SGWA Volunteer(s) giving misinformation about permits

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    • #3171
      chris in redlands

      I hate to bring this up here, but I’m not sure where else to do it. There’s a volunteer or volunteers telling people on the Johns Meadow trail that they need to have a day hiking permit, and turning people around. A few months ago, I was stopped by a woman (I’d guess she was in her 60s) wearing an SGWA shirt who told me that I “should have a permit” and that “the permit requirement for day hikes is going to begin again soon. it might already have” and was implying that I needed one then, until I explained my own understanding of the permit situation.

      I check the SGWA website regularly for updates on this, as it’s my understanding that the day-hike permit requirement is coming back.

      I appreciate all the work the volunteers do, but much of that goodwill is undone by just one or two people out there enforcing rules that do not exist. If this person were telling people that it’s a *good idea* to have a permit, but not required, then fine.

      I don’t know if the SGWA has a mechanism for broadcasting information to their volunteers, but if it does, it would be doing a great service to both the Association and Wilderness users if they’d notify volunteers to stop it.

      Feel free to delete this message once someone at the Association has given it due consideration.

    • #3172
      Ranger Lon


      First I’d like to apologize for the confusion and hassle. I personally appreciate the reports and details you often share on this forum and I often rely on you, among others, for the information I give out at Mill Creek. Thanks again for what you share with us here.

      I will pass this along to the Trail Patrol coordinator and get the word out to this (and any other) well meaning, but misinformed volunteers.

      You are correct that Day Hikes do not currently require a permit – it is recommended, but at this time it is optional. That does not mean we won’t ask if you have one and take extra time to tell you why we think it is better for you to have one, but ultimately it is up to you whether you fill one out or not.

      On the subject of bringing back the requirement, we are waiting for the Forest Service to issue a new Forest Order that will require day hikers to have a permit when entering the Wilderness. The key word there is “waiting.” It might come as soon as September, or may be later this year – we just don’t know when this will finally be issued.

      When the new order comes out, you should be able to confirm this either on our Home Page or the Wilderness Permits page where the request forms are. I will make it VERY clear that the permit requirement has come back.

      If in doubt, call us at the Mill Creek Visitor Center Thursday – Sunday during normal hours and we’ll be glad to confirm what the requirement is.


    • #3173
      chris in redlands

      Thanks, Lon!

      I do check here (on the main SGWA page) before every outing to see if the requirement is back. I welcome it, if only for the selfish reason that it keeps the crowds down on the more popular trails. 🙂

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