[pct-l] PCT usage quotas

Donna Saufley dsaufley at sprynet.com
Wed Feb 27 12:59:29 CST 2008

Which is what officials in the Cleveland were concerned about.  They've got
their eye on thru-hiker activity. . . all the more reason to disburse The
Herd and not waive any red flags.


-----Original Message-----
From: pct-l-bounces at backcountry.net [mailto:pct-l-bounces at backcountry.net]
On Behalf Of Greg Kesselring
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 10:55 AM
To: Brett
Cc: pct-l
Subject: Re: [pct-l] PCT usage quotas

There are permit systems for backpacking in lots of Wilderness areas and 
National Parks.  They have been in place for years in some areas, North 
Cascade National Park and the Enchantment Lakes area in Washington State 
are two examples.  They are enforced by backcountry rangers similar to 
how bear cannisters are enforced in the Sierra.

I suspect the way this would start on thePCT is by imposing limits to 
the numbers of overnight campers in certain areas, for example, in the 
various Wilderness Areas and National Parks that PCT goes thru.  There 
would be restrictions in certain areas at certain times of year.  How 
they would implement that for thru-hikers, I don't know.  But it 
certainly could happen, and I believe it will if and when the numbers of 
overnight campers become too large for an area to handle.

The solution:  ZPG.  or NPG. 

But that's not gonna happen in our lifetime, so we will just have to 
deal with restrictions in certain areas when they come up.


Brett wrote:
> The idea of a quota system for the PCT is utterly ridiculous, would be 
> impossible to implement and enforce, and further should not be 
> necessary, given the tried-and-true example of the Appalachian Trail and 
> its great numbers of users - both short and long distance hikers - and 
> the vigilance of hiking clubs all along the way who monitor and maintain 
> the trail to a degree appropriate for its level of use. The future of an 
> ever-more-popular PCT needs to follow the lead of its east coast 
> counterpart, not that of a Mount Whitney type of numbers-based permit 
> system. National Scenic Trails should remain available to everyone, and 
> a long distance journey along them not turned into a premeditated ordeal 
> of phone calls, applications, and fast mouse clicks to reserve a "spot" 
> in front of the excluded hordes.
> Would an AT-style PCT irrevocably alter the Wilderness character along 
> much of the PCT corridor? Probably, but the alternative of increased use 
> without sufficient stewardship of the resource would ultimately do more 
> real harm. This isn't to suggest the PCT needs a shelter system, for 
> instance, but only that active as well as passive regulation can take 
> other forms than sheer exclusion.
> - blisterfree

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