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Schroder
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PostTue Aug 23, 2022 2:44 pm 
I just read this on Goskagit.com & several other news outlets are carrying the story but I can find nothing on the MBSNF website referring to this. Does anyone know anything about it?
Quote:
Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is proposing to charge fees at 20 developed recreation sites, including three in Skagit County. In the county, the Forest Service is proposing a $5 per day fee for Sauk Mountain Trailhead as well as for the Marblemount and Sauk boat launches.
I can't believe they're going to require a pass for Sauk Mountain considering the condition of the last mile of the road. Edit: I just found more in The Olympian
Quote:
Camping fees at Whatcom County’s Lower Sandy Campground — currently free — could increase to $20 per night for a single site under new recreation fees proposed by the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. The Forest Service is proposing to charge new fees at 20 developed recreation sites, according to a news release Thursday, Aug. 18. The changes would include adding several new day use sites to the popular Northwest Forest Pass program, though interagency passes also would be honored at these sites. In addition to the proposed new charges, fees at two trailheads would be eliminated, according to the release. The proposal would come as many day use, camping and other recreation sites are currently managed without user fees, the release states. “National Forests provide recreational opportunities for all Americans,” Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Supervisor Jody Weil said in Thursday’s release. “The revenue generated by recreation fees helps protect natural resources and enhance recreation opportunities on our Forests.” The proposed changes in the Mount Baker Ranger District, which covers the National Forest through Whatcom County and most of Skagit County, include charging: ▪ $20 per night for a single site at the Lower Sandy Campground in Whatcom County. ▪ $5 per day at the Sauk Mountain Trailhead in Skagit County. ▪ $5 per day at the Marblemount Boat Launch in Skagit County. All three sites currently do not have fees, the release states. In the Darrington Ranger District, the proposal includes charging $5 per day at the Beaver Lake Trailhead, Old Sauk Trailhead, White Check Boat Launch and White Chuck Overlook Picnic Area in Snohomish County. In the Skykomish Ranger District, the proposal includes charging $5 per day at the Frog Mountain Trailhead, Cable Drop Boat Launch, Deception Falls Picnic Area and Jennifer Dunn Trailhead in Snohomish County. And in the Snoqualmie Ranger District, the proposal includes charging $5 per day at the Camp Brown Trailhead, Dingford Creek Trailhead, Garfield Ledges and Pratt Bar Trailhead in King County and $5 per day at the Government Meadows Horse Camp and Lonesome Lake Day Use Area in Pierce County. Additionally, camping rates would increase from $5 to $20 per night for a single site and $75 per night for a group site at the Ranger Creek Campground and Evans Creek Campground in Pierce County. The Federal Recreation Enhancement Act was passed in 2004 by Congress and allows the Forest Service to collect fees at certain recreation sites and use the funds locally to operate, maintain and improve the sites, according to the release. “Fees help provide quality recreation opportunities that meet the modern expectations of visitors and creates a more financially sustainable developed recreation program for the benefit of future generations,” the release states, adding that 95% of revenue collected from recreation fees remains with the forests to operate, maintain and improve facilities. The proposed fee increases still must be approved by a citizen’s advisory committee, according to the Federal Recreation Enhancement Act, and the public is invited to comment. Comments must be sent by the close of business on Oct. 21, 2022 by: Email: sm.fs.mbsfeecomm@usda.gov Mail: Mount Baker-Snoqualmie Forest Service, Attention: Amy Linn, 2930 Wetmore Ave., Suite 3A, Everett, WA 98201

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Bosterson
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PostTue Aug 23, 2022 2:52 pm 
https://www.idahostatejournal.com/outdoors/northwest/forest-service-seeks-fees-for-area-recreation-sites/article_3b245139-0a73-5ab5-a846-cd119bb5c895.html Public comment period through Oct 21st. I looked on the MBSNF website too but doesn't look like they've posted anything yet. It does seem like all the national forests are trying to increase the number of fee areas to generate revenue; we should expect to see more of these notices metastasizing everywhere unless people start pushing back.

Go! Take a gun! And a dog! Without a leash! Chop down a tree! Start a fire! Piss wherever you want! Build a cairn! A HUGE ONE! BE A REBEL! YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE! (-bootpathguy)

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Schroder
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PostTue Aug 23, 2022 3:09 pm 
In some of these areas they eliminated previous pass requirements just a couple of years ago

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thunderhead
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PostTue Aug 23, 2022 3:13 pm 
Good. Help reduce crowds a little. Maybe actually get some more money for our forests.

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philfort
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PostTue Aug 23, 2022 3:18 pm 
Are some of these fees in addition to the NW Forest Pass? I got a "ticket" on my window when I parked in a day use picnic area to go hiking in Okanagan-Wenatchee NF earlier this year - apparently the NW Forest Pass only gave you a 50% discount on a $5 day fee. I don't understand this nickle-and-diming. You need to carry a forest pass, AND a stack of cash? What's the purpose of having the NW Forest Pass then?

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Schroder
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PostTue Aug 23, 2022 4:41 pm 
philfort wrote:
apparently the NW Forest Pass only gave you a 50% discount on a $5 day fee
First time I've ever heard of this. The NW Forest Pass should cover it all except for a campground

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PostTue Aug 23, 2022 5:01 pm 
There was a court ruling a while back about USFS usage fees / permit requirements. https://www.publiclandsforthepeople.org/judge-ends-fees-at-socal-national-forests-for-visitors-who-park-and-hike/ My understanding is that after the ruling the USFS needed to have a minimum number of improvements at a trailhead to require a parking permit. I observed that many trailheads in MT Baker Snoqualmie and Okanogan-Wenatchee had a picnic table and a signboard added following the ruling in order to bring up the number of improvements to the minimum required. It's kinda cheesy, but as I now posses a lifetime senior USFS/NPS pass I don't get as worked up about USFS fees.

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PostTue Aug 23, 2022 5:26 pm 
I don't mind buying an annual pass, but having to pay additional amounts in cash beyond that is a bit ridiculous. The place this happened to me was at the Soda Springs Campground: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/okawen/recarea/?recid=58543 I wasn't camping, just parking and hopping onto a trail - note the day use fee of 5$, and also "Day use: No passes honored.". I drove past the "FEE SITE" sign and just ignored it, since I assumed I was good with my forest pass.

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PostTue Aug 23, 2022 7:01 pm 
It would be nice if this increase in revenue was accompanied by an increase in patrols, bait cars, and surveillance cameras. https://datastudio.google.com/s/mDDu0WqDDyg Check out my new trailhead-specific crime dashboard: https://datastudio.google.com/s/l9fThrYM4g8

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kiliki
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PostTue Aug 23, 2022 8:52 pm 
I'm all for increased fees in heavily used areas, and more recreation management in general, though I wouldn't go with such a piecemeal approach, personally. I'd charge higher fees for everything in the I-90 corridor or Icicle River Road, for instance. It was depressing to read the recent Everett Herald article where they tagged along with a ranger on the Mt Loop, and he said his days were basically taken up by picking up litter in the dispersed campsites, so he didn't have time for anything else. Why aren't we charging for those sites and managing them? The Puget Sound area is WAY to populous anymore to let it be a free for all. Other NFs have done this for a long time--I paid $20 to access the Maroon Bells Wilderness in CO in the mid 90s for god's sake. And it was managed VERY well, with a shuttle, limited day use, etc. It would be nice if lower income folks could show a tax return and get a free lands pass, though.

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PostTue Aug 23, 2022 9:05 pm 
I consider myself grandfathered in at my current rate!! Thus I ain't payin no increased fees!!! Consider this post to be my notice of what my rate is locked in at!!! Price as of TODAY!!!

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Secret Agent Man
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PostTue Aug 23, 2022 9:20 pm 
kiliki wrote:
I'm all for increased fees in heavily used areas, and more recreation management in general, though I wouldn't go with such a piecemeal approach, personally. I'd charge higher fees for everything in the I-90 corridor or Icicle River Road, for instance. It was depressing to read the recent Everett Herald article where they tagged along with a ranger on the Mt Loop, and he said his days were basically taken up by picking up litter in the dispersed campsites, so he didn't have time for anything else. Why aren't we charging for those sites and managing them? The Puget Sound area is WAY to populous anymore to let it be a free for all. Other NFs have done this for a long time--I paid $20 to access the Maroon Bells Wilderness in CO in the mid 90s for god's sake. And it was managed VERY well, with a shuttle, limited day use, etc. It would be nice if lower income folks could show a tax return and get a free lands pass, though.
I wouldn’t complain if the price of the Northwest Forest Pass got doubled, though of course I’d prefer if the richest 10% of Americans just went back to paying the same tax rate as they did under Nixon. I do think it is more challenging to have any fees on top of the Forest Pass or national park entry fee, except for specific things like a maintained campground.

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Cyclopath
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PostTue Aug 23, 2022 10:12 pm 
I wish we could just pay for this out of our taxes instead of this regressive business. We're in a cost of living crisis and putting up barriers between everyone but well off people and public land. We all pay for all kinds of things we don't use personally, it's called living in a society.

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thunderhead
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PostTue Aug 23, 2022 10:17 pm 
Direct funding would be way more efficient, because nickle and dime fees have to pay for their own administration(which often takes the lions share). Just like tolls. But that would require our government be competent.

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PostWed Aug 24, 2022 12:31 am 
kiliki wrote:
It would be nice if lower income folks could show a tax return and get a free lands pass
It would be nice if lower income folks, who face enough challenges already trying to put food on the table with minimum wage jobs, didn't have to jump through humiliating hoops for basic privileges that wealthier people can afford to avoid.

Go! Take a gun! And a dog! Without a leash! Chop down a tree! Start a fire! Piss wherever you want! Build a cairn! A HUGE ONE! BE A REBEL! YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE! (-bootpathguy)

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