Wednesday, March 24, 2010

We Don’t Need Insurance – We Need a Warrantee

We just bought a new truck, well, new to us. It’s a Toyota. Perhaps this is why I’m thinking of automotive metaphors.

As we finished up our negotiations and prepared to sign up for a loan, the finance fellow asked if we wanted an extended warrantee.

“How much?”

“$980 for three years.”

“What does it cover?”

He laid out the advantages. As he talked, I recalled my daughter’s adventure. A year ago she bought a used Japanese car. I encouraged her to buy Japanese. It was the salesman who convinced her to buy a comprehensive warrantee. It cost her $1,000. I thought she’d been snookered. But, come this past December, her transmission went out. The repair cost $2,300; covered in full by the warrantee. She had thrown the dice and won $1,300.

I considered her luck, and my own, and we added the warrantee into the financing. Here’s my gamble: within the next three years, my truck’s transmission fails at a cost of $3,000. Bam – I win two thousand bucks.

You know what would have been really nice? If I could have told the guy, “I’ll buy the warrantee if and when the transmission goes out. Wouldn’t it be great to wait until I was betting on a sure thing? Now you might think that the car man would laugh in my face –such a suggestion is ridiculous. But isn’t this what requiring Health Insurance companies to accept all applicants regardless of pre-existing conditions is. How can any car company survive while accepting a $2,000 loss on every warrantee they sell, how can any insurance company? Of course you could charge $3,000 for the warrantee up front, but what would be the point. No one would pay – unless there was a law requiring everyone to buy a warrantee. Wouldn’t that be a good idea?

I have wanted a Toyota for a long time. My Uncle Thayer had one clear back in the sixties. It looked like a jeep, but he told me it was better. He was a Marine – he knew. I went to Japan on an LDS mission and fell in love with all things Japanese and I have a friend who has had a Toyota truck “forever”. Now we have one. I dream that it will last long into my retirement – decades after the last payment.

I think that everyone needs quality transportation. Americans should really see quality transportation as a right, and shouldn’t the government be providing rights to the people?

One might argue that the government is already providing trains and busses, not to mention highways and traffic cops, but here’s an idea. What if the government required each of us to buy a car? They could claim that public transportation is ineffective and costly, and while 270,000 000 Americans already have access to cars, 30,000,000 do not. Is that fair? Think of all the suffering these people must endure!!!!

We need a law that every person must buy a car. If you don’t buy a car you will be fined. What if you don’t want a car? Too bad, sooner or later you’ll need to go somewhere and then it will be too expensive to provide you with one in such an emergency. So, if you don’t buy a car, there will be a fine and if you don’t pay the fine – jail.

What about people who can’t afford cars? That’s easy; those who can afford cars will be taxed to pay for the cars of people who can’t.

Look at all the benefits. Think of all the money our country will save on bus and rail transportation they won’t have to provide. Of course the government will have to deal with people who want nicer cars than those purchased by taxes for those who can’t afford them – but that too will prove a boon to the economy. Just tax them for having a nicer car. I bet we’ll have the budget balanced by the end of the decade.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sagwitch 71

Sagwitch was a great Indian Chief. At the end of the 19th century he fought against overwhelming forces in order to save his people. In 1971 his great-grandson, Jon Trent Warner, was born – proof of Sagwitch's victory.

My reference for this drawing was a photo I took of Trent when he was performing in the Fellowship of the Moose Ceremony at Camp Loll back in 1989.

I do my drawings for my own study. It is my goal to master tools and techniques; to remember all the rules. Here are some of the tools I am attempting to master. Lots of pencils; Guptill recommends one mark different harnesses with colors to make it possible to quickly identify them. I sharpen them with a pocket knife, polishing them with sandpaper, and wipe the points clean with tissue. I use several different erasers: kneaded, white, and the ones at the ends of my Ticonderoga #2’s. I recently bought an electric eraser. It is very nice for removing unwanted construction lines. The brush and the feather are from removing eraser dust. Once the drawing is done, I fix it with a spray.

There are advantages in sketching from a photo rather than from three dimensional objects, although there are draw backs as well. With a clear ruler I can exactly place landmark points. As R. B. Hale says, to draw lines one needs to know the points at which they begin and end. The templates are especially helpful in drawing eyes. Another important tool I learned about from Guptill is the eraser shield. I’ve seen is referred to a dental floss for one's drawings. It enables the removal of unwanted marks and lines without damaging those one wants to keep.

The Drawing begins with a very carefully measured sketch. Guptill advises that one block out the drawing very lightly with the pencil barley touching the paper.

Once the “edges” are established, Guptill advises that the figure be subdivided and small details be expresses, while retaining the larger characteristics. Once this is done the construction lines can be erased.

With the line drawing complete, it is time to add value.

Guptill suggests that the values be applied and practiced on a piece of tracing paper placed over the line drawing. I've found this to be a great way to build confidence without risking my drawing. It allows the retention of construction lines from which to measure and allows for the placing of contours without locking the construction lines in place. It also allows for contour lines to be sketched in without having to place them on the actual surface of the artwork. Mistakes can be made – and fixed – without consequence.

Look through the tracing paper pictured below and you can see the values of the face.

Here the tracing paper is “in place” over the drawing, allowing experimentation and practice while protecting the drawing.

Once I have tried the values out on the tracing paper, I remove the construction lines and re-apply the shading directly on the drawing. In this case I found the feathers even more challenging than the face. It took a lot of careful measurement to get the feather patterns expressed. I did them very lightly at first, making them more intense by degrees as I became satisfied with the effects. The white feathers have been slightly grayed by placing lines in rhythm with the “veins” of the feathers. The red fluffs are in gray, the black dyed tips developed with darker and darker parallel lines. The red felt wrappings are a chance to express the form of the feathers by shading them as cylinders.

I developed the white fluff by concentrating on the edges and keeping everything else as white as possible. It was the same with the ermine dangles.

Tracing paper also allows the careful placement of detail contours.

Guptill suggests three stages for making a line drawing into a value sketch.

Stage #1 - Think of the exact. Consider degrees of light and shade (dark). Translate the value of color into values of light and dark.

Stage #2 – Make the outline drawing. Add (lightly) contours of areas of light or shade. [This can be done either on the paper, on a printed copy of the line drawing, or on tracing paper placed over the line drawing.] Determine the lightest light and the darkest dark and make comparison to other values. Sharpen a medium soft pencil to a fairly sharp point. Work for darkest to lightest; building up all tones gradually. Finally, set the drawing back often – get away from it once in a while.

Stage #3 – Compare – do you have the exact degrees of light and dark in the drawing as in the object, [reference]. Compare – the exact degrees of sharpness and softness in the edges. Ask questions: Is there is too much dark at one side or at the bottom? Does the whole hold together nicely? Are the shadows clear and transparent, or heavy and dead? Has one succeeded in expressing space, depth, weight, texture? Has one expressed economy in tone or is the drawing confused by to many different values? Has the outline been lost, as it should be? Do the nearer parts come forward properly? Do the farther parts go back? (If not force the nearer – sacrifice the distant!) Is there complexity of highlight? (If so, tone down all but one. Have one lightest light and one darkest dark.)

Next – Anatomy! I always have my anatomy books available. Among the many books I checked while drawing this picture were Joseph Sheppard’s Anatomy and Very Basic Art Lessons by me. On the tracing paper I sketched in the muscles of the stomach, side, and beneath the arm.

At this point I realized I had not clearly established the ribcage under the muscle groups so I add it onto the tracing paper then transferred it to the drawing.

Once the anatomy was ruffed out I consulted art works I admire to help fine tune the forms.

With the line of the ribcage as reference I put in the muscles and then almost entirely removed the construction lines, the lines that indicate what I know but cannot see.

Now it is was matter of placing the values over the form. The reference indicates where the lights and darks go. As R. B. Hale explains, one must draw with the mind and the rules as well as with the eyes and tools. "One must draw what one knows not just what one sees."

I try to apply all the pencil to the drawing in a uniform right to left 45 degree angle series of lines. Kamille Cory taught this to me when I was lucky enough to be her student. Guptill demands the same. I change between flat and very pointed pencils, depending on the size of the area I seek to cover. I sharpen my pencil often to maintain the crispness of the outlines.

Next, I follow Guptill's injunction. I look and check, ajust and check again.

Shading creates the illusion of form. I shaded for a cylinder for the upper arm, and squared up the lower arm by shading its block like shape. I also used my oval drawing tool to establish the "perfect" circle of the iris.

I put in cast shadows – very carefully. R. B. Hale insists one remain the master of the cast shadows; they must not over power the drawing. I tried to ignore those that confused the shapes I was seeking to portray. I tried to make my shadows as “transparent” as possible and applied coats of fixative once I had them were I wanted them. Any slight change now would take on significance.

I put in the darkest darks; trying to reserve one darkest focus – his hair – and one lightest highlight – the fluffs of feathers and fur. I selectively clarified lines that divide shapes, especially those that indicate overlapping of forms. I tried to make gradual light shift between merging plans.

I add my last dark emphasis lines to indicate color and shading differences, signed my name, and add the date. Finally I covered the drawing with a coat of fixative. There was not turning back.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

In Pocatello

Yellowstone and Loll

On March 3rd 2010 a meeting was held to develop a relationship between Camp Loll and Yellowstone National Park that would best serve the needs of those who hike into Union Falls, Scout Pool, Terrace Falls, and other park destinations. The result of the interaction was more than compromise; it was collaboration.

I traveled to Pocatello with the Trapper Trails Council BSA Director of Camping, Bill Wangsgard, and the Council Director of Support Services, Phillip Eborn. We arrived at the Forest Service offices about twenty minutes early and were directed to a conference room. I had brought an arm load of materials. The scrap book I have built on our Hike Day campaign, containing the blog posts below, a CX Debate style case on the issue, the protocol developed by our nature Director, Lafe Conner, Bechler Ranger, Dave Ross, and his assistant Todd Selega. There were also numerous copies of supportive letters to the Park and various congressional representatives, and their replies, as well as my replies to any letters which raised concerns. It was very encouraging to know that we brought with us evidence of the support of our elected representatives, business and professional leaders, parents, and many of the youth Loll has served over the years.

We set up a computer to show pictures of Camp Loll, its staff and campers, and of the various hike destinations and routes. I had prepared a packet of information for each participant – including the “debate case”, Lafe’s history of Loll’s interactions with Yellowstone, a copy of the post, “What We Do at Loll”, and a selection of letters. I had one of our High Adventure prep packets, produced by Kim Bott, as well. I also had several years’ worth of hike day records, including the sheets from 2007 and 2008 keeping track of the number of times scouts defecated in the backcountry. I had a copy of our Hike Plan, and check-out lecture. From the National Inspection book, I had brought the Wilderness First Aid Cards and CPR cards of our Camp Rangers, the certification of training given to our staff by the Forest Service, and photo copies of the frequent user cards issued by the park to our Camp Loll Rangers last summer.

The Park Rangers arrived: Bechler Ranger, Dave Ross, West District Ranger, Michael Keator, and the Chief Ranger of Yellowstone National Park, Tim Reid. Hand shakes all-round and, ten minutes early, the conversation began. Ranger Keator had prepared an excellent agenda: introductions, a briefing from each organization on their management policies and philosophies, a review of Camp Loll’s Operating Plan., and finally, a review of existing “proposed” use permit. Ranger Keator had even planned for actions if agreement could not be achieved.

Ranger Keator presented the Park’s policies and philosophy. He discussed the Bechler District with its resources and challenges. He reminded us of the uniqueness of the area and how increasing numbers of visitors make the difficult journey to reach popular destinations, and bring with them an expectation free from unacceptable impacts that diminish wilderness values. Bechler now receives from 100 to 200 visitors a day.

Ranger Keator reviewed the foundational policies that unite the Park and the BSA in the preservation of the wilderness ethic. He touched on the Organic Act of 1916 and the Management Policies established in 2006, tasked to preserve the natural and cultural resources of the park and to provide for their enjoyment without impairing their value to future generations. He talked about the BSA’s Outdoor Code and the principles of “Leave No Trace”.

He explained that there are two balanced goals held by Yellowstone and the BSA, and hence Camp Loll, which must be managed. These are first, resources, by which he meant the opportunity visitors have to see the wonders, and second, value, which he interpreted as a justifiable expectation of peace and tranquility. He made clear that the Superintendent’s responsibility was to set limits on some in order to preserve the experience for others, that no one has exclusive rights to these treasures, and that the permitting process was a tool to affect these dual goals. He called for a holistic approach, seeking a way in which everyone can benefit. This is indeed a difficult task for the Park. To meet it they follow a process of Laws, Policies, and Guidelines. The Rangers stressed that limitations are not about Boy Scouts or about Camp Loll specifically.

I must admit that, as I listened, I saw many parallels between the Superintendent’s goals for Yellowstone and the Trapper Trails Council aims for Camp Loll. It came forcefully to me, that I do not want Camp Loll to be any larger. Indeed, Loll is one of the smallest camps in the council; it could easily be otherwise. Realize that Loll has been full for this summer since the 4th of January. Were we to open more campsites we could surely double our attendance, yet we do not. Part of the reason for this is that our agreement with the Forest Service limits our numbers to present levels – but equally as important to me is the aesthetic and practical qualities we are able to maintain by limiting use. How could I justly deny Yellowstone the same prerogative?

There were some misconceptions about Camp Loll and its use of the park that had to be cleared up. The Park Service Briefing Statement held three claims that could be justly challenged:

1. That peak numbers of 200-300 individuals from Camp Loll have been documented at Union Falls in a single day. If this was so twenty years ago; it has not been the case this century.

2. That extensive resource impacts have occurred at Terraced Falls. There were impacts years ago, but these have been reversed and repaired by much hard work, and our present protocol has prevented our campers from causing damage for years.

3. There is no permit to manage 350 individuals from Camp Loll from going to a single destination in YNP on any given day. Since the entire attendance of Camp Loll does not reach 350 campers, and they never all go to any single, or even multiple destinations in Yellowstone, this concern is moot.

Other points in the Current Status Review related to Loll’s agreement with the Forest Service; these were correct, and the POTENTIAL private use of Union Falls on any given day; numbers which are, in actually, not yet reached in our experience.

It was then our turn to speak. As I tend to be the most talkative in any group, Phillip gave me the opportunity to present Camp Loll’s position and procedures. However, Bill and Phillip did have important points to add especially relevant to many aspects of Council and National policy. I could not address such issues as insurance policies and financial obligations. We spoke for over an hour, the Rangers listened attentively, read through the “brief” I gave them, and sought clarification. As the discussion progressed, Dave Ross supported our claims and expanded upon my description of our efforts to serve and protect the Park. As Camp Loll’s program was presented, it became obvious that everyone in the room had the same goals.

I began by reading our “mission statement” from “What We Do at Loll” posted below, and then related our daily procedures as outlined there. I did not directly read from, or refer to, the “Brief”, but Tim Reid read it carefully and responded to several points. I will post this brief below. Ranger Reid referred directly to three of the CX questions:

#2. Referencing a “Sierra Club” lawsuit; he explained that the permit process had nothing to do with any lawsuit. Rather it was a necessary step in defending the resources and values of the Park.

#3. As to the CUA – this procedure had been a mistake. The BSA is not a “for profit” group and should therefore be properly directed by a Special Use Permit, although admittedly, the difference here is most semantic.

#4. On what drives the limitations; it is not complaints or pressure for any source, or animosity toward Boy Scouts in the park, but rather the “global reckoning” of the over all use increase of the park. Camp Loll is one of many users, and all must do their part to properly utilize the resource while preserving its value.

These explanations were more than adequate. The other questions were all answered in the process of our two hour discussion.

Ranger Reid did put the “observations” I placed in the “Brief” in his perspective. His views on these and his answers to the “spike” did not necessarily match my feeling, but I could see his point of view, even as he listened to mine. The important thing was it was becoming obvious, that with effort, both our positions could be accommodated.

Then we took a break.

When we returned we sought, and soon found ourselves in agreement. The Rangers set out their needs; those of us from the BSA put forward ours as well. There was not much conflict. I had come to realize that some changes would be necessary. I am not one to readily accept change; however, I saw that fulfilling the Parks needs could actually allow us to set up a system that will improve the entire camp experience for our scouts. I did point out that such changes could not come this summer.

I explained:

1. That our largest weekly attendance at Loll in the summer of 2009 (some were much smaller), was 224 scouts. We average, about 70 adults leaders in camp as well. On Hike Day, the largest numbers of troops to go to Terraced Falls, was perhaps as many as 100 hikers. Many others go to destinations outside Yellowstone: Survey Peak, the Heritage Hike to Grassy Lake, or the Beulah Lake Hike. We rarely have as many as a hundred Loll Campers hiking to Union Falls on any given Wednesday. I then added up an average week of hikers from one of our hike day record sheets – it showed 89 hikers had gone to Union Falls. This is probably close to average.

2. I explained that I have also thought long and hard about setting specific group sizes for our hike groups. Many of our troops are smaller than 12 boys; the average troop size is about 8, while some are larger. I believe there are advantages to allowing the troop to hike together. I feel that the fellowship, opportunities for service and leadership, and the acquisition of a life-long shared experience for the troop or crew are extremely valuable assets gained by maintaining unit integrity. I have thought of hiking as patrols rather than troops – but staffing becomes a problem. It is our determination that, for safety and ecological reasons, it is necessary to have a staff member accompany each hike group. We just cannot afford enough staff members to accommodate more than the 23 groups we already provide with camp friends.

3. In the same way – I have tried to figure out ways to allow troops to hike on different days while maintaining a meaningful and safe in-camp program for the young people who stay. The truth is that our hike guides are also our merit badge instructors, life guards, and climbing and range personnel. Further, it would be impossible to have adult staff members on duty at Terraced and Union Falls and on duty at the climbing rocks, archery range, and other facilities requiring constant supervision at Loll.

4. It is our goal to always have two adult unit leaders accompany all groups hiking in the park. This is in compliance with the “two deep leadership policy” of the Youth Protection guidelines of the BSA. Setting the number of hikers at 15 would thus effectively limit the number of scouts hiking to 12 per group.

5. Finally, it has occurred to me that for those who are not happy at meeting anyone else in the back country, spreading the hikers over five rather than two days, (We do send one in-camp high adventure group to Union Falls on Tuesday.) could well make even more folks angry. To this point the Rangers explained that it was not complaints by others – indeed Ranger Ross explained that there were very few complaints about Loll hikers – but rather the need to protect the value of the experience for all, including our hikers, that drove the Park’s goal.

In spite of my reservations about making changes in our program this summer, I did begin to see a way that by the summer of 2011, we could actually come close to the Park’s goals and at the same time improve the experience for our campers. The “fix” would not be easy, requiring Loll to accommodate hike days on both Wednesday and Thursday, however these advantages would accrue in 2011.

1. We could reduce our hikers into the park by half by simply dividing the group. By developing other good alternative hikes we could actually reduce the number even more, while not depriving anyone who desires the opportunity to visit Union Falls/Scout Pool or Terrace Falls.

2. The hikers who did go to Union Falls and Scout Pool would have fewer Loll hikers to coordinate their activities with – thus having longer at the pool and the falls and less time waiting at the “hitching post”. Also, in fulfillment of the Park’s view, they would actually have a more valuable wilderness experience while insuring that same value to other visitors as well.

3. Those who remain in Camp on the “other” day would find the program areas less crowded – thus making it easier to participate in shooting, climbing, and waterfront activities.

4. Those who chose from among the many wonderful, shorter hikes available at Loll will find all the programs areas up and running when they return to camp. They will thus be able to participate in free time activities and advancement opportunities.

The Rangers saw the challenges we faced and addressed them. For this summer (2010), we will continue to utilize the Wednesday only Hike Day format. To accommodate that, a temporary Special Use Permit will be issued for this summer only. By 2011 the numbers on any given day will be further reduced to limits which are, however, less restrictive than the 15 originally called for in the originally proposed CUA. Utilization over two days will allow close to the average number of hikers who have hither to used the trails to Union and Terrace Falls.

I have not provided all the details of the Special Use Permit. They are still only available in “draft” form and there are some small technicalities to be worked out. However, I know there are many who are anxious to know how things look for this summer and to understand why and how decisions affecting so much we all value were made.

I will post the brief I prepared for the meeting below. Ranger Reid said his daughter is in the debate program at her high school, so he was familiar with the format.

A Brief

The Case for continuing the present protocol for Camp Loll’s hikes to Union Falls, Scout Pool (Ouzel Pool), and Terrace Falls in Yellowstone:


Access by the youth, trained and supervised by the Camp Loll BSA staff, into Yellowstone areas adjacent to the camp; including, Union Falls, Scout Pool, and Terraced Falls is of benefit to the Park, to conservation of the environment, to youth, and to America; therefore, it is vital to maintain the Hike Day Protocol as developed by the National Park and Camp Loll over the past twenty years.

The Challenge:

After years of cooperation and successful backcountry utilization under a system which allowed small supervised groups to be guided into Union Falls and Scout Pool on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and Terrace Falls on Wednesdays, throughout the summer, a proposed Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) will greatly restrict such access.


1. Neither Camp Loll, nor the Trapper Trails Council BSA was consulted in the development of the CUA. Under the Administrative Procedures Act a Notice of Proposed Rule Making should have been provided. No attempt was or has been made to reach out to these stakeholders about any notice on the Federal Registry.

2. The stated parameters of the measures and activities implemented along the trails and at the destination points of the hikes minimize impact. Park representatives have informed the Camp that, “if impact was reduced participation could be maintained.” Impact has been reduced, indeed reversed, by efforts from Camp Loll.

3. The only impact not greatly reduced or eliminated by the present program is the, so-called, “visual impact” on other hikers who meet a Camp Loll hiking group on the trail or at one of the destinations. It should be noted that very few, most weeks no, non-Loll hikers are encountered on the trail to, or at the viewing point of Terrace Falls. As this is often the hike taken by the larger portion of Loll’s hikers, “visual impact” is less than overall numbers could imply to those looking for offence.

4. Specifics and the challenges they present. From the CUA:

a. Point #7. “All day use groups shall be no larger than 15 visitors (one guide and 14 clients) and shall be spaced at least ½ mile apart at all times.” (Proposed CUA Attachment B: p 1) Scout Troops and Venture Crews already come divided into groups. Many are smaller than 14 – our average troop size is closer to 8 – but others are larger. Groups already have a guide and hike separately. The trail to Union Falls/Scout Pool is over eight miles long and groups are naturally spread out, often by far more than a ½ mile interval. At destination points there is some time together, however, this has been dealt with under the present protocol by restricting the hike groups to the hitching post area where they eat meals, practice bear precautions, change into their swimming clothes, and wait to be sent either to the falls or the pool, one group at a time. Present protocol allows very small groups to be combined and requires groups over 20 to be divided.

b. Point #8. “Permittee is allowed to guide one group of 15 to Union Falls, one group of 15 to Ouzel Pool [Scout Pool] and two groups of 15 each to Terrace Falls on any given day. Other areas may be identified and approved by the District Ranger as use and resource impacts dictate.”(Emphasis is in the document.) Since the groups who hike the eight miles one way to Union Falls will desire to also visit Scout Pool, this proscription necessarily limits the utilization to one group of 15. As one member of the group will be Camp Loll Staff, and two members will be accompanying unit adult leaders, the suggested policy will limit the number of Scouts or Ventures able to visit this recourse to 12. As guides also serve as on the program staff it is impossible to utilize more than one hike day per week and still safely and effectively maintain “in camp” operations. Thus the scouts cannot take advantage of other days for hiking. (Under the present program a small group of older hikers already travels to Union Falls on Tuesday, further preempting use of that day.)

The Harms:

Restricting access to Union Falls/Ouzel (Scout Pool) and Terrace Falls will reduce their value as an important American natural resource. These restrictions actually damage the resource.


America’s youth are its greatest resource – they are indeed its future. The experience of visiting these locations in the park greatly enhances their lives. Restricting such opportunity to the many, so a few can monopolize it, will rob our nation of the treasure of experience presently provided and take from the Park the life long support of thousands deprived of wonderful lessons and memories.

The wilderness must be experienced to be loved. By locking out hundreds, who do no harm in their passing, at the demand of those, who like the aristocrats of the past, demand exclusive use of such riches, this policy will dim the passion of a multitude of could-have-been supporters of Yellowstone and of wilderness in general. Consider how the disenfranchised and ignorant mobs of the past destroyed their national treasures because they had never had the chance to own or love them.

Values above and beyond awareness and love of nature are also provided by these hikes. The values of Scouting, as presented in the Oath and Law, are the reason for the program at Loll. These values are inseparably linked to nature, conservation, and environmentalism. One learns of God by observing His creations in the wilderness. A scout recognizes the greatness of our country by experiencing the natural treasures they hold in trust with their fellow citizens. Once such treasures were the purview of Kings, but in this nation they are the pleasure of all. As a young person experiences the wonder of nature they learn the responsibility that comes with so great a birthright. It is in nature that a boy or girl will test their limits developing their body, wit, and character. As they work together on the trail, defending and improving the environment, through which they pass without a trace; they learn the joy of service to others which is the foundation of happiness and success in life. What better use can we extract from the wilderness? In a day when all but the last child is driven from the woods, the positive effects of this uniquely powerful wilderness will be stolen from America’s future. At the very time when we struggle to keep our children free from drugs, gangs, mind numbing computer games and video with their soul killing violence, pornography, bigotry, and ignorance, it would be a great harm indeed to drive them from Union Falls, and deprive them, by the hundreds, of the life enriching joy of swimming in Scout Pool; real life activities they cannot find elsewhere.


The present system minimizes impact from visitors by training, supervision, and example.

The present system provides maximum exposure with a minimum of impact.

The present system reduces “Wilde Cat” groups, scout groups not supervised or guided by the Camp Loll Staff, by ensuring a much better alternative will continue to be available.

The level and quality of the long-term relationship between Camp Loll and Yellowstone Park, and the support of the Forest Service in training and interacting with leaders and boys greatly increases hikers’ awareness of the role of the Park and Forest Service in preserving and protecting the treasures they enjoy. This will greatly enhance the effectiveness of these agencies in their ongoing efforts to defend and improve wilderness.

Spikes against claimed disadvantages:

Some may claim that allowing continued utilization at past levels will ruin the wilderness experience of others who come to this area seeking solitude and escape from other human influence: the so-called “visual impact”.

1. Since the Tuesday use is only by a small number of hikers, this “visual” impact is limited to one day a week (Wednesday day, hike day) – thus leaving six other days, including weekends, open to other backcountry users. The use is measured and predictable allowing those thus offended to be alerted and enabled to work around possible encounters.

2. It is not reasonable to argue that damaging one or a few persons’ experience justifies destroying the experience of many. Since the groups from Loll, although ostensibly numerous, actually do less harm and more good than unsupervised groups, there is no reasonable excuse for singling them out for restriction.

CX Questions

1. What are the purpose and values for which these sites, indeed the entire Yellowstone Park was set aside? Was it not for the enjoyment of all Americans?

2. What was involved in the original “Sierra Club” lawsuit that forced CUA’s on nonprofit organizations?

3. Who made the decisions reflected in Camp Loll’s proposed CUA?

4. What drives these limitations? Were they arbitrarily set or in response to some mandate?

5. What were the statistics and where is the logic that drives this decision?

6. Did those who set the limits do anything to understand the good that is done by Camp Loll through its utilization of this resource?

7. Have there been specific complaints lodged against groups from Camp Loll? If so, what were they?

8. How does the impact caused by trained and supervised Camp Loll groups compare with that of horse packing or unsupervised (wild cat) visiting groups or individuals? Since it is admittedly less, shouldn’t this mitigation be considered in developing any restrictions?

9. Can’t reasonable lines be drawn relating to impact? Are these restrictions related to impact? Shouldn’t such impacts be balanced by the benefit they accrue?

10. What restrictions are being placed on other “commercial” and noncommercial users? Are the restrictions placed on them related to impact? Have the consequences of the effects of their uses been weighed against the benefits they provide?

11. Since it is demonstrably evident that the present Camp Loll Hike Day Protocol has had positive effect on the area around Terraced Falls and Union Falls, why not continue these practices as they now operate?

12. If present numbers of the hikers can enjoy the benefit of these resources by visiting, viewing, and utilizing them, without harming them, how can such use be denied without violating the mission of Yellowstone Park, in the “protection of park resources and to ensure that all visitors can enjoy a quality experience”? (Emphasis added)?


1. There is a net benefit accrued by allowing Camp Loll’s present use pattern. It is a quality experience. Hikers benefit throughout their lives from the positive nature of the experience, Yellowstone is enhanced by these hikers’ lifelong support, and the environment defended by the knowledge and the commitment established in all trained by this experience.

2. If Camp Loll groups were harming the site they could be chastened, corrected, perhaps even excluded, but they do not harm the resource.

3. Consider an American who has journeyed across the nation to visit the Lincoln Memorial or gaze at the founding documents. Would it be just and reasonable to exclude hundreds of such pilgrims in order to allow a few to sit undisturbed at Lincoln’s marble feet or caress, in private, the hallowed parchments? Even I might dream of such privileges, but they could not justly come at the expense of my fellow Americans.

4. If the Louver set a quota on the number who could view the Mona Lisa at 15 a day or the Pope forbad the multitude admittance to the Sistine to allow a few priests to contemplate in silence; the world would cry tyranny.

5. In America, our national treasures are our common heritage; not the property of aristocrats by blood, fortune, or cause. Those tasked with facilitating the use of these assets must find ways which best protect and share them with all. Over decades of care and effort, in the Bechler Ranger District - southwest corner of Yellowstone, such a protocol has been developed by Camp Loll BSA and the NPS. This partnership, which allows carefully supervised and trained groups of hikers to enjoy these resources, this American treasure, is worth preserving.

6. Many of the young people who have fought or who now fight on distant battle fields for the freedom and safety of America find inspiration in the wonder of Union Falls and the joy of swimming in Scout Pool. Future generations of heroes need and deserve similar inspiration and support.

Protocol for Camp Loll Hike Day

By giving boys and leaders the opportunity to visit the wilderness and participate in various activities, the hike day adds depth to the overall camp experience, and strengthens the unity of the group. Participating together in a shared experience offers scouts a chance to build friendships. Those who have more knowledge and skill can help the younger boys to accomplish the hike.Hike day serves as an opportunity to reach toward the three aims of scouting: Citizenship, Character, and Fitness. Camp Loll offers a variety of hiking opportunities in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park, through Grand Targee National Forest, and through the Jedediah Smith Wilderness Area. Each hike is discussed here including specific concerns to ensure safety to hikers and to the wilderness.

Hike Day General Outline of Safety and Consideration

1. The most important rule is STAY TOGETHER AS A GROUP! By staying together we prevent most bad things that might happen to a hiker. (Getting lost, animal encounters, injury, etc.)

2. Protect yourself from the elements
a. WEAR SUNSCREEN! Hats, shirts and sunscreen to prevent sunburns.
b. Carry enough water to prevent dehydration. (Learn how to drink your water.)
c. Water from streams and rivers should be purified before drinking.
d. Be prepared for rain.
e. Water shoes while crossing rivers and swimming in lakes and pools.
f. Use the SAFE SWIM DEFENCE PLAN, have a lifeguard, lookout, and buddy whenever you swim.
g. Take a first aid kit. (The camp-friend and the camp-rangers have kits)

3. Be respectful of wildlife. Allow animals to move on, or pass around them at a safe distance. Do not harass smaller animals. Never feed the wildlife.

4. Be Courteous and friendly to others you pass along the trail. For horses or other livestock stand still several feet off the trail and let them pass. Do not make sudden movements that could frighten horses.

5. NEVER LITTER and ALWAYS PICK UP LITTER YOU FIND! Litter includes pieces of your sandwich, apple, sunflower seeds, or other bits of food.

6. Sanitation. Always 200 feet from trail or water. Number one should be broadcast, and number two buried in a cat hole 6-8 inches deep. (In Yellowstone we carry toilet paper out.) Go to the KYBO before you leave Camp.

7. Leave the wilderness as you find it, or cleaner if possible. Avoid disturbing the scenery. Never take any natural artifact out of the parks.

8. Report any observed violations or suspicious activates to the appropriate land agency. If in Yellowstone, please contact Bechler Ranger Station at 406-581-7704 and leave a detailed message if there is no answer.

9. It is the visitor’s responsibility to know and obey all park regulations (posted or not). Yellowstone National Park Fishing Licenses are required to fish within Yellowstone National Park and obey all specific fishing regulations.

10. Report ALL injuries (even when no assistance is needed) as soon as possible to the Bechler Ranger Station (406-581-7074). Emergencies needing assistance must be reported to the Bechler Ranger Station at the above number Yellowstone National Park Dispatch or call 911 and state you are in Yellowstone NP and provide a specific location

Other items specific to each hike are listed below.

Beulah Lake
1. Try to limit impact areas to the designated campsites when you stop to change and have lunch.
2. Swim in the safe swim area and have those who are fishing, fish away from this area.
3. All those who fish need to have a Yellowstone license, and obey all fishing regulations.
4. Follow proper food storage by bear bagging unattended food.

Survey Peak
1. Do not make a trail. Spread out horizontally and do not follow in a single line. However, use the trails where they already exist.
2. Wherever possible, travel on durable surfaces.

Terrace Falls
1. View the falls only from approved viewpoints and under the direction of the Commissioner (Camp Ranger) in charge that day.
2. When stopping for lunch try to minimize impact, stop at Tillery Lake, the Cascade Creek Trailhead, or somewhere along the trail that you can get out of the way of other hikers.

Union Falls
1. Leave early. Be on the trail no later than 7:30 AM; leaving between 6:00 AM and 7:00 AM is ideal. The Commissary will open at 5:30 AM.
2. Minimize impact when changing shoes and clothes at every crossings and the hitching post.
3. Use the bear poles to store lunches when you are not at the hitching post. The commissioner and the first few camp friends can carry them (bear bags) in; those returning last will carry them home.
4. Follow the direction of the commissioners and limit the number of individuals at Scout Pool or Union Falls to manageable group sizes. (10-15 is ideal, larger groups should split when accompanied by more than one camp friend).
5. Yield to horses, move away from livestock at the hitching post.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Thank You

A Thank You

The challenge to Camp Loll’s Hike Day has been positively resolved. Camp Loll, and the generations of young people who will visit there, owe great gratitude to many people.

First, I thank all of you who wrote to Yellowstone National Park, your congressmen, and to others who have came to our support. I especially want to thank all who contacted me personally, sustaining this effort by your strength. Without rancor or recrimination, all of you let those who needed to know, know.

Second, we all owe our thanks to our congressional representatives. I am aware of direct involvement in support of Camp Loll from Senators Bennett and Hatch and from Representative Rob Bishop. In the midst of their extremely busy schedules and a multitude of worthy causes, they expended personal time and dedicated their personal staff support to directing attention to our needs and bolstering Camp Loll’s position. I am confident that Representatives Chaffetz and Matheson also reached out to help us. As a teacher of US Government, I have always taught, that the two-fold role of Congress is to make laws and to be the voice of the people. These great men have been our voice, the voice of thousands of young people who otherwise might not have been heard.

Finally, I would like to thank Yellowstone National Park: Superintendent Lewis, and especially Ranger Dave Ross from the Bechler area, West District Ranger, Michael P. Keator, and Chief Ranger, Tim Reid. Today, these three gentlemen spent hours explaining the challenges facing Yellowstone, especially the Bechler area, and listening to our appeals and explanations. I am grateful that Yellowstone is in such strong and wise hands. I will give details of the meeting once the Special Use Permit is finalized. For now let me assure everyone that, for this summer, our campers will notice very little change in Hike Day and by the summer of 2011 they will see some very substantial improvements.

Working with the direction of the Park Service we have been able to work out a protocol which will allow Yellowstone to better fulfill its duel obligations to provide access to the Park’s resources while maintaining the values provided by the unique experience of “wilderness”. At the same time, the values of Scouting – always the primary goal of Camp Loll’s program - will be even more effectively delivered to our campers.

Let me summarize. In the summer of 2010, Wednesday Hike Day will continue much as it has in the past, over the summer new processes and opportunities will be developed under the direction of the Bechler Ranger and the Camp Loll Staff. In the summer of 2011 two hike days, Wednesday and Thursday, will provide a more valuable wilderness experience to those who venture into Yellowstone while providing in camp opportunities which have not been available in the past. The Park will accommodate Camp Loll’s numbers; Camp Loll will redistribute those numbers in ways that will fit with the Park’s management policy to optimize the use of Yellowstone’s resources and defend its values.