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A Yosemite bear

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Re: All JMT hikers are asked to take a 2 question survey to communicate a position to Yosemite National Park

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If you have seen the posting made here yesterday in http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,78262 Yosemite National Park is going to making changes in the permit process for those who want to hike on the JMT south of Donahue Pass but start in Yosemite National Park. A survey poll, asking only two questions, has been created to gather input from all persons interested in the JMT and getting permits from Yosemite National Park to express what you feel should be immediately done. Please take the poll shown below.


This poll will allow the votes of the various JMT social groups to be aggregated in recommending (or not) a comment period before any new Yosemite entry permit restrictions on North to South JMT thru-hikers. 189 votes so far. Will be more convincing if we can get to 300 votes. Someone who has spoke with an official at Yosemite believes it most urgent we communicate the survey results by the end of tomorrow, Sunday, 1-11-2015. Only one vote allowed per computer.

To view how people have voted so far (and who are members in which JMT forums), go here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-9FSXG3GV/

Thank you

Roleigh Martin
Lead Moderator, John Muir Trail Yahoo Group
What I just emailed Yosemite National Park:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, Jan 11, 2015 at 7:47 PM
Subject: 92% of nearly 300 surveyed JMT hikers request a public comment period from Yosemite prior to any rule changes

1/11/2015 7:41 PM

Ed Dunlavey
Wilderness Manager
Yosemite National Park

Donald Neubacher
Office of the Superintendent
Yosemite National Park

Dear Mr. Dunlavey and Mr. Neubacher,

A group of the Facebook JMT members communicated after the personal feedback they directly got from you two last week and the concern was that an intermediate solution is going to be proposed to the Superintendent on 1/11/2015 or thereabouts. Another member at the Facebook JMT group suggested that JMT hikers recommend to Yosemite National Park, first, a public comment period. He mentioned that he had “seen this done at other national parks for issues of much less consequence. Shenandoah National Park just ended a long comment period regarding a proposed entrance fee increase. I would think that something as important as a major change in wilderness use should justify a similar comment period.”

Thus, a survey was conducted via social media over the weekend to find out how JMT hikers felt about a public comment period preceding a significant change in the Yosemite permits used by JMT hikers. Please note, a consensus on an outcome was not sought, rather just one on the process for Yosemite changing the rules that will affect JMT thru-hikers. As of writing this email, nearly 300 members of the hiking community have responded, with around 92 percent supporting the opportunity to publicly comment on any changes before they go into effect.

If you want to see the results of the poll (a Survey Monkey poll), this link will lead you to them. This page has continuously updated votes.


The survey is still open to be taken and is available here:


The first link above will probably include a few votes that come in late Sunday or early Monday. Every effort was made to make sure there were no double votes and that the poll encouraged those who were opposed to a comment period would vote. The main protection against double voting was that the survey was set to accept only one vote per IP address (essentially, one vote per computer). While it is possible that one person could go to different computers and vote several times, it is unlikely that any person could significantly altered the responses by doing so.

Invitations to take the survey were made by John Ladd, Roleigh Martin and Peter Hirst on six social forum JMT groups. The survey answers indicate which groups are involved and below are links to the threads where the invitations were announced. Registration might be required to access some of these links. They are provided in case you desire all relevant information about this questionnaire.







In hindsight, I wish I had removed the wording (I accept the blame for it) about whether or not the group should take a position or not about the public comment period. I wish I had limited it just how that one respondent individually feels. Criticism was made, which I 100% agree with, that these JMT social groups should avoid forming consensus positions. The groups are for individuals who know or want to know more about the JMT, not to agree politically about things. (By visiting the links above, you can see how many felt.) The JMT community though is regularly surveyed for their individual opinion and experiences. John Ladd leads that effort although I have done a few myself. One other hindsight reservation: an earlier draft of the question was about any proposed changes to the rules affecting JMT Hikers. The Survey Monkey question, strictly worded and read, leads one to think the group only cares about any proposed quotas being put on those JMT Hikers who thru-hike south of Yosemite. I can assure you the bulk of those surveyed, if not all of them, feel equally the same for any proposed rule changes that affect JMT hikers. (I was absent most of Saturday leading a Sierra Club snowshoe hike and missed this wording change.)

Last, a couple of the JMT Social Groups listed in the directory I provided recently, I did not have time to reach out to them with the survey invite. However, I am sure we reached out to substantially over 95% of those online concerned about the JMT in our invitations who are members of the groups documented in that earlier directory I sent you this last week.


Roleigh Martin
Lead Moderator, John Muir Trail Yahoo Group
Reno NV 89523
I think if John Muir was alive today, he'd be laughing and crying about there only being one long trail in the Sierra named after him as if he only favored one long trail to hike in the high sierra. There should be multiple 210+ mile long trails in the High Sierra to hike, on established trails. The National Parks and National Forests should be leading the way in suggesting hikers to try out a variety of long distance Sierra trails.

The best documented 200+ mile alternate Sierra trail is the Theodore Solomons Trail but it is not documented on any Tom Harrison, nor any other map. You have to obtain an out of print book since 1992.
See http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Theodore-Solomons-Dennis-Gagnon/dp/0934136343/

I have shown on a JPG how the Theodore Solomons Trail looks at the following link but I realize a big problem with the TST is it has too much Middle Sierra and not enough High Sierra in it.

But there should be numerous more. And they are there to be documented. One can start trails in Yosemite and leave the park at it's southern borders headed to Clover Meadow and go over 1, 2 or 3 passes during that time, then head ENE over to Devil's Postpile. Three to four different uses of existing trails to do that trek. The passes available (depending on which of the routes that you choose, using existing trails) include Merced, Fernandez, Red Peak, Isberg, and Post Peak. It's too clumsy to think of doing all 5 in an alternate JMT hike.

One can enter the JMT at Rush Creek going over anywhere from 1-to-4 passes, starting at 4 different starting points (Mono Pass, Walker Lake, Parker Lake Road, Silver Lake). These last 2 options have you only go over Agnew Pass if you backtrack 7/10ths of a mile after doing Agnew Pass. The first two options have you go over Mono, Parker, Koip and Gem passes.

Farther south, there are other options, like continuing South at Middle Fork Junction to Bubbs Creek instead of going due East to Mather Pass, or going over Goodale Pass versus Silver Pass farther North.

In Colorado, there are three long distance trails, each sharing parts of trails used by the others. There is the CT (Colorado Trail) West Spur Trail, CT East Spur, and the Colorado section of the Continental Divide Trail.

After all, it's not like the JMT is fixed forever to be one trail. The JMT took a different route at various points of its development. I wish I could get my hands on historical JMT routes during the trail's historical development.

There is also the Big SEKI Loop (only 154 miles) but it could easily be appended to to make 210 miles.
See http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=73686

Once these trails are mapped, cool names should be given to them. Having the park or forest service do such is the best idea. I like the name "Stephen Mather" for one of the newer documented long trails. - See more at: http://www.highsierratopix.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12174&p=91809#p91809
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