Plans to reduce the discount on Senior & Disabled Cards - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-04-2009, 10:51 PM   #43
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Hello all - well, Escapees has entered the fray - here is a lengthy item rec'd today. Interesting that this concerns "concessionaire properties" ... a factoid I missed in other readings on this subject. Regards, L 'n D

Escapees E-News Release

U.S. Forest Service Announces Proposed Changes to Senior and Disabled Camping Discounts

12/4/2009

A news release from the Western Slope No-Fee Coalition was forwarded to us at headquarters by a fellow Escapee. That news release, which publicizes the U.S. Forest Service’s plans to reduce or eliminate some current discount programs, is excerpted below. Needless to say, any change in the senior and disabled park pass programs has the potential to affect a large number of RVers and outdoor enthusiasts.

<Begin excerpted news release>

December 2, 2009

For immediate release

Contact: Kitty Benzar 970-259-4616 wsnofee[at]gmail.com

http://www.WesternSlopeNoFee.org

Forest Service to Eliminate Senior and Disabled Camping Discounts



DURANGO, CO - The U.S. Forest Service has announced it plans to eliminate the 50% discount at National Forest campgrounds that has traditionally been available to holders of lifetime Senior and Access (permanent disability) passes. The change will apply at campgrounds operated by private concessioners, which represent 50% of National Forest camping capacity and 82% of reservable campsites.



Under current policy, concessioners are required to honor Senior and Access passes for campground fees under the same terms as if the Forest Service operated the facility directly, meaning that a 50% discount must be offered. Most highly developed campgrounds are now concessioner-run.



In a notice in the December 1st Federal Register, the agency outlined a new policy that would replace the half-price rule that has been in place since the mid-'60s with a 10% discount. The policy would also require Senior and Access pass holders to pay a fee at National Forest day-use sites that are currently covered in full by their passes.



Day-use sites managed by concessioners will also be affected. Under the new policy, holders of the annual America the Beautiful Pass would be entitled to free entry, but Senior and Access lifetime pass holders would get only a 10% discount. This changes current policy, which calls for all three passes to be honored equally at day-use fee sites.



Seniors 62 and older pay a one-time $10 fee for their lifetime pass. Lifetime passes for the permanently disabled are free. Together, Senior and Access passes represent more than 78% of all pass sales.



<End excerpted news release>



We strongly suggest that you take a moment to tell the U.S. Forest Service what you think by clicking on the comment link below, or by sending your comments via postal mail. You may also wish to contact your state and Federal representatives as well.



Comments must be received in writing by February 1, 2010.



You can send comments electronically by following the instructions at the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov, or utilize this link: http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/hom...900006480a60f36



Comments also may be submitted by mail:



U.S. Forest Service, Attn: Carolyn Holbrook

Recreation and Heritage Resources Staff

1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Stop 1125

Washington, DC 20250-1125



Comments sent by postal mail should reference the notice by the following title:

Proposed Directives for Forest Service Concession Campground Special Use Permits (Document ID FS-2009-0001-0001)



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Old 12-04-2009, 11:08 PM   #44
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Greedy Blankity blanks!! I'm a senior disabled retired military veteran and they are going to offer me 10% discount? I can get that from AAA, AARP, or numerous camping membership clubs.

How about 10% for each category? That would leave me with 30% anyway, unless they would give me another 10% for retired military.

Senior 10%
Disabled 10%
Veteran 10%
Retired Military 10%
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Total 40%


Politicians got to have their golden parachutes and their government contractor buddies got to make a nice profit.
The rest of us are just minions that work hard and are taxed to support extravagant salaries, benefits and profit margins for the ruling class.

I think they are fast approaching the point of rebellion.
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:16 AM   #45
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The FS will do what it wants and it wants us out of their forest.
I know a lot of you that live in Northern California have camped on the beautiful Shasta/Trinity Forest. You are about to be shut out of most of your forest.
The Shasta/Trinity Forest is about to close all roads that the FS did not build. I worked for the FS for 2 years before going to college and I can tell you that almost all of the forest roads were built by logging companies. The FS has built very few roads.
Shasta/Trinity is proposing to classifiy any vehicle that goes more than a car length of a paved road in the Forest as an Off Highway Vehicle. If you have a family station wagon and go more than one car length off a paved road your vehicle will be considered an Off Highway Vehicle. OHVs are even more restricted than other vehicles.
At present there are 5219 dispersed camp sites on the forest. 5219 campsites equals 1.4 campsites per 10000 acres. The proposed road closures will reduce the amount of dispersed camping or boondocking to 233 sites.
Proposals like this are happening all across the country.
The FS will not admit it, but just like the Shasta/Trinity Forest and their road closures they are limiting access and forcing almost everyone into crowded pay campgrounds.
Campers and outdoor users have lost millions upon millions of acres of Forest just in the last year.
The Senior reduction as it is the least of our worries.
Very soon we will all be forced to pay KOA prices for crowded FS pay campgrounds, if there are spots available.
www.sharetrails.org.
John
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:38 AM   #46
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Sorry for opening up a can of worms, here!

I think the difference in our opinions has to do with who needs a discount vs. who has earned a discount. When you look at it from the perspective of earning a discount, most seniors surely do deserve it. And thinking in terms of earning, veterans should get it free. But in terms of need it may be a different story, and I hate to see young families priced out of camping since that will mean fewer young people growing up to appreciate camping and public lands.

Bobbie
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:18 AM   #47
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Robin G;
This is not a further word on the subject, only a clarification...
1] I meant no offense by my cultural observations.
2] I have considerable time to go before becoming a senior citizen.
3] I truly understand your emphasis on fairness, and why you feel the way you do on this subect, we simply are viewing it from different perspectives.

Floyd, No cultural difference here, I was raised to respect my Elders as well. I just have a different out look on what a "discount means" again, in my eye's it's a gift not a right.

Unfortunately, I am closer to the senior discount world than I was 30 years ago when I was young and thought the world was a party. and like you understand where your coming from, but because I believe it's a gift, I have a different view. I don't think I come so much from the fairness view point than more from, "our" business world is changing and we may have to adapt. Not that I agree or believe they use their funds correctly, just being realistic.



Ok, so maybe I do side on fairness as well, cause I totally agree with Bobby about children having the opportunity to experience camping.


As for the disabled point of view, please understand I understand that view point as well. My husband is disabled, has been all his life. Polio as a child, Post Polio Sequelae as an adult as well as in stage 6 Alzheimer's. And at no time (until he was deemed disabled due to Alzheimers) has he or I ever had any form of assistance. Neither of us has even ever applied for unemployment. And even now the only help he gets is Disablity. Have always paid our taxes, with the last 15+ years being in the high tax bracket +, so we have paid our dues to. But again cause I believe discounts are a gift not a right. I can't hold his disability up over anyone. I hope I have clarified that I am not an evil un-caring person, I am just realistic. Discounts and aide would be a beautiful thing in my world, but I can see why they are being redifined.
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:57 PM   #48
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After receiving thousands of replies, the Forest Service decided to leave the current discount system in place for now:
http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/idaho...sabled/C41/L41/

complete press release is at the bottom of this article.
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:53 PM   #49
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My thanks to the people that commented to the USFS and hats off to the Idaho delegation.
Here in Illinois, they are just closing many of the parks and raising fees on the few left open.

March 17 Forest Service Press Release:

USDA Forest Service Continues Discounts at Campgrounds

WASHINGTON, March 17, 2010--USDA Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell announced today his decision not to implement proposed changes to fees charged to holders of passes at Forest Service campgrounds operated by private businesses. The Chief’s decision means Seniors and people with disabilities will continue to receive a discount at Forest Service campgrounds run by private concessions.

The Forest Service had proposed changes to discounts provided to holders of Golden Age and Golden Access Passports and Senior and Access Passes. Under the proposal, discounts at concession-operated campgrounds would have changed from the current 50 percent to 10 percent. After considering many public comments, the Chief determined the proposed changes are not the best way to address growing challenges regarding services provided by private businesses at Forest Service recreation facilities.

“Each year more than 175 million people enjoy recreational opportunities on National Forests and Grasslands, and that includes more than 15 million visits to our campgrounds,” said Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “Particularly in these difficult economic times, it is very important to maintain affordable access to our National Forests and Grasslands, giving people easy ways to recreate and find respite in the great outdoors.”

The Chief’s decision leaves in place a 50 percent discount at campgrounds run by private concessions for holders of Golden Age and Golden Access Passports and Interagency Senior and Access Passes. Concessioners are not required to accept passes at day use sites. Seniors age 62 and older pay a one-time $10 fee for the Senior Pass. Lifetime Access Passes for people with disabilities are free.

The Forest Service conducted a 60-day public notice and comment period on the proposed changes. More than 4,000 comments were received.

The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of National Forest System land, provides stewardship assistance to non-federal forest landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. For more information, visit: www.fs.fed.us

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Old 04-09-2010, 07:59 AM   #50
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Raya- another way to look at this situation is-- those seniors with "means" are the ones paying the most taxes to keep the campgrounds open. I for one, am tired of paying the highest taxes and providing things for the low income folks--it's called income leveling, not what this country was founded on! Just another opinion among thousands of others. Bye the way, 23 years in the Army and I don't believe I should get in free as it was my choice to spend my time in the military, and I WAS paid.
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:57 PM   #51
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Quote:
My thanks to the people that commented to the USFS and hats off to the Idaho delegation.
Here in Illinois, they are just closing many of the parks and raising fees on the few left open.

March 17 Forest Service Press Release:

USDA Forest Service Continues Discounts at Campgrounds

WASHINGTON, March 17, 2010--USDA Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell annou

The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of National Forest System land, provides stewardship assistance to non-federal forest landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. For more information, visit: www.fs.fed.us
You may not have noticed but the NEW mission statement has left out any mention of multiple use.
John
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