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home : current news : current news July 24, 2017


7/3/2017 1:00:00 PM
USFS may limit wilderness access
Tam McArthur Rim would be one of the trails requiring a permit under a Forest Service proposal to control use. photo by Jim Cornelius
+ click to enlarge
Tam McArthur Rim would be one of the trails requiring a permit under a Forest Service proposal to control use. photo by Jim Cornelius


Outdoor enthusiasts are loving portions of Sisters Country to death. The U.S. Forest Service is proposing a program to limit access to wilderness areas in order to preserve the wilderness experience in the face of tremendous growth in use.

Under the proposal, visitors to the Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington, Three Sisters, Waldo Lake and Diamond Peak wilderness areas would need to get a permit in advance. Such programs are common in California to limit crowds and the environmental damage that comes with them.

Backpackers spending the night would need a permit. Day-hikers would need a permit on a number of popular trails in Sisters Country, including Pole Creek, Chush Falls, Park Meadow, Three Creek Meadow, Tam McArthur Rim, Tam McArthur Rim Horse Trail, Broken Top and Black Crater.

In examining use trends, the Forest Service concluded that "overall visitor-use trends across the project area has increased tremendously in the past six years, with 2015 and 2016 seeing the greatest increase in visitors. The peak use occurs in July, August and September, which concentrates the social and physical resource impacts over a short period of time."

Cost of the limited number of permits would range from $6 to $12. The number of permits to be available remains to be decided. Rules could be implemented by summer of 2019, after an environmental analysis and decision notice including a 45-day comment period.











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