Six alternative plans for Desolation Wilderness forecast a different future | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Six alternative plans for Desolation Wilderness forecast a different future

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The U.S. Forest Service is considering a new management plan for the Desolation Wilderness that could reduce visits to the popular area, maintain the area at current use levels, or allow more visits in the future.

1) Opportunity Class:

Class I: outstanding opportunity for isolation and solitude

Class II: high probability

Class III: moderate probability

Class IV: low to moderate probability

Alternative 1: 0 acres OC I, 31,729 OC II, 13,980 OC III, 18,252 OC IV

Current condition: 0 acres OC I, 40,409 OC II, 8,485 OC III, 12,865 OC IV

Alternative 3: 23,738 acres OC I, 23,796 OC II, 13,150 OC III, 3,277 OC IV

Alternative 4: 38,240 acres OC I, 12,941 OC II, 12,122 OC III, 657 OC IV

Alternative 5: 41,464 acres OC I, 16,087 OC II, 6,410 OC III, 0 OC IV

Alternative 6, 55,722 acres OC I, 8,239 OC II, 0 OC III, 0 OC IV

2) Water Quality

Alternative 1: Install backcountry toilets in heavy use areas.

Current condition: 100-foot setback from waterways for human waste disposal

Alternative 3: 200-foot setback. Carrying out or burning toilet paper mandatory.

Alternative 4: 200-foot setback. Carrying out or burning toilet paper mandatory.

Alternative 5: 200-foot setback. Carrying out or burning toilet paper mandatory.

Alternative 6: Pack out all human waste from all areas.

3) Wood Fires

Alternative 1: Wood fires allowed in fire rings.

Current Condition: Wood fires prohibited. Enclosed stoves permitted.

Alternative 3: “No trace” fires allowed in OC I and II. Prohibited elsewhere.

Alternative 4: Wood fires prohibited. Enclosed stoves permitted.

Alternative 5: Wood fires prohibited. Enclosed stoves permitted.

Alternative 6: Wood fires prohibited. Enclosed stoves permitted.

4) Group Size

Alternative 1: 25 persons

Current Condition: 15 persons

Alternative 3: 15 in OC III and IV, six in OC I and II

Alternative 4: 12 in OC III and IV, six in OC I and II

Alternative 5: 12 in OC III, six in OC I and II

Alternative 6: six in OC I and II, up to 12 with special permit

5) Overnight Quota

Alternative 1: 793 permits

Current Condition: 700

Alternative 3: 582

Alternative 4: 495

Alternative 5: 402

Alternative 6: 264

6) Day Use Quota

Alternative 1: No quota

Current Condition: No quota

Alternative 3: Quota for high-use areas

Alternative 4: 211 permits

Alternative 5: 165

Alternative 6: 104

7: Dogs

Alternative 1: Dogs under voice control

Current Condition: Dogs under voice control

Alternative 3: Dogs on leashes

Alternative 4: Dogs on leashes

Alternative 5: dogs on leashes

Alternative 6: Dogs prohibited


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