View Poll Results: Should the Forest Service remove the Wild River shelters?

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  • Yes, incompatible with Wilderness

    13 10.83%
  • Maybe, when in need of major repair

    33 27.50%
  • No, historic and desirable for hikers

    62 51.67%
  • I really don't care

    10 8.33%
  • This is a silly question

    2 1.67%
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Thread: Should the shelters in Wild River be removed?

  1. #1
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
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    Should the shelters in Wild River be removed?

    The Forest Service is proposing to remove the 3 shelters in the Wild River valley in anticipation of the area becoming Wilderness:
    * Human structures not compatible with Wilderness (but historic?)
    * With tent pads, site capacity larger than 10 (just remove tent pads?)
    * Trail closer than guidelines (easier to move trail?)
    * Perkins Notch Shelter was to be repaired/moved 10 years ago but no money

    The FS probably won't read this note, so if you have a strong opinion reply to them directly

  2. #2
    Senior Member Warren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoySwkr
    * Human structures not compatible with Wilderness (but historic?)
    Okay, in most cases I'm a take it out of the woods guy for wilderness. But if the area is not designated as such yet, the structure presents no immediate maintance/safety problem, why waste the time and money on it?

    I mean, aren't there non-conforming structures in wilderness areas they can take down if they want to?

  3. #3
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Roy,

    Is that proposal online anywhere?

    -dave-

  4. #4
    Senior Member sleeping bear's Avatar
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    I beleive, according to the dept. of ag, an item (shelters?) needs to be over 50 years old to be considered a "historical artifact".

  5. #5
    Senior Member sardog1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Metsky
    Roy,

    Is that proposal online anywhere?

    -dave-
    The proposal is here:
    Wild River Shelter Removal .

    After reading the scoping report included with the proposal, I'm voting for their removal. I agree with the central premise in the report:

    Though these facilities do
    serve to concentrate use as directed by the Forest Plan, they do so in areas that are inconsistent with
    management for solitude. The Forest Plan states that any new shelter site should be located a minimum
    of 100 feet from main trails, bodies of water and/or riparian areas. In most circumstances the desired
    distance would be even farther and 200 feet is the commonly accepted goal among recreation managers.
    None of the Wild River Valley shelter sites meet Forest Plan minimum criteria and their proximity to
    trails creates unwanted social impacts and impedes opportunities for solitude. Any tent pads that are
    constructed would be located in such a way as to shield them from the view of passing visitors, thereby
    increasing the sense of solitude. Two of the three shelter sites also have current capacities that are
    inconsistent with the WMNF’s regulation for a maximum group size of the ten in Wilderness. The
    Forest Order creating the group size limit was created as a way to help protect opportunities for solitude
    and to reduce the resource and social impacts that are inherently connected to larger groups.
    Last edited by sardog1; 05-02-2006 at 07:50 PM.
    sardog1

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  6. #6
    Senior Member McRat's Avatar
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    Good link Sardog.

    For some reason the linked photo shown here is somewhat disturbing to me. It's as if someone said, "They have a spot out of the rain, and are being deprived of a wilderness experience! This must be stopped."

    It seems like another example of the letter of the law is being observed, but the spirit getting lost. Basic shelters, if nothing else, concentrate use - particularly among those least capable of LNT camping. I can't see a hundred impromptu fire-rings off trail as an enhancement to wilderness.

    Maybe it could be said that I'm just not a fan of true wilderness, but three small shelters and summit markers don't seem too egregious to me.

  7. #7
    Senior Member forestgnome's Avatar
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    I find the shelters charming, except if they are trashed and abused, but that goes for any established campsite.

    If it is true that they attract large and/or sloppy groups of campers, as do the AMC huts, then I vote to remove them all.

  8. #8
    Member chas's Avatar
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    It's funny, though I don't consider myself a shelter person (I usually bring a tent), after looking at that link and the list of shelters I remembered that I have indeed stayed at two of those. Perkins and Blue Brook, it was quite a while ago. My vote is to remove them when major maintanance is needed, there is just too much concentrated use at shelters (in general) and it really shows at some of them.

    Chas.
    Last edited by chas; 05-02-2006 at 08:22 PM.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    I knew this would happen. I opposed the Wilderness designation exactly because of situations like this. Suddenly the Wild River Trail, a wide, flat, former railroad grade as it passes Spruce Brook Shelter, is a "wilderness experience"? Please.

    Oh, and it's not Congressional Wilderness yet, right? So they'd better not touch anything.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

  10. #10
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    I personally never stay in a shelter or hut, so I would like to see the money spent elsewhere.

  11. #11
    Senior Member arghman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelJ
    Oh, and it's not Congressional Wilderness yet, right? So they'd better not touch anything.
    FS can do what they want, it's in their plan under proposed Wilderness. (e.g. any given spot lies within a region that has a management designation number in the plan) I tried to ask what would happen to the areas proposed as Wilderness in the plan if a given area were not designated as Wilderness (e.g. which management designation would they fall back under?) and didn't get a precise answer.... I get the sense that except for the enforcement of Wilderness regulations, they can forge ahead with the policy assuming it is congressionally-designated Wilderness. (e.g. they can take down shelters/bridges but can't stop you from going in a group of 11 people yet)

    I was a little disappointed to find out that within the FS there doesn't seem to be the broad awareness of precisely what policy they are implementing, it's complicated enough that the 2 or 3 people I talked to, whenever I had a detailed question, they had to check w/ someone else & call me back. sigh.

    Quote Originally Posted by dug
    I personally never stay in a shelter or hut, so I would like to see the money spent elsewhere.
    That's fine, but I'm on the other side of the fence. I have foot/knee problems that vary with time as to seriousness. Last year I was able to day-hike the 18-mile roundtrip to Owls Head w/o problems; so far this year my right foot is bothering me and I'm not sure whether I will be able to do much over 6-mile hikes. Based on my health history, I know that I am never going to be able to backpack with a full pack. It's frustrating. Last year when I went to Carter Notch Hut I still had to control every pound, even though I didn't need to carry a tent or cooking gear. Presence or absence of a shelter could make or break a trip for me.

    So removal of shelters, to me, is the equivalent of doors being closed in my face. I'm not asking the FS to put up new ones, but I really wish they wouldn't take the existing ones away in the name of the abstract ideology of "wilderness values".
    Last edited by arghman; 05-03-2006 at 11:29 AM.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arghman

    That's fine, but I'm on the other side of the fence.
    It's what makes America great!!!

  13. #13
    Senior Member giggy's Avatar
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    I honestly don't give a rats behind -
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    I think they get a bit anal about Wilderness designation sometimes. Come on, of all the abuse that can happen in wilderness areas, I don't see shelters as high on the agenda.

    It has nothing to do with my camping preferences or anyone elses. There should be a diversity of options for everyone. That some idiots trash places like this is no excuse to throw the baby out with the bath water. ... besides, I and others often don't use trails ... should we get rid of the trails, too?

  15. #15
    Senior Member jjmcgo's Avatar
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    Listen to Arghman

    He will be banned from the area because physical disabilities. Others will be blocked because they don't have the money for tents and other equipment. There's an unattractive element of elitism in all of this.

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