Up to What's Up at 8-Mile


Posted by Dennis Miller at June 06. 2014

The Leavenworth Ranger District has started managing access to the national forests within their jurisdiction. Their restrictions apply to courses offered for a fee, like our Scrambling Course. To continue holding our rock field trip at its traditional location near 8-Mile Campground, we must both acquire the necessary permits and comply with party size limits.

Party size is limited to 12 students and 3 instructors. That applies to any field trip that generates a profit anywhere in the Wenatchee/Okanogan National Forest. It probably applies to all USFS property, so we should not be surprised when we learn about similar restrictions for our other field trips.

Separate from party size, we are limited by a permit that has been granted to the Mountaineers. The permit currently grants 500 student days to the Mountaineers, which, while less than we need, is quite generous compared to what some other organizations have received.

Unfortunately, the Mountaineers decided that all of the student-days should be allocated to climbing courses, leaving Scrambling without the rock field trip location that we have used for over 25 years. 

Re: Overview

Posted by Dennis Miller at July 02. 2014

I want to clarify a couple of points. 

First, the Forest Service has a flowchart that shows when permits are required. In particular, they are required for courses that generate profits. Note that "generating profits" is not the same as charging fees.  We can charge enough to cover direct expenses and still not generate a profit. It follows that as long as we don't have paid instructors and we structure our fee for the activity such that it covers expenses and no more, then we very likely don't need a permit. I wonder if someone could run that past the Forest Service.

Second, the party size restriction applies even if we are exempt from permits. Is seeking permits or permit exemptions a good strategy, since our current format does not meet the party size restriction?   

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