Permits required in National Park to Bushwhack & Measure

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dbhguru
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Re: Permits required in National Park to Bushwhack & Measure

Post by dbhguru » Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:36 pm

Dan,

You make good points. It is always going to be a balancing act between personal enjoyment and serious research on the one hand versus overuse of the resource on the other. I have lived this balancing act since the early 1990s, when I started working with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DEM then) here in Massachusetts to bring attention to the old growth forests and the tall trees of MTSF. However, even today, I always check with the managers to let them know what I'm doing. I don't want to endanger the resource or create management headaches for them. In turn, they give me broad latitude to do research, trusting that I will guard the resource - which I do. It has been a partnership that has worked well. It is a case of mutual respect.

I am also aware that some university researchers have not faired so well in their relationship with DCR, because they fail to follow the necessary precautions. Grad students can be pretty careless (and clueless). When going to a new area where off trail visitation is the intent, I try to meet the onsite resource manager to get the necessary clearance to do whatever I am wanting to do. Almost invariably, they say yes and are anxious to get the data I collect as soon as they understand that I'm not coring trees or doing any destructive sampling, just measuring and photographing them. There's always a way to thread the needle.

Bob
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mdvaden
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Re: Permits required in National Park to Bushwhack & Measure

Post by mdvaden » Sun Sep 07, 2014 2:22 pm

Ranger Dan wrote:I'll bet one of the reasons the redwood parks require permits for bushwhacking and measuring trees is because of the history of poaching redwood burls and other marketable products. It is not likely that a poacher would be apprehended red-handed, so the permit rule enables law enforcement personnel to cite suspected poachers who might use cover tactics such as carrying measuring instruments.

... SNIP ...

Dan Miles
I think part of it is the rangers prefer to know who is in the forest. From one point of view, that may not matter. For example, if I park and go hiking, my white Ford truck parked for hours, is really no different from another day if I went bushwhacking. I usually park in the same type of locations. Trailheads or turnouts.

If there was an accident in the forest, that may be where they think there's a safety advantage, because they would know ahead of time by phone call or email that we are in the forest off-trail, and if the vehicle was parked too long, they may go in to help.

The permits do not cost. Not for research.

Photography permits are $200. But those are needed mainly for product or commercial photography, like photography workshops. Good for one year, and it takes insurance coverage too.

Rangers also need to keep a lookout for illegal tree climbers and burl poachers. And I think that permits may streamline their work, sort of more quickly distilling what they are looking at. They know right away that certain vehicles are legit and they can go see what else is going on that much sooner.
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Don
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Re: Permits required in National Park to Bushwhack & Measure

Post by Don » Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:12 pm

Ranger Dan/Mario/Bob-
I appreciate the balance added to the discussion! I have been a part of both sides of the 'coin' and can only add that it is a "Question of Balance" and everyone's views need to be tempered with consideration of the bigger picture. I think we all share the same objective...to be able to experience the phenomena we seek, without diminishing it by our presence.
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John Harvey
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Re: Permits required in National Park to Bushwhack & Measure

Post by John Harvey » Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:06 pm

Rules, regulation, and permits don't bother me at all as long as they are fair, balanced, and also preserve, within reason, the personal enjoyment that is responsible for the establishment and preservation of the parks in the first place. Obviously no one wants lax regulation that would allow trees to be damaged beyond recovery. As stated above, balance is the key. Reasonable rules in the hands of reasonable people can only have a positive impact.
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mdvaden
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Re: Permits required in National Park to Bushwhack & Measure

Post by mdvaden » Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:37 pm

One thing that comes to mind, is that the parks rangers or staff have helped me more than hindered for the more part. Like one time in Prairie Creek, one gave me access to drive through the locked gate because a tree 5 miles ahead cratered the road. But a writer from Washington DC and his photographer from LA were with me, and I hoped to show them the middle of the park up there. Anyway, they bent the rules opposite that time and let us go in.

So it seems that making the rangers happy can't hurt as long as our intentions are good or productive. Never know when a favor might be needed that fits their ability to say yes.
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jamesrobertsmith
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Re: Permits required in National Park to Bushwhack & Measure

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:42 pm

There's a fellow here in NC who is notorious for bushwhacking all over the Great Smoky Mountains NP. He has run-ins often with the rangers. Apparently they think he's endangering himself and they don't like the idea of climbing to where it is he ends up getting maimed or killed. He just thumbs his nose at them and continues to do his bushwhacking and get others to join him. I used to do a fair amount of bushwhacking, but not so much anymore because I promised my wife not to go off on my own to bushwhack (and I no longer have any pals who backpack or hike).

But, apparently so far there are no actual rules against bushwhacking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But that specific Park is notorious for having the most liberal of access of all our Parks. Concessions made to the general public for the communities that were moved out to create it. For instance, any moron can see that the access to horses should be eliminated or greatly curtailed, but the Park Service can do nothing about it. The Government promised almost unlimited access to those on horseback, and it remains that way. Similar are attempts to limit automobile access to places like Cades Cove. The Park Service just can't get it done because of all of those grandfather clauses in the Park's creation.

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Permits required in National Park to Bushwhack & Measure

Post by Larry Tucei » Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:01 pm

All- Great topic!! I'm okay with permits to measure for scientific purposes. The Ranger's, Manager's are probably wanting to know the results of the area in question anyway. Whenever I'm in a NF, Mgt Area, Park or so forth I make sure the person in that area gets a copy of my results if they want one. Like Michael pointed out they usually are more positive then negative. Larry

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mdvaden
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Re: Permits required in National Park to Bushwhack & Measure

Post by mdvaden » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:57 pm

Got a phone message from Redwood National Park today, RE permits.

The phone conversation relayed that exploring, tape wrapping diameter without climbing, and measuring height with laser, was not research-enough to need a research permit. Although, it was relayed that the vegetation specialist prefers to see minimal impact around trees.

In other words, move delicately and leave as little trace as possible to get the exploring done. Leave little trace and be gentle on the forest.

So that shelves the Redwood National Park permit application. I told them, though, that I'd leave a phone message or email when planning to go bushwhacking so they will know why a certain white truck keeps lurking around. I think they would also enjoy a report once in a while just to learn what's found out there.

Still waiting to hear back from the state parks though.

...
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