2015 Funding Priority | Amount Needed $20,000* | FUNDED
*Government funding of $69,000 to cover additional costs associated with this project’s completion are awaiting fiscal year 2015 approval.
Mount Rainier uses an antiquated, in-house only software program to track wilderness permits and reservations. The program is about 15 years old and relies on faxed-in reservation requests from the public, which Wilderness Information Center rangers must manually enter into the software. There is no public interface other than a template for the fax requests. This request is for additional funding to develop a new public facing on-line wilderness reservations and permit system, which will replace the outdated fax and in-house system. Visitors will be able to plan, request, and pay for their wilderness permits online. As part of the project, the park requires the services of a Cold Fusion software developer to adapt a software engine currently in use at Canyonlands NP. It is estimated that approximately 160 hours of programming work will be required. We are requesting WNPF donors support a college intern, proficient in Cold Fusion, to do the actual programming work.
These enhancements to the park wilderness permit system will benefit visitors by providing real-time campsite availability and pre-registration for wilderness campsites via a website. This will reduce visitor frustration with busy telephone lines, allow for definitive trip planning, enable visitors to immediately respond to weather windows that are critical to safety in mountaineering activities, receive a timely pre-registration confirmation, and greatly reduce the time it takes to obtain a wilderness permit at the Wilderness Information Center.
These improvements will allow for greater staff time devoted to assisting visitors with trip planning and wilderness education. The current antiquated software program does not meet NPS IT standards and must be upgraded to receive IT support.