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Thread: A new low for the WMNF storm response

  1. #1
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    A new low for the WMNF storm response

    Has anyone gone to the WMNF website lately to get the "latest information" on storm damages and road closures? https://www.fs.usda.gov/whitemountain

    I realize that some latency is to be expected but it been more than a week yet the road status page has little or no updates, the status of most roads are up to date back to may. There is the 11/3 closure order summary but the link to the actual closure order is busted. I expect they have far more information available but must have decided that the public doesn't need to know.

    Bureaucracy at its worst. IMHO They would be far better off not posting anything if its going to be so far out of date.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Has anyone gone to the WMNF website lately to get the "latest information" on storm damages and road closures? https://www.fs.usda.gov/whitemountain

    I realize that some latency is to be expected but it been more than a week yet the road status page has little or no updates, the status of most roads are up to date back to may. There is the 11/3 closure order summary but the link to the actual closure order is busted. I expect they have far more information available but must have decided that the public doesn't need to know.

    Bureaucracy at its worst. IMHO They would be far better off not posting anything if its going to be so far out of date.
    A crowdsourced list can be found here: https://trailsnh.com/reports/Forest-Roads-Gates.php

    Doesn't excuse the FS neglecting to inform people but at least the info is available somewhere.

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    I understand that folks who are familiar with the whites have their own sources of info but the folks most likely to get in trouble are probably not aware of them and would logically go the the WMNF site.

    Note the trails NH crowd sourced map is referring back in many cases to road conditions posted in May of this year. The dates are there for all to see but not really up to date given the damage
    Last edited by peakbagger; 11-07-2017 at 09:07 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I understand that folks who are familiar with the whites have their own sources of info but the folks most likely to get in trouble are probably not aware of them and would logically go the the WMNF site.

    Note the trails NH crowd sourced map is referring back in many cases to road conditions posted in May of this year. The dates are there for all to see but not really up to date given the damage
    Looking at the WMNF website (https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/w...telprdb5183538), the list reflects all closures I'm aware of that USFS is responsible for. There is some info on the NHDOT roads that don't seem UTD but it also tells you to check with them on those roads.

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    Looking at the WMNF website (https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/w...telprdb5183538), the list reflects all closures I'm aware of that USFS is responsible for. There is some info on the NHDOT roads that don't seem UTD but it also tells you to check with them on those roads.
    As a casual and decidedly not "in the know" guy for NH I scanned the WMNF list you linked and found several status updates that are not correct based on what I have seen from Facebook and other forums. It is also odd in that the bulletin at the top shows "Update as of the July 1st, 2017 Storms", then says it was last updated 10/31/17 and all the dates are from May and June. Exactly what does that mean? Confusing to say the least.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 44/48; NY 46: 5/46

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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    As a casual and decidedly not "in the know" guy for NH I scanned the WMNF list you linked and found several status updates that are not correct based on what I have seen from Facebook and other forums. It is also odd in that the bulletin at the top shows "Update as of the July 1st, 2017 Storms", then says it was last updated 10/31/17 and all the dates are from May and June. Exactly what does that mean? Confusing to say the least.
    They generally only change the dates when the status of the road changes. IE - Wild River Rd's status hasn't changed since spring so it hasn't been updated since spring. What roads are you aware of that are closed that aren't listed? A few have been reopened.

    edit: Rocky Branch is wrong as far as I know. Unsure of others.

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Last I heard is that they were short a webmaster. Anyone have word on if that position has been filled?
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  8. #8
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    I never use that page. There is much more reliable sources then that.

  9. #9
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    They generally only change the dates when the status of the road changes. IE - Wild River Rd's status hasn't changed since spring so it hasn't been updated since spring. What roads are you aware of that are closed that aren't listed? A few have been reopened.

    edit: Rocky Branch is wrong as far as I know. Unsure of others.
    Haystack Road was supposedly open based on photos and posts by a person who lives in the area on Facebook. Shows closed on here, although it was updated 10/31/17 and I believe was still closed at that time. Jefferson Notch Rd shows as open and is completely destroyed (the section South of Caps Ridge anyway) based on photos by several people on Facebook. Shows open with last update 6/23/17. Possibly it is open from North - in which case there should at least be some sort of note explaining the whole road is not open. Sawyer River Rd is supposed to be closed based on photos online and indication there is a large washed out section of road. Shows open on site last update 6/23/17. And this is just what caught my eye scanning the list quickly. No doubt there are many other discrepancies.

    If the policy is to leave the last date I think that is a bad idea and misleading. If a road is checked on a certain date they should update the date to that day even if nothing is different. If I were looking at this site (which I don't do anymore) and saw a 5 month old date I would assume the information is no longer correct, especially at this time of year.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 44/48; NY 46: 5/46

  10. #10
    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Start a "fund me page" so they can hire the people needed to maintain the website proper. That's the issue not enough funds. Something has got to give. Same for our Snowmachine club websites posting for trail conditons.. pretty bad so often.. volunteer's so I don't complain.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Brambor's Avatar
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    <rant>

    Exactly. Everything we run is on a 'prayer'. Volunteer this, volunteer that. Pay minimum wage, pay measly wage, get interns to work for free... cut taxes, cut funding ...

    The results are predictable.

    </rant>



    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCaper View Post
    Start a "fund me page" so they can hire the people needed to maintain the website proper. That's the issue not enough funds. Something has got to give. Same for our Snowmachine club websites posting for trail conditons.. pretty bad so often.. volunteer's so I don't complain.
    Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.

  12. #12
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Same here in the NY forests. Except for one thing - my taxes go up and up. Have ACTUALLY gotten a tax cut over there? My experience in NY tells me that this situation has nothing to do with tax revenue, which goes up and up. It has to do with all that money being siphoned off for lots of wheels that squeak louder than taking care of the forest. If we doubled our taxes in NY today, I guarantee not a penny of that would come to the forest.

  13. #13
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    I and others would probably contribute to a Go Fund Me to cover expenses for specific services in the Whites. That why in theory I pay a parking fee despite rarely using the trailhead lots. Unfortunately, the WMNF and every other NF budget has been and will continue to send a big portion of their budget out west for controlling the western fires. It also has been funding projects like the "road to nowhere" on the East Side Truck Road. In the short term a Go fund me to support a webmaster might be unmolested in the local budget but as soon as budget cycle goes through, the local earmark will be gone.

    On occasion there are entities created like the Friends of BSP that fund things outside the park budget but I do not believe there is a 501C group specific for the WMNF. There is a facebook group Friends of the White Mountain National Forest Trailhead Stewards but they only appear to exist on Facebook and appear to be specific to the trailhead steward program.

    There is the National Forest Foundation that has recently expanded fundraising events in the WMNF and reportedly is paying for some if not all of a new bog bridge on the AT across from Pinkham Notch. They don't appear to have lot of local traction and in reviewing their website I don't see where they maintain a specific budget for the WMNF. It appears that they have local rep who is trying to drum up sponsorships and events to justify his/her existence. Nothing wrong with that but I expect AMC has a local chokehold that will be tough to break and I think AMC is administering the actual bridge construction. Realistically NFF appears to be a honeypot for corporate sponsorships and corporate giving programs. They at least have a good charity score https://www.charitynavigator.org/ind...ry&orgid=11617 but given their program expenses were 11 million in 2015 spread across numerous National Forests I don't see them making a major impact to specific WMNF causes.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    I'm with Brambor on the rant but in my case the shortage of funding is in large part due to over reach and taking on more than government can handle. I know that feeling well from my own personal over booking. There are effective ways for government to be sustainable but then, that would go against the grain of the politics and bureaucracy which exist in many sectors ... which is why some succeed and others fail. As for road conditions and the like ... my first, but not necessarily last, resort is right here at VFTT. Thank you all.

  15. #15
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    <ModeratorHat>
    Politics Warning
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    Careful that the rants do not descend into politics... yes, the WMNF is under-funded. Their web site has always lagged behind crowd-sourced conditions.

    Tim
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