Changing "walk-in" permits system back to pre-covid system.

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Regional Forester Randy Moore,

We are requesting that the pre-covid, same day "walk-in" permit system be reimplemented.

The current "walk-in" system on recreation.gov requires outdoor enthusiasts, to secure a "walk-in" permit 2 weeks in advance, it completely disregards those of us who have relied on this type of last minute outing opportunity for the last several decades. It makes it close to impossible for many of us to enjoy the wilderness experience because of family or job obligations, wildfire/smoke and changing weather conditions.

Wilderness offices could easily open with social distancing and mask requirements. Outdoor kiosks could be set up to provide additional safety for employees and customers. There should be no reason why "walk-in" permits can not be re-instated, many of us have continued to work thru the pandemic as essential workers, we would like a chance to get back to enjoying our California National Parks and National Forests.

The current permit system on recreation.gov, where one has to reserve 6 months in advance, is difficult enough. People are grabbing blocks of popular trailhead permits with no punitive consequences if permits are not used, other than the permit cost, this will result in blocks of unused permits, which many of us would be happy to have used. Also, one has to be ready at exactly 7 am, otherwise by 7:01 all the permits are gone, or the system is to busy to process the request, and then end up getting a "quota filled" message.

The enjoyment of our wilderness areas should not be made more difficult, especially during these times difficult, when we all can use the rejuvenating powers of our California National Parks and National Forests.

Thank you for taking the time to read and considering our request.

Sincerely,

Peter Agoston

High Sierra Topix Forum Member