Zinke proposes $70 entrance fee at some National Parks

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Bosterson
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Zinke proposes $70 entrance fee at some National Parks

Post by Bosterson » October 25th, 2017, 1:36 pm

Zinke is selling this as a way to pay for unspecified "deferred maintenance." No reference appears to be made to the fact that any decrease in "revenue" to the NPS has been a function of cutbacks via Congress for many years; presumably, funding National Parks - ie, public lands held in trust by the government - was originally meant to be a function of tax dollars at work, not consumer transactions. (This gets back to various "pay to play" arguments about land access...)

Overcrowding doesn't really seem to be an issue Zinke is addressing, which seems like a glaring omission (last year in Yosemite, the Valley was basically unbearable due to the crowds and traffic). However, structuring any solution to these problems in terms of revenue and fees risks ostracizing those who don't make can't afford the cut:
Latino Outdoors founder Jose Gonzalez said the need for revenue and to control the crowds at the busiest parks is understandable but he questioned the potential impact.

“If there isn’t always a question or consideration of equitable access to a lot of communities, it’s only going to increase the disparity in terms of who is able to access our national parks and public lands,” he said.
There's a 30 day public comment period. It seems doubtful that people in the current administration listen to comments (hellooo Ajit Pai), but we should find other ways to combat overcrowding or raise revenue (maybe take it out of the defense budget?) without restricting access to the comparably wealthy...

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/e ... 797501001/
Will hike off trail for fun.

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retired jerry
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Re: Zinke proposes $70 entrance fee at some National Parks

Post by retired jerry » October 25th, 2017, 1:43 pm

up from $25, big increase

not quite prohibitive for anyone not wealthy, but a big fee

we could call our congressmen
Wyden 503 326 7525
Merkley 503 326 3386
Bonamichi 503 469 6010

I don't know that Zinke would listen to them any more than us :)

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kelkev
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Re: Zinke proposes $70 entrance fee at some National Parks

Post by kelkev » October 25th, 2017, 4:27 pm

I know the parks need maintenance, and $20-$25 is a bargain.....but $70 seems a bit steep. But if I was a betting man, I'd bet the house on Uncle Sam getting his request. It won't impact my family as we rarely visit our local National Parks, and it won't probably impact most of those folks who would visit the parks as well.....but I've never been a fan of "pay to play" on public lands. Just my feelings, but I realize the population of our country is growing, and interest in the outdoor resources has grown as well. All of which puts added strains on the parks. My crystal ball doesn't have any easy solutions....I just hope that these added fees actually go towards repairs and improvements - - and not somewhere else.

Kevin
"Going to the mountains is going home."
— John Muir

pdxgene
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Re: Zinke proposes $70 entrance fee at some National Parks

Post by pdxgene » October 25th, 2017, 6:23 pm

A cynical soul might think....
...gee, if we can keep low and middle income America out of the National Parks without it looking intentional they won't really have any reason to fight so hard to protect them. And those natural resource extraction corporations have boatloads of cash....
But they wouldn't do that, would they?
:?

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retired jerry
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Re: Zinke proposes $70 entrance fee at some National Parks

Post by retired jerry » October 25th, 2017, 6:33 pm

It won't affect me because I got one of those $10 lifetime senior access passes.

The day before that went up to $70 (still a bargain) I bought a second one in case I lose the first.

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romann
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Re: Zinke proposes $70 entrance fee at some National Parks

Post by romann » October 25th, 2017, 11:05 pm

Might as well solve overcrowding problem.. Rich people will afford it just fine, and will now have more quiet time in NP's. The rest of us who used to come to NP's multiple times a year will scale back to 1 or 2 times a year. Good thing National Parks on MSH, Hood, the Gorge etc. didn't happen, now it would be a tough sell.

I feel for those folks in Utah (one of the poorest states?) who are surrounded by National Parks who may feel it being taken away from them - Arches, Canyonlands, Zion and Bryce are all on this list :( .

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drm
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Re: Zinke proposes $70 entrance fee at some National Parks

Post by drm » October 26th, 2017, 7:17 am

One of the difficult issues is that those of us who live close to these parks often go for a day or two, not for a longish summer trip. It's one thing to pay $70 if you're camping for a week, another if you're driving for a shorter trip. And these fees are proposed for both Rainier and Olympic. I would add that these parks have individual annual fees too, so you don't necessarily have to pay the $80 annual fee if you live close to one park and that's where you like to go a lot. I would add that we have never had a Federal cabinet so filled with plutocrats as we have had now. If $70 is just what you pay for your typical bottle of wine, it probably doesn't seem so onerous. Compared to those $25,000 charter plane flights we have been paying for for them, it's a pittance.

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retired jerry
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Re: Zinke proposes $70 entrance fee at some National Parks

Post by retired jerry » October 26th, 2017, 7:29 am

"I would add that we have never had a Federal cabinet so filled with plutocrats"

Or foxes in charge of the chicken houses :)

You know, "drain the swamp" is actually pretty accurate. Draining swamps seemed like a good idea at the time, but now we are coming to realize that swamps are actually good and maybe draining them was a mistake.

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Bosterson
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Re: Zinke proposes $70 entrance fee at some National Parks

Post by Bosterson » October 26th, 2017, 1:17 pm

retired jerry wrote: You know, "drain the swamp" is actually pretty accurate. Draining swamps seemed like a good idea at the time, but now we are coming to realize that swamps are actually good and maybe draining them was a mistake.
You mean, it was a mistake to drain the "swamp" and replace it with a pool of toxic waste? Is that the kind of metaphor game we're playing? "Drain the swamp" was an absolutely idiotic concept based on who said it and what has happened; realistically, the "swamp" was actually dredged twice as deep... ;)

But really, please, no political thread drift. We all actually need to make public comments about this to the USFS if we disagree with it, and contact our elected representatives, etc. I am pretty certain that a $70 entrance fee would bar a certain segment of the population from ever entering the parks, and if we would like future generations to care about protecting wilderness and National Parks and other public lands, then everyone needs to be able to access them; otherwise, they become "playgrounds for the rich, comparable to an exotic golf club in Florida...
Will hike off trail for fun.

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retired jerry
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Re: Zinke proposes $70 entrance fee at some National Parks

Post by retired jerry » October 26th, 2017, 2:05 pm

good point, my bad, this site is not a good place for politics except something like this $70 fee which is hiking related :)

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