Locked out of Paradise
For those like me who don't get up to Paradise very often, be warned that the gate at Longmire is often not opening these days. We got no explanation at the park entrance, but the gal at the Longmire museum said it was due to lack of staffing. Specifically, she said they couldn't open the road because there was only one EMT on duty.
The Mt Rainier park website advises you to check their Twitter feed before heading up there: https://twitter.com/MountRainierNPS
Today was beautifully clear, no snow on the road, but no access beyond the Longmire gate. We and a number of other folks hiked up the Rampart Ridge trail instead. Nice, but not really worth the drive.
The rumor in Ashford is that the NPS will soon open Paradise only on winter weekends due to "insufficient staffing".
They have over twice the staff (160+) they had in the 70's(~80) and have never come close to the performance of those
years as far as public access. The current irregular openings at 10:30 followed by a three pm closure are a
disgrace! As is closing the day before a forecast storm.
This is a management problem. Nobody ever got promoted to Virgin Islands by giving pilgrims a chance to have
accidents. Check these comments:
WOW, thanks for that link. It verifies what is apparent: complete lack of leadership; complete idiots of the ones they have. Over the past 20+ years I've heard the same telling response: "it is what it is". They suck, they know it, and they don't care. It's their Park, not ours, so shove it to the public.
Have a great WINTER all.
Why are they required to have an EMT on site? If we get injured, isn't that our responsibility?
Sorry to report the rumor is now official:
"The sledding runs at Paradise will not open this year, and sledding is not permitted elsewhere in the park. Winter camping at Paradise will be available Saturday nights only..."
I fixed the link for you:
No access midweek is the new normal
Write your representatives, this is a huge setback.
Complaining to legislators may let off steam, but i think it's important to understand that this park traditionally leads the league in locked gates. Figuring out which and how many people are needed to open Paradise is not rocket science, but it has apparently been a low priority for years, judging by the same old tired excuses being trotted out. I'll bet plenty of coming weekends also stay closed. It's almost like they would rather not be bothered opening Paradise at all.
So here's that annual survey of federal employees, asking them to rate their bosses in a number of management categories..The National Park Service has scored in the lowest fourth of all federal agencies for over a decade. Many of the comments are by NPS vets:
Check the webcams during scheduled seminars to see the guide services running their programs while the rest of us are locked out.
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