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Jman

NW Forest Pass - left unpaid

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What I want to know is: has anyone gotten a ticket and then not ever paid it? What happens? Do they really have any leverage against you?

I tried it last summer, but got the "Dear Ugly" letter telling me it had doubled. Still ignored it (more like forgot), then got the certified letter summoning me to appear in court (somewhere in eastern, can't remember where) and the fine was now $50 and if unpaid there would be a warrant out for arrest, or whatever.

At that point I called the court claiming it wasn't me, they may have written down a license plate wrong, maybe one similar to mine. The gal was nice and said she would check with the citing officer. When she got back to me, she had the vehicle description (darn, should have know that would be too easy). Anyway, I was very kind and polite in talking with her, explained there was no way I could travel that far and she offered to reduce the fine to $25. Fine. Although it wasn't fine, but if was a fine.

I still didn't want to pay it and thought well what could they do? My wife feared they would report the fine to the DOL and we wouldn't be able to renew our tabs. Is this true? And if pulled over would a cop be aware of this "infraction"? I sincerely doubt it would be reported state-wide, but maybe kept on file with local authorities.

Can we just ignore these? Isn't the whole thing just a "test" for public support anyway? What happens if we never pay them?

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More than likelt they eventualy get turned over to a credit agency. Then it goes against your credit record. Uhhmm... I have never had this happen to me though! heh.gif

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CRIME?! What the hell? Did you read any of the prior threads?

Get a clue Rich!

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If you pay the forest service w/in the 15 day period for the day pass you were sited for, then that money goes to the forest service. If you choose not to pay, and do so repeatedly, yes, it does become a violation processed by the state, as if a speeding ticket etc.

The problem herein, becomes the destination of the money you then pay, it goes to the state, not a dime to the forest service.

Kind of bass ackwards, you pay eventually either way, it just becomes a matter of where the money ends up, hopefully you can afford the pass and forget about the politics.

It is frustrating, and becoming rediculous that WA/OR feel they have to charge the public to enjoy public and wilderness areas. Yet, at the same time, with the influx of hikers and the mass media to - get out into the hills, there has to be funding to keep up with the damage that inherently follows. Let's hope the future brings a win/win for both.

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Lisa - great lead in for the "story". Wish I was next on the list 'cause I got some great ideas... But I'll wait my turn. Hurry up hikerwa.

Back to the topic... So if it's "processed by the state" is it reported to DOL for further collection thru governmental means? Or does it go to a collection agency? If it's the latter, I could live with that. I pay all my legitimate bills and have excellent credit so I wouldn't give a rip about a parking fee. I know I've had others and that hasn't impacted my credit in the least. Besides, they never can find me, hence it becomes too costly for them to pursue.

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jman-

I pulled this off www.freeourforests.org

"Furthermore, the NON does not even have the legal clout of a warning citation. Being caught not having a pass, getting a ticket, and then

not paying the fine is considered an infraction - less than a misdemeanor. You cannot be jailed, you are entitled to a court hearing with a

judge, and you can appeal the fine. Note, however, that if you choose to fight the citation in court before a judge, your infraction will be

upgraded to a misdemeanor, and you may face up to 6 months in jail and/or a $5000 fine if you lose the court challenge. In the court cases

that FOF is aware of, no person has been fined more than $75, including those who fought their citation in court and lost.

In a court case involving an Adventure Pass violation - in which the charges were dismissed - a U.S. Magistrate stated that the program

was "discretionary." The violator did not have an Adventure Pass, but he was not given a NON. Instead, he was cited with a parking ticket

and a violation for disobeying a posted sign. (Read the transcript.)"

I tried to see if this site was mentioned in the last thread, but may have missed it. Lot's of good stuff here.

- eddie

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Easy Jman, Rich has a right to his opinion. Not need to scream at him. You are the one asking for a clue anyway.

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I read somewhere, and I'll see if I can find the link, that if you are parked at a trailhead for anything other than recreation, i.e. work, school, religion, whatever, that you aren't required to have a pass.

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I'll be the first to say it... Since Climbing is my work, school, and religion do you think the FS would give me a refund on the pass I bought?

[This message has been edited by lambone (edited 08-13-2001).]

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I'm beginning to have more difficulty with this whole ForestPass B.S. Anyone been down on the Oregon Coast lately to try to figure out that mess. You need a accordian file of permits to determine which is the right one to display for the given area.

Here's my take of the NWFP Fee Demo. Initially it was set up under the guise that purchasing a pass or paying at the trailhead was to be determined as a "yes" vote, "yes" we'll accept to and continue and express an interest/acceptance to pay the fee for use. However, now I wonder how you can be written a citation for failure to pay the fee or display your NWFP??? This totally baffles me on how you are able to submit your vote as "no" to the fee demo. It's required compliance and a forced "yes" vote to the demo.

I think as well that the burden of proof lies with the FS Ranger to show the you were "Recreating". Which under my interpretation of how the fee demo was supposed to work that you did not have to pay if you were using the trails for religous, educational, et al purposes. Fees like this are the most regressive types there are.

I dont have a problem per say with a small fee to go directly to maintaining trails etc, akin to the Rainier climbing permit to help defray the cost of hauling the crap barrels off the mtn. However the current administartion or current viewed and percieved administartion of the fee demo sucks.

Further, I do have a problem with as mentioned, your vote "yes" is to pay the fee but we are not given a choice to not pay the fee due to the notices of noncompliance(NON) issued to those who don't pay. It's a pay or else...not pay if you are OK with a user fee.

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The "Fee Demo Program" is supposed to charge for "recreational use of land". If you are there for spiritual, work, educational etc uses then the fee doesn't apply. This is why writing a ticket and leaving it on a car without seeing the occupants is an easy set up to fight in court. You can claim you weren't recreating but were praying in the woods. The cops know this. The time I got a ticket, it was in the Icicle Creek parking lot, where a cop walked up to me, commented on the beautiful weather and had we been enjoying it. I told him in a friendly way we had indeed enjoyed it, climbing Outer Space. At which point he promptly wrote a ticket. At that point, having admitted to recreating, I couldn't fight the ticket in court. In the cases of tickets left on cars without seeing the occupants in which the people attempted to fight it in court, the charges were dropped. This is because they are afraid if they lose the case that the whole program will dissolve. As it is, enough people are paying the fines without fighting them that it's in their interest not to fight the few dangerous cases and just drop their fines. The recommendation I've read is that you should leave a note on your car, saying you are in the forest for some purpose other than recreating.

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MNEAGLE - I am an enrolled member of an Indian tribe, so could I legitimately say I am in the woods doing sweat lodge ceremonies -which really are legitimate "spiritual events" among native people - and not have to pay these things? Or does one even need to do this? It sounds like anyone can simply say they are there for spiritual reasons - even with a pack on your back, and get away with it?

quote:

Originally posted by mneagle:

The "Fee Demo Program" is supposed to charge for "recreational use of land". If you are there for spiritual, work, educational etc uses then the fee doesn't apply. This is why writing a ticket and leaving it on a car without seeing the occupants is an easy set up to fight in court. You can claim you weren't recreating but were praying in the woods. The cops know this. The time I got a ticket, it was in the Icicle Creek parking lot, where a cop walked up to me, commented on the beautiful weather and had we been enjoying it. I told him in a friendly way we had indeed enjoyed it, climbing Outer Space. At which point he promptly wrote a ticket. At that point, having admitted to recreating, I couldn't fight the ticket in court. In the cases of tickets left on cars without seeing the occupants in which the people attempted to fight it in court, the charges were dropped. This is because they are afraid if they lose the case that the whole program will dissolve. As it is, enough people are paying the fines without fighting them that it's in their interest not to fight the few dangerous cases and just drop their fines. The recommendation I've read is that you should leave a note on your car, saying you are in the forest for some purpose other than recreating.

 

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One good way to get a pass is to volunteer 2 days of trail maintenance. No revenue is generated and everyone benefits from trails being maintained.

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Any way we could work that maintenance gig into the fall megafest? Like maybe we could get a pass for picking some weeds and/or cleaning up garbage while hiking into/out of the Enchantments? Cause I hear Borbon is gonna drag my ass up some of the Cashmere Crags.

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Sorry, Rich. I was just fired up over this whole Forest Pass BS. I didn't want opinions on whether I should or should not pay it. That's entirely a personal decision.

My question was about ramifications of not paying it.

Thanks EddieE - that's exactly what I was after. What sucks is that if you do not pay, you are forced to appear in court.

The force to comply thing is so morally wrong. How is anyone supposed to show that they don't support it?!

I think I'll be praying in the woods from now on...

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