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Re: National Forests

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National Forests
October 02, 2013 08:52PM
We've all heard/read that the National Parks are "closed," how about the National Forests? Is there any reason I shouldn't go backpacking in Desolation this weekend? Clearly I can't get a permit, but otherwise it doesn't sound like there are any "stay out" messages being delivered. Anyone know differently?

Thanks.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/02/2013 08:53PM by vitaminC.
Re: National Forests
October 02, 2013 10:15PM
How much is opened depends on where you are going and unfortunately the websites are down. In the Angeles National Forest,you can still hike but all facilities are closed such as restrooms, visitor centers, campgrounds and parking lots and other areas that are gated. You will still need to have an Adventure Pass which can be a problem if you don't have one since the visitor centers are closed. Probably the other National Forests are the same.
avatar Re: National Forests
October 02, 2013 11:04PM
Depends on the area, but I'm finding that universally all campgrounds and picnic areas are declared off-limits.

http://lakeelsinore-wildomar.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/cleveland-national-forest-closed-due-to-government-shutdown

This has got to be really crazy around Lake Tahoe. The economy of the area is heavily dependent on the FS. The following claims that the mandate is that all visitors must leave within 48 hours of the beginning of the shutdown:

Quote

http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/southshore/snews/8362699-113/forest-service-federal-shutdown

According to a Department of Agriculture’s shutdown policy, during a government fallout of funding visitors of national forests must leave within 48 hours of the decree to shutdown the government agency.
avatar Re: National Forests
October 03, 2013 08:32PM
This, from a New York Times blog, says that only national forest facilities are being closed, not the forests themselves:

Quote

While closing gates around a national park or monument is relatively simple, closing a forest is not. Newspapers and radio and television news operations around the country are reporting that while offices and facilities within the national forests have been closed, the land is still open to outdoor enthusiasts.

http://intransit.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/03/with-shutdown-questions-about-visiting-national-forests/

A big chunk of the Stanislaus NF would be still closed from the Rim Fire. I'd be interested in what anyone knows about the Sierra NF or anything else of interest in the Mariposa-to-El Portal area.
avatar Re: National Forests
October 05, 2013 07:53AM
Strangely enough, we've got a Forest Service office here in the Bay Area - in Albany just off of I-80. Not quite sure why it's there, but it shares a building with the USDA's Western Regional Research Center.



I looked it up. It's the FS's Pacific Southwest Research Station Their history is that they actually started off in a building on the UC Berkeley campus with the campus Dept of Forestry but eventually outgrew it and then found their way to Albany.

I was driving by there, and the gates appeared to be closed on Thursday.
avatar Re: National Forests
October 06, 2013 05:44PM
With respect to Desolation...printing a permit would be the issue, recreation.gov is supposed to be out.

Curious...hopefully the self-serve permits are still in the box and usable at Leavitt Meadows - any first-hand confirmation?

I just got back from a weekend backpack on Tahoe NF land that doesn't require a permit (no Tahoe NF land does) - Grouse Lakes "Non-Motorized Recreation Area", north of CA-20 and east of Bowman Lake Road. I've wanted to check this area out for some time and now it's the only way to get my granite fix...anyway, road and trailhead parking were open (I started at Grouse Ridge Trailhead and went to Five Lakes Basin (not the same as the "Five Lakes" near Alpine Meadows Road in Tahoe). Campground near the trailhead - the outhouse was locked with closed signs, campground was marked closed with a sign and red tape, looked like someone had driven through the red tape (hopefully they bagged up their poop and mailed it to an appropriate Congressional office).

Pics later.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/06/2013 05:45PM by ttilley.
Re: National Forests
October 07, 2013 09:38AM
I was up on the "Sierra Scenic Byway" i.e. Beasore Rd, Minarets Rd. this weekend. All the campgrounds were open and people were camping. Down at Bass Lake everything was locked up.
Meanwhile I had camping reservations in Yosemite Valley last night and tonight. I took the closure as a sign that it's time to get some things done at home.

The PCT north of I 80 doesn't require a permit. Paradise Lake about five miles out is beautiful.
Re: National Forests
October 08, 2013 11:47AM
In a similar boat, anyone know what would be the deal with BLM land? My buddy and I have been planning on doing the northern section of the Lost Coast in King Range NCA the last weekend of this month. I hear fines can be pretty hefty for "trespassers". I mean, we wouldn't be using any facilities at all and the permit is free and self-registered at the TH; it's not like we require any gov. resources to enjoy the land.

Between the Rim Fire canceling my Yosemite trip in Sept. and now the shut down blocking trips most everywhere I'd want to be... turning out to be a bummer for fall backpacking...

I guess I'm just looking for a definitive answer on whether or not folks are allowed to backpack in NF/BLM lands, if permits and such aren't needed from now closed facilities.
avatar Re: National Forests
October 08, 2013 11:54AM
Are you from, or near, the East Bay Area? The Ohlone Trail can, of you do it right, take three days. None of it is on Federal lands.
Re: National Forests
October 08, 2013 12:09PM
Henry Coe is also a possibility. Just not ideal times for visiting those parks wrt prime scenery opportunities.
Re: National Forests
October 08, 2013 12:10PM
I'm in the south bay. I have the local regional/state stuff as backup (Ohlone Wilderness Trail, Henry Coe SP, SPs in Santa Cruz Mtns, Point Reyes - strike that...national seashore), but ideally, I want to do an away trip. I day-hike the Bay Area all the time, but I prefer to get out elsewhere for backpacking. Plus, I find the east/south bay much more enjoyable in spring for the greenery and water availability.

edited to add: I posted with you VitaminC, but yes, totally agree. Dispersed camping in Henry Coe can be nice just to get away for a bit, but I've done trips in summer and fall and don't prefer it.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2013 12:14PM by HikingMano.
avatar Re: National Forests
October 08, 2013 12:40PM
I googled around before driving out for the Tahoe NF backpack I mentioned above, and found stuff indicating that both USFS and BLM land are open as long as you don't need a permit - I was uncertain about self-register permits in boxes (which is why I asked if anyone has info on Leavitt Meadows, above).

One thought though...could you use Sinkyone Wilderness SP as a fallback if there's an issue w/ Lost Coast?
Re: National Forests
October 08, 2013 12:53PM
Ah, yes, the Leavitt Meadows self-serve permit situation is the same question. Hopefully someone who knows more can chime in thumbs up.

As for Sinkyone Wilderness SP, that's also been an option; I hear there are some really nice sections of mix mountain/forest and beach you can do on that end. I think we just have our minds set on the doing the iconic northern section (I've only ever day hiked the northern section) before seeing the southern, plus I seem to recall reading somewhere that vehicular access is pretty sketchy if it rains hard. I'll have to look into it some more thumbs up.
avatar Re: National Forests
October 08, 2013 12:57PM
The Ohlone Trail is better in the spring. I think the spring at Maggies Half Acre runs all year.
Re: National Forests
October 08, 2013 01:11PM
I'll probably do it this spring. I've day-hiked portions of it, never did it all in one go. Good to know the Maggies Half Acre spring runs all year, was thinking about day-hiking Rose Peak from either end sometime soon, but hadn't really looked into water supply yet. Anyway, sorry for going so far off-topic.
avatar Re: National Forests
October 08, 2013 05:27PM
Quote
HikingMano
I'll probably do it this spring. I've day-hiked portions of it, never did it all in one go. Good to know the Maggies Half Acre spring runs all year, was thinking about day-hiking Rose Peak from either end sometime soon, but hadn't really looked into water supply yet. Anyway, sorry for going so far off-topic.
I've always done it starting at Sonol, hiking to the "back pack area" setting up camp at either Hawks Nest or Eagles Aerie. Year 'round water there too. Then the next day hike to Maggies for camp. The next day it's all down hill to Del Valle. There's water about 3/4 of the way down from Maggies.
Re: National Forests
October 08, 2013 07:27PM
Quote
Dave
I've always done it starting at Sonol, hiking to the "back pack area" setting up camp at either Hawks Nest or Eagles Aerie. Year 'round water there too. Then the next day hike to Maggies for camp. The next day it's all down hill to Del Valle. There's water about 3/4 of the way down from Maggies.

Yeah, I'll probably do it west to east too, starting from Mission Peak maybe. The last time I was in Sunol, earlier this year, I dayhiked with the GF from Sunol to Eagle's Aerie area, turned around at the fence and gate. The spring-fed faucet is indeed nice. Some pics from that trip:









avatar Re: National Forests
October 08, 2013 01:16PM
I have some pics from both...

Southern Section

Northern Section
Re: National Forests
October 08, 2013 01:36PM
Those sets are both from the section of the Lost Coast between Mattole and Shelter Cove, correct? That's the section of the Lost Coast are I'm hoping to do, though the southern side of the Lost Coast, from Needle Rock to Usal Beach, may be what we fall back to. If we do end up on the Lost Coast Trail from Mattole, since we won't be using a shuttle (too expensive), we may make a loop with Cooskie Ridge or something, though I hear the mountain camping is much less enjoyable than the beach. Thanks for the pics! Makes me really hope things open up again by the time our trip swings around.
avatar Re: National Forests
October 08, 2013 07:30PM
Yes, I assumed by "south" you meant "from Shelter Cove" - my mistake.

Personally, I'd just go anyway (but hopefully this bullshit won't be an issue), I haven't been to Sinkyone but would like to sometime, and would treat it as a fallback plan. Though if you're starting at Mattole rather than Shelter Cove - the drive from the Redway-Shelter Cove Road to Mattole takes a bit of time, I wouldn't want to get to Mattole then drive back. If the BS is still going on could you plan to start at Shelter Cove and, if necessary, do the fallback w/ a much shorter drive?
Re: National Forests
October 08, 2013 07:57PM
Nah, not your mistake, just the usual internet communication deal; it's why I wanted to clarify. thumbs up

Good point on having to drive back to Sinkyone if for some reason BLM access is truly blocked at or enroute to Mattole. My buddy and I were thinking about starting at Shelter Cove anyway, going S->N despite the wind, if for nothing else than to save a little time on the return drive to the bay. I think we decided on Mattole because it seems like it'd be more remote vs. starting from Black Sands Beach and Shelter Cove. Plus, I really want to check out Punta Gorda lighthouse, since the last time I was out at Mattole the GF and I didn't really have time to visit and within the tide timeframe, IIRC. Going N->S would ensure that visit, S->N is less certain in our timeframe. I think we can probably make it though.

It is a good idea: Shelter Cove start with Sinkyone nearby as backup. I'll discuss with my buddy, thanks for the additional thought-processing, ttilley! smiling smiley
avatar Re: National Forests
October 08, 2013 09:05PM
Ah, thanks. That brings back memories. I'll have to go do that trail in the Spring. It's nice they allow me to take my llamas on that trail. The only bad part is by the signpost in that picture - the tar weed. I had a special pair of gaiters for that section.
Re: National Forests
October 08, 2013 09:20PM
Oh yeah, I was pickin the sticky stuff off my socks even with that little bit... Cool the trail allows llamas, do you use them as pack animals? (Last off-topic contribution from me, promise!).
avatar Re: National Forests
October 09, 2013 07:34AM
Quote
HikingMano
Oh yeah, I was pickin the sticky stuff off my socks even with that little bit... Cool the trail allows llamas, do you use them as pack animals? (Last off-topic contribution from me, promise!).
That's what llamas are for; pack animals. They're great at it too. It was at Maggies Half Acre, on our second day out, we decided to take a lay over day, and were sitting in the shade having a cold beer. (One of the llamas carried coolers with dry ice in them.) A backpacker was coming up the hill, going slow on this hot day. We offered him a beer. He hung around awhile, went home, and bought a llama.
Re: National Forests
October 09, 2013 07:39AM
Yeah, haha, just making sure. I had this image in my mind of dude-rancher excellence on the trail, and sure enough, you're doing it grinning smiley That's an awesome story! A cold drink on a hot hike in a completely unexpected environment from kind strangers... kudos! No better way to convince someone, haha.

Buddy of mine is working on training goats for his hunting trips. Interested in seeing how that goes.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/09/2013 07:40AM by HikingMano.
avatar Re: National Forests
October 09, 2013 05:09PM
Some goats just can't be trained even if they live with a goat whisperer.



Old Dude
Re: National Forests
October 09, 2013 06:16PM
Haha, indeed. I forget which strain he has, but I think it's supposed to be one more amenable to training.
Re: National Forests
October 10, 2013 06:36AM
Quote
Dave
(One of the llamas carried coolers with dry ice in them.)
Isn't dry ice bad for the environment?
avatar Re: National Forests
October 10, 2013 07:37AM
Quote
snorkus
Isn't dry ice bad for the environment?
No. It's a very short term cycle. It doesn't increase atmospheric CO2 since it was taken out of the atmosphere a few days, or weeks, earlier. Burning fossil fuels, with an extremely long term cycle, increases the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Each gallon of gasoline burned in the average automobile produces 12 POUNDS of CO2 that had been removed from the atmosphere up to 180 million years ago.
Re: National Forests
October 10, 2013 07:12PM
Quote
Dave
Quote
snorkus
Isn't dry ice bad for the environment?
No. It's a very short term cycle. It doesn't increase atmospheric CO2 since it was taken out of the atmosphere a few days, or weeks, earlier. Burning fossil fuels, with an extremely long term cycle, increases the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Each gallon of gasoline burned in the average automobile produces 12 POUNDS of CO2 that had been removed from the atmosphere up to 180 million years ago.

I don't think it works that way.. A gallon of gasoline contains less than six pounds of carbon. That was laid down long ago. The oxygen was not removed from the atmosphere 180 million years ago, or there would be oxygen gushers next to the oil wells. So you don't get to count its weight in the CO2 as "having been removed from the atmosphere"...
avatar Re: National Forests
October 10, 2013 07:35PM
The carbon in the gasoline was 'fixed' millions of years ago. Burning it releases the carbon into the atmosphere.

There is research into whether blue-green algae farms can produce kerotin, a petroleum pre-cursor, in a useful quantity. Suppose this works. That carbon would have been fixed within a short timeframe of when it would be released into the atmosphere.
avatar Re: National Forests
October 10, 2013 11:18AM
Quote
snorkus
Isn't dry ice bad for the environment?

It's CO2 but would have been released into the atmosphere anyway.
avatar Re: National Forests
October 10, 2013 11:41AM
Quote
eeek
It's CO2 but would have been released into the atmosphere anyway.
The CO2 it was made from came from the atmosphere. Now, a case could be made that the energy used to extract and cool down the CO2 down to about -100F could be harmful to the atmosphere.
avatar Re: National Forests
October 08, 2013 07:51PM
I was up in the Toiyobe National Forest / Hoover Wilderness this last weekend (trip report on the way) and as we hiked in we bumped into a furloughed Forest service Ranger out on a day hike. He as very friendly, gave us some route advice, and scolded us for not self-registering for a wilderness report (given the government shutdown situation I hadn't even thought of doing that) and he even volunteered to do a self reg for us. There were a ton of people out there, both day hikers and backpackers.
Re: National Forests
October 09, 2013 06:12PM
Good to know thumbs up.
avatar Re: National Forests
October 10, 2013 07:48AM
Thanks for the confirmation.
Re: National Forests
October 09, 2013 07:15PM
Regarding BLM Lands, I did manage to find this release:

Particularly relevant:

Quote
BLM FAQ
Will I be able to visit BLM-managed public lands?
All recreation facilities, including campgrounds, boat ramps etc., will be closed. If it is a non-developed recreational destination with no controlled access, you may visit. However, there will be no services and there will no non-emergency services available.

My guess is the same applies to NF land if permits are self-service... not sure on areas where permits need to be obtained from a facility.

This doc might also be useful.
avatar Re: National Forests
October 10, 2013 07:52AM
I think the other thread on Inyo NF addresses the question of when permits need to be obtained from a facility - the area is not open for overnight use. The weird case then would be Stanislaus NF - no quota, but their practice is to provide permits from the office rather than self-serve.
Re: National Forests
October 10, 2013 08:06AM
Ah, just read eeek's thread, thanks thumbs up. Well, let's just hope the situation resolves in a timely manner (and with real effect, not just band-aid measures), so we don't have to guess anymore.
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