Central Cascades permit fees announced

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retired jerry
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by retired jerry » October 9th, 2019, 5:53 am

Is this the same act that requires the 3 or 6 amenities at a site before they can charge a fee (restroom, garbage, picnic table)? Like the NWFP?

Then if you park at a place that doesn't have the amenities they can't charge?

I assume with the number of trailheads identified with this proposal, many will not have the amenities.

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Water
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by Water » October 9th, 2019, 9:34 am

They are doing this under the (h) Special recreation permit fee
The Secretary may issue a special recreation permit, and charge a special recreation permit fee in connection with the issuance of the permit, for specialized recreation uses of Federal recreational lands and waters, such as group activities, recreation events, motorized recreational vehicle use.

This document makes mention of it a little less obliquelty. Regarding changes to FS FLREA things on page 13:
https://www.fs.fed.us/sites/default/fil ... ennial.pdf
Special Recreation Permits
(Specialized trails, climbing
areas, river use)


So they consider climbing areas under this? crazy. If this is what they're using for climbing permits, and this entire Central Cascades project they're majorly out of line. By that token, all access shy of driving through a NF is specialized recreation..

---------------
Jerry, trailheads which charge must have ALL the amenities, not 3/6 or something. There is an 'expanded amenity fee' under FLREA that allows for the majority condition:

(g) Expanded amenity recreation fee
(1) NPS and USFWS authority
Except as limited by subsection (d), the Secretary of the Interior may charge an expanded amenity recreation fee, either in addition to an entrance fee or by itself, at Federal recreational lands and waters under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service or the United States Fish and Wildlife Service when the Secretary of the Interior determines that the visitor uses a specific or specialized facility, equipment, or service.

(2) Other Federal land management agencies
Except as limited by subsection (d), the Secretary may charge an expanded amenity recreation fee, either in addition to a standard amenity fee or by itself, at Federal recreational lands and waters under the jurisdiction of the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, or the Bureau of Reclamation, but only for the following facilities or services:
(A) Use of developed campgrounds that provide at least a majority of the following:
(i) Tent or trailer spaces.
(ii) Picnic tables.
(iii) Drinking water.
(iv) Access roads.
(v) The collection of the fee by an employee or agent of the Federal land management agency.
(vi) Reasonable visitor protection.
(vii) Refuse containers.
(viii) Toilet facilities.
(ix) Simple devices for containing a campfire.


(B) Use of highly developed boat launches with specialized facilities or services such as mechanical or hydraulic boat lifts or facilities, multi-lane paved ramps, paved parking, restrooms and other improvements such as boarding floats, loading ramps, or fish cleaning stations.
(C) Rental of cabins, boats, stock animals, lookouts, historic structures, group day-use or overnight sites, audio tour devices, portable sanitation devices, binoculars or other equipment.
(D) Use of hookups for electricity, cable, or sewer.
(E) Use of sanitary dump stations.
(F) Participation in an enhanced interpretive program or special tour.
(G) Use of reservation services.
(H) Use of transportation services.
(I) Use of areas where emergency medical or first-aid services are administered from facilities staffed by public employees or employees under a contract or reciprocal agreement with the Federal Government.
(J) Use of developed swimming sites that provide at least a majority of the following:
(i) Bathhouse with showers and flush toilets.
(ii) Refuse containers.
(iii) Picnic areas.
(iv) Paved parking.
(v) Attendants, including lifeguards.
(vi) Floats encompassing the swimming area.
(vii) Swimming deck.





(h)Special recreation permit fee
The Secretary may issue a special recreation permit, and charge a special recreation permit fee in connection with the issuance of the permit, for specialized recreation uses of Federal recreational lands and waters, such as group activities, recreation events, motorized recreational vehicle use.
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Water
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by Water » October 9th, 2019, 9:42 am

Kathy,

Fantastic link you provided:
SPECIAL RECREATION PERMITS

REA authorizes the Secretary to issue a special recreation permit and charge a fee in connection with the issuance of a permit for specialized recreation uses of Federal lands, such as group activities, recreation events, and motor vehicle use. The Forest Service issues special use permits under this authority for short-term commercial recreation uses, such as outfitting and guiding, and recreation events. The permit fee revenue collected and expended on the ground will be of great benefit to recreation visitors as well as to the permit holder. Facilities used by commercial outfitters such as trails and trailheads will be better maintained which will improve the ability of permit holders to provide high quality recreation services to the public.

This authority is also used to issue special recreation permits to individuals for activities such as, white water river trips, off- highway vehicle (OHV) use and, in a limited number of cases, wilderness use. These permits are issued when we provide additional services beyond normal operation and maintenance, including constructing and maintaining specialized trails for OHVs and providing wilderness experiences in areas that receive high use.

We currently require a wilderness permit and permit fee for 8 of our 406 Congressionally designated wilderness areas that are within the National Forest System. These 8 areas had a permit prior to the enactment of REA that was authorized under the LWCFA. They include areas such as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on the Superior National Forest in Minnesota and the Desolation Wilderness Area on the Eldorado National Forest in California. Each of these areas has special circumstances such as an allocated visitor use system, reserved and designated campsites, and, in a few areas, an aerial sewage removal program that entail costs beyond those incurred in our normal wilderness management program.

We are developing criteria to guide to our field managers in determining when such a fee is appropriate. We do not anticipate a large number of additional fee areas. We have no intention to use the fee authority as a tool to reduce recreation visitor use. Any decision to implement a permit system to allocate use in wilderness areas to meet management objectives will be made through our land use management planning process and associated recreation capacity analysis.
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Aimless
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by Aimless » October 9th, 2019, 9:54 am

Yes. That transcript is extremely useful and has many clear, cogent quotes about the inapplicability of the "special recreation use fee" as the legal pretext for what amount to wilderness entry fees.

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retired jerry
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by retired jerry » October 9th, 2019, 11:24 am

yeah, that seems to be a huge stretch to call this a special recreation permit

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mountainkat
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by mountainkat » October 9th, 2019, 12:12 pm

Water wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 9:42 am
Kathy,

Fantastic link you provided:
It's a great read. They were concerned from the get go about the federal agencies pushing the bounds of what's allowable under the FLREA.

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xrp
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by xrp » October 9th, 2019, 12:21 pm

retired jerry wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 5:53 am
Is this the same act that requires the 3 or 6 amenities at a site before they can charge a fee (restroom, garbage, picnic table)? Like the NWFP?

Then if you park at a place that doesn't have the amenities they can't charge?

I assume with the number of trailheads identified with this proposal, many will not have the amenities.
Please stop circulating this. It isn't correct per Fragosa et al vs USFS
http://www.allgov.com/usa/ca/news/where ... ews=853621
Judge Hatter said the law clearly states, “While the Forest Service is authorized to charge visitors an ‘amenity fee’ for use of developed facilities and services, it may not simply charge an ‘entrance fee’ to an area when visitors do not use those developed facilities and services.”
Judge Hatter is saying you cannot be charged a fee unless you use the amenities. USFS cannot charge you a fee if amenities are present and you do not use them.

Since the ruling was handed down by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, it is applicable in WA and OR.

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teachpdx
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by teachpdx » October 9th, 2019, 3:27 pm

Perhaps somebody here with extensive knowledge of the background of the issue (FLREA, Special Recreation Permits) could write up a brief summary of the legal arguments that us non-legally-minded folks could then cut/paste into our comments to the USFS?

I think a 1-2 paragraph summary as to why this pass system is an overreach of the Special Recreation Permit, sent to the USFS during public comment from dozens/hundreds of individuals, could be helpful. I doubt it will change the implementation (as this comment period is narrowly focused on individual fees, not the program itself) but to put it in the public record as an issue is at least a small step.

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Charley
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by Charley » October 9th, 2019, 8:23 pm

Observation:
the Mazamas have been actively opposing this unnecessarily restrictive plan.

Question:
Where the heck is the Trailkeepers of Oregon? Why have I heard diddly squat on this entire issue???

The mission statement of the TKO is "Trailkeepers of Oregon (TKO) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect and enhance the Oregon hiking experience through advocacy, stewardship, outreach and education." (Italics added).

Does this unpopular and significant change to trail access not merit even a statement about the position of the TKO? Does the mission statement actually reflect the organization's mission?

Observation: mountain bikers are increasingly organized and vocal, in addition to continually building a good working relationship with land managers at all levels. The Central Oregon Trail Alliance and Northwest Trail Alliance would be powerful allies in a fight to maintain affordable, human-powered recreation access to our public land.

Question: wouldn't it be nice to have allies like NWTA and COTA on the side of access in cases like this? Why do you think they've kept their nose out of this Wilderness plan?

johnspeth
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Re: Central Cascades permit fees announced

Post by johnspeth » October 10th, 2019, 6:16 am

retired jerry wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 11:24 am
yeah, that seems to be a huge stretch to call this a special recreation permit
But there is a paragraph that says this: This authority is also used to issue special recreation permits to individuals for activities such as, white water river trips, off- highway vehicle (OHV) use and, in a limited number of cases, wilderness use. These permits are issued when we provide additional services beyond normal operation and maintenance, including constructing and maintaining specialized trails for OHVs and providing wilderness experiences in areas that receive high use.

The underlined part is a codified reason why a special use permit could be issued. Crowded trails in wilderness areas no longer meet the "solitude" requirement. Therefore the FS is implementing special use permits to assure some level of solitude. I'm not for it; I'm just pointing out that a case under which a special use permit can be implemented is legally defined. Doesn't that give the FS legal authority to enforce special use permits?

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