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Ski
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 12:12 pm 
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I don't hear anybody crying "racism" about the difference in prices of resident and non-resident hunting and fishing licenses.

Has nothing to do with racism or xenophobia - it has everything to do with the fact that foreign nationals do not pay taxes in the US (other than sales taxes on items they purchase here.)

So why NOT charge them more to enter National Parks?

No need to check for passports or birth certificates - a drivers license should be enough.

So again: why NOT?

Currently the deferred maintenance backlog for the National Park Service is estimated to be $11.9 BILLION dollars.

What's the percentage difference between the price of a resident and a non-resident fishing or hunting licence? I'd think that might be a reasonable place to start looking for numbers.

I'm not suggesting this as a means to limit or reduce visitation numbers, because I don't believe it would have a significant impact. American tourists pony up the money to enter the Louvre, or check into a hotel room in London, or hire Sherpas in Nepal, and they don't bat an eyelash at the prices.

We're simply leaving too much money on the table.

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Sky Hiker
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 12:46 pm 
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Can we also get them to pay more for a forest pass? A non resident hunting, fishing lisc, or special permit is significantly more in a lot of states. Then if its a draw area the tag can be pricey. Take for example Alaska their $400 non resident moose tag was $400 a couple years ago now it's over $800.
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treeswarper
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 12:52 pm 
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There hasn't been any cries of racism (as far as I know) for charging non residents and foreigners more for college tuition.

I do know of an uncrowded (sekrit) recreation area run by the people with the Smokey hats.  My Slightly Used Dog was even allowed to go on trails with me.  Imagine that!

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RumiDude
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 1:02 pm 
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I don't think raising the entrance fees in any way is going to solve any issues with our NPs. I don't think I have ever had to pay a premium in any foreign nation for fees in any parks like that. Last year I visited Ireland and did not have to pay extra because I was a foreign visitor. Almost all the museums in Dublin are free regardless of citizenship. I purchased a Heritage Card, which cost the same as any Irish citizen pays. It covers entrance fees at all the OWP Heritage Sites in all of Ireland.  I have visited Scotland, Egypt, Jordan, Greece, Belgium, England, Thailand, Malasia, Taiwan, and several other nations and can't recall ever having to pay a higher entrance fee because I was a foreign visitor. Undoubtedly there are a few exceptions, but I haven't come across any.

I have posted this before, but I think it applies here as well: You Should Stop Saying "We Are Loving National Parks To Death". From the blog piece: "What we can do now is stop blaming National Park visitors and direct the frustration to the rightful owners of this problem: Congress.
We, the outdoor enthusiasts, have to start voting for politicians who actually want to fully fund Public Lands for recreation purposes. We, the outdoor enthusiasts, need to share National Parks with everyone you know and encourage them to do the same. We, the outdoor enthusiasts, must make the funding of Public Lands a priority when we fill out our ballots. We, the outdoor enthusiasts, must support public transportation both leading to and around our public lands."

And: "The US population is not going to decrease, so now is the time for solutions and action. If you truly consider yourself someone who supports public lands, you have to vote to get them fully funded. You have to get your friends, family, FB group and hiking buddies to all vote for the environment for a few years. Or allow advertisers and corporations to enter the Parks to offset the lack of funding. These appear to be the only two solutions out there and I challenge anyone to quickly come up with something feasible, realistic and pleasing to all sides."

Rumi

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Ski
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 1:04 pm 
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On the other hand.....

It could reasonably be argued that everybody should pay the same at the gate at all National Parks, because those tourists coming in from other countries are also paying for motel rooms, rental cars, gasoline, groceries, restaurant tabs, bar tabs, and anything else we can sell them.
You could argue that allowing them to pay the same rate for entry into a National Park is an incentive for them to come over so we can fleece them in other ways.

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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 1:11 pm 
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Thanks Rumi!

The issue really isn't that there are too many people in the National Parks.
The issue is that the majority of National Park visitors are concentrated in a few areas that have broad appeal: Old Faithful, Yosemite Valley, etc.
As Steve has noted, once you get away from the "hot spots" you also get away from the Disneyland atmosphere; off-trail you're not likely to encounter more than trees and rocks and critters.

More to the point: the "hot spots" have always drawn big crowds. I watched "Old Faithful" blow off in June of 1966 and there was a huge crowd standing around waiting.
The only big difference was that there were no railings on the wooden boardwalks around the thermal pools and nobody said anything when my sister and I stuck our fingers in the water to see how hot it was.

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hbb
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 2:02 pm 
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Ski wrote:
Currently the deferred maintenance backlog for the National Park Service is estimated to be $11.9 BILLION dollars.

This is why squabbling over entrance fees is largely pointless. Even with record setting attendance (300 million visits in 2017), NPS would still need to charge thousands of dollars per visit to make even a slight dent in the maintenance backlog in the next few decades.
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 2:32 pm 
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Here is where Congress could make a difference,  pass an Instagram/Facebook/etc "famous location" photo tax.  So posting that selfie with Horseshoe Bend in the background will cost you a dollar, five dollars for non-citizens.  Taft point in Yosemite also a dollar/ 5 dollars, but with 50% geometric surcharge added for each foot closer to the edge than 10 feet.  So a foreign tourist's estate would owe  $192.22 for that "right on the edge" selfie.
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RumiDude
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 3:03 pm 
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RandyHiker wrote:
Here is where Congress could make a difference,  pass an Instagram/Facebook/etc "famous location" photo tax.

Pretty much think that is not possible. And even if it is, that's like closing the barn door once the horse got loose.

I am not understanding why people are even upset that much about crowds at Horseshoe Bend. But it looks like the governing agency is taking steps to do ... well something.

All this talk reminds me of a famous quote of Yogi Berra: "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

Rumi

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Ski
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 4:30 pm 
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hbb wrote:
Ski wrote:
Currently the deferred maintenance backlog for the National Park Service is estimated to be $11.9 BILLION dollars.

This is why squabbling over entrance fees is largely pointless. Even with record setting attendance (300 million visits in 2017), NPS would still need to charge thousands of dollars per visit to make even a slight dent in the maintenance backlog in the next few decades.

lol.gif

Yep! up.gif

In the end, suggesting outlandish and ridiculous proposals like charging foreign tourists (or American tourists) more for entrance fees ignores the elephant in the living room: inadequate Congressional funding appropriations for National Parks and National Forests, which have dwindled continuously for decades.

The most salient (and sane) statement thus far in this thread is from Rumi:

RumiDude wrote:
"What we can do now is stop blaming National Park visitors and direct the frustration to the rightful owners of this problem: Congress.

Trying to place blame on "selfies" or Instagram/Facebook/Snapchat or Chinese tourists is nutty.
The solution is to deal with the larger issue: fixing the stuff that's broken in our National Parks, improving infrastructure and visitor facilities, and putting more people on the NPS payroll.

It is well that all of the "crazy" is laid out on the table though, because it underscores the craziness of the suggestion that all of the problems can be fixed simply by raising gate fees or placing limits on user loads.

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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 5:46 pm 
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Pahoehoe wrote:
You should read this again and think about if this is the type of person you are proud to be.

Do you think you have more right to take pictures in National Parks than others?  Their cameras should be smashed because they want to take a picture of the same thing as you?

You are the problem.  Your attitude is the problem.  You are not better than anyone else nor do you have more rights to access.

Interesting, I was thinking along the same lines. I wondered if he had a sign floating above his head saying 'wide angle photo in progress' so he could 'know' the darned other people didn't understand wide angle.

There are more than hints of anti social, damn near anti human strains/streaks running through so many of the population/access/enviro questions of the day, and it's disturbing.

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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 10:46 pm 
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Even with record setting attendance (300 million visits in 2017), NPS would still need to charge thousands of dollars per visit to make even a slight dent in the maintenance backlog in the next few decades

Sorry, thats just terrible math.

If you could charge 37 extra dollars per visit you would raise 11 billion in just one year.

300mil * 37 = 11 bil.

Or 3.7 dollars per visit for 10 years...
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Sky Hiker
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PostThu Nov 22, 2018 7:58 am 
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Maybe they shoulf start a go fund me page
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moonspots
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PostThu Nov 22, 2018 10:30 am 
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RandyHiker wrote:
Here is where Congress could make a difference,  pass an Instagram/Facebook/etc "famous location" photo tax.  So posting that selfie with Horseshoe Bend in the background will cost you a dollar, five dollars for non-citizens.  Taft point in Yosemite also a dollar/ 5 dollars, but with 50% geometric surcharge added for each foot closer to the edge than 10 feet.  So a foreign tourist's estate would owe  $192.22 for that "right on the edge" selfie.


lol.gif Funny, but I like that idea.  up.gif

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PostThu Nov 22, 2018 10:44 am 
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thunderhead wrote:
Quote:
Even with record setting attendance (300 million visits in 2017), NPS would still need to charge thousands of dollars per visit to make even a slight dent in the maintenance backlog in the next few decades

Sorry, thats just terrible math.

If you could charge 37 extra dollars per visit you would raise 11 billion in just one year.

300mil * 37 = 11 bil.

Or 3.7 dollars per visit for 10 years...

I guess my reference to current visitation rates was confusing. Not all visits are to fee sites--the 300 million figure includes millions and millions of visits to places that are currently free to enter.

To get the revenue you've calculated above, you'd need to slap a $37 fee on everyone visiting the Vietnam Memorial, driving the Blue Ridge Parkway, jogging in Crissy Field in San Francisco (part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area), and do the same at many, many, other attractions within the NPS.

Of course, to collect the fees, you are going to have to spend some money--you need to build gates and/or feee boxes, and enforce payment in some manner.

But yeah, if you did all that--and attendance did not decline from the previous non-fee levels--the backlog could be wiped out in short order. It doesn't seem particularly realistic, but just looking at the straight-up math, it is theoretically possible.
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