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Dante
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Dante
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PostFri Sep 19, 2003 11:43 pm 
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Please forgive me if someone posted this elsewhere.  I looked for it briefly and did not find it.  Maybe everyone is hiking...

"Alasdair Coyne is an outdoors kind of guy who used to go hiking in California's Los Padres National Forest at least once a month during the summer.

Not anymore.

Coyne can't remember the last time he went hiking for pleasure. It was probably several years ago, he guesses. He'd rather stay home than pay the recreation fee that the government charges for parking and access to the four national forests in Southern California.

The fee, which is charged at national forests and parks across the nation, is reviled by conservationists and other natural-resources groups who say it is outrageous that taxpayers must pay to hike, picnic or park in national forests.

After years of protests, their concerns apparently are being heard in Congress.

A Senate bill filed by Wyoming Republican Craig Thomas would make the fee program permanent for the National Park Service but would phase it out for other agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service. A similar bill is in the works in the House."


I'll be writing my Congressman and Senator to ask them to support Senator Thomas' bill smile.gif
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Backpacker Joe
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PostSat Sep 20, 2003 2:00 am 
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As will I.



TB

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SeaNat
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PostMon Sep 22, 2003 9:27 am 
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DJ wrote:
"Alasdair Coyne is an outdoors kind of guy who used to go hiking in California's Los Padres National Forest at least once a month during the summer.

Not anymore.

This is kind of a BS story they're using to make a point. Come on! What does it cost, $3/day for the park pass? I bet the guy spends more than that daily on his Latte. I would bet he spends more than that on gas just driving to the TH. I don't mind a legit story to make one's point but this one is just a load of cr@p! Sorry for the rant, It's Monday and I haven't had my coffee yet hockeygrin.gif

BTW, I am still torn on how I feel about the park pass. I've gotten used to buying it yearly as I'm sure most of you have also. It actually makes a great gift for someone. I've always felt you should pay your way in life the trip isn't free. I have noticed some improvements. eg, Lake Dorothy. I used to pack in quite a bit about 15-20 years ago for mostly overnight fishing trips. You could almost depend on a friday or saturday night brewHAHA from the local kids. In the morning they would leave their empties and garbage all over the lake shore. I haven't noticed that nearly as much in the past few years. It's simple: you're not supposed to park at the TH without a pass and can get busted by the local sheriff for doing so.
On the other side, it's a beauracracy and the money raised doesn't always go towards what we think it should be used for.

I know I'll get lambasted for this on this board but I think the USFS should extend the forest pass to include roads on public lands as well aas the trail-heads. My reason is this: there is such a rise in crime such as, meth labs, trail head car prowls, and forest chop-shop operations in our national forests. By having to have the pass displayed on your car, which most of us would do anyway, you would be allowed to drive on USFS roads. Without a pass, you're not supposed to be there.  The reasons I just stated are the same reasons the middle fork road is being closed, because of crime AND lack of money for maintenance. I personally would like to see the road remain open. I also hate worrying about my car being broken into at popular trail heads when I'm out for a few days. Every hike I've been on this year has had this problem at one time or another because there are signs posted everywhere about it. It kind of takes the "wild" out of wilderness when urban crime follows you out to your favorite places. Also, the roads need maintenance ( and garbage pick-up) just like the trails do and this will raise money for both. Anyway, just my $.02, all thoughts and opinions are welcome on the subject.
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Dante
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PostMon Sep 22, 2003 10:24 am 
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SeaNat wrote:
I think the USFS should extend the forest pass to include roads on public lands as well as the trail-heads

If you go read the regulations the passes are based on, you see they relate to an entry fee.  The ticket you get when you do not display your pass cites the regs and the regs say the violation is failure to pay the fee--it doesn't say anything about parking.  The FS just chooses to administer the system as a parking pass--probably because it is cheaper and easier to enforce than the alternatives (gates, patrols, etc.)

My point is the system technically covers everyone (it is an individual fee) everywhere on the public lands where they are "demonstrating" the fee.

I'm not asking anyone else to support this.  It's just an FYI.  Make up your own minds and act accordingly smile.gif
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kleet
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PostMon Sep 22, 2003 10:58 am 
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SeaNat wrote:

On the other side, it's a beauracracy and the money raised doesn't always go towards what we think it should be used for.

SeaNat wrote:

I think the USFS should extend the forest pass to include roads on public lands as well aas the trail-heads.

Can you imagine the beauracracy involved in extending the forest pass to roads? Just think, toll booths at the start of every USFS road. Cha-ching!

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MtnGoat
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PostMon Sep 22, 2003 11:06 am 
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Quote:
I know I'll get lambasted for this on this board but I think the USFS should extend the forest pass to include roads on public lands as well aas the trail-heads.

I'll take that challenge, I pay for my "forest pass", in full, every april 15th. Adding what should *already* be paid for to another issue (trail maintainance) which should also already be paid for, will really make people go berserk. Why not a special outdoor tax on the trailpass itself, to raise revenue a bit more?
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Sep 22, 2003 11:18 am 
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How about special GPS transponder devices which could log every second spent on federal land allowing easy rescue and equitable fee collection. Think of the Children! paranoid.gif
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MtnGoat
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PostMon Sep 22, 2003 11:43 am 
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i like it, MC. Such devices could be required as conditions for entry and use, on the basis of safety (the currently ascendent be all- end all of human values here in the US) and revenue collection. They could not only charge a per day fee for use of the outdoors but also one for the transponder itself, then fees for rescue as well. Then a tax on all the fees!
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Dante
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PostMon Sep 22, 2003 11:51 am 
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Just require everyone who uses federal land to be accompanied by a guide.  The guides would be low-wage employees of federal contractors paid a small fraction of the contractor's fee.  The user--not the federal government--would pay the guide contractor's fee.  Of course, the contractors would still have to wine and dine federal officials and make big campaign contributions to win the contracts, though.  They might even have to pay federal taxes if they are not smart  enough to generate losses.
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Sep 22, 2003 12:03 pm 
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Great Idea! They also could supervise the low impact rules like mandatory  low impact footwear (ballet slippers) Fishing (no hooks) and hunting (rubber bullets) Safety would be insured as there would be no dangerous off-trail travel. Of course all such equipment would be subject to the special Wilderness excise tax. Think of the Children!!
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Dante
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PostMon Sep 22, 2003 12:38 pm 
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Oh, I forgot about the equipment.  It could all be purchased and rented to the user by the contractor.  That way you could ensure safety and environmental protection by only renting the "proper" gear.  This would create a whole new government specification and contracting regime for the gear.  The contractor could expense the gear immediately or very quickly under the latest tax depreciation rule.  That would minimize any income taxes paid by the contractor, but don't worry the users and the contractor's low-wage guides would still be paying excise and income taxes wink.gif
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Stefan
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PostMon Sep 22, 2003 3:57 pm 
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SeaNat wrote:
I know I'll get lambasted for this on this board but I think the USFS should extend the forest pass to include roads on public lands as well aas the trail-heads.

Do you also believe there should be charge for checking out a book at the library too?

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forest gnome
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PostMon Sep 22, 2003 5:14 pm 
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hey seanat, do you really think that the usfs does anything like patrolling the trailheads, or road maintainence, or jack sh** for trail maintainence, past the first few miles, ( look up my thread on "actual trail improvements you have seen..." How many 30yr. old bridges have you seen that need to be fixed?  The usfs does like to build logging company roads though.

Wake up!! no park pass money goes to any of those things. moon.gif
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polarbear
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PostMon Sep 22, 2003 7:07 pm 
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Quote:
This is kind of a BS story they're using to make a point.

What's non-legit about the story?  It doesn't give alot of detail, but for all we know the guy only buys MJB coffee off his friends Costo card when it's on sale.


Quote:
I've always felt you should pay your way in life the trip isn't free.

I think it's easy to feel this way in a society that more and more believes one should be nickel and dimed for everything, and there is something to be said for being challenged to make your own way in the world, but none of us asked to be born either.  If anything, life is a gift, so I like the idea o keeping city parks, state parks, and USFS land funded by general  taxes which I pay alot of on April 15th.  That way people who can't afford a trail pass feel welcome in what is perhaps one of the country's greatest resources--a resource we did not pay for to start with (but I'm sure glad it's here and have enjoyed a heck of alot).  Imagine keeping that one small area of life, primitive recreation, available for all regardless of economic status!  A worthy goal that I would gladly contribute to.

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Gordy Comer
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PostMon Sep 22, 2003 7:18 pm 
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How about a little user fee if you need help and call 911? What about a dollar a book at the library? A toll to drive anywhere? They could just put a little GPS on each of us and tax us as we go? The attorney general would love this one. You can park without a pass if you are more than 1/4 mile from the trailhead. I've seen some effort to stop this practice by posting no parking signs all along a road. Sometimes those signs are removed. There is no security at the trailhead, provide your own. There have been plenty of tips on this board. The trails have been in terrible shape for years and what little of the fee that trickles down doesn't seem to make much difference. The middle fork road has always been a mess. There was a sign in a visitor center south of Mt. St. Helens that proclaimed the new carpeting and heater were paid for by trail park pass money. Don't get me started. The forests belong to you and me, we already own them, I will not pay a fee to walk in my woods.
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