Plans to reduce the discount on Senior & Disabled Cards - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-03-2009, 08:37 PM   #15
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No, but I'm willing to bet that a larger percentage of disabled people are poor, number one, and that a lower percentage use the campgrounds anyway. I just don't see them as a big issue which is why I said, "okay."

I understand the idea that a senior discount may be something you've earned, and in that sense, it isn't fair to take it away. But let's assume (perhaps erroneously) that the problem is the need for more funds. You have two choices- raise the campground fee for everyone, or stop giving discounts to some and not to others. In an ideal world the fees would be low enough that the discount was sort of honorary. But if campground fees keep going up a lot fewer people will be able to afford camping.

How about instead a weekday rate that is lower than a weekend rate? Seniors- or anyone else- camping on week days (Sun-Thurs) would get a break, weekends the rate would be the same as everyone else's. That lowers the rate for those of you camping for two weeks at a time but keeps weekend rates fair.

Bobbie
I understand your position completely.
Did you read my post just prior to the one to which you responded?
If not, please read it.
If so, please read it again....
...having missed my overall point.
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:46 PM   #16
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I agree with you. I can only say that this is just another slap in face of the taxpayers that have put so much into the system over the many years. I have camped the federal parks for 35 years and never begrudged the fact that a senior got a 50% discount. I did however look forward to the day when I could qualify for the senior pass. I believe that some of the concessionaires should be happy to have anyone in the park. I spent time in some parks this summer and even on weekends few sites were used. From what I can tell, attendance is down and the real worry is for the concessionaires.
My two cents worth

Thanks for the heads up!!! Totally agree thats its a slap in the face, there are other options, and "seniors" discount is not the way to go...what is the estimated savings vs. the losses if seniors reduce their presence at the parks due to this.....they need to realize they use the parks at a much higher percentage in the off season than all other groups combined...plus fulltimers, (the majority which are seniors), probably do a higher percent of the volunteer work then other groups...bottom line, what is the "value added" by by this action...I think there is a good chance they will lose more revenue by potential loss of seniors as a customer base, then they gain in income by reducing the discount...also disagree for the need of a income based policy, the extra "workload" to manage that would offset any saving of this policy, plus I don't feel that really solves the problem....as to the "big rigs" of seniors...some of the "Rigs" you see are full-timers that have sold their homes and bought a RV with the money they got ....doesn't mean they have a "large cash flow"... oh well, will get off my "soapbox".....bottom line I feel this is a "knee jerk" reaction that hasn't been given much if any though by the policy makers inside the "Beltway" Horst
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:51 PM   #17
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My two cents - Having just been classified a "senior" and coming to grips with a truly fixed and diminished income - Most of my camping has been in forest service campgrounds. The rigs in these facilities are not normally the bulge mobiles one sees in upscale parks. The people in these facilities are there because they are more affordable.

The increase in fees will impact people on a fixed income. Whether we oldsters have earned it by years of taxes or by being on a fixed income it is a "taking" as far as I'm concerned.

Thank you for the heads-up. I've left a message, respectful (of course).

Geezers unite - we are the largest voting block - make our voices heard.
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:57 PM   #18
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Showing my ignorance here, can somebody tell me what the "iron ranger" is?

Thanks,
Melissa


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Maybe we need just to go back to the "iron ranger"
My two cents worth
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:08 PM   #19
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Showing my ignorance here, can somebody tell me what the "iron ranger" is?

Thanks,
Melissa
Melissa,

The "Iron Ranger" is the fee collection post/box. It is usually a 6" pipe with a slot in it to put your fee envelope. One fills out the info on the envelope, puts in a check or cash, keeps the stub to put on your camp site or on your dash board, and deposits the money in the "Iron Ranger."

Hope this helps,
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:35 PM   #20
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Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, ok. Well now I just feel stupid, lol. Not sure in today's society the "honor system" would work too well unfortunately. I'd imagine folks of "questionable character" would take advantage of the situation and not deposit their fee.

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Melissa,

The "Iron Ranger" is the fee collection post/box. It is usually a 6" pipe with a slot in it to put your fee envelope. One fills out the info on the envelope, puts in a check or cash, keeps the stub to put on your camp site or on your dash board, and deposits the money in the "Iron Ranger."

Hope this helps,
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:35 PM   #21
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This is just another example of our Federal Government not taking care of what is ours to begin with, give it to a third party, and charge us more to use it. Then our representatives come home every two years and say they haven't raised taxes. The NFS only wants to be in the business of providing timber & minerals to major corporations. They want nothing to do with the small timber operator, and also want to get completely out of the recreation business. That is very apparent by the number of trails which have been closed and access routes blockaded in the last few years. Also, you can bet that if the Forest Service does it, the Nat Parks won't be far behind.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:20 PM   #22
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Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, ok. Well now I just feel stupid, lol. Not sure in today's society the "honor system" would work too well unfortunately. I'd imagine folks of "questionable character" would take advantage of the situation and not deposit their fee.
Melissa,

No need to feel anything but informed - it is always great to ask... That's how we learn (an old dog speaks)

You are, unfortunately, correct about the honor system. Those who don't feed the Iron Ranger for day use usually get away with it, raising the costs for all of us who pay. In the campgrounds it is harder to get away with a free stay - the real rangers usually make rounds in the morning and check receipts. No receipt equals a visit and request for payment. If no one home, a note is left and, possibly, a citation.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:38 PM   #23
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Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, ok. Well now I just feel stupid, lol. Not sure in today's society the "honor system" would work too well unfortunately. I'd imagine folks of "questionable character" would take advantage of the situation and not deposit their fee.
Melissa, to my knowledge the iron ranger honor system works well. The campgrounds are still patrolled as usual, but no full time host. A free loader might get by a few times, but this happens even with a host present. This system works well at many campgrounds all over north America and Canada. In 110 days of camping last summer, I used the iron ranger in ~80% of them. This was a mix of National and Forest service parks with a few state and BLM thrown in. Some of the best camp grounds we found were in the Yukon Territory Provencal campgrounds and there were no concessionaires, just the iron ranger. Even furnished all the wood you could burn. Total price was ~$12. USD.

We may have a few on the forum that have been a camp host and can tell us about the concessionaire/host and how it works. There are differences in services from one to another.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:53 PM   #24
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As I said before I agree with Bobbie, Hey guys, as far as age I am there or should I say toooooooooo darn close! And just because I have worked my rear off all my life doesn't mean I am entitled to anything. I look at it like this, either I lose my future discount or the powers that be are gonna close campgrounds altogether and then none of us will have a place to camp. It's just reality! Now as I said before as well, I don't think discounts are the problem (but thats for another venue). So I look at it this way, take a smaller discount or let them close all the great camping spots? Hmmmmm, I think I will take a cut in my discount.




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Old 12-03-2009, 11:06 PM   #25
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As I said before I agree with Bobbie, Hey guys, as far as age I am there or should I say toooooooooo darn close! And just because I have worked my rear off all my life doesn't mean I am entitled to anything. I look at it like this, either I lose my future discount or the powers that be are gonna close campgrounds altogether and then none of us will have a place to camp. It's just reality! Now as I said before as well, I don't think discounts are the problem (but thats for another venue). So I look at it this way, take a smaller discount or let them close all the great camping spots? Hmmmmm, I think I will take a cut in my discount.
Then why accept the discount at all?
In my home town, The state park has trippled the rate since last year, that puts me and mine in a commercial campground which are now competitively priced and offer more services and full hook-ups. I grew up in that park and love to stay there, but $20 a night without hookups and a $10 dump fee for a 13 Scamp is seriously pushing it!
It's a double insult with a "Motel 6" across the street offering rooms for $29!
Now, who says the government is more efficient than free enterprise??
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:06 PM   #26
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I live in the heart of the Sierra National Forest.
Our local citizenry is in a constant battle with the Forest Service. For the 5 years have lived here the locals have been trying to get an accounting of the River Access fees. These fees are to go back into the river access fund for local use. Yet we cannot get an accounting.
Areas with no services but classified as high use areas are on the list of areas to be charged for.
On the weekend of Oct. 17 and 18 of this year my youngest grandson and I camped at the lower Peppermint Campground on the Sierra National Forest. The daily rate went to $16.00 this year.
There were no door handles or locks on the pit toilets. The weeds were overgrown, fire pits were full of trash but the camp was full.
I have been going to this campground for 5 years and the FS has not done one thing to maintain it. Not once in the entire weekend did a FS employees come through the campground. I called the District Ranger and asked how they could justify doubling the rate while doing nothing to maintain or improve the campground. She had no answer.
I told her if she supplied a flat bed truck, 2 young strong guys with weed eaters and a chain saw I would go up there and have her a campground to be proud of in one day. She thanked me for volunteering and said she would call me and discuss when and were. It's been 3 months and she hasn't called.
I mentioned the lack of handles and locks on the pit toilets. She thanked me for volunteering and said she would get in touch with me.
The following weekend I camped there again and to my surprise there were no pay envelopes at the entrance and the campground was again full. That cost the FS about $1000.00. There were screen door eye and hook latches and handles on the toilet doors.
The people in the spot next to me had been camping there for the last 20 years. They told me this would be their last year at Peppermint Campground as it had just deteriorated to much. They said nothing had been done to maintain the campground in all the years they had been going there.
It has been years since they have graded the dirt roads into the dispersed camping areas. Roads that once could be driven in the family station wagon now are almost 4x4 roads.
With additional and ever rising fees and no maintenance of facilities or roads the FS is intentionally limiting our access.
I mentioned how the FS was beginning to limit our access into the forest earlier this year and some of you thought I was crazy.
Did you know that this year alone there have been another 11 Wilderness Areas created from California to Lake Superior. These were areas open to vehicles and dispersed camping in the past. Now you can only ride a horse or hike through them.
Some of you have camped on the Kern River and Lake Isabella. I bet you didn't realize there are 7 Wilderness Areas within 30 to 50 miles of here. Wilderness area's are no longer vast tracts of land far away from any civilization, they are now in your backyard.
The environmentalists with the aid of this administration is in the process of closing vast tracts of forest to recreational use with the use of a Wilderness Area designation.
I am not trying to be political, I am just stating facts as one that is fortunate enough to live in the middle of a beautiful National Forest.
I have been to many open meetings with the FS in the past years and all they have done is blow smoke.
If you would like to keep track of State and Federal legislation you might want to look into the Blue Ribbon Commission. It's an organization that is a coalition of campers, hikers, equestrians, boaters, off roaders, hunters, fishermen, atv and dirt bike riders and anyone else that enjoys the great outdoors.
You don't have to join to sign up for their alerts on pending legislation. You can sign up just for your state or all of the pending legislation. They have offices in Washington DC and keep up any and all legislation affecting anyone that enjoys the outdoors. They also have a battery of attorneys that are always fighting for our rights.
sharetrails.org will get you to the Blue Ribbon Commission website.
I'm sorry this is so long. I want my grandchildren and yours to respect, love and enjoy the forests, mountains and deserts as much as I do.
Unless we do something very quickly we are going to lose most of most of our recreational areas.
John
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:24 PM   #27
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Then why accept the discount at all?
In my home town, The state park has trippled the rate since last year, that puts me and mine in a commercial campground which are now competitively priced and offer more services and full hook-ups. I grew up in that park and love to stay there, but $20 a night without hookups and a $10 dump fee for a 13 Scamp is seriously pushing it!
It's a double insult with a "Motel 6" across the street offering rooms for $29!
Now, who says the government is more efficient than free enterprise??
I totally agree, it's messed up! But that still doesn't entitle me to any discount. Sorry that's how I feel. Our society is screwed up, but until "those" who take and take (and I am not talking camping seniors here! or the goverment) get a reality check, which will take the American people saying enough than it will continue to be that way.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:25 PM   #28
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Well that's good news that the parks are still patrolled. I thought the "iron ranger" was an icon of days gone by. I never thought about campgrounds not having a full time attendant. We have yet to partake in a public campground of any sorts. Great information when planning our trip to Wyoming next summer. I'll be sure and carry cash to feed the "Ranger", lol. Do the state/national parks close over the winter or is that mainly a private/commercial campground deal. My folks are traveling right now from WY to AZ and have said they are having a difficult time finding places to stay. All the campground signs on the Interstate say "Closed Nov 1". I was just wondering if this usually applies to all campgrounds (obviously not in the warmer states) or if the State/National Parks are still open.

Melissa

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Melissa, to my knowledge the iron ranger honor system works well. The campgrounds are still patrolled as usual, but no full time host. A free loader might get by a few times, but this happens even with a host present. This system works well at many campgrounds all over north America and Canada. In 110 days of camping last summer, I used the iron ranger in ~80% of them. This was a mix of National and Forest service parks with a few state and BLM thrown in. Some of the best camp grounds we found were in the Yukon Territory Provencal campgrounds and there were no concessionaires, just the iron ranger. Even furnished all the wood you could burn. Total price was ~$12. USD.

We may have a few on the forum that have been a camp host and can tell us about the concessionaire/host and how it works. There are differences in services from one to another.
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