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Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Colorado 14ers access and fee issues only, please
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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby Tory Wells » Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:32 am

Very good points Doug.............it makes me wonder, do hikers get lulled into a false sense of security when climbing Evans and Pikes due to the hordes and cars up top? Certainly seems that people think the Forest Service is there to save them when things go bad and/or they get too tired to hike down. "Let's keep going.........someone will give us a ride down if the weather is sh**ty."

Sue the FS? Ya, its the American way! :-k
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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby CorduroyCalves » Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:13 am

Sorry, Doug and lantern but that's a crappy way of looking at things. We know that the FS isn't there to give rides to people who need 'em, but does the "f'em, it's their fault for putting themselves in danger" attitude really help? I know you're both very experienced hikers and would never put yourselves in a predicament like that, but try putting the shoe on the other foot.
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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby Tory Wells » Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:03 am

VWLover wrote:Sorry, Doug and lantern but that's a crappy way of looking at things. We know that the FS isn't there to give rides to people who need 'em, but does the "f'em, it's their fault for putting themselves in danger" attitude really help? I know you're both very experienced hikers and would never put yourselves in a predicament like that, but try putting the shoe on the other foot.

Not that I'm against helping people in need (I don't think the FS would fail to help someone in dire circumstances) but the FS is not there as a shuttle service. Slow Mover already mentioned being helped by the FS on Evans; I was helped once too. After riding my bicycle UP Evans into a growing electrical and rain/hail storm (I know, dumb move) I was offered a seat in a FS volunteer's vehicle while the lightning was active. I declined, choosing instead to ride down in the rain (again dumb move). After becoming hypothermic, I stopped at the shelter near Summit Lake and warmed up for a while.

So my point: not that I think the FS should ignore EVERY request, but they obviously can not provide transportation to every person who asks. Besides, hitching a ride down with a tourist is pretty easily accomplished. And saying they should be sued for ignoring requests........not cool in my book.
"Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, am I." -David Gilmour, Pink Floyd

"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?
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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby CorduroyCalves » Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:18 am

lanternerouge08 wrote:
VWLover wrote:Sorry, Doug and lantern but that's a crappy way of looking at things. We know that the FS isn't there to give rides to people who need 'em, but does the "f'em, it's their fault for putting themselves in danger" attitude really help? I know you're both very experienced hikers and would never put yourselves in a predicament like that, but try putting the shoe on the other foot.

Not that I'm against helping people in need (I don't think the FS would fail to help someone in dire circumstances) but the FS is not there as a shuttle service. Slow Mover already mentioned being helped by the FS on Evans; I was helped once too. After riding my bicycle UP Evans into a growing electrical and rain/hail storm (I know, dumb move) I was offered a seat in a FS volunteer's vehicle while the lightning was active. I declined, choosing instead to ride down in the rain (again dumb move). After becoming hypothermic, I stopped at the shelter near Summit Lake and warmed up for a while.

So my point: not that I think the FS should ignore EVERY request, but they obviously can not provide transportation to every person who asks. Besides, hitching a ride down with a tourist is pretty easily accomplished. And saying they should be sued for ignoring requests........not cool in my book.


Totally agree re: the last part. It all boils down to the particular situation.
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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby MountainHiker » Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:02 pm

Jim Davies wrote:The guy that talked to us was quite helpful. He just made it very clear that FS rules didn't allow him to give us a ride.


Here is a USDA page titled DEPARTMENTAL REGULATION / SUBJECT: Employee Responsibilities and Conduct
http://www.ocio.usda.gov/directives/doc/DR4070-735-001.htm
14b: No employee shall use Government-owned or Government-leased vehicles to transport unauthorized passengers.

I expect there are documents stating this regulation that employees have to sign before driving Forest Service vehicles.

One reason for this is the government is self insured. As a result government agencies don’t want anyone who’s not on official duty riding in their vehicles for liability reasons. This declaration is made for agency vehicles across the country and like many government regulations are blind to the many realities encountered.

This means Forest Service workers have to make a judgment call when to ignore the regulation for third party safety reasons. It would be interesting to hear if they get any guidance from their supervisors on this issue.
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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby centrifuge » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:28 pm

Doug Shaw wrote:Maybe they could even charge a fee for people to use the facilities on Mt. Evans to help pay for the signs and the apparent legal liability you are suggesting they are implicitly adopting. :?


I hope no one thinks I am implying that I think the FS should be sued if something should happen after someone requests assistance and is denied, rather that in this country it is the most probable outcome, be it right or wrong. As government employees in a position of trust and authority, they are certainly held to a different standard of conduct when they know a person is in imminent risk of injury (i.e. someone directly requesting assistance when there is lightening striking less then a mile away). Generally speaking, people do not intend to get themselves into bad situations that require assistance, I know my wife (then finance) and I were not aiming to end up in an electrical storm, but that does not change the need for assistance.

Personally, regardless of the policy of my employer, I would not be able to sleep at night if I knew I had left people to fend for themselves in an electrical storm when I could have helped even if it was the result of their poor planning or judgment, but thats just me.
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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby D8S » Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:15 pm

Greenhouseguy, thanks for the info on the Dos Chappell Nature Center. I agree, its a fantastic place to feel the presence of the ancient pines. Do you have any more information on where the funding came from? I know that its not entirely a Forest Service project, but the way they sign it and staff it does create the impression that it's theirs. I believe back around 2003 there was a federal scenic byways grant of which $100,000 went to the site, but any additional info or contacts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance

Dave

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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby larkinrx2 » Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:42 pm

lanternerouge08 wrote:Very good points Doug.............it makes me wonder, do hikers get lulled into a false sense of security when climbing Evans and Pikes due to the hordes and cars up top? Certainly seems that people think the Forest Service is there to save them when things go bad and/or they get too tired to hike down. "Let's keep going.........someone will give us a ride down if the weather is sh**ty."


hey, even more reason to take the hills back from the FS and make them free!!! one could argue by charging the fee that they are providing that service if and when needed
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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby larkinrx2 » Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:47 pm

MountainHiker wrote:Here is a USDA page titled DEPARTMENTAL REGULATION / SUBJECT: Employee Responsibilities and Conduct
http://www.ocio.usda.gov/directives/doc/DR4070-735-001.htm
14b: No employee shall use Government-owned or Government-leased vehicles to transport unauthorized passengers.


then i would ask them for the shelter of sitting in the vehicle rather than a ride? (ie not transporting?)
What do you think I'm some kind of a jerk or something! - That's all I need the ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, and this magazine, and the chair and I don't need one other thing, except my dog.
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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby Greenhouseguy » Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:05 pm

Some people in this thread expressed some interest in the Dos Chappell Nature Center and the Walter Pesman Nature Trail on Mt. Goliath (a subpeak of Mt. Evans). I called one of my friends at Denver Botanic Gardens to see if he could provide more information about the founding and the funding of the nature center, and it turns out that he had just written a chapter about it for an applied plant conservation text. The article includes a bit of 13er and 14er history, and some excellent information about the unique environment and flora on Mt. Evans. The article is not overly technical, so you don't have to be a plant geek to find it interesting. You can buy a hard copy of the text from Denver Botanic Gardens, but the entire manual is available online for free. Skip straight to Chapter 9 if you just want to read about Mt. Goliath:

http://www.botanicgardens.org/sites/default/files/APCTrainingProgramManual.pdf

I also picked up some useful information about maneuvering your way out of paying the access fee. Denver Botanic Gardens offers free guided tours of the nature trail on Tuesdays and Saturdays throughout the summer. If you sign up at DBG for the tour, you get put on a guest list at the guard shack, and you don't have to pay the access fee. I'd highly recommend spending a little time up there.
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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby scott goldberg » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:22 pm

Greenhouseguy...

thanks for this link...it was cool stuff. I am currently reading Land Above the Trees; A Guide to American Alpine Tundra by Ann Zwinger and Beatrice Willard, which is a bit more technical, but pretty fascinating...to me it's interesting to know what's around me, and how it got there, while in the mountains.

Oh, and sorry to hijack the thread...

...scott

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Re: Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Postby D8S » Thu Nov 06, 2008 1:06 pm

Greenhouse Guy, thanks for the research and the link. Its nice to know of a way to avoid the fee, although I suspect it won't last long if people sign up repeatedly and then skip the tour to scamble over to Beirstadt. Its also ironic that after all the hard work done by so many volunteers, the Nature Center is the only area on Mt Evans where the Forest Service could legitimately charge a fee under the FLREA.

Again, thanks for the good info.

Dave

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