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water
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PostWed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am 
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Fire isn't an elephant in the room. I clearly stated early in this thread that at least in 2018 they had a budget of 2.5 billion for fire and 1.72 billion for everything else. Everyone knows the FS spends boat loads on fire.

Of everything you mentioned, trail work is probably the very cheapest thing you mentioned, shy of million dollar bridges.. americorp crews can brush out and work on miles and miles of trails for mere pittance in the scope of FS budget.

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Kim Brown
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PostWed Oct 30, 2019 1:11 pm 
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It's not necessary to have all amenities at all trail heads. If the NWFP isn't generating a lot of money it's because it's not required in a lot of places. But according to the USFS site on fees and expenditure of those fees, they are being used appropriately.

$1 -$6 fees are hardly monetization. I don't think anyone is raking in the dough here.

WTA supported the NWFP after successfully advocating the opportunity for volunteers to receive a free pass, from volunteer stewardship directly through the USFS in their Wilderness Ranger program, to fire lookout host, invasive weed mapping, trail work, habitat restoration, writing articles, participating in research, and lots of other opportunities. I am not finding where WTA says very little money goes to trails. They want more of it to go to trails, sure; that's what WTA does.

A lot of money for trails comes from state RCO grants. NWFP money goes to a host of other purposes.

So is the argument about the NWFP, or other fees discussed at the beginning of the thread?

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Schenk
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PostWed Oct 30, 2019 1:50 pm 
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neek wrote:
Saw you altered your post a bit which is too bad because I was recently at a park in France where you did indeed have to pay for the swingset.

Yeah, I figured it was beginning to look like a rant and nobody takes rants seriously...but privatization is definitely worth ranting about.
Pay to Play on Public Land is the segueway to privatization and the sell off of Public Land. I have been watching this trend for 20 years and it is alarming.
If you want a good scare, check out the ARC in depth...and pay particular attention to the members. They are NOT about making Public lands friendly to human powered users who want to use Public Land for no additional charge beyond the taxes we pay. The ARC (American Recreation Coalition) is DROOLING over Public Land and the money they can make from motorized and industrial strength use of Public lands.

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water
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PostWed Oct 30, 2019 1:58 pm 
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or is it about conservation backfiring? I'm going to laugh about that line for a long time as well.

You're right $1-$6, is hardly monetization when that's a fee going immediately to a contractor, and not even the $3/day /$5/per person/night fee the FS gets. Why did Booz Allen Hamilton even bid on the rights to run rec.gov if not to make money? head scratcher that one, they must be the charitable and benevolent kind of consulting firm.

Do you know what the word monetization means? It seems you do not. If something used to be free, like getting a permit to camp in Mt. Margaret Backcountry. And you now you pay a fee to a corporation for the honor of accessing public lands, that's called monetization. You learned something new today! Hooray!

It's about the fees at the beginning of the thread. You're the one who said the money is there and just not allocated properly. I suggested it would be nice if there was a hiker advocate organization that held the FS accountable like BARK! does with forestry in Oregon, instead of just carrying water for them as they shirk more of their duties, supporting legislation like FLREA which monetizes the outdoors.

Edit: As noted above, ARC had its hands in the legislation that came to be known as FLREA.

So what has your congress person said about the proposed legislation?

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water
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PostWed Oct 30, 2019 2:15 pm 
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Quote:

STATEMENT BY DERRICK CRANDALL, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN RECREATION COALITION, ON EXTENSION OF AND REVISIONS TO THE FEDERAL LANDS RECREATION ENHANCEMENT ACT FOR THE SEPTEMBER 17, 2015, HEARING OF THE U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES.

The American Recreation Coalition’s more than 100 national organizations represent virtually every segment of the nation’s $650+ billion outdoor recreation industry, and tens of millions of outdoor recreation enthusiasts. Our organization has played an active role in federal recreation policy since its creation in 1979, especially on funding federal recreation programs. ARC played an active role in the President’s Commissionon Americans Outdoors in the 1980’s, which served as the catalyst for a variety of important and successful funding initiatives ranging from expansion of the Dingell-Johnson program to the Recreational Trails Program and the Fee Demonstration Program of 1996, precursor to FLREA.

From ARC's multi-page statement in support of FLREA. It's great the hiking community non-profits and the monetization, privatization, commercial interests share a similar vision of the future of the outdoors. smile.gif

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Kim Brown
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PostWed Oct 30, 2019 2:41 pm 
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I did say the money is there, but isn’t allocated properly, and I support the NWFP. But that does not mean I agree with fees. I would rather support the NWFP, and possibly other fees, than not at this time. I don't see a better alternative.

Of course some money is going to a contractor. If there are fees and a contractor is hired to administer, it’s reasonable for that contractor to make money to pay for their service. It’s cheaper than the agency administering a fee program. But they’re not getting rich off it.

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water
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PostWed Oct 30, 2019 4:41 pm 
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Kim Brown wrote:
But they’re not getting rich off it.

Why do you make straw man arguments? I never said anyone was getting rich. But certainly the totality of recreation.gov is a lucrative contract. Are you saying it isn't? Why would contractors bid for this if it was not worth their investment? It seems like you really don't understand what monetization is.

Nobody was talking about someone getting rich from a $1 fee. Just that monetizing access to public resources, that ostensibly people already pay for with their tax dollars, makes people poorer and isn't equitable. Most especially when there isn't even a service or amenity they're choosing to receive, just simple access for backcountry camping, which is neither a service nor amenity. And this runs contrary to the history of public lands and public access.

Anyways, that's enough of your weird goal post moving statements. You support fees, you are in the same boat as ARC as far as that's concerned, and with your support interests like ARC will drive the boat.

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Malachai Constant
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PostWed Oct 30, 2019 6:00 pm 
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Californication is a killer track by the Peppers. CA has been very kind to me and my kids. Great jobs big bucks. Nice people FWIW I am there now and having a great time blue bird days beautiful beaches huge trees. As always, haters gotta hate  prod.gif  curse.gif  bart.gif

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Slugman
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PostThu Oct 31, 2019 3:17 am 
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Water denies ever saying anything, once called out.

“I never said anyone was getting rich, but it’s very lucrative, which means lots of money, so even I obviously don’t read the nonsense I write, then I accuse others of not understanding what words mean.” Apparently water’s goalposts have fallen over and crushed her straw man.

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"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore. There is society where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but nature more..."  Childe Harold
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cunningkeith
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PostThu Oct 31, 2019 6:18 am 
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I edited my earlier post about the politics of this to clarify what I was trying to say.  I don’t think it matters much that the language in the RNR about charging “individuals” came from other legislation.   The fact is that this language is now in the RNR, Wyden, Kilmer, and others are backing it, and they need to know exactly what they’re sponsoring: fees for hiking.

I do not believe that any lobbyist explicitly told Wyden, “Hey, we’d like to charge people for hiking.”  What likely transpired is a conversation that others have described.  Either a lobbyist or a forest bureaucrat told Wyden, Kilmer, and others, “We’ve got this great new legislation to streamline permitting.  It will bring the system into the 21st century by taking it online.  In addition, we’ll be able to limit entries into fragile places and promote conservation.”  Who wouldn’t support that?

But the fact is that Wyden has taken over $50,000 from a political patron (recreation.gov), and that patron stands to make a bundle off this legislation.

I know it sounds like $1 or $6 a permit isn’t much, but just think about this:  According to the environmental assessment that was done for the Central Cascades project, over 120,000 people visit the Three Sisters Wilderness annually.  That’s just one wilderness in one state.  Now take a permitting system nationally, and the numbers grow quickly.  Recreation.gov is owned by a private equity firm.  Such firms exist for the sole purpose of making money.  And not a penny from the reservation fee goes to support the forests, trail maintenance, etc.

Still waiting to hear back from my representatives . . .
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Canyon1
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PostThu Oct 31, 2019 7:00 am 
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I am not at all saying turn it over to a private enterprise. Far from it since I am not a big fan of concessioners and also considering what has gone down in the National Parks regarding name branding. What I am saying is the FS needs to qet some quality management like the industry leaders I previously mention. Apparently you did not get the point. Look around the FS and see if you can find any Ivy League MBA's. Lower echelon FS employees are good people (great place to work since the gals do not wear make up and guys do not shave. I fit right in.). The upper management in my opinion needs to change the FS culture to make a positive impact.
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treeswarper
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PostThu Oct 31, 2019 7:21 am 
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Malachai Constant wrote:
Californication is a killer track by the Peppers. CA has been very kind to me and my kids. Great jobs big bucks. Nice people FWIW I am there now and having a great time blue bird days beautiful beaches huge trees. As always, haters gotta hate  prod.gif  curse.gif  bart.gif

Nobody "Hates" CA.

Like so many these days, you are dramatizing--exaggeration is rampant on the internet.  For us long time residents, whining about CA and on the east side, Seattle, is a traditional activity.  You have chosen to move here, we have chosen to continue observing our cultural whining.  Got it yet?

When I moved back to this area, all my neighbors knew that I was moving back "from the coast" (another you gotta be from here to understand label).  They were a bit aloof.  Then I mentioned being from a nearby area and things changed.  That's the way it is.   Just like the Seattle kids used to make fun of our taste in clothes when they'd come over for some sun in the spring.  Were they "haters" for that? 

The CA immigration happened.  If power outages and fires continue, it will happen again.  I am getting old and moving is a pain, but I find myself fantasizing about some rich Californian or Seattleite offering me a hefty sum for my humble house.  Then?   I guess I'd move somewhere else and Washingtoncate them.  I'd whine about no fresh tortillas.   No fresh off the tree Rainier cherries, state income tax, etc. 

Got it yet? 

By living in less desirable places, hours away from Costco and Trader Joes, we can wander around on and off trails without having to deal with all the gut wrenching traumatizing worries like....trailhead parking.  We have to make costly sacrifices for this privilege.  We must order from REI online and cannot fondle their products in advance. We have no Mountaineers Club, few travel lectures, etc. 

Don't move here unless you will offer me a couple million for my small house.  It comes with an ancient, leaky automatic sprinkler system that keeps things green.  Is that hate?  If so, the definition sure has changed. 

Got it?

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treeswarper
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PostThu Oct 31, 2019 7:25 am 
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I guess I wouldn't mind fees IF they were done like the NWFP where one could get a pass for the year, and the pass wasn't over $40.  Otherwise, more spontaneity is taken away from our lives, and we are forced to plan visits, make reservations, and be in adverse weather.

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Bosterson
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PostThu Oct 31, 2019 8:01 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
I guess I wouldn't mind fees IF they were done like the NWFP where one could get a pass for the year, and the pass wasn't over $40.  Otherwise, more spontaneity is taken away from our lives, and we are forced to plan visits, make reservations, and be in adverse weather.

It's not clear whether any of you from north of the river actually knew about/looked up what the Central Cascades Wilderness Strategies Project is, but this is exactly what it is going to do. No annual pass, planning visits and reserving required for all overnight use in 3 wildernesses (including the Sisters), planning/reserving/hoping to make the quota for a proportion of trailheads for day use as well. Not all of these trailheads even exceed the quota now, so you will have to pay for a permit to use an uncrowded area. No details on whether uncollected permits will be recycled back to the public. Service fees from rec.gov for all permits, every time. Reduced spontaneity, especially for people who want to go climb volcanoes during a good weather window.

For comparison, imagine the Enchantments permit system got extended to ALL overnight use in the entire Alpine Lakes wilderness, as well as day use in a large part of the wilderness, including every trailhead at Snoqualmie, Foss, Teanaway, etc.

This is why it's important everyone contacts their Congresspeople about the wonky wording in the RNR Act, because it seems like the act will make it very easy for the FS to create more new permit systems like this.

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Malachai Constant
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PostThu Oct 31, 2019 8:05 am 
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FYI I was born and raised in Port Orchard went to the UW and lived most of my life here. So you can stick your provincialism.

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