourism, they can now afford generators to enable their cell phone & wi-fi connections, and they really love their scooters and motorcycles.
If you get what's goin' down, then you'll avoid wasting any time fighting the wave, but rather try and grab as much inaccessible space as possible while there's still time. For those interested in understanding the underlying dynamics of population growth - including the doubling factor- you would be well served by watching this video. Hint: @ 2% annual growth, global population will double from 7B to 14B in just 35 years. Them's the facts Jack: