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rayborbon

Fee uses

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I think that paying a fee to use\climb in many areas of the Cascades is repulsive. This includes parking BTW.

However I would like some GOOD feedback on why others might think it is good to charge and why?

I have more details on my opinion to follow later.

-Ray

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ray,

i agree with you. there a few things that i refuse to pay for, one is camping and the other is tromping around in the woods.

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Great topic Ray, I'm really interested in hearing the many different points of view on tihs one... for what its worth, here is mine:

Fee's and Permits, a necessary evil?

I had the opportunity to volunteer as a backcountry ranger in Yosemite last year and it gave me the opportunity to look at the Fee issue from the other side of the fence. In Yosemite, they require that backcountry vistors have a permit to visit the remote portions of the park. The permits provide a means for the Park Service to limit the over-use of that amazing place, gather usefull data on backcountry use, and educate backcountry visitors on important issues such as camping restrictions and low-impact use. And the coolest part about it was the permits were absolutely free. This of course makes the backcountry visitor happy, and much more inclined to obtain a permit. I believe the fine for not carrying a permit was around $100, but can't remember because I was just a junior ranger (didn't get to cary heat or a fine book, but still got to wear the cool uniform).

While I was in Yosemite, I made a side jaunt down to the good ol' grand canyon. A similar permiting system was in place for the Grand Canyon, but getting a permit to camp in the canyon itself came with a hefty price tag. The permit had a flat rate of around $17, regardless of your length of visit, and I believe $4 per person, per night spent in the canyon. I remember being very pissed off or having to pay this fee because 1) I was volunteering for the NPS yet they still charged me up the arse just to go hiking and 2) Why was a fee necessary for this place and not Yosemite? I questioned the issuing ranger about the costs of the permit, and read the propaganda posted on their board. I forget the exact ammount, but they claimed that a percentage of the permit cost went directly back into preserving the resource, and maintaing trails and facilities. This is great, but didn't I already pay $20 at the park gate to cover those costs?! Why is it that certain areas feel it is necessary to charge for a permit, while others simply give em away?

I'm Torn

I'm convinced that in both scenarios the need for a permit system is definately there. Both parks have almost been used to death in recent years, and I feel it is the park services (and other gov't agencies) responsibility as resource-managers, and ours as backcountry visitors, to take serious actions in preserving our parks and wilderness areas for future generations.

As it has been pointed out in other posts on the board here, our Cascades are already (and many areas have been there for a while already) heading down the path to over-use.

But, the big question of course is wether or not to charge for a permit or not. With permits come the costs of issuing and policing the use of the system. These costs need to be paid for somehow... And maybe there is something besides permits for preventing over-use-- I have thought about this during many slogs back to the car after trips but have yet to think of a good solution.

So what is the solution, I really don't know... I'm with Ray, and I wish I could roam in and out of the woods at my own leisure, and not have to bring my checkbook along with me, but at the same time, I am very concerned about preserving the wilderness. As the population here in the Northwest grows, more stress will be put on our fragile, already over-loved in places, cascade range; I feel there is a need to preserve, and like anything, preservation of these wonderful mountains will cost money. Who is going to pay for it?

Just some thoughts to feul the flames, err I mean discussion grin.gif

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I refuse to pay user fees. Large companys that log and mine get subsidies from the government to rape and pillage our land. Why should we pay for recreation.

Limiting use is fine, but you shouldn't have to pay.

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two things:

tim you worked for the nps that is a different beauracacy then the deforest service. each makes money or loses it in different ventures. nps sells concessions and the ability to drive around and see the attractions, the backcountry is just a side issue for them. i went into the yos b/c w/o a permit last year as big brother does not need to know what i am doing and had no issues. i personally practice no trace camping and travel almost excelusivly cross country, better chances to see the limited wildlife. the nps really only runs a small prtion of yos, the delaware north company runs the show. all the nps does know is collect the entrance fee and busts people having to much fun. the alos run the zoo which includes the poor abused bears and deers and squirrels. how can you manage wildlife? oxymoron? yes.

the deforest service is the whore to the mining and logging companies. they build roads at taxpayer expense across public land so international super companies can access their holdings. the they spend millions and millions to show that their willingness to let super companies rape the land is affecting it in a negative way. then they set up little micro projects that always have positive results(if i remember right in school not all of my experiments didn't always work, especially when i didn't really know what i was doing or working with.)so the uninformed public can say geez that forest service trail fee program really works. but all the while they are wiping out salmon habititat and other precious wildlife building roads to lose money. last time i checked weyerhauser didn't need any goverment subsidies, i think the bell jet ranger helicopter they have parked out on the front lawn gives it away or the private planes they have parked at their private terminal at seatac. anyone ever flown in a lear jet? i think if you read the back of your trail pass you can turn the voucher in for a sight seeing tour of the destrcution that they bring to our precious b/c. the forest service currently maintains more road in the world then any other single country, even the u.s. dept of transportation. sounds pretty b/s to me. then they let the logging companies control the roads until they are done destroying the land and then they return the road back to public in worse shape then they got them. the deforest service collects trail fees to put pretty pictures at trail heads and builds toilets. they also use the money to bust people who have not or cannot afford the ridiculous fees that they impose. it seems kinda of weird that they are so strict in enforcing a demonstration project that is used as a study to find if trail use fees are a good thing. so everytime someone buys into the program by purchasing a trail pass, it says to the deforest service, i don't mind being double taxed. if i remeber my history right didn't we dump a whole bunch of tea into boston harbor over a similiar situation a couple years back?

the sad thing is that the deforest service loses money in 90% of their ventures.

i should stop ranting now before my head explodes.

jah

erik

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I don't pay fees, not because I am ultimately against them (though I maybe), but rather because I am a student. I simply can't afford them. Per year I would have to buy a forest service permit, snow park permit, national park pass, and each time I climb I have to buy a permit to camp and to climb. To clarigy, they charge us to get into "OUR" lands, to park our cars, to climb, and to camp. These fees disturb me because I wonder how they are being used and who they make the wilderness inaccessible too (the poor).

Another thing how in the world does Mount Adams incur fees that justify $15 (something like that, but I wouldn't know because I have't paid) per person. They haven't improved the roads nor trails for years and last I looked nobody died on it. Hell, I think the only volcano you aren't charged to climb is Glacier peak. Well, I guess I am against fees and maybe the only people who pay them are the lowlanders and the ones who believe it really does make a difference. I pay my taxes and figure that should be enough, but now Bush is in office and so I imagine the fees will only increase. Anyhow, weren't the fees only supposed to last a year or two (forest service fees)?

AlYouCanEat...

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rolleyes.gif the road to adams DOES piss me off. Let me clarify, I'm not proclaiming to be for the fee demo, just trying to spur some good discussion... it seems to have worked so far, keep the comments coming! I know there has to be some folks out there who are well schooled on the issues around fee demo....

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I don't mind paying to be in a National Park if I enter in my car. Other than that I am against fees. I prefer that whatever money is spent to access the national parks should go directly back, not into the US general fund. We should not have to pay to park and play in the National Forest.

We could learn some lessons from the Europeans. They have approx. umpteen thousands more years dealing with this shit in tighter quarters and personally it seems they have their shit together.

Its pretty obvious to me any governmental agency doesn't know jackshit about managing money. Their biggest concern is job security and justifying their existance so I refuse to give it to them. DPP

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Hey everyone. I've gotten three trail park pass violations put on my windshield in the past year. Each one told me to send them $5.00. I didn't respond to any of them. Are there any consequences?

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I’m against the fee demo/trail fee program because it is so fundamentally flawed, not because I’m cheap. I could care less about $25 or whatever they charge for the year, because what I get in return being in the mountains I couldn’t put a price on. But I refuse to pay because out of principal.

I’ve done a lot of reading on this subject, and hopefully in the future may be able to provide a column on the site with a collection of links to articles relating to these types of issue. One interesting site I have found is http://www.wildwilderness.org, who’s primary objective is to fight the fee demo program. It’s not the prettiest website in the world, and many of the articles are pretty sided, but nonetheless there is some very interesting information and opinions. The guy behind this, Scott Silver of Bend, OR, is a retired chemist and does this full time. You may recognize his name because he was kicked off the Wilderness Bolting committee, compliments of REI. Him and REI have a little history; he has done several protests at their stores because they are members of the ARC.

What is the ARC you ask? The American Recreation Coalition. You go to their website and look at who are members and you will find snowmobile manufactures, resort companies, and amusement park companies just to name a few. The ARC is the one responsible for fee demo by pushing money in front of our greedy congressional representatives so that these companies can gain access to public land for their own profit. This appears to be a complicated plot between the ARC and Congress, but the ultimate goal is to gain access to any land their hearts desire so they can build plush resorts at the cost of the environment.

What really baffles me is how all of this is happening? Last I heard there was this agency in government that was supposed to protect our environment. I also don’t understand why the forest service PAYS companies to log its land. Who is the idiot behind this one, have they gone to Home Depot and looked at the cost of wood? Do they wonder why an oak cabinet costs $500 at Ikea; it’s not the $1/hour they are paying the little kid in Taiwan to build it. I also don’t understand why the money goes into the General Fund and not the Forest Service itself. I thought the whole idea was to raise money because of budget cuts.

I think the hypocrisy behind trail fees is in a way similar to what mountain bikers are facing. It didn’t really strike me until I was driving to Tiger Mountain for a ride this summer, looking outside the window to see mountain upon mountain along 18 wiped bare of its trees, thinking “I’m not allowed to ride certain trails because I’m damaging the environment!?”

There are obviously a lot of things going on here, and I’m not going to preach anymore. I’m pretty sure most of you are aware of what is going on. Question is what as individuals and a group can we do about this?

The reality is that we will have a new president soon, who judging from his past environmental record, didn’t run for president to save the whales. There are also some new faces in Congress, and considering the 50/50 power split, I could only imagine that people like the ARC will shove more money into these peoples faces to have their way. I know I’m going to be keeping a close eye on what are congress is up to, and probably will send more than my share of mail to our representatives.

If you have any interesting links to articles about the fee demo or anything similar, please send them to me and in time will put online a compiled list.

Jon

intensity@cascadeclimbers.com

P.S Maybe the new singer for Rage Against the Machine will be an avid climber and will spit some lyrics about trail fees.

 

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So what I am guilty of here is the 5 dollar trail pass thing (countless times), and coming from Snow Creek Wall this summer without a wilderness permit. Meaning the day permit since it was obvious I was not there overnight. Now I face court for 2 tickets $50, and $100 if I recall correctly. Not to mention the Ranger was belligerent and not very understanding.

Where does this money go to anyway? If I pay to park is it distributed to the areas I go to or possibly somwhere else?

Has anyone had any encounters with the Rangers over there similar to mine? The guy had a friggin' moving video cameras in his vehicle as well. I can't imagine why a Ranger would need those in his brand new Dodge giving tickets to people for using public land.. I know I am whining but it's true and it sux. Maybe I was contributing to his pay raise or his bonus who knows.

-Ray

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I recall reading somewhere that if you are given a ticket you can send it back refusing to pay because the program right now is a "demonstration" program and therefore can not be enfoced until it is actual policy. Does anyone else recall reading this and verify? DPP

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From what I've read there is the way of avoiding getting a ticket in the first place, and even if you do, how to get out of it.

This a link to an article by Scott Silver at the North Cascades Conservation Council, formed by I believe Harvey Manning. http://www.halcyon.com/rdpayne/nccc-news-0200.html#6

Another thing I've found is from Free our Forests, a notice of exemption. Apparently if you are parked at a trailhead for anything besides recreation, you don't have to pay the fee. http://www.freeourforests.org/COE.html

-Jon

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Jon you had some informative linx. I checked them out and plan to use some of the ideas I brained up while reading them.

I am scheduled for court next week in the desert and will let everyone know the details and the outcome.

As far as the $100 fine I am not sure. The Ranger told me something to the effect that I would lose. Maybe that is his job??

I may be inclined to pay to use these beautiful lands if I had more details on where the money ends up.

Still waiting for positive input from anyone else???

I am a whiner in search of positive answers.

-Ray

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That was very interesting reading JON. It is nice to know that I have some defense. I have a question,have our forests always been this threatened by corporate america? I always thought that once a wilderness was made a wilderness, it stayed as such, forever and no one could change its boundries. That was what they always taught us in school anyhow. Look at the history books, which talk about John Muir and other early conservationalists who preached, "Save the lands for future generations." We are those future generations and I don't want to see loggers or giant hotels poping up in National park lands and Wildernesses. I lived in a logging town and all the fish died in our river because if flowed yellow for half a day, I've seen small hidden valleys filled with cut up tires, and buried dumps. Corporations have no conscience because they are ran by men who greed for wealth and use the corporation as a means to an end. Hell, large corporations don't even pay taxes and most people don't even know that.

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There are some good ideas and energy going on here, but there is a better place to vent than here to each other. To quote Ben Franklin, "The pen is mightier than the sword". Follow these links and voice your frustration to where it might matter, if only just a little:

US Senate http://www.senate.gov/contacting/index_by_state.cfm

US House of Representitives: http://congress.org/elecmail.html

Please write, because if we don't who will?

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For those that wanna know:

If you get a ticket at the snow creek parking lot for not filling out the day permit show up in court. Today the ranger was not there and I got off for the $100 offense due to a technicality. He gave a written statement saying I was back in the wilderness area. However I claimed to be at Goat Dome and said I used a different trail that is not within the wilderness boundaries. This could not be disputed since the guy was sitting in the parking lot and not on the trail where the boundary lies.

-Ray

[This message has been edited by rayborbon (edited 01-16-2001).]

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goat dome comes through again.

good for you ray, anytime we can beat the man all climbers are better off. you are right that ranger was in the parking lot, who would want to leave the comfort of their air conditioned pu to issue citiations.

 

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snowleopard is right.

All just cc to both our senators and the appropriate representative, it takes a simple cut and paste. The government can't ignore the constituence completely.

I work 8 to 5 every f. day and don't have time to fight in the courts (may as well quit climbing, buy a big 4x4 and take road trips to local coffee shops smile.gif NRA is strong not because they carry guns in their shirt pockets, they actually do not, but they do write out "loud".

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Oh yeah, one more tip. You can legally park one eighth of a mile in distance from the trailheads and be out of the fee area according to this Ranger.

-Ray

[This message has been edited by rayborbon (edited 01-18-2001).]

[This message has been edited by rayborbon (edited 01-18-2001).]

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When me and AlpineK (but mostly me) went toe to toe with the MAN (bitches in this case) I was told that I was being charged with misdeminor criminal tresspass. How can not filling out a free day permit which has no effect on the operaton of the wilderness result in such heavy handedness? They claim that they need it to asses erosion, but you check erosion by looking at the trail, not counting pieces of paper. These Feds just love their power trips. Fuck em. I really got her mad when I wouldn't give her my social security number. I would have ended up in jail except the LEO had better things to do, and being a male, he also had a modicum of common sence.

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Crazyjz, we are fighting user fees. Male rangers can be just as bad as female rangers can be, and vice versa. There is not reason to get sexist.

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I agree with Colin that we are not fightin' male or females here.

However I must be honest and say that the females I have encountered are more willing to let things slide. This is only my experience though.

I know this is a touchy situation but let's keep it in line.

The links above are the best, and I used them. I have contacted the necessary people including politicians on my opinions as well. I recommend everyone do the same instead of just agreeing with my whining statements.

 

I am not slamming anyone though.let me tell you that I get very angry! Express your feelings and do something about it.

-Ray

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