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NEWSTIPS

Seeking Story ideas

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How about a story on Mount Rainier National Park's refusal to reopen Westside Road, and their unfulfilled promises to provide access with a shuttle bus program.

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Someone just e-mailed me this information from an article in the PI .. I think it pertains :

 

Hoping to build support for permanent fees to pay for hiking trails and visitor center centers, the U.S. Forest Service is launching a new national pass system that piggybacks of passports for national parks and other federal lands.

 

Starting in mid-April, the $65.00 Golden Eagle Passport and related passes also will be good at Forest Service day-use attractions where fees are charged, such as national forest hiking trails in the Northwest and southern Calif, the Mount St. Helens national Volcanic monument and the Oregon Dunes National Rec Area.

 

The Golden Eagle Passport, Golden Age Passport and Gold Access Passport, which covers entrance to national parks, national monuments, wildlife refuges and other federal lands, now will be good at forest Service sites as well.

 

For an extra $15.00, people can upgrade their $50.00 national parks passes to cover national forests. Existing Forest service Pass, will remain an option, as will one-day passes. The bulk of the money from the passes remains for use at the point where it was purchased.

 

note : The expanded pass will not cover campgrounds, cabin rentals, improved boat ramps or concessions services.

 

"We think this is going to be responsive to what we are hearing from people. They want simplicity. They want convenience, and they want value," said Teri Cleeland, who oversees the recreation fee demonstration program for the Forest Service.

 

But opponents of the forest service's seven-year old fee demonstration program, which sunsets in Sept. 2004, said the Forest Service was trying to rain through an unpopular program without public review.

 

Jeff Barnard, The Associated Press, Mar. 6, 2003

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j_b said:

Do a story on what mountaineering means to the Seattle area/northwest, the biggest mountaineering center in North America (climbing population, # of visiting climbers, glaciated range, etc ...). Discuss how it affect (or should) the image of the city. What it means to the economy. Should it be promoted and facilitated by the state (as well as 'adventure tourism' as a whole). Constrast its future to the logging industry for example. Ponder whether preserving our forest is the smartest economic plan, etc ... big story, I know.

 

This is a great idea.

 

I get so tired of hearing people bitch about fees and permits. There are things that should be better about both, but the whine gets really, really old. Flame suit on.

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I'm not sure whining is the right word .. more like holding people accountable for where those fees are going. As far as I know there's never been a real investigation launched into this, and so I don't think anyone really knows how that money is being spent. I certainly don't see anything wrong with being concerned about where this money is going, and again I don't consider it whining one bit. Why should you be tired of people "whining" about the issue if they've got a point? It sounds like you're irritated with the repetitive discourse rather than the actual reasons behind further investigating the issue. Flame suit on. evils3d.gif

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I wouldn't call it whining as much as discussion among grass roots believers that they are being socked with extra fees while snowmobiliers get away with a lot more and we all get stuck paying for stadiums every time we go out to a restaurant.

Disclaimer: I pay the fees but get sick of getting nickel and dimed for it.

Yes JBs idea of how the local area depends on outdoor ideas is good, but how about the fact that many local climbers have really made a differance in the world climbing community.

TTT grin.gif

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fairweather,

wouldn't be much of a story because mountain rainier national park DID decide to open the west side road to shuttle access, for proof you may consult the new general management plan. BUT the park isn't going to operate such a shuttle itself, it will go to a concession service, but the park hasn't yet found one, and i can't see how it is going to be exactly a...a-hem... lucrative, shall i say, enterprise. so, it may be awhile. but, you won the battle, the park agreed to a shuttle. in the meanwhile, you may have to tolerate a little wilderness walking and biking in the meanwhile... okay, spray on...

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Duchess said:

fairweather,

wouldn't be much of a story because mountain rainier national park DID decide to open the west side road to shuttle access, for proof you may consult the new general management plan. BUT the park isn't going to operate such a shuttle itself, it will go to a concession service, but the park hasn't yet found one, and i can't see how it is going to be exactly a...a-hem... lucrative, shall i say, enterprise. so, it may be awhile. but, you won the battle, the park agreed to a shuttle. in the meanwhile, you may have to tolerate a little wilderness walking and biking in the meanwhile... okay, spray on...

 

Actually, they decided several years ago to open the road to a shuttle service. They have not looked for, proposed specifics regarding, or opened the process up for bid as far as I can tell. Their inaction regarding this matter is what really gores me. Now they plan to "decomission" Carbon River road this year.

 

MRNP is not a preserve only for the very fit, geologists, bioligists, and those who can prove they "deserve" to be there. The park belongs to all.

 

Letter writing campaigns have been effective in ONP re: East Fork Quinalt repairs. Too bad MRNP officials don't "get it".

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Attitude said:

NEWSTIPS said:

How much would you estimate the average climber (is there such a thing) spends each year on climbing fees?

 

In Washington:

 

SnoPark Permit: $20

Groomed Trails Permit: $20

NW Forest Pass: $30

Washington Fish and Wildlife Parking Permit: $12

Mt. Rainier Annual Pass: $30

Mt. Rainier Annual Climbers Permit: $ 25

Mt. St. Helens & Mt. Adams Annual Climbing Permit: $30

Olympic National Park Annual Pass: $ 30

Olympic National Park Wilderness Use Fee: $ $5

 

Good list, and would like to add:

$70 annual permit for state park's

$50 annual for marymoor park/climbing wall

While these are not specific to climbing the list seems to go on and on. It's almost like you couldn't keep up even it you wanted to. Sometimes I pay, most times I don't. It would seem to me if the higher up's got it together they would do better by combining it all into one modest fee!

 

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Let me add that you can get an annual trail pass by performing volunteer trail maintenance work with Washington Trails Association. Check them out at Washington Trails .

 

Also, in the sno-park system, if you want to ski the groomed trails, you have to buy the permit ($21) and then the special groomed trails sticker ($20). Snomobiles only have to buy the permit, and it is appalling that registration of their stinky, noisy machines covers their permits as well.

 

Great topic newstips!

 

 

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mattp said:

I'd say a good story would be one about search and rescue operations: what kind of folks are rescued and where, who participates in SAR operations, why they do it, etc.

 

that is a GREAT idea! I will push that one in the days ahead! AWESOME SUGGESTION!

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RuMR said:

How about a report on Bob Clarke's upcoming 3 peaks in 3 days for a cancer patient?

 

Maybe you didn't see it -- but we actually DID do a story about that a couple of weeks ago -- maybe a month. Also did a story about the guy (sorry I don't remember his name) who has plans to climb in each continent -- and travel by his own power (bike, boat, etc) to get to those continents.

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Maybe you didn't see it -- but we actually DID do a story about that a couple of weeks ago -- maybe a month. Also did a story about the guy (sorry I don't remember his name) who has plans to climb in each continent -- and travel by his own power (bike, boat, etc) to get to those continents.
That would be Erdan, would it not?

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MounTAIN_Woman said:

Let me add that you can get an annual trail pass by performing volunteer trail maintenance work with Washington Trails Association

 

Isn't it like two, eight hour days of work to get the pass? That comes out to somewhere under 2.50 an hour which is far, far less than the hourly wages of the people our taxes are already paying to perform the same tasks! hellno3d.gif

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Trails maintenance can be a lot of fun. I enjoy doing it for its own sake. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but don't knock it until you've tried it.

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vegetablebelay said:

MounTAIN_Woman said:

Let me add that you can get an annual trail pass by performing volunteer trail maintenance work with Washington Trails Association

 

Isn't it like two, eight hour days of work to get the pass? That comes out to somewhere under 2.50 an hour which is far, far less than the hourly wages of the people our taxes are already paying to perform the same tasks! hellno3d.gif

 

 

You aren't figuring in that when you pay for a trail park pass only a small percentage actually goes toward the trails.

 

Doing the trail work means that everything you "pay" for the pass actually goes toward the trail mushsmile.gifwave.gif

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AlpenTom, my squirrel rides a surfboard. oh yeah. and back to Fairweather, not to butt heads again, but mt. rainier has no plans whatsoever to decommission carbon river road. yes, the road washed out AGAIN. and no, now is not the time for road repairs. but, last i heard, they expected that the road would be able to be repaired once again.

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I was watching King5 news today and they were doing a story on the skiier who was killed on Crystal Mountain. The bureau chief chick (shes got like 3 or 4 names - trisha somethin somethin somethin) did a good job at reporting that skiiers need to ski with a buddy and she made it a point to stress that skiing with a buddy means staying close by and checking on them periodically. I thought this was very good, as someone above requested this.

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Concerning fees:

 

Don't forget that at Mt. St. Helens after May 15 you can ride a snowmobile to the summit for free, but if you climb, you have (are supposed) to pay. rolleyes.gif

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chucK said:

vegetablebelay said:

MounTAIN_Woman said:

Let me add that you can get an annual trail pass by performing volunteer trail maintenance work with Washington Trails Association

 

Isn't it like two, eight hour days of work to get the pass? That comes out to somewhere under 2.50 an hour which is far, far less than the hourly wages of the people our taxes are already paying to perform the same tasks! hellno3d.gif

 

 

You aren't figuring in that when you pay for a trail park pass only a small percentage actually goes toward the trails.

 

Doing the trail work means that everything you "pay" for the pass actually goes toward the trail mushsmile.gifwave.gif

 

One of the probelms i see with the way trail maintence done in this state is that the trails that need it the most don't get it and the same trails are maintanted every year.

How many times has the look out on top of green mountain been fixed anyway. wazzup.gif

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Okay, guys, we've been making calls on some of the problems you've mentioned...and the problem we're running into is any empirical evidence of funds mismanagement. Absent that, does anyone have pics of poorly maintained trails or other physical evidence we can go with to bolster our search for where the funds are going?

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what about Pix of the 800 cm of snow whistler got in 48 hours huh???? rolleyes.gif

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it is not about the trails....

 

it is about the abusr of power....

 

most of the trails in the area are maintained partially by volunteer work....

 

check out the the gao.gov they have the goods on mismanagement

 

also you ran a story about fire funding....this is all conntected....

 

check out scott silvers website....

 

of course the deforrest service is not going to help you out on their poor management of public lands....that might cost them....

 

 

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