[Tagging] How to tag: public lands that are accessed by permit?

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny+osm at gmail.com
Wed Jul 20 01:05:33 UTC 2016

On Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 7:24 PM, Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com
> wrote:

> 2016-07-19 22:01 GMT+02:00 Kevin Kenny <kevin.b.kenny+osm at gmail.com>:
>> The High Peaks Wilderness is a lot more like a public park than it is
>> like your driveway. Should it be access=private because on the way in, you
>> have to fill out a form and leave it in the letterbox at a place like
>> this
>> <https://fortysixupsanddowns.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/roaring-brook-trail-register.jpg>?
>> Does that change fundamentally if you have to download a form like this
>> <http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/regions_pdf/newaccessprmt.pdf> from a
>> website, fill it out, print it, and have one copy on your car's dashboard
>> and one in your person?
> Actually, in these two cases (self issued permit), I wouldn't even use the
> word "permit", its more a kind of notification system, because there's no
> way someone would/could reject your application, right? Still I agree it
> does make sense to add some tag(s) for this kind of procedure.
> In the other case you wrote about, where the operator limits accessibility
> to reduce the impact by visitors on the nature, the word "permit" seems to
> fit better.
> In all cases, I think it matters what you have to do / who you have to be
> in order to comply with the formalities. Is it something everybody can do,
> or does it require a special status (e.g. resident, citizenship) or
> function (police man, ranger, military, public administration, homeland
> security, fire department, etc.).

In the case of New York's permit-only areas (both NYS and NYC), it appears
that the only condition is that you're over 18. (Kids can travel on the
permit of an accompanying adult.) I run into a lot of Canadians in the
Adirondacks, and a lot of new Korean immigrants in the Catskills. (New York
City has some very active Korean hiking clubs.)

The language on the permits warns that they can be revoked for flagrant or
repeated violations. I haven't heard of this happening very often. Then
again, the permit holders seem to be a fairly well-behaved lot. The
revocation wouldn't really keep someone from registering again, but would
be another reason to throw the book at them if they reoffend. I have heard
of people who were permanently banned from the DEC lands after being
convicted for a raft of offenses related to squatting. They'd built a
hunting camp on state land, and the permanent ban applies to those of them
who didn't go to prison. The ones who fired on the party of rangers and
troopers who came to evict them will be in prison for a very long time.

One purpose of the permit system is to have the infrastructure in place in
case they need to begin limiting access, and to have a mailing list that
can be used to broadcast regulatory changes. The only things that I've
heard about that way have been the closures of parks or trails for
wildfires, hurricanes and avalanches. They keep making noises about
instituting a quota system for the High Peaks and possibly the West Canada
Lakes, but nothing ever seems to come of it.

In a lot of the other permit-only parks in the US, the procedures are
fundamentally the same except that in addition to registering, you have to
reserve a date on the web site, and sometimes pay a nominal fee (which
barely covers the cost of administering the permit system). It's still open
to all comers, there just has to be a slot available on your date of
travel. For some immensely popular trips (the John Muir Trail through
Yosemite, rafting on the Grand Canyon) there's a lottery system in place,
because some people will be turned away in any given year. For most other
areas, it's just "plan in advance and coordinate your dates".

Most of the permit systems require a given date of arrival and a given
first night's campsite. Given the vagaries of backcountry travel, they are
flexible about subsequent campsites and exit dates. I've finished trips a
day early or a day late and made unplanned detours without any particular
hassle, even when my permit was checked.
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