NW Forest Pass and Missing Amenities

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
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aiwetir
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Re: NW Forest Pass and Missing Amenities

Post by aiwetir » February 20th, 2019, 7:37 pm

Not really on subject, but I'd rather have a non-permanent crapper than a permanent one at a trailhead because it can be removed more easily. Both are usually gross so it's a wash on that.
- Michael

CMH
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Re: NW Forest Pass and Missing Amenities

Post by CMH » February 21st, 2019, 9:35 am

I'm not sure why you say only one picnic table is needed to allow collection of a fee. The regulation uses the plural, saying

“…the Secretary may charge a standard amenity recreation fee… but only at… An area… that contains…Picnic tables.”

Other required amenities are not plural "A permanent toilet facility." and "A permanent trash receptacle."

It doesn't say a fee can be charged at areas with picnic tables, it says a fee can only be charged at an area that contains picnic tables (and certain other amenities).

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/16/6802

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cunningkeith
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Re: NW Forest Pass and Missing Amenities

Post by cunningkeith » February 21st, 2019, 10:13 am

CMH wrote:
February 21st, 2019, 9:35 am
I'm not sure why you say only one picnic table is needed to allow collection of a fee. The regulation uses the plural, saying

“…the Secretary may charge a standard amenity recreation fee… but only at… An area… that contains…Picnic tables.”

Other required amenities are not plural "A permanent toilet facility." and "A permanent trash receptacle."
I know it seems ticky-tacky, but there's a reason that it calls for at least two picnic tables. When this law was passed, Congress was concerned about people being charged to park at "nondeveloped" areas.

Here's what our own Peter DeFazio said, "Basically, if you want to drive your car around a park and go hunting or go fishing or just walk with the kids or the dog, you have to buy a pass for nondeveloped sites, and a lot of us have strong concerns about that."

So Congress said, "OK, FS, you can charge at developed areas, but here's a list of things that need to be in those areas." (obviously that's my paraphrase, but that's the idea)

I started this same topic on the Washingon site, and somebody pointed out that all these picnic tables appeared in the summer of 2012 after the FS lost the Adams decision, and so the FS put these amenities in the "developed areas."

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopi ... sc&start=0

So the FS did what they thought was the bare minimum to comply (now, as Jerry said, we've got a single rotting picnic table at many sites).

But Congress never considered a single table to be a developed area. That's why Congress intentionally used the plural for tables and the singular for trash and toilet. So the FS failed when they tried to do the bare minimum and plop those single tables down.

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retired jerry
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Re: NW Forest Pass and Missing Amenities

Post by retired jerry » February 21st, 2019, 10:56 am

oh, okay, picnic tables

the law makes sense for picnic areas. That's what it was written for.

they need to write another law for trailheads. If the fee is used to maintain the trail it's okay to charge a fee.

they should have just trusted the Forest Service in the first place and said "developments" and left it to the Forest Service to define the details

or, better yet, fund trail maintenance. Fees are inefficient.

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drm
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Re: NW Forest Pass and Missing Amenities

Post by drm » February 22nd, 2019, 8:56 am

retired jerry wrote:
February 20th, 2019, 8:03 am
Another story - they should be able to use NWFP fees to maintain trails, not have to have those amenities.
The thing is that when the Forest Service does surveys of facility users, paying for toilet facilities always comes out on top. I don't think it's the most popular thing on this site, but I guess that's not representative. And if they were to use NWFP funds for general trail maintenance, then they would have to get rid of the facilities requirement. It might mean that all trailheads would require the pass.

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retired jerry
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Re: NW Forest Pass and Missing Amenities

Post by retired jerry » February 22nd, 2019, 9:21 am

If toilets are popular they should have them. But they shouldn't just have to have them to meet that law.

Maybe it's more appropriate for some trailheads.

Same with garbage cans.

The law should just be developments and the Forest Service should determine what's best in each case.

For the record, I think a fee is a bad idea for many reasons, better to fund from income taxes. I can see why the FS does it though, their funding is being squozen.

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Water
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Re: NW Forest Pass and Missing Amenities

Post by Water » February 22nd, 2019, 11:36 am

drm wrote:
February 22nd, 2019, 8:56 am
The thing is that when the Forest Service does surveys of facility users, paying for toilet facilities always comes out on top.
Maybe you were saying it but, a survey of facility users hardly seems representative of people at trailheads. People don't drive out to trailheads to use a toilet, do they? I find the 'facility users survey' to be somewhat useless and disingenuous, first of all they're required by law to put those 'minimum' facilities in (which they didn't even meet), and out of the 'facilities' - a garbage can, picnic tables (often wet, filthy, near toilet, etc), and interpretive kiosk, I would be surprised if people didn't find using a bathroom the most useful among those things. It's like a survey of restaurant goers being surveyed on everything but the food and drink. Useful perhaps but I would rather get rid of everything at the THs, have excellent trail maintenance on tons of trails, and sure have a pass for all of them, I could actually get on board with that. This really comes out above security at trailheads? Or is that not one of the 'amenity' options on the survey.. I know a lot of people who would rather not have to worry about their vehicle being broken into than if they can take a crap or whiz.

Keith you bring this all up but don't the regs actually state a whole host (more than 3 things) that are required for NWFP.. and the current court interpretation I thought was that you only need the NWFP if you are using those amenities? They cannot charge for parking. And They can't charge for passing through such sites. So if you just park and hike..not using the garbage of bathroom..
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retired jerry
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Re: NW Forest Pass and Missing Amenities

Post by retired jerry » February 22nd, 2019, 11:51 am

You're baiting me Water, this time I'm not falling for it? :lol:

Some people need bathrooms more. After driving to a trailhead maybe it's nice to have bathroom available. I'd just as soon do it on a bush. Even #2 (in a LNT hole)

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cunningkeith
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Re: NW Forest Pass and Missing Amenities

Post by cunningkeith » February 22nd, 2019, 11:56 am

Water wrote:
February 22nd, 2019, 11:36 am
Keith you bring this all up but don't the regs actually state a whole host (more than 3 things) that are required for NWFP.. and the current court interpretation I thought was that you only need the NWFP if you are using those amenities? They cannot charge for parking. And They can't charge for passing through such sites. So if you just park and hike..not using the garbage of bathroom..
Yes, there are six amenities, but I just listed the three b/c those are the ones that I figured might be missing. The other ones are:

"Designated developed parking."
"Interpretive sign, exhibit, or kiosk."
"Security services."

Yes, there is a dispute about whether the FS can charge you if you don't use the amenities. By my count, most of the cases have ruled against the FS on this question.

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BigBear
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Re: NW Forest Pass and Missing Amenities

Post by BigBear » February 22nd, 2019, 12:00 pm

Let's play double-jeopardy. The topics this round are:

Adams vs USFS
Bark vs USFS
the ambiguity of unambiguously prohibited
and
federal court rulings don't apply to us

Since big government bureaucracy and timber industry cleaned up int he first round, you the recreational user get to choose first...

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