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Smith River Permit - Non-resident allocation

wyoelkfan15

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Mar 6, 2017
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Wyoming
Swing and a miss on the smith permit this year. Hopefully some of my MT resident friends drew. One of my friends in Missoula mentioned that the permits are now similar to hunting tag allocations, no more than 10% allowed to Non-residents. Hope others had better luck than we did.
 
Glad I’ve drawn twice already and gotten to do it twice.

The implementation of the bonus point system and requirement to pack your 💩 out dissuaded me from applying this year.

Maybe I’m just getting old but I think there will be a lot of surface 💩’s now.
 
There will definitely be :poop: everywhere. Everybody I have talked to is either not applying for it because of that requirement or has said they are just going wherever and whenever nature calls.

I applied and struck out again, but I've gone 3 times.

Not sure why the bonus point system would make you not apply, especially this year since everybody had 1 point.
 
Yeah, it's odd that they are getting rid of the existing toilets at the dispersed campgrounds. I'm sure there was some upkeep costs, and maybe it was effecting water quality? Having done multiple other trips on pack it out rivers, crapping in a can isn't that bad, just make sure to bring a package of good smelling after wipes and it's all good. Hell in 2016 we floated the Salmon. We had to have two groovers since we had a big enough party that one wasn't enough. We labelled one Clinton and one Trump, you got to "cast your vote" twice a day when the groovers came off the boats.:D

It seems odd that it can be limited to 10% non-resident. I realize that there is state park land sprinkled through that canyon but there is forest service mixed in with private as well.
 
There will definitely be :poop: everywhere. Everybody I have talked to is either not applying for it because of that requirement or has said they are just going wherever and whenever nature calls.

I applied and struck out again, but I've gone 3 times.

Not sure why the bonus point system would make you not apply, especially this year since everybody had 1 point.

Just don’t think bonus point systems help anything and generally disagree with all point systems in principal. I still participate in all of the hunting game species ones in Montana, mainly because I’m committed now, but I think they have created as many or more problems than they were trying to solve. Seems like as soon as demand exceeds supply by a certain amount states decide to monetize the supply even further.
 
Just don’t think bonus point systems help anything and generally disagree with all point systems in principal. I still participate in all of the hunting game species ones in Montana, mainly because I’m committed now, but I think they have created as many or more problems than they were trying to solve. Seems like as soon as demand exceeds supply by a certain amount states decide to monetize the supply even further.
Yep, and for river permits across public land, it just seems like an odd system. I guess the grand canyon has had their point system in place for a long time. Personally I'd like a pure random with wait periods for successful permit draws.
 
Yep, and for river permits across public land, it just seems like an odd system. I guess the grand canyon has had their point system in place for a long time. Personally I'd like a pure random with wait periods for successful permit draws.
I agree. It is a weird concept that we need to get a permit to use our rivers. I especially hate it when I can’t draw a damn permit! Pure random draws haven’t been good to me.

I will say that non permitted rivers can get way crowded and it’s pretty nasty when every pull out is covered in human crap and toilet paper. Doesn’t take many people to screw it up. If people don’t understand the necessity of using a groover, I don’t know what to say. Maybe it’s a good thing they don’t want to put in for the permit. Imagine if no one used groovers. It’s not like you can eddy out and go just anywhere. Thousands of people digging cat holes isn’t good either.

Places like the Smith are attracting people because it’s beautiful and some of those people are the very ones that will crap all over it and bitch about packing their own waste out. I don’t get it.
 
I remember reading in a book about beaches on Lake Mead which were essentially latrines. So, groovers, it is.
 
No luck for me or anyone I know. I drew a late May permit in 2003 and haven't been able to draw one since. I still manage to make it on there almost every year though.

I am a bit bummed about the toilet removal, but do understand why they are doing it. Some of the camps have run out of locations for new pits and digging and maintaining them in that super rocky soil is challenging. Some of the camps are also located on private lands that the state leases and I have heard that several landowners don't want the toilets on their property any longer. I do agree that with the new pack-in pack-out regulations there will likely be more cat holes dug around the camps.

Anyone that doesn't think permits and groovers are necessary on multi-day western rivers has not spent much time floating lately. Its getting insanely crowded on any popular river and most have very limited campsite locations. Campsites on rivers like the forks of the Flathead, unpermitted sections of the Salmon and even the permitted part of Hells Canyon are getting to be disgusting. Shit and toilet paper behind every log, boulder and tree within 75 yards of the camps. Some of the campsites reek worse than a sewage lagoon. The rafters on Hells Canyon are pretty good about using groovers, but the jet boaters have about ruined the more popular beaches.
 
No luck for me or anyone I know. I drew a late May permit in 2003 and haven't been able to draw one since. I still manage to make it on there almost every year though.

I am a bit bummed about the toilet removal, but do understand why they are doing it. Some of the camps have run out of locations for new pits and digging and maintaining them in that super rocky soil is challenging. Some of the camps are also located on private lands that the state leases and I have heard that several landowners don't want the toilets on their property any longer. I do agree that with the new pack-in pack-out regulations there will likely be more cat holes dug around the camps.

Anyone that doesn't think permits and groovers are necessary on multi-day western rivers has not spent much time floating lately. Its getting insanely crowded on any popular river and most have very limited campsite locations. Campsites on rivers like the forks of the Flathead, unpermitted sections of the Salmon and even the permitted part of Hells Canyon are getting to be disgusting. Shit and toilet paper behind every log, boulder and tree within 75 yards of the camps. Some of the campsites reek worse than a sewage lagoon. The rafters on Hells Canyon are pretty good about using groovers, but the jet boaters have about ruined the more popular beaches.
I have no issues with permits or groovers on the river, it's par for the course for most popular floats. My intent of the post was a) congratulate anyone who pulled a permit and b) consider people's opinions on the fact that it's a permitted river that is allocated to 90% residents. I understand it's through State park lands, but also forest service. It's one of the few examples I can think of thats outside of hunting tags that is heavily favored to residents. I'm just wondering if policies like this will start bleeding over to other state parks in other areas of the lower 48. There are multiple state parks in Wyoming that I would say are heavily used by out of state folks. I wonder if states will start separating parks like these out to be more in favor of residents in the future.
 
I have no issues with permits or groovers on the river, it's par for the course for most popular floats. My intent of the post was a) congratulate anyone who pulled a permit and b) consider people's opinions on the fact that it's a permitted river that is allocated to 90% residents. I understand it's through State park lands, but also forest service. It's one of the few examples I can think of thats outside of hunting tags that is heavily favored to residents. I'm just wondering if policies like this will start bleeding over to other state parks in other areas of the lower 48. There are multiple state parks in Wyoming that I would say are heavily used by out of state folks. I wonder if states will start separating parks like these out to be more in favor of residents in the future.
Good point. I’m not sure how the “jurisdiction “ aspect works. If other states adopted this policy it would change everything in the boating world. Hmmmm.

As a selfish Idaho resident I would love to see NR restricted to 10% of the permits. I might be able to actually get on the Middle Fork.

As a freedom loving American I think it’s horse shit and the river belongs to us all equally.

Damn, I’m gonna have to think about this one. Got me thinking
 
Good point. I’m not sure how the “jurisdiction “ aspect works. If other states adopted this policy it would change everything in the boating world. Hmmmm.

As a selfish Idaho resident I would love to see NR restricted to 10% of the permits. I might be able to actually get on the Middle Fork.

As a freedom loving American I think it’s horse shit and the river belongs to us all equally.

Damn, I’m gonna have to think about this one. Got me thinking
I had an opportunity to do the middle fork three years ago. Like an imbecile I chose overtime instead of gnar-time. Been lucky enough to do the main twice now. I have floated the Smith one time on a friends permit at super low water. It seems odd on the smith because we had forest service rangers checking our float permit on the river, so it's patrolled by the feds but permitted by the state.
 
I do have mixed feelings about the new permit distribution between res/nonres. I am somewhat supportive of it though since I know tons of residents that have never been able to draw in over 20 years of applying. Also, all the management and maintenance is paid for by FWP not the forest service or BLM, so I think Montana residents should have first dibs on permits. From what I have read, over the previous several years about 40% of permits were going to non residents. If the forest service was the one managing this river/permit like other multi-day floats in the North West, I would not expect residents to get any preference.

The way things are going, expect a lot more activities and locations going to a permit system. Not just rivers. Just way too many people getting out there to not have a negative impact on the resource as well as a positive experience for the people recreating. I have heard rumors that the forest service is seriously considering adding over a dozen rivers in the north west to their permitting system. If the state parks in WY are getting overcrowded and it is having a negative impact on the park, I wouldn't be opposed to your state putting limits on out of staters visiting them.
 
I had an opportunity to do the middle fork three years ago. Like an imbecile I chose overtime instead of gnar-time. Been lucky enough to do the main twice now. I have floated the Smith one time on a friends permit at super low water. It seems odd on the smith because we had forest service rangers checking our float permit on the river, so it's patrolled by the feds but permitted by the state.

The Middle Fork is the best multi-day float in the north west in my opinion.

Weird to have forest service check you. I have been down it about 20 times and have never encountered any federal employees. Talked to or been checked by state guys a bunch. I'm somewhat acquainted with the park manager and will ask him if the forest service ever makes it down there. The state also leases campsites from the forest service so maybe they were checking on those camps.
 
I do have mixed feelings about the new permit distribution between res/nonres. I am somewhat supportive of it though since I know tons of residents that have never been able to draw in over 20 years of applying. Also, all the management and maintenance is paid for by FWP not the forest service or BLM, so I think Montana residents should have first dibs on permits. From what I have read, over the previous several years about 40% of permits were going to non residents. If the forest service was the one managing this river/permit like other multi-day floats in the North West, I would not expect residents to get any preference.

The way things are going, expect a lot more activities and locations going to a permit system. Not just rivers. Just way too many people getting out there to not have a negative impact on the resource as well as a positive experience for the people recreating. I have heard rumors that the forest service is seriously considering adding over a dozen rivers in the north west to their permitting system. If the state parks in WY are getting overcrowded and it is having a negative impact on the park, I wouldn't be opposed to your state putting limits on out of staters visiting them.
I've had this same concern with climbing crags in Wyoming. There are multiple crags in the State that I have seen absolutely explode in use the last 20 years. It saddens me to think you would need a permit to rock climb on national forest, but considering the impacts I've seen, I just don't see a way around it. When you walk up to a crag and there is trash, loose TP and multiple new trails roaming everywhere, something needs to be done. Too many people loving a resource to death.
 
The Middle Fork is the best multi-day float in the north west in my opinion.

Weird to have forest service check you. I have been down it about 20 times and have never encountered any federal employees. Talked to or been checked by state guys a bunch. I'm somewhat acquainted with the park manager and will ask him if the forest service ever makes it down there. The state also leases campsites from the forest service so maybe they were checking on those camps.
Maybe I'm confusing the MTFWP guys with the feds, it seemed that the guys that checked us were Forest Service but I could be wrong.
 
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