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Denali Fee Increase (?)

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Just saw the below post on another board. Anyone know anything about it?


NPS will soon announce a $500 climber's fee, up from the current $200. This way they have 18 months for a comment period so it can go into effect 2007. They are playing their cards by announcing a higher $750-$1000 fee and then settling for a $500 fee. It's a mind game so we think we are lucky and should be happy it isn't more. NPS is trying to push a cost-recovery agenda throughout the park system where by the users cover the cost associated with operating the parks. The poster child for why climbers are expensive is the Llama helicopter which costs upwards of $100,000 a year to lease. What NPS does not mention is the Llama budget comes out of a state-wide fire fighting budget, not the Park. NPS claims Denali climber's cost $1.9 million to manage. Divided by the number of climbers one gets the $1000 a head figure. What NPS does not mention in this argument is that it costs $10-20 million (I have heard different estimates from park personnel) to run the entire Park. Cost recovery spread out amongst all the users of the Park would result in a $100 plus entrance fee, but "that would be political suicide." Mountain climbing is protected under ANILCA as a normal use of public lands. Climbers do not make up a large political force and they do not complain like other user groups, namely snow machine users and air services. Any mention of limits or price increases to the air services results in a stream of complaint letters to Senator Ted Stevens and the action is likely stopped in its tracks. I urge you to send a letter to Ted Stevens saying you do not support the fee increase targeted at climbers. We need to get the word out on this or it will quietly happen and only rich people will climb Denali and Foraker. I should add that there has also been talk at NPS to charge all climbers entering the Park the same amount, whether they intend to climb Denali or a no name snow bump on the Eldridge.


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