2018 permitting fiasco.

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2018 permitting fiasco.

Postby AndyfromMaui » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:43 pm

Aloha! I’ve posted this in another place but am hoping to get more exposure by posting here as well.

Trying to be patient but running into something a bit off. My girlfriend and I each submitted for permits. My time stamp was 1101 hers was 1108. We were both charged. Her permit (1st choice) was issued last Friday. I’ve heard nothing about mine. We both had an extremely difficult time trying to log in and submit our info on the first day. That’s why we had such a late time stamp. I was under the impression they went in order received but with all the issues on the first day, I’m guessing that got mixed up a bit. How long do I wait before trying to contact someone? Have permit requests ever been “lost”?

Thanks in advance,

Andy
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Re: 2018 permitting fiasco.

Postby PeteE » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:24 pm

I just walked out of the Apgar BC Office where theu were processing permits.
I'll let you and everyone know what I found out regarding your question.
Haed for me to type on this phone and ill be out of cell range shortly.
Sorry
pete :wink:
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Re: 2018 permitting fiasco.

Postby PeteE » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:16 pm

I went to the BC Office to see what, if anything useful I could find out about how the reservation process was going.
I explained I was asking on behalf of others. I got no dog in this fight.
Frankly, I didn't expect to learn a lot. And I didn't.

The rangers working the applications are at the very bottom of the totem pole so to speak.
So as you might imagine, they don't know a lot about what's going on and/or are not authorized to talk about it.
When I got into the general issue about "transparency" and the importance of faith and credibility in the system...
They deferred any questions like that, and properly so imo, to Brian(their Boss) as those involve "policy".

The one important thing that I did learn related to the infamous "time stamps" and the controversy and issues involved with them.

According to the ranger I spoke to, Pay.gov was able to recover and correct some time stamps on some applications.
No way for the BC Office to know which applications were affected though.

The result being that the time stamp YOU have on YOUR information at home may not be the same time time stamp that is on your application currently at the BC Office. Stress the word "may".
They don't know any details of how the corrections were found or made, etc. etc.
I want to add quickly...
The BC Office is working from applications that were forwarded to them from Pay.gov.
In other words they cannot tell you the "why this" or "why that" with regard to any specific application.
They're just working the apps as given to them.

The ranger I spoke to said they believe they'll finish the applications before "mid May".
I know that none of this is big news nor does it make anyone happy.

Regarding yours and your wife's application...
I asked about your situation. They couldn't explain how that happened.
Said they would have to look at the apps etc. etc.

While they aren't saying so, it's pretty clear that nobody is happy with this new system.
The Backcountry Rangers know, believe me, they know how unhappy all of you are with this fiasco.
At this point they are just working the process the best they can to get your permits issued asap.
They're very aware that many of you have vacation time issues, airline and accommodation reservations , and so on to deal with.

pete :wink:
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Re: 2018 permitting fiasco.

Postby AndyfromMaui » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:50 pm

Mahalo Pete for looking into this. I have high hopes in getting 1 of my choices. We are going after Labor Day. I’ll keep you in the loop when I hear something.

Thanks again!

Andy
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Re: 2018 permitting fiasco.

Postby daveparker » Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:33 am

It is always frustrating when a new process involved in reservations is put in place with government agencies, I know we went through it a few years ago when the Montana state parks started taking reservations online, I don't know how many times, I had reservations lost or not recorded correctly at the park and I would show up with my confirmation and they had no record for it at the park. It was worse when it happened the other way around, I would do a walk up and then they would come to my spot and explain they had a reservation for the spot they gave me and they would give me another spot!

I hope the National Park system gets this worked out sooner than later!
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Re: 2018 permitting fiasco.

Postby AndyfromMaui » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:45 am

I heard back yesterday and it was bad news. “We have processed your Advance Reservation Application and were unable to confirm any of your itinerary choices“. Now, I realize that I’m not the only one who had issues with the permitting process but this really stinks! First, I wasn’t able to get anything submitted for over an hour after the website opened. (I tried on two different computers and a tablet). Second, my girlfriends permit was submitted a few minutes after mine and she received hers back a week before I got my response. The system, to be honest, sucks.

We still have high hopes. We get to the park on Labor Day. We have a campsite reserved at Many Glacier that night, 9/3. Our permit is for 9/8 ELF, 9/9 MAN, and 9/10 CRA.

A few questions:

The day after Labor Day, the campsites become first come/first serve. If we’re already there, do we need to wake up each morning and get in a line to let them know we are staying another night?

Are the offices closed on Labor day?

How early should I be in line for a walk up permit?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: 2018 permitting fiasco.

Postby thorn726 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:55 am

first off THANKS for going down there and getting that Report PeteE!!

AndyfromMaui wrote:Second, my girlfriends permit was submitted a few minutes after mine and she received hers back a week before I got my response.

i agree the "first come first serve" system does not work, but keep in mind if both of you started at the same time, got kicked out, and eventually got in.... after the re-ordering, even though your timestamp appeared later, she got logged in first. My timestamp was 10:02:01. Since i did not get booted from the system at all, MAny people with timestamps of 10:08 or later received their permits weeks before i got mine. Once the system crashed, timestamps stopped being accurate. So technically even though your timestamp was later than hers, your girlfriend registered a log in at some point before you did. Figure majority of those failed attempts at submitting your permit got logged in some way even if the submission failed. Sounds like you got something at least, and you're Going - so you'll get a walk up and it Will be Awesome... and of course we all will groan at the Rangers a little and hope they change the system next summer...

The day after Labor Day, the campsites become first come/first serve. If we’re already there, do we need to wake up each morning and get in a line to let them know we are staying another night?

when the Front Country sites go "walk up", you can still get them for multiple nights so you won't have to go down there every day once you re-secure the site. Glacier says "pay for the nights you wish to stay"...once you're in, you can take it for the limit.. this is why summer walk up campgrounds are so hard to get a site in, only a few sites turn over each day.... Hopefully someone else knows exactly whether you even have to get in the line, there's a chance you can extend it when you arrive or maybe the night before they go "walk up" and avoid the line up entirely but maybe not... i would ask nicely even if it is not "procedure" maybe they help you out. Good Luck!
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Re: 2018 permitting fiasco.

Postby PeteE » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:16 am

I may have missed something here.
At GNP front country campsites...
When the reservation requirement ends....Once you are in, you can stay until your 14 days are up.
That 14 days is the total for the year as I understand the policy.
You can't stay 14 days at Swiftcurrent, then another 14 at say, Apgar---in the same season.

After they go walk up, let's say you wanted a site for 1 night, 2 nights, whatever.
If you decide to stay longer, you just need to fill out another envelope just like you did originally with new dates.
Turn it in, along with your money/CC information, and leave it in the box near the entrance.
It's not a big deal at all.

pete :wink:

PS
You see my suggestion about getting a ride at Polebridge?
It's in my last post in Photography.
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Re: 2018 permitting fiasco.

Postby AndyfromMaui » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:40 am

My apologies for not being more specific.

We have a front country reservation for MAN on Labor Day. I now know I can stay at that site for up to 14 days.

What I’m now wondering is how early should I be standing at the ranger office on 9/4 (I’m guessing they’ll be closed on 9/3) to try and get a last minute permit for back country sites?

Pete, you’re help is extremely appreciated and if you drink beer, I owe you a few.

Andy
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Re: 2018 permitting fiasco.

Postby PeteE » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:46 am

AndyfromMaui wrote:My apologies for not being more specific.

We have a front country reservation for MAN on Labor Day. I now know I can stay at that site for up to 14 days.

What I’m now wondering is how early should I be standing at the ranger office on 9/4 (I’m guessing they’ll be closed on 9/3) to try and get a last minute permit for back country sites?

Pete, you’re help is extremely appreciated and if you drink beer, I owe you a few.

Andy


The Ranger Station at Swiftcurrent is open 7 days a week.
So it will be open on 9/3.
How early should you be there?
How bad do you want the best itinerary you can get?

If it were me, and I've done this before...
I'd be there at 0500. Bring a breakfast snack and a book.
You won't regret the wait. And besides, what else would you do that morning other than "sleep"? 8)

Cheers

pete :wink:
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Re: 2018 permitting fiasco.

Postby AndyfromMaui » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:23 pm

Thank you very much Pete! Early for me is easy. I appreciate all of your help!

Andy
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Re: 2018 permitting fiasco.

Postby griffin » Tue May 01, 2018 1:02 pm

What Pete said - we got to Apgar at 6:00 AM during our trip and there were already people in line. Fortunately, I'd done my homework (thanks to Pete) and had all my info and my forms ready, and we got what we wanted. I'm sure this is posted elsewhere, but you can keep tabs on what backcountry sites are available here: https://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/ ... status.cfm

So I knew going in not to waste time asking for something that wasn't available, and I had already run various possible itineraries by my friends (unlike the poor sap in front to me, who enjoyed a lovely back-and-forth on the phone with his crew - thought the Ranger was going to pull a muscle rolling his eyes)

Good luck!
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