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					THE WILD CASCADES
THE JOURNAL OF THE NORTH CASCADES CONSERVATION COUNCIL                 SUMMER 2004




                                                    THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004 ! 1
             THE WILD CASCADES ! Summer 2004
                                                                                       T    he North Cascades Conservation
                                                                                             Council was formed in 1957 “To protect
                                                                                       and preserve the North Cascades’ scenic, sci-
                                                                                       entific, recreational, educational, and wilder-

                      In This Issue                                                    ness values.” Continuing this mission, NCCC
                                                                                       keeps government officials, environmental or-
                                                                                       ganizations, and the general public informed
 3 The President’s report — MARC BARDSLEY                                              about issues affecting the Greater North Cas-
   GEEKS NEEDED                                                                        cades Ecosystem. Action is pursued through
 4 The NCCC needs YOUR support in publishing the North Cascades book                   legislative, legal, and public participation chan-
                                                                                       nels to protect the lands, waters, plants and
 5 Why the Pickets are part of the North Cascades National Park—Staking claims
                                                                                       wildlife.
   to not-mines — HARVEY MANNING
                                                                                            Over the past third of a century the NCCC
   Goering’s Law
                                                                                       has led or participated in campaigns to create
 6 The Stehekin Landing Proposal — CAROLYN MCCONNELL                                   the North Cascades National Park Complex,
   Stehekin Road repair process — KEVIN GERAGHTY                                       Glacier Peak Wilderness, and other units of the
 7 North Cascades Institute Update — THOMAS BRUCKER                                    National Wilderness System from the W Dou-.O.
   Mount Rainier: Long journeys with tiny steps begin                                  glas Wilderness north to the Alpine Lakes Wil-
   Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow                                                  derness, the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness, the
   Pay to Play with American Enterprise Institute                                      Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness and others.
 8 Only weirdos look out the window — RICK MCGUIRE                                     Among its most dramatic victories has been
                                                                                       working with British Columbia allies to block
 9 Yo yo Mount Adams?
                                                                                       the raising of Ross Dam, which would have
10 FEE DEMO: Riding the Recreation Access Tax (The RAT)                                drowned Big Beaver Valley.
   Taking the commons away — THE HIGHTOWER LOWDOWN
11 Our national parks really in peril — SCOTT SILVER
12 The recent very commercial Adventure Quest — KEVIN GERAGHTY                                       MEMBERSHIP
14 Tales from the Walla Walla Toll Road
   #1 — Bandera Mountain                                                                     The NCCC is supported by member dues
                                                                                       and private donations. These support publica-
   #2 — Mount Defiance
                                                                                       tion of The Wild Cascades and lobbying activi-
15 #3 — Mount Washington                                                               ties. (NCCC is a non-tax-deductible 501(c)4 or-
   #4 — Mailbox Peak                                                                   ganization.) Membership dues for one year are:
16 #5 — Dirty Harry                                                                    $10 - low income/student; $20 - regular; $25 -
   ORVs: Lullaby of the wheels — H.M.                                                  family; $50.00 - Contributing; $100 - patron;
17 Ring-a-ding-ding                                                                    $1000 - Sustaining. A one-time life membership
   Running — N + I                                                                     dues payment is $500.
   Fair exchanges and ripoffs
                                                                                                              !
18 Mountain goat research in the North Cascades — POLLY DYER
19 Boise-Cascade bails out                                                                  The North Cascades Foundation sup-
   PERC gives Bush a C+ on environmental policy                                        ports the NCCC’s nonpolitical efforts. Dona-
   “The largest forest-conservation deal in the country” — RON SIMS, KING              tions are tax-deductible as a 501(c)3 organiza-
   COUNTY EXECUTIVE                                                                    tion. Please make your check(s) out to the or-
21 National Forest rulemaking on off-road vehicles (ORVs) — KARL FORSGAARD             ganization of your choice. The Foundation can
                                                                                       be reached through NCCC mailing address:
22 Impacts of mountain biking on wildlife and people — MICHAEL J. VANDEMAN
   Park Service under attack by adviser
23 “Monumental” — the David Brower film — HARVEY MANNING                                 North Cascades Conservation Council
24 Edward Abbey                                                                                     .O.
                                                                                                   P Box 95980
                                                                                                  University Station
                       Cover: Mixup Ridge — TOM MILLER                                         Seattle, WA 98145-2980
                                                                                                    NCCC Website

            The Wild Cascades                                                                    www.northcascades.org


                 Journal of the North Cascades Conservation Council
                               EDITOR: Betty Manning
                                Printing by EcoGraphics
    The Wild Cascades is published three times a year (Spring, Summer/Fall, Winter).
    NCCC members receive this journal. Address letters, comments, send articles to:
                               The Wild Cascades Editor
                        North Cascades Conservation Council
                       University Station, Seattle, WA 98145-2980

        The Wild Cascades is printed on recycled paper with soy-based ink.

2 ! THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004
 NCCC Board
President
Marc Bardsley

Board Chairman                                                                    Founded in 1957
Patrick Goldsworthy                                                               SEATTLE, WASHINGTON
Vice President
Charles Ehlert

Treasurer
Tom Brucker

Secretary
                      The President’s Report                                      Summer 2004
Phil Zalesky
                         Unfortunately, I have to use a tragedy as a lead-in to this article. A man was killed
                      recently in an “Adventure Race” on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Accord-
                      ing to media reports, he was hit by a boulder kicked loose by a fellow contestant on a
Bruce Barnbaum
                      little known mountain in an unprotected part of the Forest. I have climbed the moun-
Polly Dyer            tain myself and can see how it could happen. We all know that people who continually
                      challenge nature in this way are going to come out second-best from time to time. That
John Edwards          seems acceptable to me.
                        The point is not whether this was an unsafe situation that should have been banned,
Dave Fluharty         but rather, was this activity an appropriate venue for conducting a clearly commercial
                      venture? It should be pointed out that while much of the race occurred on logging
Karl Forsgaard        roads, some roadless areas and Mount Baker itself were also part of the course. I con-
                      tend that our public lands are being used more and more by corporations and promot-
Kevin Geraghty
                      ers for private gain. While this media-heavy adventure-racing or whatever it is called
                      doesn’t do much actual damage to the environment in itself, the precedent is very
Kevin Herrick
                      disturbing. It doesn’t take much imagination to expect the next round of television
Conway Leovy          content to be filmed from helicopters hovering over our wilderness areas.
                        The USFS and the environmental community need to be vigilant. We must discourage
Harvey Manning        use of public lands as free real estate to conduct ever more outrageous stunts. Call me
                      Chicken Little but I see this type of media-spawned exhibitionism as one more compo-
Betty Manning         nent of the insidious privatization of our public lands.

Carolyn McConnell

Rick McGuire

Thom Peters

Ken Wilcox




                              Calling Database Geeks
Laura Zalesky



                             NCCC needs a donation of database software and
                             database expertise to help us manage our membership
                             list. If you can help, please contact
                                             Marc Bardsley at 206-689-4999
                                         or email bardsleym@soundtransit.org



                                                                  THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004 ! 3
                                 CONTRIBUTIONS NEEDED
                                    FOR PUBLICATION
                               OF NORTH CASCADES HISTORY

                     NCCC Book Nears Completion
                   We still need donations, so we can claim a $5,000 matching grant from the
                  North Cascades Foundation to publish this wonderful book on the North
                  Cascades by Harvey Manning.
                    Fully edited, updated, and richly illustrated with historic maps and photos,
                  this new book tells the epic story of wilderness preservation in one of the
                  largest wildland areas of the Lower Forty-Eight.
                    To those who have already contributed, thank you! The book should be
                  heading for the printer soon—watch for ordering details in the next Wild
                  Cascades.
                   Donations may be made to either the Foundation (tax-deductible) or the
                  NCCC (not tax-deductible), and in either case should be clearly marked, ‘FOR
                  PUBLICATION OF NORTH CASCADES BOOK” and sent to either
                                      North Cascades Conservation Council
                                       c/o Thomas H.S. Brucker, Treasurer
                                              9111 SE 44th Street
                                            Mercer Island, WA 98040
                                                       or
                                            North Cascades Foundation
                                          c/o T. William Booth, Treasurer
                                              5521 - 17th Avenue NE
                                                 Seattle, WA 98105




4 ! THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004
                                                   North Cascades History:
                          STAKING CLAIMS TO NOT-MINES
T    om Pelly dropped our bill
     for a North Cascades National
Park in the hopper. We knew it had
                                                                                                                  pit mine visible from the Moon,”
no chance against the bill drawn
                                                                                                                  and said, “If I found an exposure
up by Dick Buscher of the Forest
                                                                                                                  here of pure copper three feet
Service and introduced in Con-
                                                                                                                  wide, I wouldn’t tell THEM about
gress by Senator Jackson — a bill
                                                                                                                  it.”
we reluctantly accepted as better
than nothing. The Pelly-NCCC bill                                                                                     The chopper pilot blabbed to
omitted the Pickets because this                                                                                  Lardy. Lardy knew he would also
most alpinely dramatic sector of                                                                                  be blabbing to others. That is why
the North Cascades was certain of                                                                                 if you check the 1967 filings in the
getting its due from the Wilderness                                                                               Bellingham courthouse you will
Act, better wilderness protection                                                                                 find claims for the low-grade moly
than the National Park Act. The                                                                                   ore in the Northern Pickets. Climb
Jackson-USFS bill threw in the                                                                                    Fury by a route which had not then
non-controversial Pickets to “make                                                                                been climbed, and perhaps has not
weight,” a public relations gesture                                                                               been yet, and you may stumble
to theoretically compensate for the                                                                               across a claim monument placed
omission of Glacier Peak.                                                                                         there apparently by the grace of
                                                                                                                  God. The claimant was not Lardy,
   The Jackson-USFS park was a
                                                                                                                  nor the chopper pilot, but another
sure thing, backed by both houses
                                                                                                                  of my climbing friends who could
of Congress. Except for Wayne
                                                                                                                  not be connected to the USGS or
Aspinall, Congressman from the
                                                                                                                  Lardy.
19th century, whose motto on new
national parks was “NEVER.” As                                                                                     The summer of 1968 was dou-
                                          Unloading pack Sun Bell 63 on border slash, Chilliwuck River.         bly nervous because the claims
chair of the House committee with
jurisdiction over the flow of legis-                                                                            were staked in 1967 and under
lation on such matters, he had the                                                                              terms of the 1872 Act had to be
muscle to go mano-a-mano with Jackson, chair      One of these was my climbing buddy, “Lardy,”     proved up by on-the-ground labor before La-
of the corresponding Senate committee. Their      who had become the most notable minerals         bor Day of 1968. There weren’t all that many
wrestling match the summer of 1968 was            geologist in the region. He was a defender of    climbers around in those days who would (or
nerve-wracking. Prior to that, though, Aspinall   the 1872 policy, though recognizing it needed    could) climb to the ridge-top location of the
pulled an around-the-end stunt that won him       major amendment. He once visited, by chop-       monument. Watch was kept with baited breath
a year’s breathing-blustering space. He forced    per, a pair of us at White Rock Lakes, and as he on the Bellingham courthouse all summer. The
the U.S. Geological Survey team then mapping      lay at ease in the heather, gazing over the West deadline passed, the Lardy claims lapsed, no
geologic structures of the North Cascades to      Fork Agnes to Dome Peak, he jerked a thumb       for-real claims were filed, and the White House
defer scientific research and spend a year on a   in the direction of Miners Ridge, headquarters   ceremony went off without a hitch.
survey of mineral resources in the proposed       of Bear Creek Mining, his employer at the
park — “prospecting.”                             moment, then engaged in plotting an “open                            — HARVEY MANNING
   We weren’t worried. The 19th century “dirty
miners in search of shining gold” had staked
out and privatized every showing of rust-col-
ored rock in the range. Uniform gray was the
Pickets color, as interesting as the Moon to the
privateers operating under their 1872 letters
of marque.
  Then, in the summer of 1967, I was jolted
                                                                    GOERING’S LAW
by a postcard saying simply and solely: “It’s                     People don’t want to go to war. . . But after all, it’s the leaders who
not such a bad idea to have the Pickets in the                  determine the policy and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people
park.” No signature. Some person with access                    along whether it’s a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a parlia-
to USGS results. Alarming results. Not a per-
                                                                ment or a communist dictatorship. The people can always be brought
son in the USGS. I had friends there, but they
were too honorable to leak information not                      to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell
yet released to public consideration.                           them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of
  Telling the tale at this late date can do no-                 patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger. It works the
body harm. The USGS contracted with a                           same in any country.
helicopterer to taxi them around the wilder-                             — HERMANN GOERING, WHILE BEING TRIED AT
ness. He also served the swarms of 1872 pri-
vateers then a-swarming over the public lands.
                                                                                    NUREMBERG: “GOERING’S LAW”

                                                                                                    THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004 ! 5
                                 STEHEKIN LANDING STUDY
July 21, 2004                                      here in need of expensive fixing.                    Stehekin and people have raincoats — or they
                                                      The Transportation Study and Landing and          can go inside the Lodge, which I’ll admit could
Dan Moses                                          Design Options therefore seems an odd docu-          be more inviting, but that is another matter al-
                                                   ment. What problems does it address? A prior         together). Since people need vehicles for car-
National Park Service
                                                   question is what brings people to Stehekin; that     rying freight and themselves up the road, it
428 West Woodin Avenue                                                                                  seems necessary that vehicles be at the land-
                                                   is, what needs was the Park created to serve?
Chelan, WA 98816                                   The NRA was created to protect the scenic and        ing. It makes far more sense to let those who
                                                   wilderness qualities of Stehekin and provide         are looking for a non-motorized experience to
RE: Stehekin Transportation Study and Concep-      for the public’s enjoyment of them. So the land-     get away from the road.
tual Landing and Design Options                    ing in Stehekin should be designed to allow             I also believe the Park interpreters who meet
                                                   people to enjoy the wildness around them. The        and greet the boat are doing their jobs just fine.
                                                   primary problem I see is lack of easy, immedi-       Those who need more service can make the
Dear Mr. Moses:
                                                   ate access to the wild scenery of the valley and     short walk to the visitor center.
   When the Park Service arrived in Stehekin,      the wilderness around it. Every time I travel the       Also sort of nice in an optional way would
they did a service to visitors by buying out the   Stehekin road in summer I encounter strollers        be these luggage carts, but please, no motor-
competing and scruffy businesses at the land-      and hikers forced, by lack of alternative, to walk   ized ones. This would add to the chaos and
ing (one of which was pink), ending the ab-        along the road. To walk a road, passed by cars,      motorization, not reduce it.
surd dueling loudspeakers, and eventually          is not what these people came to Stehekin for.
putting in a deck and painting it all an unob-                                                             I do not see that this study has addressed
                                                   Rather than spending money for the expensive         the real problems faced by visitors on arrival in
trusive gray-green. The arrangements were          building projects outlined in your study, funds
good and, except for maintaining them, the                                                              Stehekin.
                                                   for building such a trail should be sought. The
Park Service’s job here was basically done.                                                                Sincerely,
                                                   route for such a trail has already been surveyed.
There are sufficient bathrooms (I have never                                                               Carolyn McConnell
                                                      Sure, a covered area out of the rain would
seen a lineup) and while there is occasionally a
                                                   be nice. It would be nice to get the tour buses
bit of crowding and confusion on days when a
                                                   out of the way. But none of these is an egre-
full boat of tourists coincides with a large
                                                   gious problem that requires a major investment
amount of freight, there is no serious problem
                                                   (it hardly rains in the summer months in




                                Stehekin road repair process
 (KEVIN GERAGHTY CONVERSATION
        WITH DAN ALLEN)
   The National Park Service plan three sepa-
rate Environmental Assessments (EAs), sequen-                                                                                  Map – North Cascades
tially. First, up to the Courtney place, second,                                                                               National Park
Courtney to High Bridge, third, above High                                                                                     Ccmplex, 2004
Bridge. Dan Allen argued for two, one for the
park segment above High Bridge, where there
are wilderness issues, one below. The further
segmenting is, according to Dan, not a nefari-
ous scheme to disguise things, but due to a
desire to get things actually moving (i.e., move   reason that it cannot be rebuilt in place on the
some dirt) on the least controversial part.        current alignment (aquatics and wild and sce-
   The first EA, the one dealing with the lower    nic issues) but the wilderness boundary is 50
8 miles up to the Courtney place, is coming        feet from the road. To rebuild the road, the park
out in a month or two. In this stretch, the road   service would have to go to Congress to ask
has already received “emergency” repairs on        for a boundary adjustment of the wilderness
account of the Courtney ranch (arguably ille-      area, and you can imagine how that would play
gal), and I assume we are not going to oppose      out.
reopening, although we should certainly scru-         So realistically, then, the discussion, tussle,
tinize the EA when it is issued.                   what have you, is going to be about roughly 4
   It is pretty much a foregone conclusion at      miles of road, the slightly more than 2 from
this point that the road will not be reopened      the Courtney place up to High Bridge, and the
above Car Wash Falls (M 12.2), for the simple      slightly less than 2 between High Bridge and
                                                   Car Wash Falls.

  6 ! THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004
       Tomorrow and                                                        North Cascades Institute:
       Tomorrow and                                   Environmental Learning Center
         Tomorrow
 (1872 and 1872 and 1872)                                       UPDATE
  Excerpt from a piece by Robert McClure in
the May 11, 2004 Seattle Post Intelligencer:
                                                       or Seattle City Light Redons Its Black Hat
  “Under a 132-year-old federal law, foreign
                                                                                           THOMAS BRUCKER
companies . . . together with U.S. citizens and         POOR SEATTLE CITY LIGHT; it just is not         “too expensive.” This decision by SCL was made
companies . . . have been able to convert            comfortable wearing the white hat. The winter      unilaterally and in violation of the Memoran-
9,200,000 acres of public land to private use,       2003-4 issue of The Wild Cascades reported on      dum of Understanding. Without these two
according to a report released yesterday by the      a pleasant — and unexpected — benefit of the       buildings and the essential services they were
non-profit Environmental Working Group. . .”         High Ross Dam struggle: a 3-way agreement be-      to provide, the ELC would not be economically
  The globalized mining industry always has          tween Seattle City Light (SCL), the North Cas-     or programmatically viable. The dream of an
been fond of the Third World, which includes         cades Institute and the National Park Service      ELC appeared dead.
1872 America. One is reminded of Mae West,           providing for the construction of an Environ-         What to do? The building of the ELC was al-
reclining at voluptuous ease in her boudoir,         mental Learning Center on the shores of Diablo     ready 6 years behind schedule; litigation would
requesting of her lady’s maid, “Peel me another      Lake. Under the 1991 basic contract between        result in further delay and add additional cost.
grape, Beulah.”                                      the parties, the Memorandum of Agreement,          The decision was to try to negotiate and see if
                                                     City Light was responsible for construction of     anything could be salvaged. These discussions
                                                     the buildings. Work was proceeding; all looked     were painful and lasted over a month. NPS Su-
                                                     good.                                              perintendent Bill Paleck was a strong supporter
   Mount Rainier National Park:                         From 1997, when the architects were se-         of NCI and was instrumental in insuring a posi-
                                                     lected, to 2001 when construction began, to        tive outcome.
    LONG JOURNEYS                                    2004, SCL had never expressed any reservations        In the end agreement was reached. The two
     MAY WITH TINY                                   about the cost of the ELC during the numer-        buildings will be completed essentially as de-
                                                     ous reviews of costs, bid reviews, contractors’
      STEPS BEGIN                                    estimates, contractual awards, environmental
                                                                                                        signed, but NCI has agreed to pay SCL $870,000
                                                                                                        in order to get the project completed and the
   Achievement of the Mount Rainier National         reviews, contractual oversight, or at meetings     Park Service will contribute $400,000. The
Park-that-should-be might require a major vol-       with NCI and the Park Service,                     North Cascades Institute is currently engaged
canic eruption. At present most environmen-             Alas, on April 16th of this year, without no-   in a monumental effort to raise these funds.
tal energies are too busy elsewhere to pray up       tice to any party, SCL reverted to its old self       Had Seattle City Light been able to meet any
another St. Helens stunt. All hail, therefore, to    and instructed the contractor to stop work on      of their previous schedules for completing the
the citizens of Fairfax. Thanks to them, and their   two of the key buildings — the main service        Center on time, the Institute would have been
arousing of (1) Pierce County and then (2)           building and the terrestrial lab/classroom and     teaching children for years, a tremendous
Washington, D.C., and (3) the willingness of a       informed the other parties that these buildings    amount of money would have been saved, and
timber company to sell back stolen goods for a       would not be completed because they were           this controversy would not have arisen.
quick profit, the Carbon River corridor to the
park will gain 800 acres. In company of Pierce
County’s creation of a Fairfax Forest as a his-
torical monument, this may be the start of some-
thing big. The 800 acres is the largest expan-
sion of Mount Rainier Park in 70 years.                          PAY to PLAY WITH AMERICAN
                                                                   ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE
                                                        Funding agencies, 50 in number, nominally       the American Enterprise Institute deployed
                                                     philanthropic but zealous in their common          $25,000,000. It uses clever screens to hide its
                                                     hated of the “liberal enemy” have disbursed        central goal of privatizing the commons — the
                                                     roughly $3,000,000,000 over the past 30 years      broadcast spectrum as well as the timber, the
                                                     for what has been described as the fabrication     water, the air, the mineral deposits — and the
                                                     of “irritable mental gestures which seek to re-    law. The AEI battle strategy features “PAY to
                                                     semble ideas.” These “think tanks” of the Re-      PLAY.” Aside from the poor starvelings of the
                                                     publican Party seek such objectives as “shrink-    U.S. Forest Service, who see their once potent
                                                     ing the federal government to a size small         agency as sharing the danger of the National
                                                     enough to drown.” The four largest of the “na-     Park Service, who among us is a docile dupe?
                                                     tional tanks” based in Washington, D.C. had a
                                                     total budget in 2001 of $100,000,000. Of these,


                                                                                                        THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004 ! 7
                                             Only Weirdos
                                          Look Out the Window
                                                                   RICK MCGUIRE

The U.S.-Canada                                                                                                                landscape, and each other,
boundary cutting across                                                                                                        at every kind of angle,
the Cascades along the                                                                                                         jumping across rivers,
49th parallel has long                                                                                                         seeming to extend to infin-
been a dividing line in                                                                                                        ity, as if they were drawn by
more ways than one, with                                                                                                       some demented, ruler-
preserved landscapes to                                                                                                        wielding giant. Is it really
the south, and to the                                                                                                          necessary to survey so de-
north, moonscapes with                                                                                                         structively, or just more con-
appeal only to dedicated                                                                                                       venient? Mercifully, the
connoisseurs of ugliness.                                                                                                      clouds close in and draw a
In recent years the con-                                                                                                       veil over it all.
trast has become, and                                                                                                              The Canadian Rockies
continues to grow                                                                                                              and the Interior Ranges of
greater. One can’t help                                                                                                        British Columbia still have
but wonder where it will                                                                                                       substantial wild areas,
all lead if, as seems likely,                                                                                                  though outside of the lim-
present trends continue.                                                                                                       ited protected areas roads
   Recently I had a chance                                                                                                     have been pushed up most
to see it first hand from                                                                                                      valleys. The clouds part as
the window of an airliner.                                                                                                     we emerge over a complex,
Flying back to the North-                                                                                                      fiord-like lake. For a minute
west from the European                                                                                                         I try to puzzle out where we
continent in daylight, one                                                                                                     are, then realize it’s
sees, weather permitting,                                                                                                      Shuswap Lake, where the
a series of interesting                                                                                                        cedars of the Selkirks meet
landscapes. First Scot-                                                                                                        the pines and grasslands of
land, brown and bleak,                                                                                                         the Okanagan, as they spell
then, a few hours later,                                                                                                       it in Canada.
the white immensity of                                                                                                             Shuswap Lake is where
Greenland and its fast-                                                                                                        western redcedar usually
melting glaciers, followed                                                                                                     thought of as a giant
by the Pangnirtung fiords                                                                                                      rainforest tree, reaches the
of Baffin Island, one of                                                                                                       dry end of its range, with
the least known and most                                                                                                       some individuals even
spectacular wonders of                                                                                                         growing alongside ponde-
North America. Then,                                                                                                           rosa pines where they meet
more water and ice, and                                                                                                        the grasslands. Cedar for-
the endless “Barrens,”                                                                                                         ests stand out from the air,
the tundra lands of north-                                                                                                     their foliage a lighter shade
ern Canada. They seem                                                                                                          of green than other ever-
to stretch to infinity, and                                                                                                    greens. But it’s not the
even a dedicated land-                                                                                                         green that’s striking here,
scape junkie such as my-                                                                                                       it’s the brown of recent
self has trouble taking it                                                                                                     clearcuts, and the network
all in. Boldly defying the                                                                                                     of roads snaking every-
orders of the steward to                                                                                                       where. They reach even be-
pull the shade all the way down so that the fuzzy                                                         yond the recent clearcuts into the still-stand-
                                                    lakes everywhere, so many that it looks as
B movie on the screen can be better viewed                                                                ing cedar forest, signifying that this is an ongo-
                                                    though one could paddle anywhere with only
(what can they do, throw me overboard? Ban-                                                               ing destruction, growing worse by the day.
                                                    minor portages. It’s a delight to see a forest that
ish me to first class? ) I look and look at the
                                                    stretches off in all directions without a scratch        British Columbia is bigger than Washington,
blazing whiteness, my attention drifting till I
                                                    in it. But all too soon, it’s over. Northwestern      Oregon and California combined, with fewer
suddenly see. .
                                                    Saskatchewan looks beautiful, but once we’re          people than Washington state. It still has lots
   Trees! Hard to tell just what kind, though       above Alberta the inevitable roads and clearcuts      of places where you can get so far from crowds
obviously part of the great boreal forest span-     begin, along with perfectly straight oil and gas      and civilization that you’re glad to see some-
ning northern Canada and Eurasia. Forests, and      seismic exploration lines. They crisscross the        one when you do. But the timber industry is

  8 ! THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004
devouring its forests, a subsidized frenzy that      broken forests blanketing the slopes from the           history. The Issaquah Alps were largely taken
is intensifying every year. The scars are really     river to the mountaintops.                              back, and today Tiger Mountain presents a
starting to show, especially from the air. From         The Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National For-             pleasing vista of continuous forest, all of it re-
Shuswap Lake we continue south and west,             est is looking a lot better than it did 20 years        wilding second growth, perhaps the most
and the clearcuts just get bigger. Places that       ago. Most of the rest of the world, British Co-         popular hiking destination in the state.
recently seemed quiet and forgotten, Pennask         lumbia especially, may be in decline, but na-              While the Issaquah Alps model may not fit
Lake, Douglas Lake, the Nicola and Tulameen          ture is reasserting herself here. The North Cas-        all other parts of the Cascades, certainly parts
valleys, the Similkameen country, are having         cades are on the comeback. Whether this can             of it can be exported, and modified as needed
roads being punched all through them. And            be sustained, or falls victim to ill-conceived “for-    for local conditions. The Middle Fork
it’s not just the southern part of the province      est restoration” logging, will be up to NCCC            Snoqualmie valley near North Bend, formerly
that’s getting the treatment. Logging is push-       and other groups.                                       much abused, is now the object of a long stand-
ing everywhere, even the far north. Every day,                                                               ing drive to “take it back.” Large parts of the
                                                        Not much truly pristine country remains to
long trains of lumber cars can be seen moving                                                                North Fork Skykomish valley, railroad logged
                                                     be protected in the Cascades. The challenge is
south through Everett and Seattle, laden with                                                                80 years ago, are proposed for inclusion in
                                                     to “take back” places, and expand the defini-
load after endless load of wood, in plastic                                                                  the Wild Sky Wilderness. There are numerous
                                                     tion of wild country to include re-wilding
wrappers bearing names that not long ago                                                                     other places in the process of re-wilding in the
                                                     places. Just about all of the rest of the world
evoked images of wild remoteness, names like                                                                 Sauk, Suiattle, Skagit and Nooksack areas,
                                                     has made this transition. Wild places in Eu-
Omineca, Skeena, Cassiar, Peace River. . . .                                                                 places where future protected areas, whether
                                                     rope always have traces of past human activi-
   One could say that British Columbia, indeed       ties, as do places in eastern North America.            Wilderness or some other designation, could
most of Canada, is, in comparison to the             There’s not much untouched country left any-            and should take in productive low valleys
United States, a mix of the good old days and        where. The drive to re-wild places around here          which once saw some logging.
the bad old days. The good old days, because         began with Harvey Manning and the campaign                 Plenty of scenic high country has been pro-
life is sometimes a bit slower, the social safety    to protect what he dubbed the “Issaquah Alps.”          tected in the Cascades. Everyone loves old-
nets haven’t been so thoroughly shredded, and        When thus named, these were little more than            growth forests, but just about all of them
people seem relaxed and friendly in a way            typical Cascade foothills, roaded, logged, dis-         around here which haven’t been protected are
that’s getting rare here. The absence of gun         tinguished only by their proximity to Seattle.          on poor sites, or at high elevations, places the
culture and militarism helps, too. But the bad       The name seemed more than a little over the             timber industry didn’t want. What is largely
old days are here too, and one can only cringe       top - “alps,” for these rounded hills? And why          missing from our Wilderness and park areas
at the ongoing destruction so apparent from          would anyone want to protect a bunch of sec-            are the biologically richer lower elevations,
above, and its blythe acceptance by most of          ond growth? Tiger Mountain was a place for              where salmon can spawn and big trees can
the natives. There seems to be little prospect       high school kids to drive up on Friday nights           grow. Nature is already doing her part. It will
of slowing it down anytime soon.                     to drink, hang out, and look at the view. But           take time - these things always do - but it’s time
   But it’s left behind at the 49th parallel, at     no one laughed for long. Harvey’s idea of “Wil-         to start thinking about how to protect those
least in the North Cascades. The faint trace of      derness on the Metro” took off, perhaps even            low valleys which are starting to once again
the cleared boundary swath is visible, south         more than he thought it would, and the rest is          look so delightful from above.
of which are wonderfully natural landscapes.
On this particular trip I was treated to the sight
of pristine valleys on both sides of Ross reser-
voir, with Lightning Creek and Devils Creek
to the east, Little Beaver and Big Beaver val-
leys to the west, Big Beaver showing the light
green of low meadows and giant cedars. Apart
                                                                     YO YO MOUNT ADAMS?
from the reservoir itself there is little to sug-       In the September 13, 2004 Yakima Herald-             tion of the Yakama Reservation would be a ter-
gest the hand of man, and looking at the Big         Republic, Philip Ferolito wrote an article en-          rible violation. Tribal leaders were sworn to
Beaver valley is a particular pleasure for an        titled “Destination or Desecration?” Following          an oath to protect the things that re sacred to
NCCC’er, those meadows and cedars still there        are (condensed) excerpts:                               our people.’
because of the efforts of NCCC and Canadian             “Mount Hood Meadows Development Cor-                    “The closed area consists of more than
allies (notably the unforgettably named              poration has proposed a four-season ‘eco-re-            600,000 acres from Ahtanum Ridge to below
R.O.S.S., for “Run Out Skagit Spoilers,”) which      sort’ on Mount Adams: 11 ski lifts reaching the         Satus Pass. Only enrolled Yakama tribal mem-
prevented the raising of Ross Dam.                   11,100-foot level on the south side, three 18-          bers are allowed to practice sacred food gath-
   The spiraling destruction north of the bor-       hole golf courses, a mid-slope restaurant, ca-          erings, such as berry picking, root digging, and
der multiplies the appeal of all the preserved       sino, night club, and 2500 lodging units. Also          hunting and fishing. Outsiders need tribal per-
country in the North Cascades. Even more             a summer camp for tribal youth with year-               mission to enter and must be accompanied
pleasing than the pristine country in the North      round education courses on Yakama culture.              by a tribal member.
Cascades National Park and Wilderness areas             “Said Yakama Nation tribal secretary Davis              “The tribe closed this portion of the reser-
is the sight of low valleys in the Mt. Baker-        Washines (traditional name, Yallowash), ‘De-            vation to protect wildlife and the natural habi-
Snoqualmie National Forest, recovering now           velopers pitch such projects to the Nation ev-          tat. A 49-year boundary dispute with the fed-
for a number of years from the earlier logging       ery few years.’ The full tribal council has yet to      eral government ended in 1972 in return of
they suffered. Fortunately, trees grow quickly       hear the proposal, and it would have to be              the eastern half of Mount Adams to the Yakama
on the west side of the Cascades, and places         approved at General Council, where voting               Nation.”
like the Illabot Creek and Cascade River val-        tribal members decide on major decisions and               (Until then, this part of the Mount Adams
leys, and many others, horribly pockmarked           elect the 14-member tribal council.                     Wilderness and adjoining National Forest lands
in decades past, are starting to look nice again.
                                                        “Said Regina Jerry of the White Swan Shaker          were protected by the Wilderness Act.)
South of Darrington, the Sauk valley is a mostly
                                                     church, ‘The idea of putting any kind of devel-
continuous carpet of green, and the North
                                                     opment on the mountain in the closed sec-
Fork Skykomish valley presents a vista of un-

                                                                                                            THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004 ! 9
                         Ridding the Recreation Access Tax (The RAT)
   In the 10 days since Representative Regula’s                                                                                            Cartoon – Gavel
Recreation Access Tax was sneaked onto the                                                                                                 McNeil, Idaho
Omnibus Appropriations bill, dozens of articles                                                                                              Mountain
and editorials have been published. All but one                                                                                               Express,
have been critical of the new tax and the un-                                                                                                 December 1,
                                                                                                                                               2004
derhanded way in which such unpopular leg-
islation was rammed through. Links to these
articles are provided at www.wildwilderness.
org/docs/feedemo.htm
   Even more interesting is what elected offi-           “America the Beautiful National Parks and
cials are saying. Senators and House members             Federal Recreation Lands Pass,” or a day
are livid at the arrogance of Mr. Regula. Many           strolling the public lands surrounding the
are speaking of revising the RAT when Congress           Methow Valley could cost you $5,000 and six
reconvenes.                                              months in jail.
   The RAT was slipped onto the Omnibus bill                Buried in the 3,000-page appropriations bill
by people who knew that the program lacked               currently being considered by Congress is a
adequate support to be passed into law by nor-           new version of the National Recreation Fee
mal legislative procedures. — Scott Silver,              Demonstration Program, which established the
<wildwilderness.org>                                     fee commonly called “the Forest Pass” in 1996.
                                                         While the new fee program has not yet become
                                                         law, passage of the measure appears likely. The
                                                                                                             reau of Land Management, and U.S. Fish and
Rider on House bill could make                           bill is attached to the $388 billion appropria-
                                                                                                             Wildlife Service.
recreation fees permanent                                tions measure that provides funding for much
                                                                                                                Passage of the appropriations bill—which in-
   New 10-year public lands access fee program           of the U.S.government.
                                                                                                             cludes the new fee program—was delayed af-
includes high fines and possible                            The new bill, which would replace Fee Dem-
                                                                                                             ter the discovery of a controversial clause that
jail time for violators                                  onstration Program, is called the Federal Lands
                                                                                                             would have allowed members of Congress to
                                                         Recreation Enhancement Act. It would dramati-
                                                                                                             peruse individual tax returns. The Senate has
Methow Valley News                                       cally increase the penalties for non-compliance,
                                                                                                             already approved a new version of the spend-
Patrick Hannigran                                        extend the fee program for 10 years, and ex-
                                                                                                             ing bill, which drops the unpopular tax clause,
December 2, 2004                                         pand the program to include federal lands man-
                                                                                                             but retains the language establishing the new
                                                         aged by the Bureau of Reclamation as well as
  Feel like taking the kids out for a hike? Start-                                                           federal lands fee program.
                                                         the Forest Service, National Park Service, Bu-
ing in 2005, you’d better have your new




                           From The Hightower Lowdown, July 2004
   . . . The Bushites are laissez-faire purists striv-   mons runs the gamut from our national trea-
ing for their ideal of a corporate-run state. Not        sury to schools, water systems, wildlife pre-
only does this mean removing public restric-             serves, elections, postal service and parks.
tions on corporate power, but also removing
anything and everything that has the word
“public” attached to it — from education to
                                                                TAKING THE
Social Security, housing to health care, national             COMMONS, AGAIN                                  The Hightower Lowdown
forests to our local water supplies. Their ex-                                                                         12 issues— $15
tremist anti-government agenda, culled from a               Bush and company are not merely trying to
sprawling clutter of right-wing corporate-               take us back to the Gilded Age of pre-New Deal,         seniors and students — $12
funded think tanks, is so sweeping and is be-            robber baron corporatism, but also all the way
ing pursued so energetically that one can imag-          back to the “enclosure movement” of 18th–cen-
ine them holding pre-dawn pep rallies each day           tury England. Back then, with the blessing of       Mail to The Hightower Lowdown
in the White House . . . .                               parliament, the dukes and barons of the aris-
                                                         tocracy suddenly laid claim to the forests, mead-            PO Box 20596
   It’s our “commons” that they’re out to elimi-
nate. The commons are both the common
                                                         ows, wild game, and other resources that, up              New York, NY 10011
                                                         to then, all had shared (and the peasantry had
wealth that all of us own together, and the pub-
                                                         literally relied on for sustenance), enclosing
lic institutions that we’ve established for our
                                                         these commons as the private property of the
common good. The commonwealth includes
                                                         elite.
such physical assets as our air, airwaves, pure
water, the ozone layer, and all of nature, as well          Three centuries later, here we go again, for
as such intangible assets as human rights and            Bush has blessed a gold rush by today’s corpo-
liberties. The public institutions of the com-           rate elites to privatize our commons. . . .

  10 ! THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004
      WILD SKY BILL LIKELY DEAD                                                                            Gold in Them
           THIS CONGRESS
                                         RICK MCGUIRE
                                                                                                            Thar Hills
                                                     which now support mature 70 to 80 year old,              The October 9, 2004 Post-Intelligencer re-
    Supporters of the Wild Sky Wilderness have
                                                     naturally regenerated second growth forest.           ports that members of The Lands Council, part
resigned themselves to the likely failure of Con-
                                                     Pombo seized upon this to stop the bill, claim-       of Westerners for Responsible Mining, went out
gress to pass the bill this session. As this issue
                                                     ing that only totally pristine places could be        October 7 to 20 acres of public land next to the
of TWC goes to press, the House Resources
                                                     designated under the “letter” of the Wilderness       “posh subdivision” of Canfield Mountain, near
Committee, chaired by Richard Pombo, R-Ca-
                                                     Act. This is patently absurd - Congress has des-      Hayden Lake, Idaho, drove a stake in the
lif, failed to consider the bill, which means the
                                                     ignated many places as Wilderness which have          ground, and thereby, under the Mining Law of
full House is unlikely to take it up. The bill has
                                                     contained old roads or mines, or previously           1872, privatized all the gold, copper, and pre-
twice passed the Senate.
                                                     logged areas, including a number of examples          cious jewels.
   Pombo has made it clear that he is no fan of
Wilderness or even of public lands. He made a        in Washington state within the Pasayten, Gla-            A spokesperson for the Bureau of Land Man-
great show earlier this year of declaring that       cier Peak, The Brothers, Goat Rocks, and other        agement comments that staking such claims is
the wishes of members in whose districts pro-        areas. Some Wilderness areas in eastern states        perfectly legal. There is no major effort in Con-
posed Wilderness areas were located would be         were 100% logged in the past.                         gress to amend the ancient law, which the Na-
given great weight, as well as that of the del-        Murray and Larsen have indicated their in-          tional Mining Association insists is essential to
egations of affected states. The proposed Wild       tentions to re-introduce the bills next year. Both    the nation’s economic health.
Sky Wilderness lies entirely within the 2nd Con-     won high praise from Wilderness supporters
                                                     and editorial boards for sticking to their origi-        Mike Peterson of The Lands Council says
gressional district of Washington, represented
                                                     nal proposal and not accepting Nethercutt’s           other groups in “California, Montana, Seattle,
by Rick Larsen, a sponsor and strong propo-
                                                     version with the “good stuff ” removed. Good          Idaho, Colorado, and New Mexico . . . will be
nent of the bill. Apparently, Pombo’s deference
                                                     things take time, and it looks like the Wild Sky      staking claims next to neighborhoods, ski ar-
to local Members extends only to opponents
                                                     will take some time.                                  eas, and hiking trails.”
of Wilderness. The Wild Sky bill contains some
areas which were previously logged, most of                                                                  Let the festivities begin. Bring on the danc-
                                                                                                           ing girls.




                       NATIONAL PARKS REALLY IN PERIL
                                                       SCOTT SILVER, WILD WILDERNESS


A   ssuming the Bush administration does
    NOT significantly increase funding for
the parks, then the only remaining solu-
                                                     parks. And so when user-fees prove to be
                                                     an inadequate and ineffective solution, and
                                                     when Congress and free-market ideo-
                                                                                                            serve much of the blame.
                                                                                                               Wild Wilderness does not oppose NPS
                                                                                                            entrance fees. We recently supported leg-
tion will be to further increase the reli-           logues convince editorial boards that there            islation to make them permanent, though
ance upon USER-FEES. That, of course, is             simply isn’t any more money available to               we adamantly oppose similar fees for the
where the recreation user-fee issue began            give to the parks (what with the war on                USFS, BLM, FWS and other agencies. We
when in 1982 Ronald Reagan proposed                  terrorism, etc.), then editorial boards all            understand that the national parks are in
CUTTING park budgets by 25 percent and               across the nation will tell their readers that         peril and we understand that they have
replacing that money with user-fees.                 commercialization and privatization are                been intentionally PLACED in peril. We
   The narrowly focused messaging of Na-             the only avenues remaining with which to               understand that Fee-Demo was created not
tional Parks and Conservation Association            “Save” the parks.                                      to save the parks, but to advance a politi-
(NPCA) and other organizations who have                 When that happens the public nature of              cal / ideological / commercial agenda. And
repeatedly pointed to inadequate fund-               public parks will be destroyed and, to be              unlike NPCA, we recognize, and are pre-
ing of the parks while saying nothing                blunt, the failure of NPCA and others to               pared to publicly state, that the “solution”
about the larger and directly related is-            focus their message correctly will be par-             that has long been planned for the national
sues of fees, commercialization and                  tially to blame. The failure of conservation           parks is to commercialize and privatize
privatization are backfiring. Those efforts          groups to become actively, and coura-                  them. Who else will stand up and fight for
are increasing support for user-fees while           geously, engaged in this issue will also de-           the parks????
doing little to increase funding for the
                                                                                                          THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004 ! 11
                           THE RECENT VERY COMMERCIAL
                                ADVENTURE QUEST
                                                                     KEVIN GERAGHTY

                                                                                    ”By the late 1980s,       initially found nonsensical. What was adven-
                                                                                 the world was picked         turous about roller-blading or wheeling kay-
                                                                                 over; the highest peaks      aks across the Skagit delta on dollies? What
                                                                                 climbed, the largest         was the point of jumaring up and rappelling
                                                                                 deserts crossed, the         down fixed ropes? Climbers would regard such
                                                                                 oceans sailed and the        an activity as mere tedious exercise, potentially
                                                                                 skies crisscrossed by        hazardous, of course, but not demanding any
                                                                                 space exploration. Into      actual climbing skills.
                                                                                 this void stepped the           And in what sense were these groups of four
                                                                                 Raid Gauloises, a race       “teams”? Certainly no activity they were engag-
                                                                                 that sought to recon-        ing in really demanded more than a single per-
                                                                                 nect man with nature,        son. The natural unit for climbing (as opposed
                                                                                 to reclaim the spirit of     to going up and down fixed ropes) is two, but
                                                                                 discovery and adven-         no real climbing was done during this race.
                                                                                 ture...”                     Kayaks commonly come in singles and pairs.
                                                                                    But what, specifically,   Why not, then, have pairs and singles in the
                                                                                 were the latter-day          race? And why the requirement of three men
                                                                                 Columbuses,                  and a woman? Would it not make more sense
                                                                                 Magellans, and Cooks         to have men’s and women’s divisions, as is the
                                                                                 called upon to do?           near-universal custom in other forms of rac-
                                                SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER “Subaru Primal Quest               ing?
                                                           AUGUST 23, 2004 2004”, billed as “earth’s             No, none of this seemingly gratuitous ba-
                                                                                 richest adventure” (a        roque complexity made the least sense until
                                                        reference perhaps to the $250,000 purse), was         one recognized that the design of the event
                                                        to cover roughly 400 miles and last 5-10 days.
W      hen I first heard that western Washing-                                                                was shaped by marketeers and driven largely
                                                        It was supposed to consist of 17 separate legs        by commercial considerations. The event was
        ton and the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie
                                                        involving paddling sea kayaks on Puget Sound          the raw material for a TV show, to be
would this fall experience the “Subaru Primal
                                                        and on the Skagit River, “trekking” (trail and        viewed by ignorant and jaded sofa-nauts, so it
Quest,”currently North America’s most publi-
                                                        cross-country travel), mountain biking,               really didn’t matter that going up and down
cized “adventure race,” I tried to make some
                                                        orienteering, “ropes” (jumaring up fixed lines        fixed ropes demanded no skill at all. What
sense of it.
                                                        and rappelling down), pulling the sea kayaks          mattered was that it provide spectacle and look
   Invented by a Frenchman who had an                   on wheeled dollies along an 11-mile road              adventurous on TV    .
epiphany while viewing Patagonia from a he-             course, roller-blading and push-scootering on
licopter (or perhaps while suffering boredom                                                                     And as for roller-blading, scootering, and
                                                        pavement, and walking about on the Easton             kayak-carting, it offered variety to the viewer
during a transatlantic sailing passage, accounts        Glacier on Mount Baker. In terms of distance,
differ) the activity was brought to the United                                                                and an opportunity to model yet another kind
                                                        kayaking (Puget Sound and the lower Skagit)           of outdoor gear, and hence attract another
States in 1995 by Californian Mark Burnett who          and mountain-biking segments (largely on
“understood that there was marketing poten-                                                                   group of corporate sponsors.
                                                        roads) accounted for roughly three-quarters
tial in America for a race that blended extreme                                                                  The mandatory inclusion of a woman in
                                                        of the projected length. Everything else added
sports with human interest stories.”                                                                          each synthetic team would of course open up
                                                        together comprised the remaining quarter.
   One claim made by advocates of this activ-                                                                 a number of human-interest angles and specu-
                                                           The contestants were teams of four, each           lations to the viewers, and perhaps serve to
ity, the “new sport for the new millennium”,            composed of three men and a woman, and
as they say, is that it represents a “return to the                                                           attract more female sofa-nauts. Anyone with
                                                        were required generally to stay in close con-         the stamina to watch network Olympic cover-
great outdoors” by fitness enthusiasts who,             tact with each other, on pain of disqualifica-
weary of marathons and triathlons, “venture                                                                   age is familiar with the corporate strategy of
                                                        tion. The course started and ended on Orcas           sweetening sports broadcasts with extraneous
beyond the clubs and embrace more natural               Island. There were staffed checkpoints, 40 in
surroundings.”                                                                                                human interest treacle. As regards the basic
                                                        all, which team members had to pass through.          requirement of a “team”, allowing individuals
   Another unsubtle claim is that it is, well, ad-      There were “transition points” where partici-         or pairs to race would, perhaps, let the cat out
venturous. The “Primal Quest” web site had              pants changed one kind of gear for another.           of the bag that this course, admitedly arduous,
this gem of lush publicist prose:                       Each four-person participant team had a two-          was in fact not some death-defying route only
   ”Adventure racing traces its roots to the great      person “support team” to marshal and move             to be attempted by a “team of experts.”
maritime trade expeditions of explorers such            their gear about, feed them, and so forth. There
                                                                                                                 The decision to make this a continuous, as
as Columbus, Magellan and Cook...                       were also large numbers of volunteers, paid
                                                                                                              opposed to a stage race, was a striking one.
   Starting in the 19th century, legendary ex-          helpers, handlers, minders, media people,
                                                                                                              “Grueling” is not a bad description of a five- to
plorers such as Lewis & Clark, Amundsen and             photographers, and clattering helicopters. The
                                                                                                              seven-day continuous race, of any sort, even,
Byrd mounted extremely challenging expedi-              entry fee was a stiff $7500 for each of the 56
                                                                                                              say, an egg-and-spoon race. Were one inter-
tions to the far reaches of the globe, searching        teams.
                                                                                                              ested in athleticism, in appreciating and re-
for mythologized destinations and riches.”                 There was much about this event which I

  12 ! THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004
warding physical and mental skill, a stage race             ting John Jacoby in the leg and
would arguably be a better format. Participants             pinballing down past the rest of us in
punch-drunk, gibbering, and hallucinating                   the gully. Nigel was furthest down, and
from sleep deprivation do not demonstrate                   the rock ended up hitting him in the
much style nor think or perform at their best.              head.”
But they do offer some compelling viewing, at
least in small doses, and they certainly add to           Other accounts make clear that the rock was
the story line that this is an “extreme” event.        set moving by one of the party, perhaps by one
                                                       of the two at the top who had not yet started to
   Clearly the format rewarded physical fitness,
                                                       descend. Party-induced rockfall is, of course, a
endurance, and the willingness to tolerate sleep
                                                       classic gotcha of alpine climbing. It is one rea-
deprivation. Skill in route-finding, mountain
                                                       son why small parties of two are preferred, and
biking, and paddling were also requisites. None
                                                       why party members stay close together when
of the disciplinary skills required were of a very
                                                       descending loose gullies. Stringing a large
high order, however. Some browsing of race
                                                       group up and down a loose couloir is asking
accounts, on-line team biographies, blogs, and
                                                       for trouble.
publicity shots available on line revealed a few
patterns. Most of the participants (52 of 56              In hindsight, it’s pretty easy to see that Illabot
teams) were not from the Northwest. Most did           should not have been included in the race. A
not appear to have any deep familiarity with           pleasant outing, perhaps, for a small party, ex-
mountains, marine environments, or tradi-              perienced with 3rd-class terrain and loose rock,
tional wilderness travel skills. Aside from one        but an accident-in-waiting if traversed by sev-
Northwest team, there were no self-described           eral hundred tired, underslept contestants,
                                                                                                                Illabot Peak                     KEVIN GERAGHTY
climbers, wilderness enthusiasts, or sea               many of whom lacked experience moving on
kayakers. The common thread was participa-             steep subalpine ground. And unfortunately, the
tion in aerobic fitness events like triathlons,        knack of moving through this kind of terrain             to what one might call the “safe danger” or “pre-
ultramarathons, and mountain-bike races.               efficiently and in relative safety isn’t something       digested adventure” industry. That is, an aura
   The race did not work out as planned. Sep-          that can be learned in a book, or practiced at           of risk, of hazard, of derring-do, is what draws
tember snows on Mount Baker led to the can-            the local climbing gym if one lives in a moun-           participants and sponsors. At the same time, it
cellation of the Easton Glacier loop. And on           tain-free area. Imposing “certifications,” and           is understood on some level by the
the third day of the race a member of one of           equipment checklists, as this race did, is a             participants that the organizers of this activity
the two leading teams, who were traveling to-          flawed answer to skill and knowledge deficits.           will keep them safe and that the substantive
gether at that point, was killed on Illabot Peak.      It’s easy enough to require people to carry some         risks and requirements of skill and experience
This led to a hiatus of over a day, and when the       totemic item of safety equipment, or make sure           are in fact low. This in turn, leads participants
race resumed it was effectively shortened sig-         they know the mechanics of rappelling, but very          to blindly trust the organizers, to abrogate their
nificantly by replacing two difficult off-trail seg-   hard to test them on whether they know how               own judgment, or never to develop any in the
ments (on one of which the fatality occurred)          to move in the mountains and whether their               first place. And it would appear that in pursuit
with road biking.                                      mountain judgment is any good. It is sobering            of zip, pizazz, extremeness, and good visuals,
   Illabot Peak, is an obscure 3rd- or perhaps         that this classic novice accident occurred to the        the race organizers ignored or forgot how little
low 4th-class summit, overlooking the Sauk             two lead teams, presumably among the stron-              in terms of mountain or paddling savvy could
valley and just west of the Glacier Peak Wilder-       gest and most competent in the race.                     be expected of their retread triathlete partici-
ness. The summit block is exposed and unfor-              An account of the 2002 “Primal Quest” in the          pants.
giving of clumsy errors, but a straightforward         January 2003 issue of Outside Magazine re-                  If “Primal Quest” were nothing but a manu-
ascent in good conditions for someone who              counts situations very similar to the Illabot mis-       factured reality TV sportainment presented with
does North Cascades scrambles. In the dark, in         hap, but with luckier outcomes:                          transparent disingenuousness as exploratory
the wet, or under conditions of sleep depriva-                                                                  high adventure, it wouldn’t merit much more
                                                            ”... we noticed boulders rolling past
tion and inexperience, it is hazardous. Third-                                                                  than a laugh. But the PQ represents an unabash-
                                                            us and scampered to the sides of the
class climbing, because typically traveled                                                                      edly commercial and arguable heavy-handed
                                                            chute, where we stopped and shouted
unroped, is in many respects riskier than tech-                                                                 recreational use of public lands. If “adventure
                                                            at the teams above us to cut it the
nically more difficult, but belayed, 5th-class                                                                  racing” is, as some claim, the coming thing, it
                                                            hell out. Too late. A boulder the size
climbing. One of the lead group of two teams,                                                                   behooves us to take a close look at the effects
                                                            of a truck tire came rumbling out of
roughly four hours ahead of their nearest pur-                                                                  of this first high-profile event on local wild pub-
                                                            the darkness. Illuminated by
suer, stated in an account of the accident that                                                                 lic lands.
                                                            someone’s headlamp, the rock
on the ascent “The terrain was very loose, slip-
                                                            wobbled through the air like an                       Climbers familiar with the granite climbs of
pery and exposed. We’d all discussed how tech-
                                                            onside kick, picking up speed. Two                  the Clear Creek watershed near Darrington
nical the climb seemed and wondered why
                                                            teams froze in the middle of the chute.             were one group who turned out to be vocally
there wasn’t a fixed rope.” The accident oc-
                                                            It plowed right through the trailing                dissatisfied with the way “Primal Quest” was
curred on the descent, when the party of eight,
                                                            team, and a woman screamed, from                    conducted. Exfoliation Dome, the biggest hunk
spread out, were descending a gully:
                                                            either fright or pain.”                             of exposed granite in the Clear Creek valley,
     ”[It was] a steep, rocky gully with quite                                                                  was described by Fred Beckey as “quite possi-
                                                          It may be that the California Sports Market-
     a bit of loose rock, but we could at least                                                                 bly the most difficult 4,000-foot peak in the state
                                                       ing, Inc. corporate creator of “Primal Quest”,
     see that it ran all the way to the bot-                                                                    of Washington. This same Exfoliation Dome,
                                                       will be chastened by this death. Maybe not,
     tom. Nigel started down into the gully                                                                     spotted from a helicopter by race organizers,
                                                       though. After all, what better indicator of the
     first to check it out. We all followed in,                                                                 was the site of the “ropes” segment of the “Pri-
                                                       coveted quality of “extremeness” than a
     one by one. With six of us in the gully,                                                                   mal Quest”.
                                                       contestant’s death? And there is, arguably, a
     a large rock dislodged from the top hit-
                                                       structural problem here, a problem endemic                                        Continued on page 20

                                                                                                               THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004 ! 13
                    Tales from the Walla Walla Toll Road
                                                               HARVEY MANNING

        THE SEATTLE-WALLA WALLA TOLL ROAD                                    6.2 miles of 14-foot right-of-way up Grouse Ridge were signed over to
                                                                             King County. Trees fell, creeks gullled, weeds grew. But in 1905 the first
  In 1883 A.A. Denny and H.L. Yesler opened the Seattle-Walla Walla
                                                                             cars crossed Snoqualmie Pass, helped here and there by ferry, teams of
Toll Road, the first dependable cross-Cascades wheelway. In 1892 the
                                                                             horses, and shoulders to the wheel.


                                                    #1 BANDERA MOUNTAIN
   Poking about in a pile of yellowing guide-      marshmallows over the campfire and been lulla-      the Sheep Dog with the Piebald Eyes, Natasha.
books, I came upon this manifesto in the 1978      bied to sleep by he river. But the Olmsteds,        Buddy Pal asked” Where we going, daddy?” I
edition of Footsore 2:                             whether or not they ever hoofed it up the over-     replied “Exploring.” Several destinations I’d
        The South is the Fork of the               grown Walla Walla Toll road of 1883, surely got     been eyeing rebuffed us (other tales for other
     Snoqualmie River that everybody               the glimmer as they stuck steak knives in T-        times). The hour had come to let Natasha into
     knows. The valley is a straight shot          bones that had walked over Snoqualmie Pass          the snack sack she’d been sniffing and go home.
     from Seattle-Tacoma. . . One would            from the Okanogan.                                  Wise to the ways of wildlands, Buddy Pal coun-
     suppose the authorities long ago                 The North Bend Ranger District was notori-       seled me, “Daddy, you don’t get no place
     would have provided a wealth of rec-          ously oblivious to humans being differentiated      ‘sploring.”
     reational opportunities. One would            from other animals not by attached wheels but          However. . .
     suppose wrong. The recreational de-           efficient bipedal propulsion. The rangers did          In 1958, returning home from peddling
     velopment is mostly up in the snow            not — upon Tom Miller’s throwing the switch         books in the Rocky Mountains, I’d passed a for-
     country. Hikers smother the Alpine            that zapped the lightning bolt into the wild-       est fire on slopes of the ridge above the Bandera
     Lakes Wilderness with affection . .To         land — exclaim (as did the lab assistant in the     Air Strip. Now I turned off the highway on a
     divert boots from tender wilderness,          Frankenstein movie) “IT’S ALIVE!” Our 100           logging road that switchbacked to the lower
     to lengthen the hiking season, to give        Hikes in Western Washington found, in 1968,         margin of the burn. Cat tracks, then a clamber
     North Bend something to do now it             only one trail between Mount Si and the Pin         over and under blackened logs brought us out
     has lost the highway through town,            Peaks of Snoqualmie Pass worth our focus:           in subalpine fields — a charcoaled Buddy Pal
     haste should be made to develop a             Mac’s Butt.                                         and sheep dog and an explorer guilty of gross
     Cascade Gateway Recreation Area.                 In 1971 our first edition of 100 Hikes in the    cruelty to children and animals. The final as-
   However, not until the 1990 extravaganza by     Alpine Lakes doubled the number. No thanks          cent to the summit — which for guidebook pur-
the Issaquah Alps Trails Club, the five-day, 88-   to Smokey Bear. His favored clientele was the       poses I called (perhaps christened) “Bandera”
mile “Mountains-to-Sound March,” did those         multiple-abusers who in the name of the “great-     — had a splendid show of beargrass in bloom.
Authorities get the wax out of their ears.         est good” bang motorcycles through the stumps       On the descent, after the snack sack was plun-
   The “gateway” was not my invention, my          and blast pistols at rockchucks and anything        dered, I found the firefighters’ scramble path
Newton’s apple or funny-papers light-bulb. Nor     else that moves. Bandera Mountain was my            at the burn edge, trail enough.
was it new to me in 1978. Half a century earlier   idea.                                                  Supplied route directions, my then photog-
I’d flown high in the swings, bumped up and           A springtime Sunday of the late 1960s I set      rapher got as far as the beargrass. In 2004 a
down on the teeter-totters, and whirled around     out by beetle to survey the South Fork, accom-      shrine was built there in memory of his cam-
in the kid-gang, foot—powered whirligig at         panied by five-year-old Buddy Pal, Claudia, and     era.
Maloney’s Grove, then roasted weenies and


                                                       #2 MOUNT DEFIANCE
   The Bandera road crossed Mason Creek,           feeling muscular that morning I elected to stick    Lakes Wilderness. Already, in 1975, it had been
tumbling from one of the Boy Scout Lakes,          with my mistake. Sidehilling the creek canyon       the final leg of Stan Unger’s solo walk from
holes in the ground filled with water and hatch-   was a hip-dislocater, so I drifted westward onto    Seattle’s Discovery Park to Snoqualmie Pass,
ery trout, ringed in summer by troops of boys      the gentler grade of the Snoqualmie valley wall.    waving the flag for a group wishing to stress
slapping mosquitoes and barfing raw bacon          Scrub forest and brush opened out nicely to         the spiritual connection of the Whulge to the
and uncooked hotcakes. I’d heard that              the felsenmeer that is nigh-ubiquitous in the       Cascade Crest. In 1981 it had been the open-
fishbaggers had booted out a path to Mason         area, granite blocks the size of refrigerators,     ing leg of the March to Gasworks Park led for
Lake. That was of minus interest to me but as a    Volkswagens, and prospectors’ cabins. Hop-          The Mountaineers by Jim Whittaker to protest
shortcut to the Middle Fork Snoqualmie-Denny       skipping, grasshopper-like, from block to block     the Reagan–Watts scheme to drill holes in the
Creek mainline trail enabled an easy day’s as-     was deserving of choreography by Balanchine,        Alpine Lakes Wilderness to get the magma on
cent of Mount Defiance. The highest geogra-        a spice of peril added to the dance by looking      the Northwest Power Grid.
phy in the neighborhood, this peak was re-         down the gaps to darkness.                             There’s more history in that area than is
quired by the second edition of 100 Hikes in          I intersected the mainline trail where it con-   dreamt on in our guidebooks. In ‘sploring
the Alpine Lakes, due out in 1985, to join Mac’s   toured the southwest slopes of Defiance in a        Bandera, we’d come upon a small granite
Butt and Bandera Mountain as a third destina-      flower field as gaudy as any I’ve seen in the       felsenmeer traversed by a trail built long ago to
tion between Mount Si and the Pin Peaks.           Snoqualmie area, and the closest of the sort to     packhorse standards. I followed it east and west
   I hadn’t climbed far from the road before re-   the Cascade front. The trail obviously was fated    to the edge of the rockery — to vanishings in
alizing the fishway must be across the creek but   to become a famous favorite of the new Alpine       subalpine greenery. Where did it come from?

  14 ! THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004
Where did it go? Who built it? When? Why? A         new hole. They’d never know where to look              end, hardhats with no brains, and the saints
ghost trail in the sky . . .                        for my bones. On glaciers I’ve often stepped in        come marchin’ in, ignorant volunteerism run
   Buddy Pal, knowledgeable in mountain             holes but usually was roped and always had             amok.
felsenmeer, had informed me, “Marmots live          companions to laugh at the comical look on                I later learned the wilderness rangers were
here.” I expressed a doubt, heard the squeals       my face.                                               equally disgusted. In 55 Hikes Around
of a rock rabbit, and said, “Well, conies.” A          The basin of Mason Lake was solid white, no         Snoqualmie Pass, 2001, I opined that the ra-
whistle. Score one for the kid. That’s the far-     clue in the forest to the fishbagger path. A short     tional route to Mason Lake was over the
thest-west Cascades marmot I’ve ever heard.         plug up snow to the shoulder of Bandera took           Bandera shoulder. My opining carried no
   The summit of Defiance was a quick amble.        me back to the beetle.                                 weight with the Smokeys and their free-park-
The mainline then took me easterly toward              For guidebook purposes I returned another           ing volunteers. However, in 2004 somebody
Mason Lake. Not immediately to it. The moun-        day to check out the trail. Expletives deleted.        suffered an attack of smartness and caused the
tain rounded to an easterly exposure. The trail     Witless Dan’l Boones equipped with many-col-           right thing to be done. A convocation of
entered felsenmeer and disappeared under            ored ribbons had flagged many many treacher-           hardhats carried bouquets and pebbles, tokens
snow. Between granite blocks holes were melt-       ous routes in a Minotaur’s labyrinth of jumbled        of devotion, to the Bandera shoulder to dedi-
ing out. At any step my boots might make a          granite and bottomless pits. Ribbonry without          cate the “Ira Spring Trail.”


                                                     #3 MOUNT WASHINGTON
   When the state decided to pave the highway       ochist could take sick satisfaction in the handi-      and Olallie State Park was established. In 55
east of North Bend, Dad lucked into a job shov-     work of Paul Bunyan and the Blue Ox.                   Hikes Around Snoqualmie Pass, 2001, I wrote
eling sand, gravel, and Portland cement into        Truckways abandoned to become footroads                how “off I went until my Shelties were shiver-
the concrete mixer that spewed slurry into a        gave viewpoints for reflecting on civitas. So          ing in belly-deep (theirs) snow.” The North
parade of wheelbarrows. A couple of Sundays         Mount Washington called me.                            Bend Plain spread below from Rattlesnake and
that summer Mother and I drove up to visit him         The obvious access from the Snoqualmie Pass         the Issaquah Alps to Si. The half-road was a gas,
at his tent camp beneath Mac’s Butt. Neither        Highway was a one-truck-wide half-road at the          ingeniously threading over and under cliffs. I
that nor any other South Fork summit triggered      terminal moraine of the Canadian glacier. The          pictured Dirty Harry (another story, another
my conquistador instincts until 1947, when a        turnoff, though, was so sharp that I had to slow       place) in his beat-up old truck, the outer wheels
prankster inveigled Betty and me up the South       nearly to a foot-pace, and every time I consid-        hanging partly over space, him singing “Nearer
Face of The Tooth, whereupon I set to work          ered doing so an over-the-hump behemoth at-            My God to Thee.”
wiping out the Pin Peaks.                           tached to the rear bumper of my beetle.                   I never bothered with the summit. Low ad-
   The portal peaks at the Cascade front lacked     Above the moraine, the highway shoulder was            venture, the jest of our chosen few, was becom-
whatever it was that got my blood racing on         parkable and a short clamber gained the rail-          ing what Pin Peaking used to be for clubbies.
the South Face. My blood boiled instead as I        road tracks but a long trestle guaranteed that         (My Footsores presumably had something to
watched log-haul roads climb, year by year, to      when a train came (and they still did) the night’s     do with this, though mine eyes were far from
the highest reach of forests.                       menu would be hamburger and no potatoes.               being first to glory in the wildness within.) A
   They stopped only because the Northern Pa-       A trail from Herpicide Spire (another trip, an-        subculture had beribboned the maze of cat
cific Land Grant failed to privatize the clouds.    other place) was wanted. A group of Issaquah           tracks on Washington and championed favor-
Conrad Kain, legendary guide of the Canadian        Alpinists announced intentions. I haven’t              ite routes in letters to the editor, wall posters,
Rockies and Selkirks, is said to have said, “Men    checked recently to see how they are coming.           and fist fights. Our private fun was spoiled.
can go where clouds can go, but they must be           The Bulletin of The Mountaineers, to which             I do not guarantee the details of the route in
sturdy men.” We local sturdies had to supple-       I paid dues for a half-century until expelled as       55 Hikes. I concluded my translation from
ment the steadily dwindling close-to-home wil-      a troublemaker, began announcing walks to the          ribbonry-entangled prose with a note to the
derness with the steadily growing ex-forests.       “Owl Hike Spot.” Lo, it started from where the         reader: “There now, wasn’t that fun? Somebody
When the boiling slowed to a simmer, a mas-         half-road had been before US 10 became I-90            owes you a pin.”



                                                           #4 MAILBOX PEAK
   Chances are nobody ever spent as much time       that this peak’s southwest slopes were melted          of the Lutheran Layman League. Clearcutting
as me trying to figure how to get up the Portal     to the felsenmeer while Snoqualmie Pass re-            has obliterated the first mile. I found the exist-
Peaks at the mouth of the hanging trough of         mained crotch-deep in winter.                          ing start off a logging road at a tiny sign, “4841”.
the South Fork Snoqualmie. The joke (on me)            I hypothesized approaches from every side              Sally and Warren and company initiated the
is that I never “summited” either one. Will         and scouted a couple. Then, in 1991, a Sign-           public march-march-march. My 1991 guide-
Rogers used to conclude his humorous reflec-        post article render my pioneering obsolete.            book, Hiking the Mountains-to-Sound
tions on the political scene in Washington City,    Sally Pfeiffer described a trail to the summit,        Greenway, doubtless set more feet in motion.
such as wondering whether Silent Cal, when          for which she suggested the name “Mailbox”                Not mine. Dan’l Boone’s work had been
the photographers made him wear an Indian           because the register book was in an old, heavy,        done by others. I followed the example of Mark
war bonnet, ever felt the urge to give a war        green mailbox (a “collectible” that some Col-          Twain, who for his book Innocents Abroad did
whisper, by saying, “All I know is what I read in   lector now has in his secret trophy room for           the mandatory tourist walk to the Riffelalp,
the papers.”                                        private gloating). Notes in the box dated to the       where he dutifully boiled the thermometer
   The top of the ridge extending west from         1950s. Sally estimated the trail was built no later    (and also the barometer, not sure which instru-
Mount Defiance was tantalizing. The views cer-      than 1940.                                             ment tourists were supposed to boil) but des-
tainly had to equal or surpass those from Mount        Warren Jones later informed me the trail            patched his assistant to do the obligatory climb
Si. More significantly, whenever driving by on      originally began at Vallley (sic) Camp, retreat        of the Matterhorn.
the way to postholing in the Pin Peaks, I noted

                                                                                                          THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004 ! 15
                                                          #5 DIRTY HARRY
        The first I heard of him, in 1977, was    met one. The correct spelling derives from the      the concrete of the I-90-that-was-becoming.
     an unimproved road shown on a State          Old Country, as in Gypo Nolan, the Irish Re-           Harry’s road didn’t fool with switchbacks,
     Highway engineers’ map, labeled,             publican Army traitor in Flaherty’s novel, The      went straight up the fall line, boulders and
     “Dirty Harry’s Logging Road.” This           Informer.) The Forestry Club at the University      snowmelt torrents be damned. Where it finally
     struck me as a gratuitous slur by a pub-     once invited me to a friendly evening’s             slanted off west, I sidetripped east to “Dirty
     lic agency, but not so. “Dirty Harry” was    shootout. They tried to get Harry to come for a     Harry’s Balcony” and its cliff-brink view down
     what he liked to be called by his North      face-to-face but Seattle was too far off the edge   to bugs scurrying east and west on the Main
     Bend friends, who were legion, look-         of his world.                                       Street. At 3000 feet, where the road crossed a
     ing on him as their local (sort of) Paul        His road system and forest-mangling were         creek, was an impressive assemblage of machin-
     Bunyan. For many years his business          familiar sights from US 10 for years but by the     ery scavenged from junkyards and kicked and
     and pleasure was purchasing cutting          time I tried to get there his timber bridge over    cussed up here for a final rest in “Dirty Harry’s
     rights to timber on private land that        the Snoqualmie River was gone. My first entry,      Museum.”
     didn’t interest big operators and            therefore, in 1977, was from the North Bend            The road ended on the 4650-foot summit of
     chainsawing scraggly, next-to-worth-         Plain via the 1882 Seattle-Walla Walla Toll Road.   “Dirty Harry’s Peak.” I tried to count rings in
     less forests to desolation, practicing       Atop Grouse Ridge, as the moraine of the Ca-        the skinny little stumps but lacking a magnify-
     logging methods subsequently out-            nadian glacier is called at this point, I gazed     ing glass had to give up. Most of the trees were
     lawed, thanks in no small part to the        over the plain to the smog of Seattle. In mind’s    rotten at the core — Harry hauled perhaps one
     horrors he committed in full view of         ear I heard the putt-putt-bang of AYP road-rac-     in five to the mill, left the rest of the tiny an-
     travelers on the Main Street of the          ers, the creaking of wagon wheels, the moo-         cients to lay where he felled them. What sort of
     Northwest. He was the despair of the         ing of Okanogan cattle en route to the butcher      mill would bother with his scrawny mountain
     Forest Service and Weyerhaeuser,             shop, the muttering of Original Inhabitants on      hemlock? A peckerwood, sibling of the gypo.
     which tried in vain to shunt him off to      the way to attack the real estate speculators in
     out-of-the-way places where he                                                                      Curiosity had bested my good sense. The
                                                  their Seattle stockade, the glacier dropping        summit was no proper place to be watching
     wouldn’t give the timber industry such       boulders.
     a flagrant black eye.                                                                            the sun set. The shades of night were falling
                                                     Turning to face east, I boggled at the hugest    fast. Legs quailed at the miles of gravel mine
          —from Hiking the Mountains-to-          gravel mine in the Western Hemisphere if not        and Grouse Ridge to Ken’s Truck Town. I
            Sound Greenway, 1983, and 55          the Solar System, a vast silence of naked glacial   stumbled across the river on not-yet-open lanes
           Hikes Around Snoqualmie Pass,          drift (subsequently to become a state fire-fight-   of new freeway. My thumb, Depression-trained,
                                        2001.     ing training center). At 6.2 miles from Ken’s       was caught in the headlights of an over-the-
  My great regret is missing out (several times   Truck Town (the official distance, the bankrupt     hump trucker, Depression-trained Samaritan.
by minutes) on meeting Harry Gault, Quintes-      toll road having been deeded to King County),       Betty would not have to call my buddies, who
sential Gypo. (A note in passing: the spelling    was the site of Harry’s fallen bridge and the       would save me from the mercies of Mountain
“gyppo” is the usage of journalists who never     junction of the Walla Walla-road-that-was with      Rescue but would laugh and laugh and laugh.




                                                                       ORVs: Lullaby of the Wheels
                                                     In a recent issue of the Seattle Post-           vironmentalist disputes as those on the Dark
                                                  Intelligencer, Robert McClure reported reac-        Divide, Teanaway-Taneum, Mad River-Entiat,
                                                  tions to President Bush’s telling the U.S. Forest   Manastash, and Foggy Dew.
                                                  Service to designate “trails available for ORV         Edward Jensen, a Ballard ORVer, is quoted
                                                  use.” Some 5.2 million acres in Western Wash-       by McClure: “What they (environmentalists)
                                                  ington, or nearly one-eighth of the state are af-   think is appropriate is for dirt-bike riders to be
                                                  fected. “Nationally, ORV users increased seven-     relegated to riding in a gravel pit in Federal
                                                  fold over the past three decades to more than       Way.”
                                                  36,000,000. Much of the increase came in the           Karl Forsgaard, responding to the statement
                                                  past decade. The number of ATVs, for example,       that Mount Baker-Snoqualmie, Wenatchee, and
                                                  grew 40 percent from 1997 to 2001. The num-         Gifford Pinchot National Forests already have
                                                  ber of ATV drivers rose by over a third and the     designated trails for ORVs, said “If they desig-
                                                  number of hours driven went up 50 percent.”         nated (trails for ORV use) without even having
                                                     Chief Forester Dale Bosworth, who a year         a look at what’s appropriate, we’d say they need
                                                  ago listed unmanaged ORV use as one of the          to go back and take that look. Where do we
                                                  four top threats to the ecological health of the    have sensitive wildlife? Where do we have sen-
                                                  National Forests, “waxed eloquent” about            sitive soils? Where do we have an ecosystem
                                                  Bush’s order. However, the Washington Wilder-       that’s more vulnerable to this kind of use?”
                                                  ness Coalition pointed out that no deadline was        Forsgaard concluded, “In many cases they
                                                  set for re-examining trail-use policies and that    didn’t go through that thought process. They
                                                  “neither the Forest Service nor ORV riders          simply designated as open to ORVs what they
                                                  would have a strong inducement to get the job       saw on the ground being used by ORVs.”
                                                  done.” In other words, same old same old. No
                                                  progress is promised in settling such ORV-en-

  16 ! THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004
 Ring-A-Ding-Ding                                                           FAIR EXCHANGES
   A climbing party of three is the minimum. . .
Rope up on all exposed places. . . Never let
                                                                              AND RIPOFFS
judgment be swayed by desire. . . la de da. . .         When “unowned” lands were abundant and            cade Land Conservancy, Nature Conservancy,
There were, in the climbing community, sur-
                                                     people few, the American citizenry was gener-        Trust for Public Land. Confusing. But the more
reptitious smirks and subdued snickers about
                                                     ally complacent about the Great Giveaway —           the merrier.
the Climbing Code as “the ABC for Sissies.”
However, 1960s orthodoxy approved the                the transfer of “unused” lands (that is, unused         One major front is setting limits to urbaniza-
Climbing Course for distancing its textbook,         by humans, especially those of European de-          tion of the between-mountains trough from
Freedom of the Hills, from Gnostic Deeps, ob-        scent) to hands which could put them to              British Columbia to the Columbia River, to pre-
serving the model of the Ten Commandments            “good” uses (homesteads, railroads, mines).          serve the quality of life in cities by protecting
and the Sermon on the Mount. Similarly, the          Eventually critics spoke up, notably Theodore        “the wildness within.”
Golden Age of Hollywood segregated married           Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot.                          Another is defending de facto “wildness with-
couples in twin beds, hovered over by wings             There was, however, an opposing view. Ri-         out” by preventing recreational subdivision of
of the stork, and made sure that unmarried lov-
                                                     chard Ballinger, Secretary of the Interior from      commercial timberlands, as in the I-90 Moun-
ers watched their hands.
                                                     1909 to 1911, said, “The chaps who are in fa-        tains-to-Sound Greenway.
   The times they did some changing. Millen-
                                                     vor of this conservation program are all wrong.         The laundry list is long. On the gigantic end
nium-end cable television unleashed in the
                                                     In my opinion, the proper course to take with        of the scale, it includes a huge land-privatization
suburban subdivisions a jamboree of naughty
bits. Big-league climbing swung wide open the        regard to this (public domain) is to divide it up    bill promoted by the Nevada congressional del-
closet door on solo and ropeless. The Mount          among the big corporations and the people            egation that would lead to selling off public
Everest industry shaved the “margin of safety”       who know how to make money out of it.”               steppe throughout the West. On the small end
to accept into the glamorous Death Zone any-         Ballingerism is alive and well. But the spirit of    of the scale is the pending sweetheart deal in
body with a $65,000 ticket.                          “This is my land” also is thriving. See Cascade      the Stehekin Valley between the National Park
   Times have a way of changing back. The Sev-       Checkerboard News, newsletter of the Sierra          Service and the Courtney Empire.
enteenth-century Civil War in England ended          Club’s Cascade Checkerboard Project, directed
                                                                                                             John Maynard Keynes said in 1928, “The love
when the country decided it wasn’t ready for a       by Charlie Raines. Indispensable reading. (Con-
Commonwealth and invited the Stuarts home                                                                 of money is a somewhat disgusting morbidity,
                                                     tributions are welcome to the Sierra Club Foun-
from their wanders. The continent of Europe,                                                              one of the semi-criminal, semi-pathological pro-
                                                     dation, 180 Nickerson #200, Seattle, WA
in 1550 half Lutheran-Calvinist-Anabaptist, af-                                                           pensities which one hands over with a shud-
                                                     98109.) See too, Land Exchange Update from
ter the Thirty Years War had all but a fifth re-                                                          der to specialists in mental diseases.” Keynes
                                                     the Western Land Exchange Project, directed
turned to the Pope. The freedom of religion,                                                              was wrong. We don’t hand them over to doc-
                                                     by Janine Blaelock, covering the nine Western
of sex, of the hills — where might they lead,                                                             tors, but to public officials who consider the
forward or back, oh dear oh dear what is to          states. (Tax-deductible donations, P.O. Box
                                                                                                          plague to be no worse than a bad cold.
become of us?                                        95545, Seattle, WA 98145-2545.)
   Take the cell phone . . .                           Other groups working our side of the street
   Terry Wood in the September 2 Seattle Times       include Cascade Conservation Partnership, Cas-
considered the pros and cons.
   PRO: The search-and-rescue coordinator for
the North Cascades National Park said: “About
half our first notifications are by cell phone. If
an accident happens at noon, we’d rather get                                            RUNNING
the call then than at 8 p.m.”
   CON: A spokesperson for National Parks and          A runner is quoted at length in the October         When exercise does become truly shared, as in
Conservation said: “Convenience and safety are       21 Seattle Post-Intelligencer: “Day hiking the        the aerobics that come close to dance, or the
two issues that get traction with the public, es-    whole Enchantments — about 18 miles with a            hard-core bodybuilding that is always erotic and
pecially safety. Wilderness isn’t supposed to be
                                                     gain of about 4000 feet — might be approach-          fraternal, it nears sport or art. When done in a
convenient or safe. That’s not its purpose.”
                                                     ing the popularity of overnight visits. It’s a        private home or in untenanted landscapes, or
   Howard Zahniser, drafting what in 1964 be-
                                                     major grunt . . . but strong hikers can do it         spontaneously, without formal method, appa-
came the Wilderness Act, was thinking Deep.
                                                     without problems. My longtime best hiking             ratus, or counting, it recovers certain eccentric
The bureaucrats who now administer the law
dare not wade beyond the pension-friendly            buddy, his 29-year-old son, and I made it in 13       freedoms and private techniques of the self.
Shallow end of the pool. The pedestrian pub-         hours recently.”                                      Exercise that is not concerned with the creative
lic meekly stuffs heads in hardhats, pins a North-      Running is an invasion of public space. The        process of reproduction or the pure discover-
west Forest Pass to shirts, seig-heils Smokey, and   runner takes over shared places — the narrow          ies of solitude, is a struggle to incarnate the
snuggles into bags murmuring, “Now I lay me          riverside, sidewalk, and nature path — for him-       shape and capabilities of others inthe material
down to sleep and pray the Asteroid my wil-                                                                of one’s own body, without invention and with-
                                                     self. With his speed and narcissistic intensity
derness to keep.”                                                                                          out exchange.
                                                     the runner corrupts the space of walking, think-
   Cell phones, helicopters, wilderness outfit-
                                                     ing, talking and everyday contact. He jostles                         — MARK GREIF, in n+1
ters, freedom of the wheel, money money
                                                     the idler out of his reverie, races around pe-
money makes the world go round, the world
go round.                                            destrians in conversation, opposes sociability
                                                     and solitude by publicly sweating on them.
                                          H.M.
                                                                                                         THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004 ! 17
                                MOUNTAIN GOAT RESEARCH
                                 IN THE NORTH CASCADES
                                                                     POLLY DYER

J  ohn and I were ploughing through a couple
   feet of fresh snow on Mount Rainier when
we came upon puzzling “ski” tracks. Around a
                                                    causes have been verified in the decline of
                                                    mountain goat numbers. Although the Mount
                                                    Baker population appears to be increasing since
                                                                                                         ing and an animal on White Chuck that died
                                                                                                         sometime late this winter. There were no deaths
                                                                                                         due to capture last year.
bend we surprised the “skier,” who instantly hunting ceased in 1996, other populations do                   “The only real results so far are from blood
rounded another bend and was gone. Two              not appear to be recovering.                         analyses. Based on those analyses, there is no
years later, in 1953, I was waiting in a meadow        “. . . Both trapping and stalking attempts to     indication that disease, selenium, or parasites
while John, Tom Miller, and Harvey Manning          capture goats on the MBS were unsuccessful           are a factor in the regional population decline.
were making a third ascent of the couloir route     in 2002, so the use of helicopters is proposed       Although not learned from the research itself, I
on Forbidden Peak, when a nanny and kid             to assist in the capture methods of darting (w/      did model the impacts of sport hunting on the
strolled past, oblivious to my presence. Never      tranquilizers), and net gunning (shooting nets       population of goats and Mount Baker. I used
again, in half a century of climbing and hiking     over animals from a helicopter). . . . Based on      detailed information on hunting reports from
in the Cascades, have I had the privilege of        the unsuccessful attempts with drop nets and         1964 – 1995 and an estimated population size
meeting a mountain                                                                                                                in 1961. The model re-
goat. Call me un-                                                                                                                 sults indicate that hunt-
lucky, I guess. Some                                                                                                              ing was very likely a sig-
of my friends have                                                                                                                nificant factor in the
hobnobbed with so                                                                                                                 population decline.
many, so often, they                                                                                                              This may be true for
run out of anec-                                                                                                                  other mountain goat
dotes. Betty Man-                                                                                                                 populations, but none
ning tells of being                                                                                                               have been assessed yet.
wakened in the                                                                                                                    “The research has also
night by a kid jump-                                                                                                              revealed the location of
ing up and down on                                                                                                                wintering areas that
her sleeping bag, the                                                                                                             were previously un-
nanny standing by                                                                                                                 known.
watching with ma-                                                                                                                    “This summer WDFW
ternal pleasure.                                                                                                                  will begin collecting
   The North Cas-                                                                                                                 data on how many goats
cades Conservation                                                                                                                are seen when conduct-
Council was alerted                                                                                                               ing population surveys.
to the Cascades                                                                                                                   Data will continue to be
Mountain Goat Re-                                                                                                                 collected on habitat use.
search Project by                                                                                                                 Other than some basic
Phil Leatherman.                                                                                                                  information on home
The June 16, 2003                                                                                                                 range size, I would not
deadline for public                                                                                                               expect any significant
response to the                                                                                                                   findings until next
scoping document                                                                                                                  spring at the earliest.”
prepared by Mt. Mountain goats in the Enchantments                                                          MARY LOU KRAUSE
                                                                                                                                     I had also inquired
Baker-Snoqualmie                                                                                                                  about the “relation-
National Forest had passed, Thus we had no          stalking, the use of helicopters to net-gun or       ships/effects, if any, on the Cascades popula-
opportunity to comment. Following are ex-           tranquilize goats is proposed as the minimal         tions from the mountain goats non-native to
cerpts from the 2003 scoping:                       tool to capture and collar goats for the research    the Olympic Peninsula that may have been
   “The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest        project.                                             transported into the North Cascades some years
[MBS] proposes to allow the Washington De-             I contacted Don Gay, Wildlife Biologist with      ago.” [Note: Mountain goats did not occur natu-
partment of Fish and Wildlife [WDFW] the use        the Mt. Baker Ranger District. Following are ex-     rally in the Olympics. Twelve from Alaska and
of helicopters to capture and collar mountain       cerpts from Mr. Gay’s e-mail response (June          British Columbia were introduced into the
goats in the Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, and         2004):                                               Olympics in the 1920s by hunters. These moun-
Boulder River Wilderness Areas, as well as non-        “Since the research began less than 1 year        tain goat numbers increased dramatically, with
wilderness areas, to accomplish a mountain          ago (goats were collared in September of 2003),      resultant impacts on rare and endangered
goat research study. The study proposes to cap-     there are few detailed findings at this point. . .   plants in Olympic National Park and adjacent
ture 20 goats in the North Cascades and outfit      . Goat captures occurred last September and          areas.]
the goats with global positioning system (GPS)      were successful, except in the Glacier Peak area.       Don Gay commented: “From what I know
tracking collars. The goats would be tracked        These goats seem to move off of Glacier Peak         of the earlier transplants from the Olympics,
over several years . . . .Mountain goats . . . have in the summer/early fall. An attempt will be         goats were released on Pilchuck Mountain and
been declining for several decades. Multiple        made to capture goats on Glacier Peak earlier        in the Finney Block. Neither of these efforts
causes have been proposed to explain the de-        this year. There will also be some additional        established a population, so there should have
cline; however, to date, none of these possible captures to replace collars that are malfunction-        no genetic impacts to the population, since it

  18 ! THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004
appears that all of these animals eventually
died. I don’t believe that any of the Olympic
goats were released in areas that were occu-
                                                              “THE LARGEST
pied, or near, native mountain goat popula-
tions.”
                                                        FOREST-CONSERVATION DEAL
   Clifford Rice of WDFW shared with me some
of the research concerns. From a 1983 study
                                                            IN THE COUNTRY”
by R. L. Johnson, it had been observed fairly
large numbers of mountain goats had been                                       RON SIMS, KING COUNTY EXECUTIVE
diminishing for some fifty years, particularly
noticeable in several areas of the North Cas-           Gene Duvernoy, president of Cascade Land             No more. Thanks to Duvernoy’s efforts, King
cades, with lesser losses in other locations. Rice   Conservancy, has been working on this deal            County has paid Hancock $22,000,000 for de-
indicated there is very little “baseline informa-    for years. In 2003, a spin-off group failed in an     velopment rights on 90,000,000 acres, the pur-
tion” relative to mountain goats in the state is     attempt to buy 104,000 acres of Weyerhaeuser’s        chase funded by the county’s Conservation Fu-
to gain a comprehensive understanding of             Snoqualmie Tree farm. Hancock Timber Re-              tures tax, devoted solely to open space and
mountain goat habitat, how it is used, and what      source Group, a Boston-based company,                 resource lands.
mountain goats appear to need. Further re-           stepped in and paid $185,000,000, a neat little         This is part of a regional program to con-
search access will be mostly on the ground;          going-away gift for the chief thief of the North-     serve 600,000 acres in King, Snohomish, and
however, it is anticipated helicopters may be        ern Pacific Land Grab.
necessary at some times. A reference to re-                                                                Pierce counties — “the wildness within.”
search in other mountain goat areas (not the           Hancock vows to continue the land as a
Cascades), mentioned the possible loss of            “working forest,” including concomitant social
nearby forests affecting mountain goat winter        responsibilities as assumed by DNR’s Tiger
habitat.                                             Mountain State Forest. Good vow. However,
   Douglas McMurtrie, EPA Project Coordina-          vows are not necessarily forever. The Damocles
tor for the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe, com-         sword still dangled over Puget Sound City.
mented it has “never really been clear as to
the cause of decline of the mountain goats.”
Mr. McMurtrie told me the reduced numbers
of mountain goats in the Cascades was first            PERC Gives Bush a                                      Boise-Cascade
noticed by Art Ryalls, a long-time Darrington
resident. It was in the 1960s when the Sauk-
                                                      C+ on Environmental                                       Bails Out
Suiattle Tribe started to notice a rapid decline.            Policy                                           Long-time members of the North Cascades
It is possible research might reveal impacts
                                                                                                           Conservation Council recall the Reverend Riley
from urban areas; such as, air pollution per-           On October 21, 2004, the Political Economy         explaining from pulpits in Chelan, then
haps changing vegetation patterns. He also           Research Center (PERC), an anti-environmen-           Yakima, the objections God had to a North
mentioned possible effects for mountain goat         tal think-tank located in Bozeman, Montana            Cascades National Park. In public debate our
population decline might be from trophy hunt-
                                                     (where Interior Secretary Gale Norton previ-          board member Phil Zalesky reminded him that
ing and from increased snowmobile access in
                                                     ously served as a Senior Fellow), gave Presi-         Jesus Christ was known to walk in the wilder-
the winter.
                                                     dent Bush an ‘End of Term Grade’ for his en-          ness. The Rev shouted out, “The Devil chased
   The Cascades mountain goat ecology re-                                                                  him there!” Was it Christianity that the Boise-
                                                     vironmental performance. And while bona-fide
search is anticipated to continue for several                                                              Cascade executives in the Rev’s congregation
years, contingent, of course, on continued           environmental organizations have been con-
                                                                                                           heard in Sunday sermons, or Manicheanism?
funding. In addition to the U.S. Forest Service      sistently giving Mr. Bush a grade of ‘F”, PERC
                                                     has rewarded him with a very generous C+.                Whatever, not until my expose in Not Man
and Washington Department of Fish and Wild-
                                                                                                           Apart was it widely known that overlapping
life, others participating in the research stud-       Not surprisingly, in the “Public Lands Man-         boards of directors made B-C in fact a unit of
ies are the National Park Service, Western Wash-     agement” category, the president received his         Weyco.
ington University, the Sauk-Suiattle Indian          very highest mark — his only “A” — for the
Tribe, and the Stillaquamish Indian Tribe.                                                                    Never mind, the 91-year-old Boise-Cascade
                                                     Recreation Fee Demonstration Program.                 is no more. It has conveyed 2,300,000 acres of
Funding assistance is also being provided from
Seattle City Light’s Wildlife Research Program.        PERC has been a long time supporter of fee-         timber plus its name to Madison-Dearborn
                                                     demo and clearly they are pleased with the            Partners, a Chicago equity investment firm. The
   As the mountain goat ecology studies con-
                                                     President’s efforts to make this loathsome pro-       designated manager of the forests is an entity
tinue and reports are available, readers of The
                                                     gram the permanent law of the land.                   traded on the Big Board, Officemax. In Wash-
Wild Cascades will be kept informed. In the
                                                                                                           ington the sale involves 475,000 acres, many
meantime, a quote from NCCC’s Phil
                                                                                                           of them very dear to our hearts.
Leatherman is pertinent: “One question (prob-
ably unanswerable) is what are the combined                                                                   B-C had been suffering the financial stag-
effects of low-level hunting pressure and large-                                                           gers and badly needed cash. The New York
scale hiking-climbing use? Climbers, for obvi-                                                             Times quotes Mark Wilde, a forest product
ous reasons, commonly seek out goat trails,                                                                analyst for Deutsche Bank, as expecting Madi-
which on popular climbs and scrambles can                                                                  son-Dearborn to sell their land, as have Loui-
be mobbed most summer weekends. Might the                                                                  siana Pacific, Georgia Pacific, and the rest of
MBS consider limiting total numbers and party-                                                             the good ol’ boys. Says Wilde, “The smartest
size in such areas, where it is abundantly clear                                                           guys in the industry are viewing their timber-
that, at least for limited periods, goats are be-                                                          lands as prime real estate.”
ing displaced from their chosen routes?”                                                                                                           H.M.
                                                                                                         THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004 ! 19
The Recent Very Commercial Adventure Quest
Continued from page 13

   The infrastructure needed to         area over a 36-hour pe-            segments. One was, officially, a       minor ravine which drains east
get several hundred non-climbers        riod. No honeybuckets,             “mountain-bike” segment. Across        from the Three Lakes plateau.
to near the summit and back was         no nothing.                        the southern toe of the Sisters        From that point, the groups, scat-
substantial. A climber comments:                                           Range, the route followed the          tering in multiple directions, did
                                          ”X-Dome is somewhat
                                                                           decayed mining road up to the          not create a single clear trail. The
       “One leg of the race             of a sacred place for              Three Lakes basin. The check-          passage of several hundred bike-
    required the partici-               many of us. Remote, ad-
                                                                           point, just over 4000' at the lakes    draggers thus created a highly
    pants to follow a fixed             venturous, pristine.
                                                                           was about 400 yards from the           erodable fall-line trail for some
    line up the Granite Side-           Kinda makes my skin                southern boundary of the Mount         distance downhill. The creation of
    walk, then jumar 600'               crawl to think of the
                                                                           Baker Wilderness.                      a followable trail from Three
    long static lines up the            blast of commercial ex-
                                                                                                                  Lakes to the 1260 road system,
    “headwall” of rock pos-             ploitation it just experi-            The contestants were then re-       which the organizers seemed to
    sibly between Jacobs                enced.”                            quired to get down to the South
                                                                                                                  expect, would have been a worse
    Ladder and Rain Man.                                                   Fork Nooksack road. A small num-
                                      The issue of the excrement gen-                                             outcome. But the participants’
    At the top they were                                                   ber of savvy early contestants ap-     route-finding mistakes forestalled
    switched to a rappel           erated by several hundred partici-      parently traversed north for a half-
                                   pants and several hundred                                                      this.
    setup by hired guides                                                  mile toward the Heart Lake basin
                                   minders, volunteers, and publi-
    and retraced their steps                                               to pick up the Forest Service’s           The longest surviving cross-
    back to the logging road.      cists was probably more acute at        1260 road system fairly high, af-      country travel section in the race
                                   Exfoliation Dome than anywhere          ter no more than a mile of mod-        was the cross-country “trek” that
       “Approximately 30           else, for the simple reason that
                                                                           erate cross-country bike-dragging,     led from the check-point at Inde-
    bolts were placed for an-      there was a lot of infrastructure       but the mass of participants, close    pendence Lake, drained by Coal
    choring 12(!) 600' static      there, a high concentration of          to two hundred of them, plunged        Creek in the South Fork
    lines on the headwall          minders and organizers, and
                                                                           2000' down the fall line, dragging     Stillaguamish watershed, over to
    along with all the other       there were bottlenecks which led        their bikes through the thicken-       the base of Exfoliation Dome in
    lines used to access it.       to a lot of participants spending       ing brush, never reaching the          the Clear Creek valley. As the ma-
    About a dozen of these         a lot of time there in a rather re-
                                                                           1260 road system, and ending up        jority of teams ended up doing
    bolts were placed on the       stricted area. But it was probably      on a roadless section of the river     this, it was perhaps four or five
    Granite Sidwalk and be-        an issue at other spots on the          floodplain. Many wasted many           miles of cross-country travel. The
    low the headwall. All          route where, for one reason or
                                                                           hours blundering around on the         logical route was to go to the
    bolt hangers were [sub-        another, people tended to gather        hillside and the river flats with      north side of the divide past Hel-
    sequently] removed and         and spend time. Contestants were
                                                                           their bikes before extricating         ena Lake, re-cross the divide just
    about 1/3 of the bolts         not allowed to kayak the Skagit at
                                                                           themselves.                            south of Helena Peak, and follow
    were pried out and             night, for example, so the river                                               the obvious shoulder down to the
    expoxied.                      put-in “transition area” accumu-           Race officials did not anticipate
                                                                                                                  end of the Clear Creek road, a
                                   lated significant numbers of wait-      this. Participants reported being
       “In addition ¼”                                                                                            short distance below Deer Creek
                                   ing contestants. The official           told by the checkpoint official that   Pass, just skirting the edge of the
    buttonheads were used          method of dealing with the issue        a “trail [sic] down the east side of
    to anchor edge padding                                                                                        Boulder River Wilderness. But
                                   was a “blue bag” system, but it’s       the mountain was flagged for a
    on the headwall. Con-                                                                                         there were any number of vari-
                                   pretty clear that it was not widely     while and then we could just fol-      ants, not to mention outright mis-
    sidering the onionskin-        observed.                               low the makeshift trail blazed by
    like nature of X-Dome                                                                                         taken routes, and many teams
                                                                           all of the other teams that pre-
    there were probably nu-           Other obvious concerns were                                                 took far longer.
                                                                           ceded us.” But from the end of
    merous edges to pad.           raised by the trailless sections of     the flagging, successive teams,           This area of rocky subalpine
    These were in theory all       the route, particularly those pass-     lemming-like, reinforced the           peaks and tarns is part of the
    removed.                       ing through or near wilderness-
                                                                           route-finding mistakes of earlier      30,000-acre Helena Ridge
                                   quality lands or more sensitive         teams, who had been seduced by         roadless area, proposed as part of
      “While there are al-
                                   areas such as subalpine zones,          the fall line instead of angling or    the Boulder River Wilderness, but
    ready LOTS of bolts up         areas which by definition had no
    there, the placement of                                                traversing north.                      lopped off during the political
                                   hardened infrastructure to cush-                                               scrum preceding the 1984 Wilder-
    bolts for short-term use
                                   ion the effects of all these people.      One contestant describes this        ness Bill’s passage. Conservation-
    and their incomplete re-       In these areas, the effects of a sud-   racer-created trail:
    moval seems like really                                                                                       ists did, however, manage to keep
                                   den mass human inundation on                                                   a little thumb or panhandle
    poor form.                                                                  ”The trail started out as
                                   vegetation and wildlife were po-                                               within the Boulder River Wilder-
                                   tentially significant.                     freshly stomped under-
      “Of greater real                                                        brush. As the hill got              ness proposal which effectively
    enviromental impact,              The twin chances of weather             steeper, it quickly turned          sealed off Deer Creek Pass to
    evidently there was no                                                                                        roads, preventing the threatened
                                   and fatal accident contrived to re-        into a wide bare strip of
    waste management. I            duce off-trail cross-country sec-          freshly mulched soil, with          connection of the Clear Creek
    was told ‘people were          tions of the route, and their atten-       just a hint of morning              and Deer Creek road systems.
    leaving their dookies                                                                                         This little panhandle guaranteed
                                   dant impacts, by something like            dew on it to create a nice
    and TP everywhere’ With        80 percent, or, counting the               slide...”                           the contiguity between the exist-
    support staff, TV crews,       Easton Glacier segment, some-                                                  ing wilderness and any future Hel-
    guides etc., that’s prob-                                                 The trail-swath eventually came     ena Ridge addition. It also sealed
                                   thing like 87 percent. But there
    ably 400 people in the         remained at least two noteworthy        to a bad end in the bottom of the      off Deer Creek Pass to easy travel

  20 ! THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004
by “Primal Quest” participants,         terrain unroped with easy confi-
since the Wilderness was a “No          dence, who could climb “X-dome”
Travel Zone” which could lead to        without the assistance of fixed
disqualification if they entered it.    lines, who could read terrain and
For those traveling cross-country       travel forested hillsides in the dark
largely on the north side of the        without losing orientation, who
divide, this was a lesser issue. But    wouldn’t blunder into wilderness
the lure of easy travel on roads was    areas, who wouldn’t have to be
strong, and roughly a quarter of        told that log jams on rivers are best
the teams chose to use the Deer         avoided — the human-phalanx
Creek road on the south side of         format of “adventure races” makes
the divide, and grapple with the        them damaging to wilderness-
wilderness panhandle at the head        quality lands which receive little
of the pass. Some teams went so         human traffic. “Party size” limits of
far as to “trek” the Coal Lake road     twelve are imposed on many fed-
all the way back to the Mountain        eral lands in recognition of the dis-
Loop highway, two- and a-half           proportionate affects of large par-
miles of the highway, and the Deer      ties. Why then should a “party” of
Creek road in its entirety, to effec-   two or three hundred be accept-
tively eliminate cross-country          able? The mountain goats of Twin
travel, at the cost of an extra nine    Peaks probably go years between
miles and a 3000' climb. Most of
these Deer Creek road travelers
                                        encounters with human beings.
                                        The shortening of the race this year
                                                                                             National Forest
made some effort to avoid the wil-
derness panhandle, but, plain to
                                        spared them the trauma of inva-
                                        sion by hundreds of hominids
                                                                                             rulemaking on
see on the GPS tracks, most did not
succeed, since the panhandle had
                                        within a 48-hour period. The pas-
                                        sage of several hundred compe-
                                                                                            Off-Road Vehicles
been deliberately placed by con-
servationists to block the easy low-
                                        tent, well-oriented bike-dragging
                                        participants from Three Lakes to                         (ORVs)
angle routes across the pass.           the South Fork Nooksack road
Roughly a quarter of the finishing      would have probably led to the          Unauthorized ORV routes on Taneum Ridge.           KARL FORSGAARD PHOTO
teams should probably have been         creation of a mile-long followable,
disqualified then and there for wil-    continuous trail to the 1260 road                                  KARL FORSGAARD
derness trespass. None were. It         system instead of a swath to no-
would, after all, have been bad         where. In the Cascades, where              In September 2004, the US For-       the draft rule, urging the Forest
publicity.                              genuinely wild, pristine-feeling        est Service completed a public          Service to include additional mea-
                                        country is a much-treasured re-         comment period on its draft rule        sures in any final rule, including:
   To those who know how to en-         source, such impacts are unaccept-      governing all-terrain vehicle (ATV),       • Set a two-year deadline for the
gage natural landscapes on their        able.                                   motorcycle and other off-road ve-       process of designating roads and
own terms, it’s obvious that big-                                               hicle use on National Forests. Off-     routes that are open for ORV
time adventure racing contains a           A partial answer to these impacts    road vehicles (ORVs, also known         travel;
generous helping of humbug. The         is to keep “adventure races” on         as off-highway vehicles or OHVs)           • Designate roads and routes
tension between, on the one hand,       public lands on roads and trails.       are a growing problem on public         based on full and public analysis
the participants’ modest compe-         The Wenatchee-Okanogan Na-              lands, damaging wildlife habitat        of site-specific environmental im-
tence in the mental and physical        tional Forest, which hosts several      and creating user conflict with hik-    pacts and user-conflicts caused by
skills that make unassisted travel      day-long smaller-scale “adventure       ers who seek peace and quiet. For-      ORVs;
in mountains, wild landscapes,          races” every year, imposes pre-         est Service Chief Bosworth said
wild rivers, and marine environ-        cisely this requirement. The staff                                                 • Immediately prohibit use of all
                                                                                that unmanaged ORV use is one
ments enjoyable and reasonably          of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie, how-                                               unauthorized, renegade routes;
                                                                                of the greatest threats to America’s
safe, and on the other, the need        ever, appear to have put up little                                              and
                                                                                National Forests.
for spectacle and the appearance        resistance to the well-oiled public                                                • Authorize ORV use only to the
                                                                                   In its draft rule, the Forest Ser-
of “wilderness challenge”, lead to      relations machinery of Primal                                                   extent that effective monitoring
                                                                                vice proposed several policy
armies of nannies and aids such as      Quest’s organizers. Next time, con-                                             and enforcement are annually
                                                                                changes that would be beneficial
route flagging and thousands of         servationists and backcountry                                                   funded and implemented.
                                                                                if effectively implemented on the
feet of bolt-affixed ropes.             recreationists need to hold them        ground. These include:                     The agency received about
                                        to account.                                                                     83,000 comments, is now review-
  But even if such events attracted                                                • Prohibiting cross-country
                                                                                                                        ing them, and anticipates issuing
only participants capable of real                                               travel by motor vehicles except
                                                                                                                        a final rule in early 2005. Then the
autonomous adventures—partici-                                                  under limited circumstances; and
                                                                                                                        real work begins, with site-specific
pants who could travel 4th-class                                                   • Authorizing ORV use only on        battles over route designations
                                                                                roads and ORV routes specifically       that will require close participation
                                                                                designated as open for such use.        by conservationists, in virtually
                                                                                   North Cascades Conservation          every District of every National
                                                                                Council submitted comments on           Forest.

                                                                                                        THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004 ! 21
                      Every recreationist — whether hiker, biker, backpacker, horsepacker, or posey
                      sniffer — should not begin by asking, “What’s best for ME? But rather “What’s
                                                   best for the bears?”
                                                                                       — TOM BUTLER

             THE IMPACTS OF MOUNTAIN BIKING ON
                    WILDLIFE AND PEOPLE
                                                         A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
                                                         MICHAEL J. VANDEMAN, PH.D.
July 3, 2004                                        simply people who like to bicycle — in the case          The flim is followed by the flam. Having done
Click on:                                           of mountain bikers, many of them just use na-         proper obeisance, Sprung flaunts the canons
http://home.pacbell.net/mjvande                     ture as a kind of playground or outdoor gym-          of science with the sophistry of anti-science —
About 7,000 words                                   nasium!”                                              to support irrational, arbitrary, political deci-
                                                        IMBA likes to distinguish itself from the ORV     sions.
   In 1984 Dr. Vandeman, after devoting 8 years
to “fighting auto dependence and road con-          thugs whose mantra is “If it feels good, do it!”         Vandeman thanks IMBA-Sprung for saving
struction” “became interested in the problem        Gentrified as the fat-tire frontmen are, they re-     him days of research, by bundling all their flim-
of mountain biking.” His paper demolishes the       alize they must for political purposes cuddle         flam in one big balloon for easy puncturing,
“science summed up by the International             up to environmentalists by adopting a “scien-         which he does in 7000 well-chosen words spell-
Mountain Bicyclists Association (IMBA): Stud-       tific” posture.                                       ing out in detail the real world of wheel im-
ies show that bike impacts are similar to those        In 2004 the heaviest of their (pseudo) sci-        pacts on soil erosion, plants, and animals.
of other non-motorized trail users.”                ence to date was trundled out, Gary Sprung’s             For purposes of this paper he does not go
  Says Dr. Vandeman, “Don’t you believe it.”        “Natural Resource Impacts of Mountain Bik-            into other aspects of mountain biking, explain-
                                                    ing.” Sprung says, “empirical studies thus far        ing that “trail-walkers do not need any research
   He began with “a favorable view of my fel-
                                                    do not support the notion that bikes cause            to know that we shouldn’t step in front of a
low bicyclists as environmentalists. I turned to
                                                    more natural resource impact. . . we should           speeding truck. Or mountain bike.”
them to help me campaign to keep bicycles out
                                                    make rational, non-arbitrary, less political deci-
of natural areas. Was I ever surprised! I discov-                                                                                                   H.M.
                                                    sions regarding which groups are allowed on
ered that many bicyclists (e.g., many mountain
                                                    particular routes.”
bikers) aren’t environmentalists at all, but are




                            Park Service Under Attack by Adviser
                          New York Times                                       istration of hiding it because of its emphasis
                          Oct. 29, 2004                                        on science over recreation.
                               A committee of experts urged the gov-              “The report is being held hostage to the Bush
                               ernment last March to do much more              administration’s campaign of ignoring science
                               to preserve biological diversity and            in order to clear the way for controversial steps
                               ecological integrity in the national            — such as opening up Yellowstone National
                               parks.                                          Park to snowmobiles,” the group said.
                            A panel member, Dr. Sylvia Earle, an ocean-                       .
                                                                                  . . . Fran P Mainella, director of the park ser-
                          ographer who is explorer in residence at the         vice, had intended for the report to be online
                          National Geographic Society, said she and her        in September and that the failure to post it was
                          colleagues had expected that the National Park       inadvertent.
                          Service would distribute the report and take            The report can be found at the retirees’ site,
                          action on its findings. Instead, she said, “it has   www.npsretirees.org, or at the agency’s “Sci-
                          just languished.”                                    ence and Research” page, www.nature.nps.gov/
                            . . . . The report did not appear on the Web       scienceresearch/index.htm.
                          until this week, when a coalition of retired park
                          employees posted it, accusing the Bush admin-


  22 ! THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004
                                                     “MONUMENTAL,
                                                 David Brower’s Fight for Wild America”
                                                   Patagonia Inc. has sponsored a documentary to “inspire wilderness
                                                lovers to put environmentalism ahead of all other issues this Novem-
                                                ber 2. “ Written and directed by Kelly Duane, the 77-minute film
                                                “chronicles Brower’s saga via old photographs and home movies, Si-
                                                erra Club educational films, and interviews . . . “ Reviewing the film in
                                                the October 1, 2004 Seattle Post-Intelligencer, William Arnold says, “the
                                                film is an inspirational profile of the man who transformed the Sierra
                                                Club into a powerful environmental lobby.”
                                                   Reviewer Arnold says, “the film makes a very strong case” that Brower
                                                was “the greatest conservationist of the 20th century,” that “his extrem-
                                                ism in the ‘60s was actually visionary prescience and his unwillingness
                                                to accept any compromise in the interests of Mother Nature is his legacy.”
                                                   The individuals who in company with David founded the North Cas-
                                                cades Conservation Council in the 1950s would not disagree with the
                                                judgment by Duane and Arnold. Many of those still more or less vigor-
                                                ously extant are spiritually sustained by the memory of him at board
                                                meetings. One recalls him at the last of these he attended, on a sum-
                                                mery afternoon, listening to the discussions, eyes following the butter-
                                                flies as they fluttered by. Studying them had been his childhood pas-
                                                sion. Now, when a board member sitting next to him, whispered a
                                                query, he identified each. Companions of a lifetime. The ancient Greek
                                                symbol of immortality.
                                                Dave Brower — BETTY MANNING                   —HARVEY MANNING



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                                                                            THE WILD CASCADES • Summer 2004 ! 23
After November 2

                             ... AN EDWARD ABBEY QUOTE
                            WHICH MIGHT HELP A LITTLE...
  We’re in this for the long haul. The commu-        enough to fight for the land; it is even more       your head firmly attached to your body, the
nity of wilderness advocates/managers/lovers         important to enjoy it. While you can. While it is   body active and alive, and I promise you this
will simply have to “outlive the bastards” as        still there. So get out there and mess around       much: I promise you this one sweet victory
Cactus Ed adjured us. Be kind to each other.         with your friends, ramble out yonder and ex-        over our enemies, over those deskbound
Fight like hell for the resource.                    plore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the   people with their hearts in a safe deposit box
                                                     mountains. Run the rivers, breathe deep of that     and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators.
   ”One final paragraph of advice: Do not burn
                                                     yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while    I promise you this: you will outlive the bas-
yourself out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusi-
                                                     and contemplate the precious stillness, that        tards.”
ast . . . a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fa-
                                                     lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy
natic. Save the other half of yourselves and your
                                                     yourselves, keep your brain in your head and                              — EDWARD ABBEY
lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not




                        Please help NCCC meet
                the matching grant for publication of our
                     North Cascades history book.
                                                      See page 4 for details!




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Post Office Box 95980                                                                                                                PAID
University Station                                                                                                                SEATTLE, WA
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