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Author Topic: Introducing Cascade Backcountry Alliance  (Read 7370 times)
Jason4
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Re: Introducing Cascade Backcountry Alliance
« Reply #75 on: 01/17/18, 09:29 AM »

Thanks Conrad for continuing to engage the community publicly!

As a long time Baker local I have seen the massive growth in backcountry use in the Bagley Bowl area.  I fluctuate between distress at the crowding and pride in the local community when I see a dozen tracks in the NW Coulior on Shuksan.  Either way, more people are getting after it and we have less access points.  This last Sunday was a prime example, I took 3 runs in the ski area and had to go home because I was too stressed out about the crowds.

Based on my interactions with CBA they seem to respond well to reasonable input.  I suggested improving human powered access to Twin Lakes and Skyline Divide even though I have a sled and can get to those two places easily enough when I want to.  They started a conversation with our local FS land manager and I don't expect much to happen this winter but it's proceeding better than I expected with the FS.  Maybe next year we'll have reasonable access on skis outside of the ski area.

It's only going to be a good thing to spread people out.  More rad lines will get skied, it'll push our sport a little further, and a new secret stash will be discovered 30 minutes further out than the last one that is now a named run in a guide book.
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Jim Oker
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Re: Introducing Cascade Backcountry Alliance
« Reply #76 on: 01/17/18, 01:03 PM »

Thanks for your thoughtful reply to my query. To be clear, I'm not looking for a "formula." The sort  of "grading rubric"  I'm thinking of is more along  the  lines of a way of making  goals clear to  a group  of people. IME this is very useful to do  well at the start of this sort of venture, or else you'll  have people talking at cross purposes w/o really knowing why. Better to be able to say "that project idea doesn't do  nearly  as well on fulfilling  goals #1 and 2 than these  others on our idea list, but is there  some other important goal that you  think we're missing that your suggestion hits on, or do you  think we're wrong that  it  wouldn't meet these goals as well as those other  projects?"

And yes, talking it out is good - that's exactly what I tried to suggest.

What I infer from your reply is that you have some goals that could be used for at least roughly ranking plowing project ideas that are along  the lines  of the following:
1) will provide handy parking to a big population  of  skiers
2) will provide access to a significant amount of desirable touring  terrain, allowing a fair number of skiers to  coexist as happily as can be reasonably hoped for (no one can cure surfer-like localism so that shouldn't be a goal)
3) is a feasible project - e.g. doesn't require major $$$ or lengthy enviro reviews or so forth. This may be eased over time but it's important to start  with some  lower-hanging fruit to  gain  some "wins" early on

I  also see that you are putting  a focus on  relieving potential conflicts  at ski areas around both parking and  sidecountry access from  parking and the lease areas. I didn't list this  as I'm not sold yet  that  it  should be  a goal in and of itself. I think that  succeeding on  the  3 goals I listed is  sufficient; if this  happens to  yield projects that  relieve some potential  conflict, great. But  the win should be succeeding at increasing access to good terrain  for significant population(s) of skiers. By the same token, I'd be wary of using the fact that  many skiers go to  Baker and  Alpental to start tours as an  indicator of where the  best projects  might lie, unless in fact you  do  want an explicit goal  about  reducing ski  area conflicts  (at which  point I'd love to  know  more about why this should be an explicit  goal - hence my wish for discussion  about such a  goals list!). E.g. I'd want to  know that potential Highway 2 projects and notions  like  expanded plowing along the road by  gold creek or opening up other parking a little  further east along the highway have been  properly ranked on  these sorts of goals versus the Commonwealth lot (particularly given that, as of now, tourers are successfully parking at both Summit West and Alpental  to access Source/Snow/Commonwealth/Kendall/Etc. - but if you  have some inside knowledge that  this  is  at serious risk, versus just being concerned based on trends elsewhere, now might be a good time to  share that fact; or if you  have a goal around "scoring points" with  ski area management in  hopes of maintaining parking and  sidecountry access via a good relationship, it would also  be good to  articulate that as a clear goal to  any community you  want to  engage for their energy,  ideas, or $$!!).

I could type more, but perhaps this will  give you a  better  idea of what  I was driving at. I'd love to  see some good community discussion  about such a goals list, and see you  guys take a stand on  what will ultimately be the definitive list (at least for the next while...). As a project manager who  had to harness the energies of large groups  with  divergent motivations for  multiple decades, I've  learned that  this  bit of crucial foundation-laying will pay good dividends later, even though  at the  outset it may  seem to  be a "process thing" that  distracts from just getting some good work done.

Oh, and yeah. I've seen the mounting gripes about Alpy upper lot and Baker parking  and sidecountry shenanigans. Again, if relieving those issues is a primary goal of yours, it would be great  to  make that explicit and have a community discussion  about the perceived merits of that as a goal. For my  part I'd rather see the focus on  gaining new access to significant terrain for lots  of people. My strong hunch is that  no matter how many new lots you plow, the ski area pressure  will remain, given our area's mounting population and the  apparent increase in the % of folks who  are getting out  to hike, snowshoe, and ski tour (and, at least at lot 4, to sled and get the  dog out for a short poop walk), and the relative obviousness of moving into  sidecountry from that ski area you may know so well... I'm reminded of  what urban planners learned about building more highways in  traffic burdened cities back in the sixties - they'll just invite yet more developers to build housing  and thus more  traffic and the roads you  hoped to relieve will be just as bad or worse as a result.


« Last Edit: 01/17/18, 01:14 PM by Jim Oker » Logged
Heli-Free North Cascades
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Re: Introducing Cascade Backcountry Alliance
« Reply #77 on: 01/17/18, 03:41 PM »

Quote:
..." I'm reminded of  what urban planners learned about building more highways in  traffic burdened cities back in the sixties - they'll just invite yet more developers to build housing  and thus more  traffic and the roads you  hoped to relieve will be just as bad or worse as a result."

Yes, good point, the highways disrupted and displaced communities and created conflict, and the problem did not get solved.

With the advent of the internet and GPS map programs, folks who are crowded on the highways are now short cutting through neighborhoods. Those roads are getting crowded as well as placeing a public safety burden and conflict burden on those community neighborhoods.

I have mixed feelings about the continually plowed Road to the Silver Star Gate in my area because I do not mind the car access to comfort my aging back, so my short-term self-interest is served.

However, it places a lot of people in the same  Avalanche Terrain which is a public safety issue in my opinion, and the trailhead isolation invites crime.

We've already had a potential crime committed with the burning of a standing tree near the trailhead.

I'm also seeing three and four year olds playing in The Delancey Ridge slide paths.

The road also opens easy access to cross-country skiers and snow bicycles who aren't necessarily equipped with the proper safety gear to be traveling through Avalanche terrain.

But I guess a fatality or two isn't a bad price to pay for better access right?

And what's a petty crime or two just good fun right?

« Last Edit: 01/17/18, 03:52 PM by Heli-Free North Cascades » Logged

two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege, it will always be at the expense of truth and justice
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Jason4
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Re: Introducing Cascade Backcountry Alliance
« Reply #78 on: 01/18/18, 10:18 AM »

Thanks to Jim and HFNC for pivoting this back to a conversation that might get us somewhere in the near future!

I appreciate hearing the thoughts on the grading rubric as someone who also deals in a professional environment of establishing priorities with competing requests and poorly expressed objectives.
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AlpineRose
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Re: Introducing Cascade Backcountry Alliance
« Reply #79 on: 01/30/18, 03:12 PM »

It seems to me the current Jim Hill/Arrowhead access and its problematic  parking situation would be a perfect issue for the newly formed CAB to work on.  Jim Hill has been a traditional ski touring destination for DECADES, before some TAYers were even born.  In my experience, parking was NEVER an issue in the past.   In recent years, WSDOT has started throwing hissy fits about it.  Why now and not before?  A clearly defined and posted policy allowing - not prohibiting - parking by the ventilator station would be a nice accomplishment.

Recent post:
Jim Hill-ish
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CBAlliance
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Re: Introducing Cascade Backcountry Alliance
« Reply #80 on: 01/31/18, 11:03 AM »

It seems to me the current Jim Hill/Arrowhead access and its problematic  parking situation would be a perfect issue for the newly formed CAB to work on.  Jim Hill has been a traditional ski touring destination for DECADES, before some TAYers were even born.  In my experience, parking was NEVER an issue in the past.   In recent years, WSDOT has started throwing hissy fits about it.  Why now and not before?  A clearly defined and posted policy allowing - not prohibiting - parking by the ventilator station would be a nice accomplishment.

Recent post:
Jim Hill-ish


Cross-posted from the other thread:

"Hi All,

I called and spoke to the WSDOT Wenatchee office today. They didn't have a clear or ready answer about this, after getting passed around to a few people. Jere (Jerry? Gerry?), the very nice lady who answered the phone is doing more research and will hopefully get back to me shortly. I will pass that on as soon as I hear something more. I think Clevo is basically right in what he says but it would be much better to hear it from the DOT and have a map or a stated policy.

Others have brought up this issue to us already, and we are well aware of the problem. Here's our understanding of the situation: The DOT, not unreasonably, sees Highway 2 as a transportation corridor that they are mandated to keep open and safe. Unfortunately, they also see people parking on or near the side of the highway as a threat to this mission. Parking in general along the highway 2 corridor is a big can of worms, especially with the resort. Our hope is that as we establish a better relationship with the resort, we can lean on the DOT together to create better alternatives.

The current situation of total ambiguity benefits no one, and we will keep hounding the DOT until they at least present some sort of policy or concrete information to help people. If we can work from there to make a good-faith effort to follow these rules, we will have more leverage to change them.

-Conrad"
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Heli-Free North Cascades
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Re: Introducing Cascade Backcountry Alliance
« Reply #81 on: 02/02/18, 09:09 AM »


Cross-posted from the other thread:

"Hi All,

I called and spoke to the WSDOT Wenatchee office today. They didn't have a clear or ready answer about this, after getting passed around to a few people. Jere (Jerry? Gerry?), the very nice lady who answered the phone is doing more research and will hopefully get back to me shortly. I will pass that on as soon as I hear something more. I think Clevo is basically right in what he says but it would be much better to hear it from the DOT and have a map or a stated policy.

Others have brought up this issue to us already, and we are well aware of the problem. Here's our understanding of the situation: The DOT, not unreasonably, sees Highway 2 as a transportation corridor that they are mandated to keep open and safe. Unfortunately, they also see people parking on or near the side of the highway as a threat to this mission. Parking in general along the highway 2 corridor is a big can of worms, especially with the resort. Our hope is that as we establish a better relationship with the resort, we can lean on the DOT together to create better alternatives.

The current situation of total ambiguity benefits no one, and we will keep hounding the DOT until they at least present some sort of policy or concrete information to help people. If we can work from there to make a good-faith effort to follow these rules, we will have more leverage to change them.

-Conrad"
is the following sentence something you were told by the WSDOT or something you made up.

"Unfortunately, they also see people parking on or near the side of the highway as a threat to this mission."

And is this your policy at the CBA?

"and we will keep hounding the DOT"

The person you want to talk to you at the WSDOT is the communications officer.

Try writing a nicely worded email to..

Jeff Adamson, Communicator
WSDOT North Central Region
1551 N. Wenatchee Ave.
Wenatchee, WA 98801-1156
509.667.2815
AdamsoJ@wsdot.wa.gov
 
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two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege, it will always be at the expense of truth and justice
C Hedges
Micah
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Re: Introducing Cascade Backcountry Alliance
« Reply #82 on: 02/02/18, 10:19 AM »

is the following sentence something you were told by the WSDOT or something you made up.

"Unfortunately, they also see people parking on or near the side of the highway as a threat to this mission."

Conrad states clearly "here's our understanding of the situation," making it obvious that he is relaying an impression he got from his phone conversation. I'm happy to have this information even if it is secondhand and even if you haven't endorsed his source. If you have a better source at WSDOT that can give a more definitive, please check with them and relay back here what you find.

I take issue with the confrontational tone you've taken with CBA. We all understand that you harbor animosity, but your criticisms of CBA are not relevant  to this discussion. At the very least you should acknowledge that Conrad's call to WSDOT was a timely gesture to address a long-standing conflict that involves almost exclusively private skiers.
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Heli-Free North Cascades
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Re: Introducing Cascade Backcountry Alliance
« Reply #83 on: 02/02/18, 01:43 PM »

Conrad states clearly "here's our understanding of the situation," making it obvious that he is relaying an impression he got from his phone conversation. I'm happy to have this information even if it is secondhand and even if you haven't endorsed his source. If you have a better source at WSDOT that can give a more definitive, please check with them and relay back here what you find.

I take issue with the confrontational tone you've taken with CBA. We all understand that you harbor animosity, but your criticisms of CBA are not relevant  to this discussion. At the very least you should acknowledge that Conrad's call to WSDOT was a timely gesture to address a long-standing conflict that involves almost exclusively private skiers.
 

  The dude said he got shuffled around the WSDOT office.The Communication director is the correct  public interface, and I gave that source.

Maybe some of the skiers who are directly affected by this could use that contact information and not come across as "hounding"  the WSDOT.

Quote from CBA ". Our hope is that as we establish a better relationship with the resort, we can lean on the DOT together to create better alternatives.

The current situation of total ambiguity benefits no one, and we will keep hounding the DOT until they at least present some sort of policy or concrete information to help people. "

 Jeff Adamson is a really nice guy as are most of the people who work at the WSDOT.  Harassing (leaning, hounding) them is not a technique that I desire a political group that pretends to represent my interests as an ordinary Backcountry skier needs to pursue.

Sometimes timely jesters are just that. Especially when it involves a political organization that springs forth from commercial backing with a prime interest in public land.


 I've asked for transparency and those transparency questions have not been answered and that makes me suspect. Yeah maybe I was a bit rude about it but I respond emotionally. It's that passion that drives my reason.

 One thing that I've tried to convey to Backcountry skiers who occupy this  site, is that they are free to contact and pursue public Authority on issues that directly affect them.



hound
hound/
verb
gerund or present participle: hounding
harass, persecute, or pursue relentlessly.

I do get it. You're trying to run a business here and my constant questioning of commercial interest in public land maybe upsetting some of your sponsorship, possibly including those who directly employ  members of the CBA.

 So you'll have to excuse me if I think there needs to be one place on this planet ( Nature's natural wonders) where I can get away from the commercial interest agenda.

And just so I understand the rules of the site. it's okay to comment on my thread and imply that I'm a serial killer, but it's not okay to ask questions of a political organization that comes to the site. Correct?






« Last Edit: 02/02/18, 01:57 PM by Heli-Free North Cascades » Logged

two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege, it will always be at the expense of truth and justice
C Hedges
Micah
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Re: Introducing Cascade Backcountry Alliance
« Reply #84 on: 02/02/18, 09:33 PM »

You can read the terms of use here. It is not OK to imply you are a serial killer. Likewise, it is not OK for you to use TAY as a forum to repeatedly impugn folks that have somehow crossed you. I appreciate your anti-commericalisim message (sincerely). I don't appreciate your personal attacks. Charles created TAY as a community, and your strident behavior is harshing our mellow. Please chill out.
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BCSchonwald
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Re: Introducing Cascade Backcountry Alliance
« Reply #85 on: 02/03/18, 06:56 PM »

 
Sometimes timely jesters are just that. Especially when it involves a political organization that springs forth from commercial backing with a prime interest in public land.
Most Jesters have poor timing so they are just that.

I've asked for transparency and those transparency questions have not been answered and that makes me suspect. Yeah maybe I was a bit rude about it but I respond emotionally. It's that passion that drives my reason.

 One thing that I've tried to convey to Backcountry skiers who occupy this  site, is that they are free to contact and pursue public Authority on issues that directly affect them.

I do get it. You're trying to run a business here and my constant questioning of commercial interest in public land maybe upsetting some of your sponsorship, possibly including those who directly employ  members of the CBA.

 So you'll have to excuse me if I think there needs to be one place on this planet ( Nature's natural wonders) where I can get away from the commercial interest agenda.


My question with your issue with commercial interest on public lands is what about all the people that willing seek out these businesses for their services to access nature? Are they driven by commercial interest? What drives them to seek guidance? How will they find the services to access these natural landscapes safely if no one provides what they need or are willing to pay for?

Your assault on the CBA for being a tool for guide services needs facts, seems like a feeling and not actual data.

Also since when is a non-profit a business? Again needs facts to substantiate this claim.

Is transparency a judgement call based on your satisfaction with the answer or just the exchange of information? How will we know when your level of transparency is achieved?
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Jim Oker
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Re: Introducing Cascade Backcountry Alliance
« Reply #86 on: 02/05/18, 12:05 AM »

Curious if any of the CBA folks, or anyone else for  that matter,  has thoughts  with respect  to the goals I tried to reverse engineer out of what I've read from CBA so far (i.e. do they seem right, is something missing,  would you  replace any  or all of them...?). Call  it  transparency if you like, but whatever you  call  it, having clarity on goals may help enlist energy and maybe even $ from the community. Not having them may breed one or another type of lack of trust (whether about intentions or about competency to choose projects well, or about likelihood of project choices aligning sufficiently with one's own hopes and  goals). Trust,  particularly among people who  don't know each other,  is typically earned  through good communication and some sense of being  "in  it for the same things."
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: Introducing Cascade Backcountry Alliance
« Reply #87 on: 02/05/18, 07:19 AM »

My impression is that CBA is doing a lot of the right things. It's hard to get an organization off the ground, but every step taken has been in a positive direction.

I'll be excited to chip in when the Donate link goes live, and excited to chip in again when the bylaws and finances are public.
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Jim Oker
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Re: Introducing Cascade Backcountry Alliance
« Reply #88 on: 02/05/18, 09:14 AM »

To be clear, I agree with everything Charlie wrote in the first paragraph of that last post.

And I might even make this group  a target  for a slice of my yearly donations, as I've done for over two  decades running with a  local hiking access oriented non-profit organization (which  is the  subject of ongoing attacks on both intentions and results from  some  members of the hiking community - I think this  is inevitable for such  a group). But frankly here I differ from Charlie - I won't do so before I see some effort to better clarify goals and non-goals for their project work. And I honestly  don't believe it would be heavy lifting or very time consuming. I  think that  in well  under a  half hour one or more of them could  take a very good stab at that right now (I bet it will take less time than  making that donation  link go live  Wink ). If the group is not clear enough on their goals now to do it in ten minutes, the extra twenty (or so) would  be time well  spent for  all of them, even for the benefit of their own efforts (aside from  engaging folks  like me). For my part, based on having watched many group efforts either succeed or fail,  I see this  as an important piece of foundational  work that would  build my confidence that this group has a shot at using my $ well, and  in ways  that I'd like to  see it used.  And depending  on the need (which would of course also have  to be  clearly  articulated), I might also  be game to kick in  time.

I'm willing to put my time where  my typing fingers are - if you want some help articulating your goals, I'd be up for coming to  meet with your crew  to facilitate a discussion with the aim of producing such a list  to  be used internally and shared  publicly.  FWIW I have been fairly well  paid for doing such work (among other  things), and have  also very recently helped to guide such a process as a member of a volunteer board of an "adventure education" non-profit which just went through a periodic revision and renewal of its overall  strategy  (this non-profit company has been a leader in "adventure-based learning" for over 40 years and understands how important this foundational effort  is). If you have any interest, PM me and we can discuss  how long a meeting  might be worthwhile toward this end.
« Last Edit: 02/05/18, 10:51 AM by Jim Oker » Logged
Heli-Free North Cascades
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Re: Introducing Cascade Backcountry Alliance
« Reply #89 on: 02/05/18, 01:00 PM »

Most Jesters have poor timing so they are just that.


Thank you for that acknowledgement, if you are indeed implying that I am a jester, a fool,a trickster.

 However I have to assure you that it's a curse.

.


My question with your issue with commercial interest on public lands is what about all the people that willing seek out these businesses for their services to access nature? Are they driven by commercial interest? What drives them to seek guidance? How will they find the services to access these natural landscapes safely if no one provides what they need or are willing to pay for?

What I've been talking about on turns all year is contrasting the ideals of commercialism, which is business at any cost, to the ideals of professionalism, which is presumably a higher standard of Behavioral action.  Professionalism  is an ideal that guide Outfitters apparently seek recognition as being the industry standard,  however I do not believe that level has been achieved.

The tobacco industry would be one example of what I consider to represent the ethics of commercialism,  by targeting ads to Young Folks, actually adding nicotine to tobacco to make tobacco products more addictive, and faking research. This is done to acquire as much money as possible.

I liken  those  ethics to the ethics of the commercial guide industry that hide out of country deaths that occur during their commercial trips.

 The same goes for hiding near-miss Avalanche accidents and not giving those accidents the same analysis and scrutiny that is very often performed by commercial guides and NWAC personnel on recreational near-miss accidents.

I've been told by a commercial guide that these actions are done because it's considered to be bad for business to disclose non injury or non Serious injury near-miss Avalanche accidents. In other words money defines the ethics that are employed.

A Professional Organization such as NASA or the airline industry actually analyzes every actual and near-miss accident that occurs.

Which ideal and associated behavioral actions, professionalism or commercialism, would you consider to offer the most benefit to a community, accountability, and Public Safety?

If my mother had known about the the health risk and addictive qualities of nicotine, which is added to increase addiction, before she started smoking, she would not have died of lung cancer at a  young age.

It's possible that many clients who knew about actual mountain risk exposure, through the disclosure of Guide Service near-miss accident incidents might be alive today.

And now it appears that NWAC is a willing participant in that non-disclosure.

 So I don't buy it when people characterize my involvement in this issue as a personal Vendetta in order to silence the issue by deleting my threads.

When guide services operate in a way that benefit the Community as a whole, through actual ethical Behavior and not try to set themselves above in some hierarchical position structure, then I will sing their praises.

The public has a right to this information because it occurs on public land and is in the interest of Public Safety.

As for the rest of your post that I didn't quote, I think Jim and Charlie have spoken well on the issue of the need for transparency.

 I've already given my reasons in other posts on this thread as to why I hold my suspicions of this CBA organization. Mainly it has to do with the fact that founders are  employed by guide services or the commercial ski industry which indicates an inherent bias.

This of courses is my opinion, an opinion that is founded on a basis of Education and Professional Training in the analysis of human behavior.

That training recognizes the fact that I too I'm subject to bias.

 

« Last Edit: 02/05/18, 01:18 PM by Heli-Free North Cascades » Logged

two sets of principles. They are the principles of power and privilege and the principles of truth and justice. If you pursue truth and justice it will always mean a diminution of power and privilege. If you pursue power and privilege, it will always be at the expense of truth and justice
C Hedges
CBAlliance
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Re: Introducing Cascade Backcountry Alliance
« Reply #90 on: 02/05/18, 04:37 PM »

To be clear, I agree with everything Charlie wrote in the first paragraph of that last post.

And I might even make this group  a target  for a slice of my yearly donations, as I've done for over two  decades running with a  local hiking access oriented non-profit organization (which  is the  subject of ongoing attacks on both intentions and results from  some  members of the hiking community - I think this  is inevitable for such  a group). But frankly here I differ from Charlie - I won't do so before I see some effort to better clarify goals and non-goals for their project work. And I honestly  don't believe it would be heavy lifting or very time consuming. I  think that  in well  under a  half hour one or more of them could  take a very good stab at that right now (I bet it will take less time than  making that donation  link go live  Wink ). If the group is not clear enough on their goals now to do it in ten minutes, the extra twenty (or so) would  be time well  spent for  all of them, even for the benefit of their own efforts (aside from  engaging folks  like me). For my part, based on having watched many group efforts either succeed or fail,  I see this  as an important piece of foundational  work that would  build my confidence that this group has a shot at using my $ well, and  in ways  that I'd like to  see it used.  And depending  on the need (which would of course also have  to be  clearly  articulated), I might also  be game to kick in  time.

I'm willing to put my time where  my typing fingers are - if you want some help articulating your goals, I'd be up for coming to  meet with your crew  to facilitate a discussion with the aim of producing such a list  to  be used internally and shared  publicly.  FWIW I have been fairly well  paid for doing such work (among other  things), and have  also very recently helped to guide such a process as a member of a volunteer board of an "adventure education" non-profit which just went through a periodic revision and renewal of its overall  strategy  (this non-profit company has been a leader in "adventure-based learning" for over 40 years and understands how important this foundational effort  is). If you have any interest, PM me and we can discuss  how long a meeting  might be worthwhile toward this end.


Jim,

I think we would have some interest in this but I also think we are talking past each other a little bit, which is easy to do over the internet. You might want to have a look at our "projects" page here, which I think pretty clearly states the goals we have. I'll quote here for the click-averse:

STEP 1: improve the user experience at heavily trafficked backcountry access points.
-Encourage mutual respect and community by promoting some basic backcountry etiquette provisions.
-Maintain a good relationship with resorts, and make the business case for uphill travelers using resort resources.
-Limit the number of cars that take up resort parking, and advocate for and expand carpooling options.
-Help shape resort infrastructure to limit user conflict.

STEP 2: distribute the impact of backcountry users to different areas.
-Plow additional trailheads and roads.
-Improve community knowledge about what access points are available and what resources they can use to explore new areas.
-Present a united political voice to government agencies during planning processes.

Perhaps this page should be re-labeled, as I see the distinction you are making between projects and goals. Goals attempt to complete the mission, projects attempt to complete the goals. I appreciate the examples you've provided above of some more specific goals relating to the Kendall plowing project. I would be curious if you have some examples of documented goals from other organizations such as the WTA (or similar) that you could share. It would likely be helpful.

Regarding funding, which sort of ties in to all this: There's a reason we aren't asking for money.
Basically, we have a cart and horse problem. We are trying to get a sense of where the horse will go before we build the cart too elaborately. You all are understandably trying to decide how the cart looks and who is driving it before you hitch your horse up.  The transition out of this initial size-up is sort of happening right now, but it will continue to be messy as we depend on tenuous new relationships and ever-limited resources. We don't want to ask people for funding without projects that have more clearly defined budgets, outcomes, and abilities to meet our stated goals. That IS the reason the funding link isn't live yet. We get the point of doing the background work before we ask people to plunk down the money.

We also get that trust is a big thing in asking for community effort. Our bylaws, articles of incorporation, certificate of incorporation, and fiscal sponsor agreement with WWA are all now published on our website at https://www.cascadebackcountryalliance.org/governance. I'd like to note that this is pretty far beyond what you get with most other nonprofits, including the WCC, WTA, and NWAC.

Once we have a bank account (probably soon), we will start publishing fiscal information. Obviously we currently have a $0 balance.

Regarding your skepticism of our first goal: I don't think your heavily trafficked roads analogy is accurate. The solution to too many cars is fewer cars: better public transportation, carpooling incentives, and infrastructure alternatives. The solution to too many skiers isn't fewer skiers. We can't stop em. It's already an exorbitantly expensive niche sport. And yet the masses show up. We also can't just close i-90. It's a desirable transportation corridor. Similarly, I like skiing in the passes. The terrain is good, the snow is good- I don't think people want to lose that access even if they are willing to look for solitude elsewhere. So yes, we have to make it easier for people to go to different places- but we aren't going to hope that it's the stick of restricted access that drives them there.
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: Introducing Cascade Backcountry Alliance
« Reply #91 on: 02/05/18, 07:29 PM »

We also get that trust is a big thing in asking for community effort. Our bylaws, articles of incorporation, certificate of incorporation, and fiscal sponsor agreement with WWA are all now published on our website at https://www.cascadebackcountryalliance.org/governance. I'd like to note that this is pretty far beyond what you get with most other nonprofits, including the WCC, WTA, and NWAC.

Awesome -- thank you! Perhaps-important PM to follow.
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Jim Oker
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Re: Introducing Cascade Backcountry Alliance
« Reply #92 on: 02/06/18, 10:55 AM »

Thanks for the thoughtful  reply "CBA" (sorta wondering what *human* I'm engaging  with... but that's  OK_.

Yes,  those "steps" are a decent start - I may have glazed over them on my first view of your web site because they appeared to be "execution details"  (listed as "steps") rather  than higher level  goals,  from  which "steps" might follow. And they do mush together "goals"  and "action plan" a bit, which I  have  found is not ideal. IMO a really good set of goals would  be relatively concise (particularly  for  a new organization that will  likely have  to  pick and choose carefully  where  to  try to have  impact!!), would be very useful  for ranking competing possible projects (would plowing the PCT  TH be better than expanding the existing  Sno-Park along the road that runs past Gold  Creek, for instance), and would have  some relatively  concise backup explanation  that  helps everyone understand *why* these are the  goals as well as that helps remove some of ambiguity that tends to  be inherent in  one-line goals. And the goals would very clearly telescope into  the  organization's "mission," and reflect its "values." I can look  for some other  examples but may not get  to  it for a week or so. In the meantime, you  could do worse than emulate the  template provided by this "strategic plan" from the WTA (easy to find on  their site,  but for  the type-and-browse averse: https://www.wta.org/our-work/about/our-work/strategic-plan-2015-2020 - also note its location  under "about us"  which is relatively standard). I like the way they give  their overall  vision and mission,  and lay out three clear and concise goals, and then have  a page for  each  goal on which they dive a bit deeper into what they call "objectives"  (I think of them as sub-goals) and some explanation of the thinking behind the  goals.  Very good public format for this sort of strategy plan document. And there's very little there about actual execution plan, but there's enough detail to  be able to infer a fair bit about likely  execution steps. And it looks to  me as if it will  be a very  good tool for prioritizing possible work  streams.

With respect to my traffic analogy,  those  "solutions"  to  too  many cars have almost never reduced the number of cars on any  given road/highway and that's my point. Neither  does building more roads or highways. What  I learned while studying urban planning is that the roads will stay full so  trying to reduce the congestion  there  is a fool's game.  Doesn't mean you  shouldn't do things like build mass transit infrastructure if you want to  allow *yet more* people to  transit through an urban region; but it does mean that reducing congestion on key  roads is rarely a project success  metric (with the exception of certain types of road revisions that resolve heinous and typically archaic designs of things like urban highway interchanges that are dangerous and for which much better designs exist that could fit into roughtly the same footprint; Boston's "Big Dig" was  a good example and relates to our on  viaduct which  is of the  same construction as the road that tunnel replaced - putting  the through-traffic on  a tunneled highway has kept within-city travelers off the road and  on  surface streets so now the  highway  flows much better  through the  city w/o so much on-off traffic). If you  think I'm  advocating  for a strategy that tries to limit numbers or restrict access, we are indeed talking past each other.  I'm simply suggesting that, whatever you  do, recreationalists are STILL going  to park at Lot 4 and over at West (unless and until the ski area implements some sort of restrictive policy which may or may not violate their lease  or tax arrangements). Trying to stop  that through extra lots  will at best offer very transient wins given the continuing and somewhat striking growth  of outdoor recreationalists hereabouts. So if plowing the PCT lot nets more overall  "new ski tourer days" possible on great terrain which  has  capacity for that  load than any of the other  similar-cost options around the Pass area, great. It's number one then. I'm  simply suggesting that proximity  to the  ski  areas shouldn't nudge that project any higher in the rankings (and in  fact, the fact that "access" already exists for that  terrain, one might argue for nudging it downward a bit). I  hope that  helps clarify what I  meant with  that  analogy. And I'd also hope that having opened a  new lot there wouldn't make it *easier*  for  the  ski  area to  start restricting parking access to non-lift-holders (this is coming from  someone who has a seasons pass up  there most seasons, fwiw). Perhaps I'm missing some value to "buidling goodwill with the ski area" but I'd be very wary of overly banking on that for any project that isn't both a "give" and "take"  there, and which wouldn't persist past a change of corporate intention  or ownership.
« Last Edit: 02/06/18, 11:01 AM by Jim Oker » Logged
CBAlliance
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Re: Introducing Cascade Backcountry Alliance
« Reply #93 on: 02/12/18, 07:18 PM »

We will be holding our first event on Wednesday, February 21st at Ascent Outdoors in Ballard. If you'd like to show up, make your voice heard, and drink some free beer, we'd love to have ya. Click on the photo to RSVP.


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