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Thread: Pemi Wilderness Bridge Removal Project

  1. #16
    Senior Member Mattl's Avatar
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    The bridge was historic, and in there lies the conflict. I can remember the first time I crossed that bridge and marveled at it's engineering while I swayed back and forth on it towering above the river. A glimpse into the past of this wilderness and what we have done to conquer it. I will both miss the bridge and understand why it was time to take it out. The one thing I can say is, I see how difficult this will make the hike for some people if they want to cross the river and it ends up being too high and ruins their plans or worse. This will change things now.

    -Mattl

  2. #17
    Senior Member dr_wu002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul View Post
    I rather doubt that removal of the bridge will decrease the number of people out there. It will most likely just move some of them elsewhere.

    I personally prefer that the bridge stay. It is part of a traditional route into/through the backcontry and have some nice memories of trips that went over it.

    Doug
    Philosophically speaking, I can see their point. But for all practical and reasonable purposes I think it's freaking stupid to take the bridge out. Mindless technocrats.... here's to hoping that people get angry enough at this idiocy and harass the rangers or that the rangers get eaten by a tiger or something (worse) while attempting to take the bridge out. Big middle finger from me -- at least I can say that I haven't paid the WMNF fees at any TH in more than 4 years now and frankly don't intend to start after this either. I'd rather support local businesses (Common Man, White Mountain Bagel, Mountain Wanderer, all the liquor stores etc.) where my money is concerned.

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    Last edited by dr_wu002; 09-15-2009 at 08:26 AM.
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  3. #18
    Senior Member Hampshire's Avatar
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    I must admit that Iím a bit surprised by the reaction to this decision by the VFTT community. In light of the praise heaped upon those on this board that, travel so light and fast, that climb distance mountains on less traveled glaciers, that seek adventure off the beaten path, Iím especially surprised. In fact I thought this board would celebrate this decision.

  4. #19
    Senior Member dr_wu002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hampshire View Post
    I must admit that I’m a bit surprised by the reaction to this decision by the VFTT community. In light of the praise heaped upon those on this board that, travel so light and fast, that climb distance mountains on less traveled glaciers, that seek adventure off the beaten path, I’m especially surprised. In fact I thought this board would celebrate this decision.
    The issue is that they're bothering to remove (or not replace) the bridge. Removal is the key. If they were going to put some new bridge here or there people might be a little agitated by why change the status quo for some wank-philosophy.

    Also, people that are cheering the decision: who is actually benefiting from the bridge removal? It's not like the hordes who, as soon as they leave the visitor center at Mt. Washington and take the cog down, head over to the Wilderness Trail to cross that bridge. Pure stupidity. Mindless, wanker philosophy spooging all over reason in my opinion.

    -Dr. Wu
    Last edited by dr_wu002; 09-15-2009 at 08:25 AM.
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  5. #20
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Rooney View Post
    It's an incorrect decision, and leaves one wondering why we pay those parking passes for maintenance.
    I agree. They always find money to remove things but never to fix things.

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelJ View Post
    This is a designated Wilderness Area. Despite being Zone D, you are still expected to be capable of, and perform, off-trail navigation. The loop will most certainly still exist and people will simply find a way to route around the "closed" trail. This closure is not going to "remove access to the bridge location." They even acknowledge that fact:

    I somehow doubt that the person doing the Bondcliff-Thoreau falls loop is looking for an easy experience on flatter trails.
    It is the 11-mile near-flat Wilderness/East Side loop that was a favorite of skiers that will be the real loss. I have a friend who is not well but was hoping to hike it some day, now they never will.

    Quote Originally Posted by arghman View Post
    I'd suggest expressing your views to your congresspersons in regards to the Wilderness mechanism in general.
    I agree, if this decision was based on the guidelines they need to be changed, along with the people who wrote them.

  6. #21
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoySwkr View Post
    It is the 11-mile near-flat Wilderness/East Side loop that was a favorite of skiers that will be the real loss.
    This will be a real loss, IMO.

    Doug

  7. #22
    Senior Member sardog1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul View Post
    This will be a real loss, IMO.

    Doug
    So was the construction of the Kanc, in my mind. But then I'm apparently in the (shrinking?) minority, at least in these parts.
    sardog1

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  8. #23
    Senior Member Ed'n Lauky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobit View Post
    Correct. The bridge, and trail, in question is the 0.7 mile segment of the Wilderness Trail near the Bondcliff Trail. This 0.7 mile segment of trail will also be closed and reclaimed. The I-beam bridge that spans Black Brook will also be removed as part of this project.
    Shades of Owl's Head all over again. With the closing of the .7 mile segment here come the herd paths. Let's face it. It wouldn't be a "wilderness experience" without herd paths all over the place.
    I used to look at my dog and think 'If you were a little smarter you could tell me what your were thinking', and he'd look at me like he was saying 'If you were a little smarter I wouldn't have to'. Fred Jungclaus

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  9. #24
    Senior Member SAR-EMT40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sardog1 View Post
    So was the construction of the Kanc, in my mind. But then I'm apparently in the (shrinking?) minority, at least in these parts.
    I agree with this also. The area must have been something before they pushed the Kanc through. I have often thought I wish I had gone in that area back then. Of course I wanted to be there in the 1700's.

    I also don't understand why people that can get to that location can't simply ford the river. I don't remember that area being difficult to ford though there may be times when it is. Isn't that part of the wilderness challenge? Skiers may have an added challenge but still definitely not an impossible task. Good decision making and planning will come into play. Adds to the wilderness flavor.

    I can see the historic component to this and I usually don't like seeing the historic items removed but I can live with this decision because it should allow resources to be used in other areas and should make the wilderness experience more, well, wilderness like.

    Time will tell if there will be even a small increase in number of rescues in winter or summer. There might be an initial increase but after a while I would suspect that would go back to what it was before the removal as more people don't know they need to make accommodation for the bridge missing and just use the trails.

    Keith
    "The real work of men was hunting meat. The invention of agriculture was a giant step in the wrong direction, leading to serfdom, cities, and empire. From a race of hunters, artists, warriors, and tamers of horses, we degraded ourselves to what we are now: clerks, functionaries, laborers, entertainers, processors of information."- Ed Abbey

  10. #25
    Senior Member dr_wu002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAR-EMT40 View Post
    I agree with this also. The area must have been something before they pushed the Kanc through. I have often thought I wish I had gone in that area back then. Of course I wanted to be there in the 1700's.

    I also don't understand why people that can get to that location can't simply ford the river. I don't remember that area being difficult to ford though there may be times when it is. Isn't that part of the wilderness challenge? Skiers may have an added challenge but still definitely not an impossible task. Good decision making and planning will come into play. Adds to the wilderness flavor.

    I can see the historic component to this and I usually don't like seeing the historic items removed but I can live with this decision because it should allow resources to be used in other areas and should make the wilderness experience more, well, wilderness like.

    Time will tell if there will be even a small increase in number of rescues in winter or summer. There might be an initial increase but after a while I would suspect that would go back to what it was before the removal as more people don't know they need to make accommodation for the bridge missing and just use the trails.

    Keith
    There's still a big difference between a road that 10 trillion people drive on a year and some bridge that a few people -- at most -- walk in a day. Seems like a waste of resources to me, one which will in reality not make that area at all more Wildernessy (nor will it likely contribute to deaths or anything) but will simply serve to annoy the few people it served. Do you really think that removing that bridge is going to significantly enhance the Wilderness character of the area? Or is it just going to frustrate people.

    -Dr. Wu
    Last edited by dr_wu002; 09-15-2009 at 11:16 AM.
    To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.
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  11. #26
    Senior Member Snowflea's Avatar
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    *Everything* is "historic," is it not? I'm always uncomfortable when "history" and "tradition" are used to debate a point. (And believe the report states that the bridge is actually less than 50 years old, for what that's worth...)

    I agree with SAR-EMT on the Kanc!!

  12. #27
    Senior Member Neil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sardog1 View Post
    Somewhere tonight Bob Marshall, Sigurd Olson, Olaus and Mardy Murie, Harvey Broome, and Howard Zahniser are all smiling. As I am.

    Kudos to District Ranger Fuller for "getting it."
    Yeah but, what will happen if this bridge removal impacts the records for wilderness speed records?

  13. #28
    Senior Member jniehof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sardog1 View Post
    So was the construction of the Kanc, in my mind. But then I'm apparently in the (shrinking?) minority, at least in these parts.
    Agree with you on both counts...I just try not to state my opinion too strongly on these matters since opinions tend to be deeply held.

    I hope people that disagree are at least reading the decision memo closely. Quotes from it are showing up in this thread, which is an encouraging sign.

  14. #29
    Senior Member spongebob's Avatar
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    The only thing that bugs me is (which has been mentioned.)

    They always have enough money to immediately scrape blazes off trees, remove bridges, and devote resources to taking out unruly cairns......

    To me it seems there is someone in the ranger district that is using her/his job to push their agenda and resources not always in the most benerficial way for the forest.

    I hope in the removal of the bridge that they follow the wilderness rules.

    -No mechanized equipment or mechanical transport (including bicycles, carts, and wagons. Wheelchairs are allowed)<---and I would guess helicopters.
    -Hiking and camping group size must be limited to 10 people or less.


    Or we could just torch the sucker old school 1907 style.
    "People who use quotes for a signature are suckers." - Adrian Payeur

  15. #30
    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spongebob View Post
    I hope in the removal of the bridge that they follow the wilderness rules.
    As noted in the document, they're planning to use pack animals, and to do it in winter when the ground is frozen to minimize soil disruption.

    I hope they're not removing the bridge just because removing a bridge in a wilderness area using primitive methods sounds like a fun project.
    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

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