Our National Parks - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-29-2016, 07:59 AM   #43
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Mike , I am confused . Are you saying that the FS has no right to close roads on FS lands ? After witnessing the damage 4 wheelers , ATV's and dirt bikes have done to State and FS roads / land , along with stream beds and and newly planted trees , I wish they would block off more roads. Everything does not have to be accessible by a motorized vehicle , that's why God gave us two feet. You can still go to your favorite fishing hole , but now you just have to walk
One of the beauties of the BWCA in Minnesota is the fact that no motorized vehicles are allowed. I have paddled there on several trips and the solitude from not having to listen to outboard motors is refreshing.
If people want to go off roading and destroy property and the enviroment then let them buy 80 acres and have at it.
Sorry that you're confused! I think the forest service should only close a NF road in the event that it becomes unsafe, impassable, or major damage to the forestland is being caused by its use.

Damage to a road is inherent in the use of that road (every wheel moves some dirt a bit, after all) but the road is a road, a means to get someplace. As for careless or purposeful damage to trees and creek beds, this is an enforcement issue; road closure is an overkill response which punishes all users for the wanton acts of 2%-3%. Imagine having Yosemite Valley CGs closed permanently because a handful of campers 5 years ago left food out and attracted bears; this would be a similarly inappropriate and overkill response.

It seems to me that public lands are owned not by the bureaucracy we call government, but rather they are owned by the public (you and me). As such, I feel that the limitations on your and my usage should be as minimal as possible under existing circumstances. To hear someone say that they have seen some harm done to public lands and that therefore they favor more road closures, exclusion of all motorized users due to the acts of a tiny minority, sounds to me like a broad-brush approach that throws the baby out with the bath and penalizes too many good and conscientious users.
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Old 04-29-2016, 08:38 AM   #44
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I think the answer you would get from the NFS, Mike, is that enforcement requires money, and in an era of declining budgets, closure of some areas that cannot be patrolled and in which significant damage is occurring is the only alternative.

Here's the worse trend I see. The nearby small town of Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ is fighting to retain its wonderful town park, originally developed on an island of NFS land within town boundaries. The NFS no longer wants to be responsible for this small piece of land, or perhaps can't afford to: at least that's the reason given. The town is able to maintain and police the park, but the only way they can keep the land on which it sits it to purchase it from the NFS at full market value, and this is a resort area. Some pretty smart and creative people are working on it. They will likely end up saving the developed portion of the park as public land for future generations, but the larger undeveloped portions will be turned into houses and condos.

I have no doubt similar stories are being played out across the country. That, I think, is the downside of recreational land ownership by the federal government. It has made promises it cannot keep. Like that other huge federal program benefitting retirees, better enjoy it while it lasts…
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:17 AM   #45
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Rob, to answer your question, there have been posts on another RV forum I frequent, in which members complained of NF roads being suddenly closed off. Places the people had been going to for years to camp or fish or ride are now made inaccessible, with boulders and other barriers put across the roadways.

A related issue is the growing limitations placed upon travelers on the still-open NF roads and trails. Motor Vehicle Use Manuals must now be consulted for any given NF, to see what can be driven upon which road. Complex rules abound; one guy was driving on a narrow NF road in Idaho when a faster-moving pickup caught up to him and was staying right close on his tail. So, being a considerate driver, he moved over (two wheels off the trail itself) so the pickup had room to pass. The pickup turned out to contain two federal employees, and the considerate driver was fined $500 for leaving the roadway.
Mike I don't want to beat a dead horse on this with you, or anyone, but I do see your point to some degree. Personally my preferences are more in line with Steve on this issue, I'd much rather have a quiet hike or paddle than to be beside dirt bikes or equivalent in the back country. Using your term of broad brush strokes there in lies the rub. Simply put some lands are more fragile than others, some more precious than others, some with wildlife that needs to be protected and so on. Effectively the FS, or BLM cannot have a one size fits all approach to all of our public lands, they have to make decisions based on careful studies and that takes time and money. I can't address the example you've given but will reiterate I've never ever run into anything like this other than designated wilderness areas that are off limits to motorized vehicles and often as not mountain bikes. I don't have an issue with this, its good policy.

Frankly I feel sorry for the USFS, BLM and Nat Parks as all 3 are caught between a rock and a hard spot in the last couple of decades with huge declining budgets yet an ever growing population of people wanting to access these lands.

Briefly I would also like to address your comment regarding states taking care of and owning these large parcels of public lands. First of all even if they could afford to own them or purchase them they wouldn't have the budget to administer them. If UT a state that has a robust economy can't keep or doesn't want to keep its tiny state parks funded there is not a ghost chance in hell they could oversee a place like Canyonlands, Grandstaircase-Escalante etc. It gets worse though. I live in area that also has a lot of public land and I can't count on the number of times I've heard some people complain about out of staters meddling in "our" affairs with "our (MT)" lands. But the reality is these lands belong to us all, so someone in Miami, Kansas City, NYC has as much right to comment on and be part of the decision making process as residents who live within the boundaries of where the public lands exist. At times the heated debate borders on civil war proportions and the last thing this country needs is a "divide and conquer" fear and loathing arena.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:26 AM   #46
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Vandals destroy new 911 call box in park with no cellphone service | KATU


Stewards of the land are quickly becoming the minority. Hundreds of us could use a park and leave little impact. It only takes one or two others to do the opposite.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:44 AM   #47
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Hi: All... I can't believe that so few gave so much for so many... and it all could be swept away by the stroke of a pen. Public spirit must be on life support in the US!!!
We have thoroughly enjoyed the series on PBS.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:06 AM   #48
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National Parks funding

Sounds like there are lots of egg lovers on this forum who could have a great impact on our politicians' voting choices for funding our parks. Let's get out there and call or petition our legislators to increase funding for OUR parks, they belong to all of us. Thank you for your passion for National lands. (I believe they were created to save the land, not especially for recreation. Let's keep the 50 amp folks in the RV parks, and continue our lower impact camping style peaceful and quiet.) The governments don't need to install sewage lines and high power electric amenities, don't cha think?
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:23 AM   #49
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If the parks are in such dire straits why do they turn over the profit centers, the camp grounds, the stores, the lodges and hotels to concessionaires?
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:42 AM   #50
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If the parks are in such dire straits why do they turn over the profit centers, the camp grounds, the stores, the lodges and hotels to concessionaires?
In nearly any business the largest consistent expense is in the employees. Payroll, soft benefits, retirement, training, etc. By outsourcing to concessionaires, there are no federal employees for these "profit centers." It's my understanding though the park system receives a percentage of profits.
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:46 AM   #51
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If the parks are in such dire straits why do they turn over the profit centers, the camp grounds, the stores, the lodges and hotels to concessionaires?
The same could be said for State Parks and there reservation systems. The reservation fee for Wisconsin's State Parks is approaching $10 and was a large source of state park revenue. The reservation system was turned over to a private concern and now the Wisconsin State Park system is running a deficit. Plus the jobs generated by the in house reservation system were shipped out of state causing a further decline in state tax revenue. It's another example of a false economy in action.
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:59 AM   #52
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I just heard about this situation this morning.

Large graffiti carved at Arches National Park in Utah | The Salt Lake Tribune

What a sad state of affairs, what is wrong with people in this day and age. Such disrespect and irreverence.

On our recent trip to the Utah deserts we spent most of our time hiking to ancient ruins and rock art, something I seem to have a connection with. Sadly almost all of these artifacts have been seriously molested, vandalized and in some cases almost outright destroyed. In two weeks of exploring ruins and rock art we found only a couple that were completely pristine and unmolested.
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:05 AM   #53
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" Everything does not have to be accessible by a motorized vehicle , that's why God gave us two feet. You can still go to your favorite fishing hole , but now you just have to walk."

Be careful here, Steve. Apparently, God decided to take away the ready use of those two feet for some of us, myself included. I think most of us have accepted our limitations, and cherish what we Can do. But your comment could cause anguish for those who haven't.

Years ago, I spent some time canoeing and portaging in the BWCA, back when it was called Quetico-Superior. I won't be able to do that again, for various reasons. And I'm fine with that.

Forest roads should be closed when damage would result

But I apologize. This thread is about our National Parks.

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Old 04-29-2016, 11:48 AM   #54
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Sounds like there are lots of egg lovers on this forum who could have a great impact on our politicians' voting choices for funding our parks. Let's get out there and call or petition our legislators to increase funding for OUR parks, they belong to all of us. Thank you for your passion for National lands. (I believe they were created to save the land, not especially for recreation. Let's keep the 50 amp folks in the RV parks, and continue our lower impact camping style peaceful and quiet.) The governments don't need to install sewage lines and high power electric amenities, don't cha think?

Good points, Carolyn.

I think the creators and legislators of our National Park System always intended the parks for public recreation, as well as preservation.
The Forest Service is charged with providing recreational opportunities in the National Forests as one of its founding principles.
The Wilderness Act provides further protection to sensitive areas. No motors, no roads...just trails. That pretty much leaves me out, but that's OK. I'm just glad it's there.

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Old 04-29-2016, 12:02 PM   #55
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In nearly any business the largest consistent expense is in the employees. Payroll, soft benefits, retirement, training, etc. By outsourcing to concessionaires, there are no federal employees for these "profit centers." It's my understanding though the park system receives a percentage of profits.
In the Cape Herreras Seashore the park service runs it all. They have no problem finding temporary help.There is a similar situation in the national forests. The White Mountain nf contracts out. The Green Mountain Forest runs the camp grounds themselves. The NH campgrounds are twice the price.
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Old 04-29-2016, 07:00 PM   #56
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Some quick facts... USFS' annual budget for the past few years:
2011 $5.8 billion
2012 $5.5 billion
2013 $5.7 billion
2014 $6.2 billion
2015 $5.5 billion
This does not seem to show a clear pattern of 'declining funding.' Nor does $5.5B sound like chump change.

USFS manages 193 million acres. $5.5B is close to $29 per acre. That doesn't sound like much on a per-acre basis, but only a small percentage of acreage actually sees regular or frequent use by visitors. Many, many square miles of NForest and NGrassland contain no roads or trails and require little management under most circumstances.
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