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Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits

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avatar Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 19, 2011 04:47PM
Please put discussion of the issue here and keep the other thread for posting links. Thanks.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 19, 2011 04:57PM
OK, which one of you guys posted this one:
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/for/2391095956.html (don't flag)
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 19, 2011 04:59PM
Quote
itchbay
OK, which one of you guys posted this one:
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/for/2391095956.html (don't flag)

Please do flag. It's just a disguised ad.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 19, 2011 06:13PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
itchbay
OK, which one of you guys posted this one:
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/for/2391095956.html (don't flag)

Please do flag. It's just a disguised ad.


Craigslist... your friendly Public Service Announcement website.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 19, 2011 06:11PM
Disguised ad? I think it actually turns away potential buyers from getting any permits in early June

You can see these scalpers are desperate to get rid of their may and june permits, as they can care less if they are up or not
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 19, 2011 06:14PM
It's an ad. Just look at some of the newer version of it. They are after sales to people that already bought for May and June.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 19, 2011 06:25PM
yea, you're right

These scalpers aren't really bright either. If you're gonna throw out fakes, at least stick to the original plan. I saw another ad where he copy pasted the warning and then put "Upper pines" right under it.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 19, 2011 06:52PM
They're going to get more creative. But no matter how creative they get, they can't hide the fact that they're on Craigslist and most people don't post there unless they're looking to buy/sell/organize something.

I think the NPS should do something about this yesterday. For example, look at hikers' id's. Then this business of scalping would be instantly unprofitable and disappear. Most important, it would put Half Dome and camping back where it should be - in the hands of us the people, not the greedy scalpers and their unscrupulous buyers.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 19, 2011 07:23PM
I have never heard back after writing the park about this. They probably got tons of complaints after the Sac Bee article, but that's no excuse for not getting back.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 23, 2011 11:17AM
For those that are interested, the Merced Sun article quoted the contact person for reservations at national parks to be Rick DeLappe - His email address is rick_delappe@nps.gov (there is an underscore between first and last name)

I sent an email offering suggestions that I had posted on this forum before and encourage others to email suggestions to him but I was a little dissapointed when I read this quote in the article


Rick DeLappe, reservation service program manager for the National Park Service, said he is fielding increasing consumer complaints about illicit Yosemite resales. But the battle is tricky. While eBay has a filter that will remove any posting to auction off a piece of Yosemite, he said, the same is not true with Craigslist.

"It kills us, because there's so little we can do about it," DeLappe said.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/23/2011 11:21AM by SoCalCPA.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 23, 2011 12:02PM
Quote
SoCalCPA
"It kills us, because there's so little we can do about it," DeLappe said.

Good grief! They limit people to four Half Dome permits per call. If that can be enforced, why can't they limit the number of permits issued to a single I.P. (computer) address, or a single credit card number.

If Inyo National Forest can enforce the non-transferrability of Whitney permits, what is it that makes it impossible for Yosemite???
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 23, 2011 02:06PM
Quote
SteveC
If Inyo National Forest can enforce the non-transferrability of Whitney permits, what is it that makes it impossible for Yosemite???

The difference is the NPS at Yosemite allows web reservations, while the USFS at Inyo NF requires fax and maybe phone--no web.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 23, 2011 04:52PM
Quote
danx
Quote
SteveC
If Inyo National Forest can enforce the non-transferrability of Whitney permits, what is it that makes it impossible for Yosemite???

The difference is the NPS at Yosemite allows web reservations, while the USFS at Inyo NF requires fax and maybe phone--no web.

No, Inyo has something even better: they require ID when picking up your permit. Hence reservations cannot be transfered.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 23, 2011 11:33AM
Hey! I'm FURIOUS!! Just got this in my email, it looked like it came from here!:

Reserve Yosemite
From: Little Indian
To: lovechris
05/23/2011 11:19AM
Need help to reserve a campsite in Yosemite National Park? Half Dome permits?

Like sports games and shows, ticket scalping is a reality. There are no federal crimes against scalping, including campsites, and hence it is not illegal. As a broker, I can help you reserve a campsite in Yosemite National Park this summer. Need a site for yourself, a second site for your expanding group? I also have a limited supply of Half Dome permits. As permitted by recreation.gov, all reservations will be fully updated to your name and can be verified with the reservation services. You will check-in with your name.

I can be reached at “@#$%&”. If this is not for you, please ignore this message.

@#$%&
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 23, 2011 11:58AM
I received the same email. Best to just ignore the trolls. Keep flagging Craigslist, obviously we are hitting a nerve.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 23, 2011 02:03PM
Looks like the forum is being (mis)used to scalp tickets, and trying to justify it. Got this PM:

Reserve Yosemite
From: Little Indian
To: danx
05/23/2011 11:15AM
Need help to reserve a campsite in Yosemite National Park? Half Dome permits?

Like sports games and shows, ticket scalping is a reality. There are no federal crimes against scalping, including campsites, and hence it is not illegal. As a broker, I can help you reserve a campsite in Yosemite National Park this summer. Need a site for yourself, a second site for your expanding group? I also have a limited supply of Half Dome permits. As permitted by recreation.gov, all reservations will be fully updated to your name and can be verified with the reservation services. You will check-in with your name.

I can be reached at “[removed]”. If this is not for you, please ignore this message.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/23/2011 06:17PM by eeek.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 23, 2011 02:46PM
Quote

Like sports games and shows, ticket scalping is a reality. There are no federal crimes against scalping, including campsites, and hence it is not illegal.

Technically that's true. There is no law that makes the resale of federal campground reservations illegal. There is no criminal sanction for resale of a reservation per se. There is a law that empowers park superintendents and the NPS to make administrative rules regarding the issuance of permits and reservations. In Yosemite there are clearly set rules that permits and reservations are not to be resold. Anyone purchasing such a reservation or permit runs the risk that the permit won't be honored or of being booted from the campsite.

California does have laws against the private resale of tickets on the grounds of an event. I've heard of tickets being confiscated by law enforcement. Some states have laws that limit the amount of premium that can be charged over face value by a private reseller.

Private ticket sellers often state that resale is against their policy. The ability to enforce is tricker. It's possible to buy event tickets without any identification or even giving a name. For the most part the event management doesn't care. A federal campground reservation however requires a name and a credit card. That leaves a means to trace back who made the original reservation. They can shut out someone from making a reservation for a policy violation, and apparently they have made efforts to deny reservations that they've discovered have been resold. That's the risk - that the NPS will care enough it they're tipped off about a particular campsite reservation being sold. I wouldn't be surprised if the NPS hasn't already conducted random inquiries at a campsite. They could contact a seller themselves or someone else could do so and inquire about the dates and site number. Run a check (perhaps in civilian clothes) and all it takes is for someone to let it slip that they bought it off of someone else.

The other thing I would worry about is giving someone else a name and address to transfer a reservation. Someone not that trustworthy now has your address and the dates that you'll be away from home.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 23, 2011 06:57PM
Quote
y_p_w
Technically that's true. There is no law that makes the resale of federal campground reservations illegal. There is no criminal sanction for resale of a reservation per se.

But there are laws about computer crimes and there are limits on how many days one person can reserve. So I'm pretty sure the scalper can be prosecuted.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 23, 2011 07:22PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
y_p_w
Technically that's true. There is no law that makes the resale of federal campground reservations illegal. There is no criminal sanction for resale of a reservation per se.

But there are laws about computer crimes and there are limits on how many days one person can reserve. So I'm pretty sure the scalper can be prosecuted.

Well - again I'm pretty sure it's a regulation and not a law. I can't find anything that states there can be criminal sanctions for abuse of the system. Now something like a denial of service attack is another matter.

There's nothing on the Recreation.gov website about the use of multiple computers or proxies to reserve. As far as I can tell, the main sanction would be to deny a reservation where one of the policies has been violated and/or shut out people who have violated the terms. It seems more like a contract violation than a criminal matter.

I empathize with you, but it's not clear to me that there's any criminal nature to abusing the system.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 23, 2011 07:31PM
Quote
y_p_w
Well - again I'm pretty sure it's a regulation and not a law.

So what? Regulations are backed by laws and quite enforceable by the law. And certainly the computer crime is directly covered by law. Hell, they tried prosecuting a woman for violating a website's terms a while back.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/23/2011 07:32PM by eeek.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 23, 2011 06:18PM
The email attack just proves how effective we are being. Keep up the good work and laugh at his feeble attacks.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 23, 2011 06:32PM
Quote
eeek
The email attack just proves how effective we are being. Keep up the good work and laugh at his feeble attacks.

I didn't get an email. I'm feeling impotent.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 23, 2011 06:44PM
Me too.

But then I realized I had my email address hidden.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 23, 2011 07:36PM
Dear Scalper,

Please keep trying to make your ads hard to find. The buyers will miss them and we'll still find and flag them.

Have a good day!
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 24, 2011 10:30AM
I published a couple of articles on camping reservation and permit reselling in April,,please read at: http://campingsierra.com/2011/more-on-private-groups-using-public-facilities/
Ted
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 24, 2011 11:02AM
So that means a private company is selling vacations in Yosemite, and using the group campsites? That seems wrong to me.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 24, 2011 03:13PM
The problem is they are not using group camp grounds: they reserve 30 or 40 sites in upper or lower pines camp ground,,they pay $20.00 for the site,
use a double site for the admin HQ and Set up a group feeding facility, They assign 6 people for each site (6 I believe is the max allowed) and the charge $159. for three nights or
$199 for 4 nights. Do the math....6 campers X 199= $1194 per site, less camping fee $20.00 for night 4 nights= 80.00 for a gross of $1,114.00 less food cost, admin cost, etc.
multiply by 30 sites and they are making $33,420, (less food cost, labor, admin, etc.) So they are turning a nice profit using public owned camp grounds. They do this several times during the summer...
my problem is there are group camping grounds in Yosemite. (30 People Max per site) They post signs in the camp grounds giving the camp site number of the admin and eating areas so the Park Service is aware of the bending (or breaking of their rules). So as you can see there is more than just a scalping problem, This type of group activity denies the general public at a fair chance to use public facilities.
Ted
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 24, 2011 03:21PM
Ah. Good to know. I must have misunderstood your blog post.

There are also scalpers reserving group campsites, so that's what I was thinking you were talking about.

What a crock. I have to wonder what DNC thinks about all that. Maybe they don't care, because they're getting their $20 a night.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 24, 2011 05:24PM
Quote
trm93614
The problem is they are not using group camp grounds: they reserve 30 or 40 sites in upper or lower pines camp ground,,they pay $20.00 for the site,
use a double site for the admin HQ and Set up a group feeding facility, They assign 6 people for each site (6 I believe is the max allowed) and the charge $159. for three nights or
$199 for 4 nights. Do the math....6 campers X 199= $1194 per site, less camping fee $20.00 for night 4 nights= 80.00 for a gross of $1,114.00 less food cost, admin cost, etc.
multiply by 30 sites and they are making $33,420, (less food cost, labor, admin, etc.) So they are turning a nice profit using public owned camp grounds. They do this several times during the summer...
my problem is there are group camping grounds in Yosemite. (30 People Max per site) They post signs in the camp grounds giving the camp site number of the admin and eating areas so the Park Service is aware of the bending (or breaking of their rules). So as you can see there is more than just a scalping problem, This type of group activity denies the general public at a fair chance to use public facilities.
Ted
They are basically running a concession inside the park. They either have a permit to do this, or they do not. If they do not, they will be shut down pretty quickly I would hope.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 10, 2012 01:43PM
There's only 1 group site in the Valley - and it's for park volunteers only. We have tried for years to find groups sites with easy accessibilty to Half Dome - even the Rangers don't have suggestions. This is where you can find groups sites - none of them are real close to the Valley:

Group campsites are available all year at Wawona Campground, and during summer at Hodgdon Meadow, Bridalveil Creek, and Tuolumne Meadows Campgrounds. Sites are designated for groups of 13 to 30 people. Group camps have tent sites only. Up to five vehicles can be parked near a group camp. Reservations are required.

I have replied in detail about how Bayside Adventure Sports works below and at http://campingsierra.com/2011/more-on-private-groups-using-public-facilities/ (awaiting moderation.) I'm happy to answer any questions/concerns about what we do.

Sincerely,
Pam - BAS Admin
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 10, 2012 03:52PM
Quote
BAS admin

There's only 1 group site in the Valley - and it's for park volunteers only.

For what it's worth, during that latest rounds of public workshops held by the Park Service on the Merced River Plan, I specifically suggested to the park planners that they could (and should) repurpose the Yellow Pines – park volunteer only – Campground to be made available to the public at large. The head planner thought it was something worth considering though someone else at the workshop who volunteers at the park was decidedly not pleased with my suggestion. grinning smiley

.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 25, 2011 02:01PM
This really annoys me. I can't believe that such a large group would be allowed to assemble in Yosemite. I get the whole boy scouts and small group gatherings argument, but the amount of people this group is getting together in one campsite is out of control. I was worried about the impact that my group of 12 will have on the two campsites we have reserved in July (noise-wise and bothering others), but apparently this is nothing compared to this group.
I would be so pissed off if I was spending time in my "tranquil" camping spot in Yosemite only to have hundreds of people gather in a site nearby that is designated for only six people to eat, meet, sing, worship, etc. (which is better than being pissed on I suppose). Hope nobody has reservations in the second loop of Upper Pines during June 12-15 or June 15-19..... With the singing, however, I would worry if I was in the third loop as well...

"MEALS: Meals provided for each of the options include Breakfast on two of the days & Dinner on two of the days. A team of dedicated caterers will be creating healthy, delicious full meals served right in Base Camp! Detailed meal plans will be furnished upon registration with the confirmation email. All other meals are on your own.

BASE CAMP: Base Camp is located at site # 76 in the Upper Pines Campground. That’s where you will check in, find leaders, and meet for meals."

I have nothing against church groups, but if I were there during this time, I would definitely be complaining about such a large group and the impact they would make. And I am not known for backing down when I am really angry. Actually, they are so lucky I won't be there..........
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 25, 2011 08:41PM
Quote
robinjayp
This really annoys me. I can't believe that such a large group would be allowed to assemble in Yosemite. I get the whole boy scouts and small group gatherings argument, but the amount of people this group is getting together in one campsite is out of control. I was worried about the impact that my group of 12 will have on the two campsites we have reserved in July (noise-wise and bothering others), but apparently this is nothing compared to this group.
I would be so pissed off if I was spending time in my "tranquil" camping spot in Yosemite only to have hundreds of people gather in a site nearby that is designated for only six people to eat, meet, sing, worship, etc. (which is better than being pissed on I suppose). Hope nobody has reservations in the second loop of Upper Pines during June 12-15 or June 15-19..... With the singing, however, I would worry if I was in the third loop as well....



Since I don't stay in campgrounds, I can only imagine what the distress of being in the vicinity of a large group like this would cause. My experience has been limited to a few chance encounters with roving packs of much diminished size.
Approximately 15 years ago, my son and I were doing a loop through Sequoia, Kings, and the Jennie Lakes Wilderness. One night was spent at Seville Lake in Sequoia. We had arrived there late in the afternoon, found the area deserted, and set up camp.. Within the hour, a “church group” of about a dozen “souls” arrived and decided to camp immediately adjacent to us. Never mind that there were several, equally good, sites around the lake that they could have occupied, it seems that divine providence decreed that salvation awaited them at this particular spot. The two leaders of this group even came over to us and suggested that we might want to move since the group might become a bit noisy. This was so very thoughtful of them, but since we were there first and our tent was a staked A-frame, we declined. In truth, they were not very disruptive that evening, perhaps being drained of energy by the day's hike. Morning was a different situation altogether. Aiming for an early start since we had an appreciable distance to travel that day, we were fortunate enough to be almost completely packed up before they started emerging from their tents. What transpired next was, to put it kindly, extremely strange. They gathered in a circle, started whooping and hollering, clapping their hands, slapping their bodies, and stomping their feet. Our impression was that they perceived themselves being attacked by a biblical swarm of fire ants and were occupied in a holy war of hand-to-hand combat against them. Needless to say, we quickly exited the area... along with, I am certain, all of the local wildlife. The Manson Family had nothing on these wackos.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/26/2011 06:10PM by szalkowski.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 25, 2011 08:55PM
Quote
szalkowski
Quote
robinjayp
This really annoys me. I can't believe that such a large group would be allowed to assemble in Yosemite. I get the whole boy scouts and small group gatherings argument, but the amount of people this group is getting together in one campsite is out of control. I was worried about the impact that my group of 12 will have on the two campsites we have reserved in July (noise-wise and bothering others), but apparently this is nothing compared to this group.
I would be so pissed off if I was spending time in my "tranquil" camping spot in Yosemite only to have hundreds of people gather in a site nearby that is designated for only six people to eat, meet, sing, worship, etc. (which is better than being pissed on I suppose). Hope nobody has reservations in the second loop of Upper Pines during June 12-15 or June 15-19..... With the singing, however, I would worry if I was in the third loop as well....



Since I don't stay in campgrounds, I can only imagine what the distress of being in the vicinity of a large group like this would cause. My experience has been limited to a few chance encounters with roving packs of much diminished size.
Approximately 15 years ago, my son and I were doing a loop through Sequoia, Kings, and the Jeannie Lakes Wilderness. One night was spent at Seville Lake in Sequoia. We had arrived there late in the afternoon, found the area deserted, and set up camp.. Within the hour, a “church group” of about a dozen “souls” arrived and decided to camp immediately adjacent to us. Never mind that there were several, equally good, sites around the lake that they could have occupied, it seems that divine providence decreed that salvation awaited them at this particular spot. The two leaders of this group even came over to us and suggested that we might want to move since the group might become a bit noisy. This was so very thoughtful of them, but since we were there first and our tent was a staked A-frame, we declined. In truth, they were not very disruptive that evening, perhaps being drained of energy by the day's hike. Morning was a different situation altogether. Aiming for an early start since we had an appreciable distance to travel that day, we were fortunate enough to almost completely packed up before they started emerging from their tents. What transpired next was, to put it kindly, extremely strange. They gathered in a circle, started whooping and hollering, clapping their hands, slapping their bodies, and stomping their feet. Our impression was that they perceived themselves being attacked by a biblical swarm of fire ants and were occupied in a holy war of hand-to-hand combat against them. Needless to say, we quickly exited the area... along with, I am certain, all of the local wildlife. The Manson Family had nothing on these wackos.

I feel for ya, but the way you explained it, made it seem extremely hilarious
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 26, 2011 05:20PM
Yes, very entertaining story. I would find humor in a situation like that as well, but I sure wouldn't with a large group gathering as described on their website. I have camped enough to know that although well-intentioned, people don't realize that they are not following common courtesy in campgrounds. The amount of cutting through campsites, using loud voices (singing and preaching) and encroaching on other people's space can only be multiplied in such a large group. I have participated in large church group activities with singing, worshiping, dining, praying at every meal, etc. (when I was younger) and can just picture the "kumbayas"... good Lord! smiling smiley
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 26, 2011 06:38PM
We stayed in the tent cabins back in May 2005, at the same week when apparently 250 junior high school kids were there for some kind of program. All I can say is they weren't hiking those kids far enough each day.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 10, 2012 01:48PM
Hi all! I am the admin asst to Bayside Adventure Sports. I just found this thread when I was trying to Google something else with our name in it. I am so sad that you guys didn’t actually email us to find out how we do this. We have always been very open and honest with anyone who asks. Please allow me to explain a little – feel free to send me any other questions/concerns you may have at info@baysideadventuresports.com

As you may well know, the only group site available to people in Yosemite Valley is for groups who are volunteering at the park (which some of our volunteer leaders are working on coordinating – we always want to give back.) In order for our group to all be there at the same time, we have to reserve sites like anyone else. We are a part of a very large church and so we have a huge group of volunteers that go with us on the trip help us secure reservations online – at the same time as the general public – we get no special treatment. This year we only had about a 35% success rate of actually securing sites – so we have no advantage over any other person. We just coordinate so we are all trying for the same dates. We do communicate with the park and let them know all of what we are doing so that when they are asked about us they can give honest answers. We do get permits through the park and work within their guidelines as to when/where/how we can gather as a group. Honestly, we’ve been really fortunate to always have a section with 3-4 consecutive sites (pure luck) that we use as “base camp” – that way we are not encroaching on our neighbors – we can spread out over where we cook and meet up (although we do try to stagger the times.) The last couple of years we have actually reserved the amphitheater for our worship time so as the ensure we are not disturbing our neighbors. We have worked it out that we have several different meal times so that we don’t have too many people eating together at one time (and we only offer four group meals over the course of each trip.) We always try to give back – leaving the campgrounds in better shape than we found them (we have staff that walk through our sites before we leave.) We donate site that we don’t end up using or that have early-check-outs back to the park. We are not a closed group – anyone can go to our site and register (membership is required – $50/family/year or $25/individual – but this gives access to all our events and membership discounts.)

We honestly just started out several years ago as a group of people that wanted to hike Half Dome together. Since our organization has grown, so has our group that attends Yosemite. Like you, we have to get our Half Dome permits by lottery – needless to say we didn’t get that many this year, so Cloud’s Rest may be our featured hike. On our hikes, we offer support, experienced hikers, we’ve even had leaders meet our people on the top of the Dome with Dove Ice Cream Bars! If our people aren’t back by 9pm – we send out search crews. Just part of the wonderful experience. We love the outdoors! We love to get people outdoors.! We love to experience God’s marvelous creation – that is our goal. Yes, we do charge for this event – there are A LOT of admin hours behind this, we have a wonderful guy buy and prepare the food for our meals, we have overhead like any organization (insurance, office exp, etc.) 95% of our organization is volunteer based right now – so please don’t assume people are making a boatload of money. The president of our organization is basically a volunteer (the church allots some of his pastoral hours to allow him to run this side-ministry – but he draws no money from the organization itself.) Everything we make off this trip goes into keeping the organization afloat. We try to keep most of our events free or at cost – but we do have to cover our expenses.

Please know that we have some amazing stories of people climbing Half Dome with us that may have never done it on their own. My own kids even climbed with the group several years ago – and honestly, they would probably never have attempted it without the support of this group. We have single moms, kids, even 70 year old men that climb with us every year. One 17 year old young man, from a broken family, who we secured a sponsorship to come, was so excited – he hadn’t camped since he was little, and successfully hiked Half Dome with a group of men and boys that cheered him on. He was beaming the whole trip. This is why we do what we do. Please do not be quick to judge. Please feel free to contact us at any time with your concerns or questions. We want to be good stewards. We want to be good neighbors. Most of all we want to glorify and represent Jesus Christ, our Creator. Our motto: God Created the Earth: Ride IT, Climb IT, Catch IT, Explore IT, Protect IT!

Sincerely,
Pam – BAS Admin
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 24, 2011 09:24PM
FYI...

The outfit is called Bayside Adventure Sports.

They are based out of Roseville, CA.

Maybe they did get approval from the Park Service for their setup in Upper Pines. Is there any way to verify this?

Here's a link to their website: http://baysideadventuresports.com

And here's a link to their webpage regarding their 2011 Yosemite trips: http://baysideadventuresports.com/yosemite/
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 24, 2011 09:29PM
They say they have space for 230 people. That's nearly 40 sites. How the heck did they snag those sites? They must have gotten them in advance from the park service, I can't think of any other way.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 24, 2011 09:42PM
That's what I'm wondering too.

But if it's legal and permitted by the Park Service to do this, what's the exact procedure to do so? Is it listed anywhere on the NPS.GOV website?

Or do they have an inside connection within Yosemite?
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 25, 2011 06:59AM
It seems to me someone interested in signing up for this might want to contact the park service first, to be sure it is legit. They could ask some questions at that time. Anyone volunteer to do this?
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 24, 2011 11:18PM
Quote
plawrence
FYI...

The outfit is called Bayside Adventure Sports.

They are based out of Roseville, CA.

Maybe they did get approval from the Park Service for their setup in Upper Pines. Is there any way to verify this?

Here's a link to their website: http://baysideadventuresports.com

And here's a link to their webpage regarding their 2011 Yosemite trips: http://baysideadventuresports.com/yosemite/

It looks like they're a nonprofit group with a religious mission. They claim the hosts consist of a "volunteer team" and that they follow all guidelines from the NPS.

I'm not sure how they would do it. Would it be any different if a Boy Scout group secured a double site with 10 scouts and two leaders? Of course the size seems to be the issue. And that they're essentially running a catering business in Upper Pines. Apparently they're going to be hosting large gatherings at site 76. If they have neighbors who aren't part of their group, I would think they could get a lot of complaints, although I'm not sure if it's that much different than someone near an amphitheater.

How did Oprah snag a site in Yosemite Valley?
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 25, 2011 05:29AM
This looks like something that a newspaper might like to assign to an investigative reporter.
Anyone know a good contact at the Sacramento Bee?

On related note:
In general, people have a connotative-based misconception when they hear the term "nonprofit organization." A large number of them are established as personal money-making scams by the executive officer(s).
E.g.: Let's see, we netted $250k this year. Since there are two of us running this show, that means that our "executive compensation" for the year is $125k apiece.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/2011 05:51AM by szalkowski.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 25, 2011 10:11AM
I think this appears to be a legitimate non profit organization - They are "associated" with a church that is claiming 10,000 members - if true, this is a super-church and these types of churches tend to have many ancillary programs to offer their members and for outreach to their surrounding community - They would absolutely have to have an agreement with Yosemite in order to pull this off -

I just looked up the organization with the California Attorney General to see what their tax filings look like (they are registered with the AG) but the system was down to be able to look at related documents. However, the amounts they are asking for do not appear unreasonable to cover costs - since this includes not just the campsite reservations but food, supplies, scholarships for attending, etc. You may disagree but I say this as a CPA who works with several non profits such as this (though I've never heard of this organization)

These are not people trying to make money off the park system like a scalper - their mission is oriented toward people.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 25, 2011 11:58AM
who are affiliated or believe in the organization's philosophy. If you're not in, you don't have the opportunity to purchase a spot. We're not talking about a group that purchases three campsites and gets a dozen people to show up. We're talking a couple hundred people. Even though it's non profit it's still taking campsites away from the rest of the public. Seems like at this level they should have to get a special permit to operate.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 25, 2011 12:26PM
Quote
rightstar76
who are affiliated or believe in the organization's philosophy. If you're not in, you don't have the opportunity to purchase a spot. We're not talking about a group that purchases three campsites and gets a dozen people to show up. We're talking a couple hundred people. Even though it's non profit it's still taking campsites away from the rest of the public. Seems like at this level they should have to get a special permit to operate.

They do appear to be open to all comers. That probably makes sense, as the parent church likely has a basic philosophy of conversion.

Church groups have small outings at NPS sites all the time. I mentioned the Boy Scouts, and I've seen scouting groups at Yosemite. I think what's troubling about this is the scale and how they seemed to have cornered so many sites at the same time. I'm guessing that they had a small army of volunteers trying to reserve for these specific dates. I'd hope they'd need a permit to have well over a hundred people converging on one standard campsite for meals.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 25, 2011 02:14PM
Special Permit? - They have to have more than that - They have to have the Park itself allowing this - When I was lucky enough to get a site last 2/15 my first selection was already reserved at 1 second past 7:00 - 10 seconds later I was able to get the same site 2 days later - Anyone who thinks this Group could have on there own come up with all of these sites so close together on the same dates was probably raptured last Saturday too - The only possible way for this group to have this many sites together is through the reserve system authorizing it in advance - There just can't be any way that they either did this themselves or had some app that would have secured this many campsites - Only NPS could have made this happen.

....and since this is a National Park, I have to assume that there must be special group reservations available for all faiths Jewish, Muslim, Christian, etc. - If not, the park would be in serious trouble for discrimination.

But I have no problem with this - This is not a profit making transaction that a scalper would be getting a benefit from - This is a bunch of families/couples/people (the general public) who want to hang out together while in the park with the blessing of NPS - I would rather hang out with people from my church than having some kids next site over blasting AC/DC and reeking from the smell of burnt rope.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/2011 02:17PM by SoCalCPA.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 26, 2011 12:28AM
But it's not fair since it only allows one group to get campsites. The park is for everyone not just one group - even if it's a non profit and the people are nice. And that's what seems to have happened here.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 26, 2011 04:25AM
Quote
SoCalCPA
Special Permit? - They have to have more than that - They have to have the Park itself allowing this - When I was lucky enough to get a site last 2/15 my first selection was already reserved at 1 second past 7:00 - 10 seconds later I was able to get the same site 2 days later - Anyone who thinks this Group could have on there own come up with all of these sites so close together on the same dates was probably raptured last Saturday too - The only possible way for this group to have this many sites together is through the reserve system authorizing it in advance - There just can't be any way that they either did this themselves or had some app that would have secured this many campsites - Only NPS could have made this happen.

....and since this is a National Park, I have to assume that there must be special group reservations available for all faiths Jewish, Muslim, Christian, etc. - If not, the park would be in serious trouble for discrimination.

But I have no problem with this - This is not a profit making transaction that a scalper would be getting a benefit from - This is a bunch of families/couples/people (the general public) who want to hang out together while in the park with the blessing of NPS - I would rather hang out with people from my church than having some kids next site over blasting AC/DC and reeking from the smell of burnt rope.


I wouldn't have a problem with this either -- IF -- I knew exactly what was the process and procedure this group needed to follow to obtain all these campsites for the same dates, so I and others who might be interested in organizing such a gathering for our social (or church) groups could do the same.

So who at the Park Service should I contact if I'm interested in organizing such a large group camping trip?

Is there anywhere on the NPS website that explains how one should go about to get the necessary permits (if needed) so one can reserve so many campsites at once, en masse, for an organized group camping trip?
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 26, 2011 08:25AM
I googled group campsite reservations and couldn't find any way to do this - Next step would be to actually call the Park administrators and find out.

@Rightstar 76 - I still don't have a problem with this since this is the general public that would have been with the rest of us on the 15th of every month - If they have the blessing of park administration on this
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 26, 2011 12:34PM
Quote
SoCalCPA
I googled group campsite reservations and couldn't find any way to do this - Next step would be to actually call the Park administrators and find out.

I actually found this blurb on the Recreation.Gov FAQ page that might explain how they managed to acquire all these campsites for the same dates before the general public:

"Q: How do I Book a Group Tour Reservation?

A: Group Tours are available via Recreation.gov for specific parks only – not all parks offer group reservations via the web site – please check the inventory information on the park you are looking for, if it is not available you can call the Group Sales Team directly to make your reservation 1-877-559-6777."


Recreation.Gov: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

So what this group might have done is booked the campsites via the "Group Tour" process by talking to the "Group Sales Team" at 1-877-559-6777.

And in another part of the FAQ page it states that groups can book campsites 12 months in advance, while individuals only 6 months in advance (most parks), or 5 months in advance (Yosemite). So those campsites at Upper Pines could have been booked by the group well in advance before the general public (as individuals) had access to them.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 26, 2011 10:38AM
This group gets their reservations the same way as everyone else. They have a lot of people trying for reservations and are very organized. While this group may be the largest, there are lots of other large groups that do the same thing. I think this group also has a permit from the park as a non-commercial group, but that doesn't help them get campsites. If it is a non-commercial permit they have, that means they're breaking even on the trip expenses.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 10, 2012 01:36PM
I posted a long response on how we do this at the end of this thread - I won't repost here....I just want to be sure you see it. Didn't realize I should have posted as a response here instead of below smiling smiley

--Pam, BAS Admin
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 26, 2011 07:45PM
I guess I am confused. Why flag an ad where a guy says he has 4 permits and needs two more for his friends?
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 26, 2011 07:48PM
Quote
hotrod4x5
I guess I am confused. Why flag an ad where a guy says he has 4 permits and needs two more for his friends?

Because we have to assume he's looking to buy the two more he needs.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 26, 2011 08:39PM
Quote
eeek
Because we have to assume he's looking to buy the two more he needs.
Or that he is trying to sell some permits to those that reply.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 02, 2011 08:26PM
The following so called "public service ads" all have either SALE in their title or a dollar amount. Also, ad 2417600500 says "Because we're here to help you get the sites and permits you couldn't get legally. See, it's our business to "help" you get them." Then it ends with "happy scalping". Doesn't seem like a legit ad to me. I think they should be flagged.

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/wan/2417722425.html (the word SALE in title)
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/for/2417600500.html ($150 in title)

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/tid/2417780945.html ($1000 in title)
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/tid/2417777151.html ($150 in title)
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 03, 2011 08:17AM
Gah. Really? These weren't fake ads trying to scalp tickets. In most cased, they're copy and paste of real ads, with snarky commentary. The amount in the title is a reference to how much the scalper is really charging.

Let's not get so over zealous on flagging real scalpers that we lose our perspective.

Pounding head on desk
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 03, 2011 08:27AM
Quote
itchbay
These weren't fake ads trying to scalp tickets. In most cased, they're copy and paste of real ads, with snarky commentary. The amount in the title is a reference to how much the scalper is really charging.

Let's not get so over zealous on flagging real scalpers that we lose our perspective.


I really don't see where those ads serve any demonstrably useful purpose.
It's best to just clear the landscape.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 03, 2011 10:12AM
That's what I am thinking. The fewer ads if any on CL that have anything to do with HD and Yosemite the better. That's the goal right?
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 03, 2011 06:47PM
I too am for flagging everything. There is that blog for swapping HD permits that is easily found by googling. Too many people just snatch whatever they can get and then hope for a swap.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 03, 2011 08:37PM
Hey guys - I've been lurking here for a while and finally got an account. I wanted to thank you for posting up the scalper ads. I really, really dislike the way they are treating these permits and campsites.

I've been scrolling through to the most recent posts and flagging in my votes. Rather indiscriminately, I'll admit. Kill them all. Let god or a little brainpower on their end sort it out.

Whack-a-mole isn't the perfect answer but it's pretty much all we can do at this point. I appreciate the work you're doing and am happy to invest a few seconds to do my part.

Thanks
-Joe
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 03, 2011 10:46PM
If you have a phone that supports a browser, it's even easier.

Just bookmark this "Yosemite & Sierra Nevada discussion" part of the forum and click "last post" on your phone. That way you wont need to scroll down and you can flag from the most recent up. I usually go back and delete all the ads that have been removed, so it should never take you more than a minute to flag all the ads.


I have several computers at work that I use as well as my phone to flag these cockroaches down. It may seem drastic from one's point of view, but in reality it takes me 2 minutes in all to flag all the posts on several computers as well as my phone. Then, its back to work.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 08, 2011 07:18PM
So had a fun conversation with a scalper today; namely, the one trying to con people into buying the Tuolumne Meadows site

Quote
Me
I was coming to Yosemite next month, but I might be interested in taking your campsite (there are going to be 8 of us). It's gotta be cheaper than staying in the hotels in the park, so if I can get a good price I'd rather cancel my reservations. Will the road be open by then though? What are you asking for the site?

Thanks,
John


Quote
Con Artist
From: Jeb
Sent: 06/08/11 04:33 PM
To: John R.
Subject: Re: Your campsite

Hi John
Price is $200 total for the 3 nights. You will have lots of privacy with that size of a campsite, and the campground is really beautiful---right on the river. Definitely beats a hotel if you like camping!

Let me know if you are interested.

Laura

Quote
Me
That's a lot for a campsite. Can you come down some on the price?

Quote
Con Artist
From: Jeb
Sent: 06/08/11 04:45 PM
To: John R.
Subject: Re: Your campsite

The group sites cost a lot more to rent. I could come down to $180

Laura

Quote
Me
I was thinking more like $100.

John

Quote
Con Artist
From: Jeb
Sent: 06/08/11 05:10 PM
To: John R.
Subject: Re: Your campsite

John
Sorry, can't do it. The site cost me $120 from ReserveAmerica (the park service reservation co). The going rate on regular 6 person summer campsites on craigslist (if you can even get them) is $90/night. I am asking only $60/night for a 30 person site.

Happy summer!
Laura

Quote
Me
Wow, $120 to buy a campsite? I'm still interested, but how does this work? Can I print out the tickets? Or do I pick them up at the park?

John

Quote
Con Artist
From: Jeb
Sent: 06/08/11 05:55 PM
To: John R.
Subject: Re: Your campsite

I can put the reservation in your name and give you an official print out. We can meet to exchange print put for payment. Can you make it to novato?

Laura

Quote
Me
I can't come out, as I'm not in California. You should have taken the $100 offer so you're only out $20 instead of the $30 you'll lose having to cancel those reservations when no one buys your stupid nontransferrable site. You're comitting outright fraud now that the name cannot be changed on the reservation (as of today). Now no one can check into the site unless you also offer fake IDs free with every purchase. I'm sure you know that already since you're willing to sell for $20 profit per night when the going rate is supposedly $70 profit per. Why don't you get a real fucking job instead of trying to con honest people? Do the right thing and take down the fraudulent ads and I won't forward your links and emails to the NPS. Don't bother responding to me; I'll see your response via your actions on craigslist. Eat shit.

Love,
John



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/08/2011 07:21PM by mbear.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 08, 2011 08:14PM
Did you really have to be that nasty? Sometimes a light touch works better, and it doesn't make it seem like you were just baiting someone into giving a response. As far as markups go, this didn't seem to be over the top, although of course it's useless now.

I would venture a guess that this could be someone who actually thought that she could still transfer the reservation. A simple response that "I just found out that Yosemite changed their policy on reservations so they can't be transferred" might work. This is apparently someone offering to meet the buyer and confirm the transfer. Not everyone has gotten wind of the new policy.

Of course she's going to have to eat the reservation now. Or at least cancel.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 08, 2011 08:17PM
Hasn't this TM Group Site been hawked for weeks now? I don't think mbear was dealing with an innocent.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 08, 2011 08:34PM
Quote
ttilley
Hasn't this TM Group Site been hawked for weeks now? I don't think mbear was dealing with an innocent.

Perhaps not an "innocent" per se. However - if someone is offering to accept payment in person with the transfer paperwork in tow, perhaps we're talking about someone who just doesn't know the policy has changed. I would say just give a link to the official announcement and be done with it.

I'd frankly have a difficult time trusting any offer to transfer a reservation. Some might wait until they received payment, and take the money and run - although that might be difficult if a payment was sent in the mail and they have your address. Frankly - if I were into the possibility of repurchasing a reservation, I wouldn't trust anything more than an in-person meeting where there's internet access to perform the transfer.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 10, 2011 10:56AM
Quote
y_p_w
Quote
ttilley
Hasn't this TM Group Site been hawked for weeks now? I don't think mbear was dealing with an innocent.

Perhaps not an "innocent" per se. However - if someone is offering to accept payment in person with the transfer paperwork in tow, perhaps we're talking about someone who just doesn't know the policy has changed. I would say just give a link to the official announcement and be done with it.

I take that back. The offer was back on Craigslist, although a regional site nowhere near California.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 10, 2011 01:02PM
Are you talking about the one in Boise? That was posted on 5/31. Or have you seen it reposted since 6/8?
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 10, 2011 01:29PM
Quote
mbear
Are you talking about the one in Boise? That was posted on 5/31. Or have you seen it reposted since 6/8?

Didn't check the date.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 10, 2011 04:13PM
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 10, 2011 06:24PM
Quote
rightstar76
It's back:

http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,38063,38502#msg-38502

That one has a May 31 posting date - I was going to reply to the post that y_p_w took back (then took back the taking back) a couple days ago when I noticed the date. I wish that CL post would go away already.

Still, I think the posting of this ad so far afield certainly argues for a not-innocent interpretation.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 08, 2011 07:47PM
beautiful
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 08, 2011 08:09PM
Nice work. I may have set up a meeting and let the guy show up to meet no one. Send the final email while they are waiting for you.

No response I guess?
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 08, 2011 08:51PM
Quote
chicagocwright
Nice work. I may have set up a meeting and let the guy show up to meet no one. Send the final email while they are waiting for you.

No response I guess?

That's probably a little too far. Better to just tell the scalper off and try to get him to quit posting the fraudulent ad. Considering there was exactly one seller posting campsite ads today, it wouldn't be the unmanageable problem for the NPS to go after the way it was before. No response (I asked for none), but the ad hasn't gone up either even though it had been getting reposted over and over the second it was taken down.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 15, 2011 11:18AM
Like prostitution, campers will seek these scalpers out if they can be found. Campers are as guilty as the scalpers if they seek them out. Like any form of entertainment, where the street value of the entertainment (ticket) is perceived by the buyer to be more than its face value, there will be buying and selling.

However, this scalping problem highlights the value of camping in Yosemite as the most desired accommodation in all of the National Park Service's available venues, as there is no illegal scalping (reselling) of accommodations anywhere else within the National Park System. The importance of the camping experience in Yosemite Valley to a select kind of visitor, primarily one with wheels, who is probably not able to backpack or is from a city, and who sees Yosemite Valley's campgrounds and less crowded than perhaps the freeways near their homes, is a valid consideration.

For this reason, the YNPS should not continue to spend money on the refurbishing of existing infrastructures, like for example the proposed paving of the Yosemite Valley Loop Trail, to mention only one of many proposed infrastructure projects planned for the park, until the flood damaged campgrounds are restored to their former condition, as functioning campgrounds.

For those who do not know, all former plans that identified these campgrounds as "removed" have been rescinded as a part of the lengthy litigation. That means that the designation of those flood damaged campgrounds reverts to their former designation as "flood damaged". That the Park refuses to repair them, pointing to the Merced River's Wild and Scenic planning that must precede any repairs to those campgrounds, this is in conflict with their ongoing planning that continues other projects that also directly affect the river, such as the Yosemite Valley Loop Trail expansion, and others. If you agree, please write to planners and suggest that they simply repair the flood damage, while they continue the Merced River Planning efforts, as they were not legally "removed", and are no longer out of the current inventory of campgrounds in Yosemite Valley. These campgrounds are still part of that inventory, but are listed as "flood damaged".

You may not want to see the campgrounds as they were. And, we may agree on some specifics. But, at this time, before the Merced River Plan is conceived, and before they establish a "user capacity" for Yosemite Valley, we need to tell them to reopen the campground for now, as they were not legally removed. Leaving them damaged is likely to weigh heavily in favor of the Park's goal of accommodating more tour buses and day-trippers in rental cars, as you will see happen for example at Tenaya Lake where they intend to build a larger parking lot, a plastic boardwalk which will be a blight on the scenery there, and expand restroom facilities in order to manufacture Tenaya Lake into a staging area for the Park's staff who will manage their new traffic control technology that they are now implementing. Campers are lost in the shuffle. I hope you agree.

The place to send your snail mail is:

Superintendent
Yosemite National Park
Attn: Merced River Plan
P.O. Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/2011 11:39AM by mark2.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 15, 2011 11:44AM
You can't just repair them. You'd have to rebuild them.
They've spent the past years removing all trace of the campgrounds in anticipation of "restoring" that area to wilderness.
I haven't walked thru that area, but I don't think there's any trace of the campgrounds left!
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 15, 2011 12:16PM
Quote
qumqats
They've spent the past years removing all trace of the campgrounds in anticipation of "restoring" that area to wilderness.

Actually they've spent all that time using them as construction staging areas.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 15, 2011 12:34PM
asphalt has been removed
the cement parking stops have been removed
haven't the bathrooms been removed?

I'm all for adding camp sites in the valley. There's been a multi decade long decline in the # of sites in the park I'd like see reversed.
Makes you think they're targeting the higher profit margin visitors, the lodgers and day-tripers.

Sadly though, the time to get the River campgrounds back is long gone. Good luck raising a ruckus, maybe it'll change future policies towards camp sites.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 15, 2011 01:29PM
Quote
mark2
Like prostitution, campers will seek these scalpers out if they can be found. Campers are as guilty as the scalpers if they seek them out. Like any form of entertainment, where the street value of the entertainment (ticket) is perceived by the buyer to be more than its face value, there will be buying and selling.

However, this scalping problem highlights the value of camping in Yosemite as the most desired accommodation in all of the National Park Service's available venues, as there is no illegal scalping (reselling) of accommodations anywhere else within the National Park System. The importance of the camping experience in Yosemite Valley to a select kind of visitor, primarily one with wheels, who is probably not able to backpack or is from a city, and who sees Yosemite Valley's campgrounds and less crowded than perhaps the freeways near their homes, is a valid consideration.

For this reason, the YNPS should not continue to spend money on the refurbishing of existing infrastructures, like for example the proposed paving of the Yosemite Valley Loop Trail, to mention only one of many proposed infrastructure projects planned for the park, until the flood damaged campgrounds are restored to their former condition, as functioning campgrounds.

For those who do not know, all former plans that identified these campgrounds as "removed" have been rescinded as a part of the lengthy litigation. That means that the designation of those flood damaged campgrounds reverts to their former designation as "flood damaged". That the Park refuses to repair them, pointing to the Merced River's Wild and Scenic planning that must precede any repairs to those campgrounds, this is in conflict with their ongoing planning that continues other projects that also directly affect the river, such as the Yosemite Valley Loop Trail expansion, and others. If you agree, please write to planners and suggest that they simply repair the flood damage, while they continue the Merced River Planning efforts, as they were not legally "removed", and are no longer out of the current inventory of campgrounds in Yosemite Valley. These campgrounds are still part of that inventory, but are listed as "flood damaged".

You may not want to see the campgrounds as they were. And, we may agree on some specifics. But, at this time, before the Merced River Plan is conceived, and before they establish a "user capacity" for Yosemite Valley, we need to tell them to reopen the campground for now, as they were not legally removed. Leaving them damaged is likely to weigh heavily in favor of the Park's goal of accommodating more tour buses and day-trippers in rental cars, as you will see happen for example at Tenaya Lake where they intend to build a larger parking lot, a plastic boardwalk which will be a blight on the scenery there, and expand restroom facilities in order to manufacture Tenaya Lake into a staging area for the Park's staff who will manage their new traffic control technology that they are now implementing. Campers are lost in the shuffle. I hope you agree.

The place to send your snail mail is:

Superintendent
Yosemite National Park
Attn: Merced River Plan
P.O. Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389

The reason they are not going to rebuild Upper and Lower river campgrounds and the western portion of Lower Pines campground is (aside form all the legal mumble jumble) because they are still in the flood plain and if they rebulid them they would probably be damaged again from future floods (would be interesting to see what those areas look like tomorrow morning after the river is supposed to be at 11.8 ft, which is minor flooding compared to the 23 ft. in 1997, but still sends water through the western part of Lower Pines). Yes they need some more campsites, but not in the flood plain.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 16, 2011 11:08PM
Quote
mtn man
The reason they are not going to rebuild Upper and Lower river campgrounds and the western portion of Lower Pines campground is (aside form all the legal mumble jumble) because they are still in the flood plain and if they rebulid them they would probably be damaged again from future floods (would be interesting to see what those areas look like tomorrow morning after the river is supposed to be at 11.8 ft, which is minor flooding compared to the 23 ft. in 1997, but still sends water through the western part of Lower Pines). Yes they need some more campsites, but not in the flood plain.

I'm sorry, but I never understood this logic about the Yosemite Valley campgrounds. Because some are occasionally flooded, those that get flooded every 25, 50, or 100 years, should be removed?

Folks, we're talking about campgrounds, with campsites, not a motel or lodge. The only thing the Park Service needs to do in regards to campsites that are located in the 100-year (or even 50-year) flood plain is to make sure that the minimal structures that are in place, like picnic tables, bear lockers, etc, are properly secured and anchored to the ground so they don't float away and cause damage during the very occasional 50-year or 100-year flood. The more substantial structures that a campground might have, like the restrooms, should be built outside of the flood zone, or if built within the flood zone, have them elevated like how most new buildings are now required for areas that are in flood zones.

The main concern I had about the old Rivers Campgrounds were the negative environmental impact on the Merced River that was caused by some of the campsites being situated too close to the Merced River. But that could easily be rectified by removing or relocating those campsites farther away from the river.

It was a travesty that the Park Service had decided not to reopen the River Campgrounds after the 1997 flood.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/2011 12:12PM by plawrence.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 17, 2011 10:54AM
Plawrance,

Fantastic comments. Thank you so much for sharing them. You are right on target!

Mark
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 17, 2011 11:00AM
Almost all there are in Yosemite Valley are flood plains and rock fall areas. At least flood plains can be evacuated before the event. Gualala campground, in Gualala, CA floods every time it rains. We've been there when we had to move. The restroom is on high ground, but has flooded too in some years. Flooding shouldn't prohibit these from being campgrounds. Some of the lower level sites perhaps, but not all. The GMP addressed this. Campgrounds all across the country are built in occasional flood areas. It's not a big deal. People are told to evacuate. It's why they are campgrounds instead of building hard sided rooms on those sites.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 17, 2011 11:10AM
Quote
mark2
Gualala campground, in Gualala, CA floods every time it rains.

I love that camp ground. We go there every year (special invitation only event). They don't seem to have any problem "repairing" the CG after it floods. Properly set up as it is and it is not a big deal. Could you imagine if they closed all the camp sites that flood? But, since it is a private CG that they are trying to make a living renting the spots they wouldn't do something so stupid.

I've never camped in the Valley. Way to hard to get reservations. And the sites are too close together.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/2011 11:11AM by Hitech.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 17, 2011 01:59PM
"...something so stupid". So well said.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 15, 2011 04:07PM
These campgrounds, and most all of the others were under water during the '97 flood. They selected to not repair the ones they didn't want to keep, relative to a statement that the Park management made the year before, that they'd like to remove all campsites on the north side of the river, but "the public wouldn't let them do it".

Campsites are a coordinate on a map, not relative to concrete abutments and/or pavement. none of these campsites had any concrete or pavement in the 1960s, at all. With the exception of gravel, which is often preferable when it rains, organic wood chipping has been used in many rural campgrounds with great success. Yosemite does a lot of chipping and has an unlimited supply of chipping material that could be spread each spring.

Many campsites in flood zones use moveable portable restrooms which offer sinks with running water and showers. This is relatively new technology that makes flood zone campsites accessible. A large percentage of campgrounds throughout many parks across the nation use them because they can be removed during flood prone seasons.

If you're asking if they have the money to do it, they do. In '97 congress allotted close to 200 million for repairs, responding to the Park manager's requests for money which they said they would need specifically to repair the flood damage to the campgrounds. When they spent the money on replacing and repairing other things, but used none of the money to repair the flood damaged campgrounds, congress asked why, and they responded by stating that they "restored them back to nature", a direct contrast to the purpose the money was requested.

They are spending a lot of money on many projects, but campers get shuffled to the back of the deck. The Ahwahnee remodel comes to mind. If you don't agree that's fine. You are welcome to disagree. If you agree, put your thoughts into a letter to the Park. They can't respond if they don't have input.

Much to their chagrin they had to change the listed status of the flooded campgrounds to "flood damaged" from "removed" recently, as ALL prior planning had to be "rescinded". However, there are some that believe that a new Park administration may be more sympathetic to replacing them than the former administration. But, the likes of Mike Tollefson at the Yosemite Conservancy would argue otherwise, as he was part of the old administration that worked with, and concurred with the former management teams efforts to block the repairs.

These arguments about these being in flood zones are meaningless. Most of the campgrounds are in flood zones. Much of the old flooded campgrounds were outlined by the 1980 General Management Plan for pull back from the river, a plan which I contributed comment to in the late 1970s, as did many people still around today. The old rescinded Yosemite Valley Plan was suppose to 'adhere to the GMP' but did no such thing. The GMP and most people agreed at that time, and still today, that those old campsites nearest the river were going to be removed by new plans. We expected, as was represented and mitigated through years of public meetings and comments that there would also be separation between sites. There was many years of planning that occurred before the flood, much of which involved thousands of letters and comments from the public, when the "GMP", which wasn't perfect, was supposed to be the outline for what would eventually happen in the campgrounds under new future plans, i.e. the Yosemite Valley Plan, but went unfunded, because the money wasn't there. The Merced Wild and Scenic River status allows for campgrounds in areas that camping was an outstanding and remarkable value in that area. The fact that Yosemite Valley's campsites are the only in the world that we know of that get scalped, seems to point to the fact that camping in those flooded campgrounds should be continued.

When the flood came in 1997, the then management used the opportunity to do what they wanted to do, by removing them. If you do go to the old Upper River campground this weekend, as someone said they are going to do, you will see that most of it will be high and dry. Some of it will be five to ten feet above the high water even this weekend, which should make my point. Much of Lower River will also be above water, because, most of Lower River consists of land fill brought in during the 1930s to fill in what was then wet lands, to create a campground out of an area. That area once was a marshy area where the Merced River had managed to meander over into Ledig Meadow prior to that time, curving around in what is now all land fill. Prior to Galen Clark blasting to let the river flow in the west end of the Valley, the entire Valley was subject to flooding at this time of year, and much of summer. The area by Yosemite Creek was marked as an area that had to be forded, which is why they dug it out and made a canal out of it, something that was never corrected during the Lower Falls project. It's too bad too, as I had hoped to see the old Yosemite Creek Cascades restored as a part of that process.

These areas are actually perfectly suited for campgrounds. There are many in the current NPS in Yosemite that agree. What's different now is that they don't have to keep their mouths shut as much, because the likes of some unnamed former managers are no longer around to give them grief.

If anyone plans to go, let me know if you'd like to meet and walk through the campgrounds, as I think I will go. I can give you my coordinate and a time to meet, or my cell phone number. I too will be walking it.

Mark



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/2011 04:36PM by mark2.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 15, 2011 09:43PM
Didn't something like that happen in SEKI? They got rid of all the campgrounds and lodging in Giant Forest and then built a couple of hotels in Lodgepole. There were supposed to be six buildings but then they cut back to three. Now you can't get a room even if you have the three hundred bucks a night they want. Also, it's very hard to get a campsite in Lodgepole. Sounds similar.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 18, 2011 10:58PM
Quote
rightstar76
Didn't something like that happen in SEKI? They got rid of all the campgrounds and lodging in Giant Forest and then built a couple of hotels in Lodgepole. There were supposed to be six buildings but then they cut back to three. Now you can't get a room even if you have the three hundred bucks a night they want. Also, it's very hard to get a campsite in Lodgepole. Sounds similar.


There's still no indoor logging at Lodgepole. The new lodging is Wuksachi Lodge which is at least a mile from Lodgepole. The old lodging in Giant Forest was hard-sided cabins.

I don't think the camping issue is that big a deal in the area. You don't have to stay at Lodgepole or Dorst Creek. There are a whole host of Forest Service Campgrounds in the area, including Stony Creek, Princess, and Hume Lake. I'm not sure how many people think of staying at a non-NPS campsite, even if there isn't really much difference.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 19, 2011 04:20AM
Quote
y_p_w
Quote
rightstar76
Didn't something like that happen in SEKI? They got rid of all the campgrounds and lodging in Giant Forest and then built a couple of hotels in Lodgepole. There were supposed to be six buildings but then they cut back to three. Now you can't get a room even if you have the three hundred bucks a night they want. Also, it's very hard to get a campsite in Lodgepole. Sounds similar.

There's still no indoor logging at Lodgepole. The new lodging is Wuksachi Lodge which is at least a mile from Lodgepole. The old lodging in Giant Forest was hard-sided cabins.

Personally, I think the architect that designed the Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia was sadistic. Never been to a modern lodging facility that was designed to inconvenience its guests so much. Stayed there for five days in July of 2009.

The designer of the facility thought it would be a great idea to put the parking for the registration building about a football field length AWAY from the registration building (which also contained the dining room/bar and lobby). The registration building was also the only place at the lodge where the free WiFi was available. The three lodging buildings are even farther away from the registration building, across TWO access roads. And it's a bit of a distance (and a uphill climb) from the lodging parking lot to your rooms too.

And as I stated the only WiFi was in the lobby of registration building, so at night if you wanted connect to the internet, you couldn't just put your slippers and walk down to a common area within your lodging building. No, you needed to put your shoes and jacket back on, walk downhill in the dark, through the lodging parking lot, and then on short trail (no outdoor lighting, so bring along a flashlight or headlamp) and then across the roads to get to the registration building. And even in July, the temps at that elevation (7,200') were often in the mid-40's at night.

Oh, and one more thing. The three-story lodging buildings had no elevators, so if you room wasn't on the ground floor, you had to drag your luggage up and down the stairs (after hiking uphill with them about 50 yards from the closest parking space). Not a problem for us who are physically fit, but for seniors and others that aren't, a bit of a pain. As I said, I think the designer/architect of that facility was a bit of a sadist.

The John Muir Lodge that was built about the same time for Kings Canyon (located near the General Grant Grove) was designed a bit better. Yes, the building with the lodging rooms is a bit of the drive from the registration building and restaurant, but at least the guest parking is actually next to the lodging building (what a concept!) and the free WiFi is located in the common area (guest lounge) located inside the lodging building with the guest rooms.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 16, 2011 10:42AM
I'm not familiar with Sequoia National Park issues, but there may be similarities. We come in from Tioga, driving down from the north on the east side of the Sierra. We do intend to spend some time in Sequoia and Kings Canyon this summer, but it's a long drive for us. If it sounds similar, keep in mind that the guy that once worked at Sequoia as the Superintendent later worked at Yosemite as the Superintendent, and is now the Director of the Yosemite Conservancy; Mr. Mike Tollefson. Though no longer with a Park Ranger hat, he still casts a long shadow on the Park, and is highly respected by those in the NPS organization who agree with the NPS mission creep. This topic of scalping is not about Mike Tollefson, but about what the NPS refers to internally as National Park Service "mission creep".

To point this discussion back toward the topic of the dreaded scalpers, I wonder if in Sequoia there has been any scalping. I've heard that many of their campsites sit idle except on weekends during summer, so I guess probably not. The scalping of Yosemite Valley's campsite tickets however, does suggest that camping in Yosemite, (1.) is the most popular camping venue in the entire NPS system of camping venues, not to mention all overnight venues within their scope, and (2.) it points to the problem of the Park Service's the removal of half of the campsites in Yosemite Valley, which may be viewed as a "tipping point" which caused this problem.

The YNPS have goals not yet realized as they work on finishing Merced River Plan which will dictate which of their already planned out schemes can be implemented. Left over from the old Yosemite Valley Plan, which may have been rescinded but not forgotten, is their desire to remove Stoneman Bridge, along with some other bridges. Stoneman is at the forefront of their plans for bridge removal for one very succinct purpose. They will say that the removal of Stoneman Bridge has the purpose of allowing the Merced River, in it's wild state, to move around as all rivers do over millenniums of years, finding new paths over time, back and forth throughout the Valley, and that bridges constrict that. Of course, they won't move bridges that they don't want to remove, but Stoneman is a key bridge. That is because, Stoneman Bridge's removal would decidedly separate the North from the South Side of the Merced River, in a way that would render the Upper and Lower Rivers Campgrounds landlocked for further use by motor vehicles, as they then could remove part of Northside Drive, leaving what they want for a bike and/or walking trail. This hidden agenda doesn't fit well for anyone hoping to urge the Park to repair flood damaged campgrounds.

For a taste of reverse logic, if scalpers are Yosemite National Park Service's scourge, but scalpers activities highlight the need for the Park to leave Stoneman Bridge where it is so they can still potentially repair flood damage in the illegally removed campgrounds, then these scalpers have served a valuable purpose for Yosemite's campers.

There are companies who reserve and resell Yosemite Lodge reservations without the contempt from the NPS, as there are tour bus companies that feel it practical for their businesses to do so. You could say that is scalping, but the NPS caters to tour bus companies, always have, always will. Could it be that the Park wants this campground scalping problem to go away because it points a glaring spotlight on the 800LB Gorilla in the room, which is their continued refusal to repair damages done by the 1997 flood to half of the Valleys (still) current inventory of campsites?

You may say that there is no way they're going to repair them, because they removed them for reasons relative to arguments that supported the rescinded Yosemite Valley Plan. If that is true, then they are in fact trying to continue to facilitate that rescinded plan illegally. That plan was deemed illegal by the court. That is why the campgrounds have the designation as "flood damaged" and not "removed", as it was only a year or so ago.

If you agree, please support the repair of these campgrounds by writing to the Park Supervisor. Please also join the almost 1,500 other people who signed the petition to save these campgrounds at the Yosemite Valley Campers Coalition petition link here. even though the YNPS tries to ignore us.

My apologies if I have seemingly hijacked a thread, as that is not my intention. If anything, I'm drilling deeper within this thread to help educate people who may not be aware of some of the Park's issues.

I feel that you, who take issue with scalpers, might agree with what might be the root of the problem here, which is that half of the designated inventory of campgrounds in Yosemite Valley are missing, and the money to put them back has been paid to them via close to $200,000,000 in flood recovery money that came from congress specifically requested by the Yosemite National Park in 1997 for the purpose of completely replacing the flood damaged sewer system in those campgrounds, the replacement of restrooms in those campgrounds, and whatever other repairs would be needed. At that time, once they got the money they were flush with cash, and decided to change their direction entirely, focusing on ways that will help grow and facilitate their day tripper business and help their friends in the tour bus industry, by replacing most of the El Portal Road, only part of which was damaged by the flood. They did it to help large tour buses, as they admitted at the time. When the Park asked for the money in the first place, they had a plan as to how to spend any money they might receive, which was called the 1980 GMP. But, once the money was in hand, everything changed.

As mentioned, within that plan was an outline of what to do with those campsites in those particular campgrounds which pulled some away from the high water and river bank areas, and separation of the campsites for riparian purposes. Had they complied with that plan which was not devised overnight, but instead was the result of many years of public input and planning, Upper Pines and Lower Pines campsites would not be as close together as they are now.

There were some (even within the Yosemite Valley Campers Coalition) who would argue for the entire inventory of campsites to remain the same as they were, all 800 of them, as they served a segment of Park campers (guests) that want to camp in the Valley no matter how close together the campsites might be. I am among those who agreed with the GMP which did reduce the overall number of sites to about 600 from the then 800 (round numbers), not the 400 which they have now, using all the former campground real estate so that there was enough land to make the changes in a way that would allow for the separation of campsites that would positively effect the camping experience as well as help to restore the Valley.

Because of the flood, they were able to implement a strategy that they actually stated that they wished they could do only one year before, which was to attempt to remove all campsites on the north side of the Valley. It was in fact the push by the Yosemite Valley Campers Coalition that helped to stop the planned removal of the North Pines Campground. The NPS were going to remove North Pines as a part of the then approved, but now rescinded, Yosemite Valley Plan. The YVCC caused much grief to the YNPS who finally acquiesced to keep North Pines in the campground inventory, we feel because of the aggressive public position that YVCC took. The Park will likely not admit that, but I can provide more information about that if anyone wants it. Now, the old website, www.savenorthpines.org no longer has a purpose, so it just points to the Coalition's website. There are still a lot of old bumper stickers around if you want one.

By opting to close those flood damaged campgrounds, the YNPS made it impossible to follow through with former plans to separate campsites in a way that would enhance the camping experience, making it more like what it should be in such a setting as Yosemite Valley. There are now only about 400 left, all confined and congested in the Upper and part of the former Lower Pines, in what some call a campsite ghetto. Because they did that, there was simply no longer any real estate left spread them out. They talked about putting yet more cramped campsites up near Upper Pines, while also using the now untouched natural area on the north side of the Upper Pines campground entrance road as a parking lot for walk in sites, between Upper Pines and the Merced River, further impacting the river there, and congesting that whole area of the Valley. But, fortunately the court shut them down, saying that they had to go back to drawing board, as their plans could not be considered valid without a "user capacity" limit in Yosemite Valley to use as the starting point, something that the then Park Superintendent, Mike Tollefson, said he didn't want to comply with. However, a user capacity plan, the court said, would then determine what they could and/or could not do in any subsequent plans. Interesting that they continue to plan things though, even before the Merced River plan, that directly impacts water that flows into the river, via increased human impacts. The Valley Loop Trail upgrade is a case in point.

The Valley Loop trail will use funds that will probably come from the Yosemite Conservancy, Mike Tollefson's group, which should be spent on the flood damaged campgrounds, and is probably a project that conflicts directly with court ordered mandates that a user capacity be determined before changes are made that will enable more human impacts, but they might argue otherwise. They just don't listen. They do what they want to do, and thumb their noses at the court, as well as Yosemite's camping enthusiasts.

Scalpers, I don't like, but I am thankful that their devious work of selling campsite tickets for more than their face value, which reflects their inflated value due to the current lack of campsite inventory in the Valley directly highlights a problem that will not go away until they spend money given to them to repair the damage, while it also clearly implicates the NPS of their wrongdoing.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/16/2011 11:04AM by mark2.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 16, 2011 11:05AM
What is the reason that NPS wants to remove all campgrounds north of the river? What about Camp 4?, Backpackers campground?
Where have they "stated" that they want to do this?
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 16, 2011 12:05PM
That was a statement made by park managers, not referring to Camp 4, but relative to the east end of the Valley. That statement came in either '95 or '96. It's been quoted many times, but not lately as people seem to forget. For that reason I am hoping to bring history back into the discussion, so that the NPS doesn't think we campers have short memories.

That they said it then, does not mean they still think like that, but it doesn't mean they don't. After all, some people that were in charge then have since retired, and there's a little oxygen in the room now. There has been a lot of management change over these many years, and with each new team of managers, there seems to be a selective memory of what went on before.

At the point that Mike Tollefson decided not to remove North Pines from the inventory of campgrounds, even though it was listed for removal, it was called a management decision that he, as Superintendent, could make. That suggests that the local Park Superintendent has a lot of latitude in making his own decisions, which could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what they do. At the time we took issue with the local YNPS rumor that Tollefson had decided not to remove North Pines, simply because until he finally put it in writing there was still a then approved Yosemite Valley Plan on the books, a plan that would take years to implement, which still listed North Pines as one that would go. He finally signed a letter to that effect.

Now, as ALL of those plans are legally rescinded, all options are supposed to be back on the table, as it will be the Merced Wild and Scenic River that will determine what changes are made. Or, so they say, even though they still talk about things they want to do which were punch list items of the old rescinded Yosemite Valley Plans, like bridge removal, and, their refusal to talk about using money given to them by congress to repair the flood damage.

I've gotten the feeling that the new Park Management seems open to contemplating new ideas, or so they seem far more friendly from people I've talked to. For this reason, perhaps we can bring up for discussion the old campgrounds as viable use of that real estate, as if it's a new idea, yet again. Time will tell how tied they are to old plans and agendas. For this reason, I continue to hope.

Historically, all areas along the river have always been used for camping, from antiquity till now. Impacts to the river and its environment need to be addressed, and a good way to address it is to separate campsites, pull back a bit from exposed areas of the river, repair the river bank, allow downed trees to stay in the river unless they cause a significant health hazard to swimmers, and things like that. Impacts can be mitigated by people who want to work together. Mitigating impacts is always the best solution, but the Park has to open the door for such discussion before that can happen.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 17, 2011 10:27AM
The work you people are doing to shut down the scalping efforts is amazing. I've been watching over a short amount of time, and am very impressed. You are to be congratulated. You've got me looking for them too now. I've flagged a couple of them myself. Your efforts are noteworthy.

If only the NPS thought of camping, and campers in more favorable terms, you might not have to do all the work yourself.

There are many that think that campers are camping, simply because they have no other options, and that people would much rather stay in a building with four-walls and hot running water. I am not one of them. I think that some of you are camping enthusiasts too, because you love nature.

The silence on the topic of garnering support from camping advocates to get the Park to concern themselves with restoration of the flooded campsites is often deafening.

There is little area in the Valley where it isn't a rock fall zone, or for one reason or another, not appropriate for camping. There's a reason that these areas were used for that purpose in the past, set up back in the 1930s by the YNPS as they were, too close to the river, and too close together. At one time there were no dividing lines between sites, and people literally shared adjoining tent stakes they were so close.

This is why there was a push to plan something new in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, which evolved into a plan called the 1980 General Management Plan. It involved thousands of participants, most of whom understood that changes had to be made.

Part of the changes needed envisioned a re-wilding of the Merced River, long before there was a Merced River Plan. But, as the YNPS continued to pull dead trees and natural debris from the river, the river could not repair itself; something they have been doing since the 1930s. Many campers argued for the Park to continue pulling dead trees and limbs ( "stringers" ) from the river, hoping to continue using the river for personal rafting. I loved rafting too, but feel now that it may have to take a back seat to restoration of the river and river banks. Even today this argument prevails. Some of us argue for re-wild-ing the river in this way, and forgo rafting, because rafting would be unsafe for children, as it would, as water would pull unsuspecting rafters under a branch or tree trunk. But, perhaps there is a middle ground, where parents take responsibility, signs are posted, and the most dangerous trees are selected for removal. We can't let that argument keep the campgrounds closed. So, if rafting has to go, then so be it.

Re-wilding of the river is critical to the future of Yosemite Valley. But, many have the impression that campers are not of that mindset. This is true for some, but not all.

Either way, no where in the Valley is there any real estate that is better suited for camping than these campgrounds, if you use the GMP as an overlay, pulling campsites away from the riverbank, up from the low elevation spots that flood often, separation that would allow natural reparations to take place, taking the existing campgrounds and basically gutting them to make the needed separations, using all of the old real estate to get 600 campsites out of those areas, rather than the 400 or so that are left conjested just like they had them in the old days.

The YNPS may have agreed to rescind the old plans because the court ordered them to, but that doesn't mean a thing. They rescinded them as a form of compliance only, but from what we see in their ongoing planning outlines for the Valley, discussions about restoration of those campgrounds are nonexistent. As a matter of fact, one such planning document talks about their plan to continue the restoration back to nature even before the Merced River Plan is completed, which is something they are not supposed to do. The MRP is suppose to guide them in future decisions, not enable them to continue their old plans that lacked Merced River Plan user capacity, and ORV guidance.

If they are fabricating a new MRP only so that they can implement old plans that they had already devised under the formerly rescinded Yosemite Valley Plan, closing the flooded campgrounds which was a decision made on the spot one day by the then managers of the park, which was preceded by no planning effort at all, nor did it involve any public involvement, then there should be an outcry. If the outcry falls on deaf ears, there still should be some noise made by campers. They shouldn't get away with it without campers making an issue of it, so that their hidden agendas are brought to light.

Write to them and talk directly to the planners to get your views out, if you agree. Don't be part of the silent majority of campers who don't make their views known. Some of us don't camp because we have no other options. Some of us camp for the camping experience, which should and could be much improved in Yosemite, if they were to use the GMP and most of the former campground real estate to make it happen.

Picture camping with twice the separation that you now have. That's what the GMP had outlined. That's what the YNPS was supposed to do when they said that the Yosemite Valley Plan would "closely adhere to the 1980 GMP", when the YVP was in a draft planning stage. Yosemite Valley would actually be a valuable camping experience, not just as a staging area for nice hikes and adjacent food services. Camping would be so spectacular that people would want to actually hang around their campsites once in a while. The camping experience would be more like what they should expect of a place like Yosemite Valley.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/2011 10:35AM by mark2.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 17, 2011 03:36PM
Has anyone else noticed that lately the scalper ads seem to be flagged & removed more quickly?
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 17, 2011 03:45PM
Quote
QITNL
Has anyone else noticed that lately the scalper ads seem to be flagged & removed more quickly?

People are hopping onto the flagging train because they realized it takes them less than 15 seconds to flag 9 ads.

It's not time consuming and they are helping put a dent into the scalpers' pockets.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 19, 2011 09:15PM
Quote
QITNL
Has anyone else noticed that lately the scalper ads seem to be flagged & removed more quickly?

Yes, which is great. Unfortunately, scalper tracker also seems to be picking up as the a-holes are getting desperate to unload them, especially the campsites, even though they can't be transferred anymore.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 26, 2011 10:32AM
I was wondering why these are still up on CL? Any reason why they haven't been flagged?

http://humboldt.craigslist.org/wan/2377298978.html
http://boise.craigslist.org/for/2413965737.html
http://lasvegas.craigslist.org/wan/2403278163.html



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/26/2011 06:38PM by rightstar76.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 26, 2011 10:38AM
the San Francisco ones have been removed. If you have previously flagged the ads, you would have to click refresh for the actual "This listing has been removed" to show up.

As for Boise and Vegas, I think it takes a lot more ads if you flagging from another state. If people from Boise and Vegas were flagging, then it would go down quicker. The Humboldt one is a mystery though.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 26, 2011 08:14PM
Quote
sactown23
I think it takes a lot more ads if you flagging from another state

I think it's just that those areas don't get a lot of readers. So that ads don't get enough flags to go away.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 26, 2011 11:18AM
So after you flag you have to click refresh for it to go through? So far I have only been flagging and then either closing the window or clicking on the back button.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/26/2011 11:19AM by rightstar76.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 26, 2011 12:06PM
No, no, no. Once you flag, the posting is flagged.

However, after the posting gets taken down, you may still be able to access the ad since you flagged it, even though it has already been removed.

If you click refresh, then it will show you that the posting has been flagged for removal.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 26, 2011 12:52PM
Yeah, the page gets stored in your cache. Basically, you're seeing the old page because your computer is trying to be efficient and not have to reload all new info each time you click the same link you clicked before. You just have to refresh to see the new page (the memo about it being flagged off).
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
May 10, 2012 01:32PM
Sorry - put my reply in the wrong post - I had to edit and couldn't leave blank



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2012 01:45PM by BAS admin.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 27, 2011 09:51AM
Great job on flagging all of the ads!

I stayed in Upper Pines this weekend (Fri and Sat nights) and I was surprised to see that several sites were empty on Friday night in my loop. Less were empty on Saturday night but they were still empty. It's probably rare to see Upper Pines sites go empty like this specially this time of the year. Once they implement the last item of the new policy, the scalpers will completely die away. Right now there's still a way they can reserve for others (canceling their reservation at odd hours of the night and then re-reserving it under the buyers name)
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
June 28, 2011 07:00PM
One wonders when the scalpers will start advertising armed security guard services to protect one's campsite.
(BurrowingEverMoreDeeply Yours)
The Marmots
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
July 08, 2011 09:19PM
When flagging these ads does it make a difference if we log on to Craigslist or not?
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
July 08, 2011 10:14PM
Quote
Dave
When flagging these ads does it make a difference if we log on to Craigslist or not?

nope

I have a number of computers at work that with this site bookmarked along with my phone, which has it bookmarked. Takes less than a minute to flag the ads on all the computers.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
July 09, 2011 09:29AM
I'm not sure that it would make sense to flag the same post from multiple computers at work if they're all on the same LAN. Craigslist will see the same IP Address for each.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
July 09, 2011 10:25AM
Only if the office were running NAT.

A big enough office would probably have a block of IP addresses assigned to them and have a different IP for each station.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
July 09, 2011 10:34AM
The ip addresses are different for each station.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
July 09, 2011 11:49AM
Quote
qumqats
A big enough office would probably have a block of IP addresses assigned to them and have a different IP for each station.

No, most big offices are using NAT. There's no need for unique external IP addresses for workstations.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
July 10, 2011 01:31PM
During the past few days, I allocated the time to watch the Ken Burns' documentary "The National Parks" in its entirety. (Caught only a couple of the episodes when they first aired. Bought the CD set for my library.)

While doing so, it occurred to me that perhaps the best answer to anyone's question of why we are waging this scalper war would be to send them a copy of a photograph of the Yellowstone North Gate:





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/2011 01:32PM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
July 15, 2011 01:44PM
Inadvertantly initially posted this on the flagging thread. Removed and reposted here.


Re. the last link ( http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,41502,41670#msg-41670 ):
One wonders if the location (san jose north) is actually Wasilla South.
Marmot
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
July 16, 2011 09:24PM
Just spent the week in the valley and spoke with several rangers on the scalping issue (Campsites and permits) - What I was told was that they are very aware of the issue and focusing on several people (one guy in particular) - they need to have people who have purchased scalped reservations/permits and have been turned down at the Park to be willing to prosecute.

I was told that they are doing what they can
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
July 16, 2011 10:11PM
Quote
SoCalCPA
Just spent the week in the valley and spoke with several rangers on the scalping issue (Campsites and permits) - What I was told was that they are very aware of the issue and focusing on several people (one guy in particular) - they need to have people who have purchased scalped reservations/permits and have been turned down at the Park to be willing to prosecute.

I was told that they are doing what they can

That individual is David tran aka David tanner
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
July 17, 2011 07:42AM
Quote
SoCalCPA
Just spent the week in the valley and spoke with several rangers on the scalping issue (Campsites and permits) - What I was told was that they are very aware of the issue and focusing on several people (one guy in particular) - they need to have people who have purchased scalped reservations/permits and have been turned down at the Park to be willing to prosecute.

I was told that they are doing what they can

Doing what they can? Hmmmm. That sounds like a typical explanation for an issue that is considered low priority. I doubt that the Inspector General for the Dept of the Interior needs to have a citizen complaint or test case to pursue an action against unlawful conduct. I doubt that it would take many letters from the FBI to individual sellers or Craigslist to make an impact on this issue.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
July 17, 2011 08:21PM
Didn't want my post to give the impression of indifference - The ranger I spoke with was pretty pissed off about the issue as several other rangers I had spoken to were also - They are turning people away who have purchased from scalpers - Their frustration was getting those who have essentially been ripped off by these guys (or David Tran aka Tanner) to testify and prosecute.

What does everyone think about creating a grassroots effort from this message board to lobby the congressperson who covers Yosemite to make it a federal offense to scalp and resell reservations punishable by a significant fine and/or jail term - Think it would work?
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
August 23, 2011 12:53PM
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
August 23, 2011 01:10PM
I'd like to hear how the new policy is working. What do people think it will be like for next year's reservations? I want to go with my brother, in two spots, and wonder if we have a chance. Looking at late May...
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
August 23, 2011 01:40PM
Quote
AlpineBrian
I'd like to hear how the new policy is working. What do people think it will be like for next year's reservations? I want to go with my brother, in two spots, and wonder if we have a chance. Looking at late May...

What I'd like to see is the funny graphic of five or six characters that you would have to type into a box prior to getting into the reservation site and then only one reservation per visit. That should eliminate the auto-buys.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
August 23, 2011 02:58PM
Quote
eeek
Looks like somebody new is pissed off: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/for/2558034024.html

I wonder if that's a scalper trying a new scam.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
September 01, 2011 08:07PM
Does anyone know if our flagging has made an effect on anything?
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
September 01, 2011 08:57PM
Well, we're obviously not going to see a ledger from the scalpers detailing how many they've sold and how many were still on the books.


But, we can take some hints from the fact that Yosemite has reported a drastic drop in the amount of people using the cables based on the amount of permits that have been checked by the rangers stationed. That means that scalpers aren't as successful selling their permits. Now, whether or not that is a result of our collective effort to remove their illegal ads. Who knows.

Also, at the start of our campaign to target scalpers on craigslist, you can see the scalpers getting angry and throwing hissy fits on this forum. They would create fake user names and either spam, attempt to commit identity theft, etc. Basically, the epitome of a spoiled brat getting his toys taken away from him.


In addition, you can see a change in the way he posts his ads now. You have to realize that the faster we remove their ads, the more he has to post. But, craigslist also has a program that monitors overposts after having your ad removed. So, this main scalper (David Tran) would begin to put "yos emite half d ome". Then even those would start getting blocked, so he had to resort to other titles.

He now includes the dates of campsites and half dome permits available when in the past he would simply ask which dates you are requesting.

Lastly, it's obvious he's trying to sell it a little harder "Campsites on the valley floor, booked 6 months ago..." while in the past all he had to do is say that he has campsites/permits available.

Once again, this may be because the season is coming to an end, or it may be because we are having some sort of effect.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 09/01/2011 08:58PM by sactown23.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
September 01, 2011 09:10PM
Quote
sactown23

But, we can take some hints from the fact that Yosemite has reported a drastic drop in the amount of people using the cables based on the amount of permits that have been checked by the rangers.

All along this is what has made me uneasy about this effort. The goal wasn't to stop hikers from hiking Half Dome. It was to hopefully prevent future abuse of the permit system. To be honest, at this point I would rather a hiker get to hike Half Dome rather than be turned away. As I noted in my report the cables are being way under-utilized and I think that is sad. If tis Craigslist tagging system helped raise awareness of the issue and prevents this from happening in future years then it will all probably be worth it. But it is already too late this year to have any real benefit for this year. And unfortunately, hikers are being turned away because of Yosemite's hard line stance of requiring permits. I wish they would have just quietly eased the permit requirements when they saw how under-utilized the cables are. Maybe in reality that is what they are doing but the ranger just couldn't come out and tell me that.

Or maybe you just simply wait until 4:30-5:00 and go up the cables when the ranger leaves getting you back to Happy Isles just before nightfall. Or get there extra early. Again I think the goal should be to allow as many people as safely possible to make the hike.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
September 01, 2011 09:19PM
Quote
chicagocwright
All along this is what has made me uneasy about this effort. The goal wasn't to stop hikers from hiking Half Dome. It was to hopefully prevent future abuse of the permit system. To be honest, at this point I would rather a hiker get to hike Half Dome rather than be turned away. As I noted in my report the cables are being way under-utilized and I think that is sad. If tis Craigslist tagging system helped raise awareness of the issue and prevents this from happening in future years then it will all probably be worth it. But it is already too late this year to have any real benefit for this year. And unfortunately, hikers are being turned away because of Yosemite's hard line stance of requiring permits. I wish they would have just quietly eased the permit requirements when they saw how under-utilized the cables are. Maybe in reality that is what they are doing but the ranger just couldn't come out and tell me that.

Or maybe you just simply wait until 4:30-5:00 and go up the cables when the ranger leaves getting you back to Happy Isles just before nightfall. Or get there extra early. Again I think the goal should be to allow as many people as safely possible to make the hike.

I agree, but at the same time you can't have scalpers profiting one bit from this. If that means Half Dome will experience a drastic decrease in usage for one year pending their new system, then so be it.

They will definitely be implementing a new system next year because they have received far too many complaints, an underutilized cable system, and rampant scalping that has received media attention.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
September 01, 2011 10:02PM
Quote
chicagocwright
Quote
sactown23

But, we can take some hints from the fact that Yosemite has reported a drastic drop in the amount of people using the cables based on the amount of permits that have been checked by the rangers.

All along this is what has made me uneasy about this effort. The goal wasn't to stop hikers from hiking Half Dome. It was to hopefully prevent future abuse of the permit system. To be honest, at this point I would rather a hiker get to hike Half Dome rather than be turned away. As I noted in my report the cables are being way under-utilized and I think that is sad. If tis Craigslist tagging system helped raise awareness of the issue and prevents this from happening in future years then it will all probably be worth it. But it is already too late this year to have any real benefit for this year. And unfortunately, hikers are being turned away because of Yosemite's hard line stance of requiring permits. I wish they would have just quietly eased the permit requirements when they saw how under-utilized the cables are. Maybe in reality that is what they are doing but the ranger just couldn't come out and tell me that.

Or maybe you just simply wait until 4:30-5:00 and go up the cables when the ranger leaves getting you back to Happy Isles just before nightfall. Or get there extra early. Again I think the goal should be to allow as many people as safely possible to make the hike.

They now release permits the morning before to make up for the scalpers who can't sell their passes.

Quote

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdpermits.htm

Updated July 26, 2011
Initial hiker counts for this season indicate that there are numerous no shows among Half Dome permit holders. In an effort to make up for these no shows, the National Park Service (NPS) will manually release additional Half Dome permits each day, at 7 am PDT on the day before the permit date. For instance, at 7 am on Friday, additional permits will become available online (recommended) and through the call center at Recreation.gov for use on Saturday. This will continue throughout the summer until further notice. These permits are taken in a matter of seconds, but it's worth continuing to check because some transactions are not completed, resulting in a few permits becoming available as late as 7:30. Additionally, some permits are canceled every day (and can be canceled and re-reserved until midnight the day before the hiking date).

NPS will initially release an additional 50 Half Dome permits each day and then adjust these numbers, either up or down, throughout the season based upon ongoing hiker counts.These additional permits will have $1.50 processing fee and be limited to purchases of four at a time. Unlike the earlier Half Dome permits, these are non transferable. To counter the illegal resale of Half Dome permits, the group leader, whose name is recorded at the time of transaction, must accompany his or her group on their Half Dome hike. Once the permit transaction is completed, the group leader’s name cannot be changed.

The day-before-release method was chosen to counter both illegal resale of permits and speculative buying by the general public. While purchasing a permit the day before does not allow as much advance notice as many people may wish, it should put permits in the hands of hikers who will use them.
While permits are not available in the park or on a first-come, first-served basis, canceled permits may be available until midnight the evening before the hiking day through Recreation.gov. If you have a permit that you won't use, please cancel it so others may use it. (You may cancel your permit as late as midnight the evening before the hiking day.)

If you are unable to hike Half Dome for any reason (including weather, cables not available, illness, etc.) on the day you have a permit, we will not be able to provide a permit for a different date.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
September 02, 2011 06:49AM
Even with the additional permits being released, the cables are still being under-utilized.

Sadly, and perversely, Yosemite may actually need the scalper to sell more permits, raising the level of his "fraud", and perhaps meeting a threshold making it worthwhile for them to prosecute. I just keep on having a nagging feeling that despite our efforts the worst of our accomplishments is keeping people from going up the cables--whether or not a scalper benefits from it or not.
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
September 02, 2011 07:52AM
Quote
chicagocwright
Even with the additional permits being released, the cables are still being under-utilized.

Sadly, and perversely, Yosemite may actually need the scalper to sell more permits, raising the level of his "fraud", and perhaps meeting a threshold making it worthwhile for them to prosecute. I just keep on having a nagging feeling that despite our efforts the worst of our accomplishments is keeping people from going up the cables--whether or not a scalper benefits from it or not.

I strongly disagree. We need to stick to this plan. The scalpers will tire, and next year, normal folks should have a shot at securing camping and half dome permits. It will take some sacrifice this year, as the scalpers are holding onto the permits, but will be worth it next year.

I'm having fun flagging the listings!
Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
September 02, 2011 02:58PM
Quote
AlpineBrian
Quote
chicagocwright
Even with the additional permits being released, the cables are still being under-utilized.

Sadly, and perversely, Yosemite may actually need the scalper to sell more permits, raising the level of his "fraud", and perhaps meeting a threshold making it worthwhile for them to prosecute. I just keep on having a nagging feeling that despite our efforts the worst of our accomplishments is keeping people from going up the cables--whether or not a scalper benefits from it or not.

I strongly disagree. We need to stick to this plan. The scalpers will tire, and next year, normal folks should have a shot at securing camping and half dome permits. It will take some sacrifice this year, as the scalpers are holding onto the permits, but will be worth it next year.

I'm having fun flagging the listings!

I don't disagree with you about the potential for heading off problems for next year but I am hopeful (maybe wishful thinking) that Yosemite will come up with a solution that stops scalpers.
avatar Re: Scalping Yosemite campsites and Half Dome permits
September 02, 2011 03:58PM
Quote
chicagocwright
I am hopeful (maybe wishful thinking) that Yosemite will come up with a solution that stops scalpers.

I suspect it'll be like the day-before permits they brought out this year, i.e. ID will be required. I've also heard a rumor that they might have non-reserved permits available.
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