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Old 01-03-2017, 06:49 AM   #81
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The AARP article notes that the current $10 pass will continue to honored, so I'm glad we just got one at Everglades National Park. Even so, I wouldn't mind paying more to help our park system.
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:59 AM   #82
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The AARP article notes that the current $10 pass will continue to honored, so I'm glad we just got one at Everglades National Park. Even so, I wouldn't mind paying more to help our park system.
Read the Bill as it was oroposed and was published in the CFR
Assuming that the money will benefit the parks maybe a false assumption .
The author of the bill is not a fan of the NPS , BLM ,
or the NFS . Stated purpose and actual intent are not always the same thing . Note the ties to private money / control.
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:53 AM   #83
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The $10 lifetime pass will still be good after the price goes up so if you are over 62 and might want a pass now would be a good time to purchase it before the price increase. There is an additional $10 fee for mail in applications according to the NPS online documentation.


Should be able to recoup the $20 by using it a couple of times, and if not it is not a lot of money to "lose" if you don't use it. I think it covers up to 3 people not over 62 that are in the company of the pass holder. So just taking a couple grand kids to a national park or national monument you get some savings.


Price has been the same since it was last raised in 1994. Not sure if raise is right amount or has good intentions or what have you but 12 years is a long time for the price to remain the same.
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:23 PM   #84
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We went today and got Debbie her Senior Pass, of course they would not believe she was old enough, but they skeptically accepted her driver's license as proof.
It was still $10. They did confirm that the Bill has been passed and must wait for a POTUS signature before being law. After that she said it would take time to rewrite the rules to accommodate the new law. She said anywhere from six mos to two years after signing.
So, it is technically not yet inevitable, but likely, so if you are an American citizen or a permanent resident and 62 years old or getting close.... better run out ASAP and get your Senior Pass at today's rate.

OH! If lost, as the rules stand today, you must buy a new one, so guard it closely. Not sure what the new rule will be.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:43 PM   #85
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For a lifetime pass, another $70 won't break my bank account. It's still one of the best deals out there.

The only times I camped in Wisconsin, I stayed at an affordable city park, Badger Park in Peshtigo. One of those times there was a concert on the premises, so I was treated to free music.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:01 PM   #86
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For a lifetime pass, another $70 won't break my bank account. It's still one of the best deals out there.
I agree Mike. It is still a few years until I'm eligible.
I could always pretend that they just raised the qualifying age to 63 and waived the $10 fee
The end result is the same...
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:53 PM   #87
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I'll be interested to see how this plays out. As mentioned above, the major change is not the cost of the pass but where the money will go. Looks like it will go to the National Park Foundation, not the Park Service. There will be "opportunities" for private entities to match collected funds and some funds will not be available unless they are matched. I don't know enough about the foundation and who controls it to say whether this will help the parks or not. I tend to be skeptical of the motivation of Congress, especially when they start mixing public money with private control. It may not be too much of a stretch to think we'll see "Great Smoky Mountains/Flying J National Park."
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:43 PM   #88
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At $10 The Senior Pass is a gift of respect to the parents of a nation grateful for the reciprocal gift of the parks themselves.
At $80 The Senior Pass becomes merely a discount rate offered to the patrons who will likely have the lowest impact. (A grudged token of obligation)
I would not bother to buy one at the new rate for a couple of reasons.
I live east of the Mississippi where there are only ten parks compared to 49 west of it.
The Jewel of the East " Great Smoky Mountains" still has free admission.
We can seldom afford the time or expense of an RV trip to the far West, where the vast majority of National Parks reside, so it would take many years to financially justify the purchase of the Pass.
It would be impossible of course to justify the purchase based on supporting the Park system, since every visit would show support and at a higher rate.
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:52 PM   #89
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I've found it useful at National Forests and historic sites as well. You also get the campground discount in Forest Service campgrounds and some hiking trails have parking lot fees.
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:56 PM   #90
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At $10 The Senior Pass is a gift of respect to the parents of a nation grateful for the reciprocal gift of the parks themselves.
At $80 The Senior Pass becomes merely a discount rate offered to the patrons who will likely have the lowest impact. (A grudged token of obligation)
I would not bother to buy one at the new rate for a couple of reasons.
I live east of the Mississippi where there are only ten parks compared to 49 west of it.
The Jewel of the East " Great Smoky Mountains" still has free admission.
We can seldom afford the time or expense of an RV trip to the far West, where the vast majority of National Parks reside, so it would take many years to financially justify the purchase of the Pass.
It would be impossible of course to justify the purchase based on supporting the Park system, since every visit would show support and at a higher rate.
Floyd,
We also use ours at National Forest Campgrounds. It's good for 50% off the nightly camping fee. We have purchased the pass every year for the last 5 years and have yet to "lose" money on it.
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:57 PM   #91
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Army Corps of Engineers parks also accept the Senior Pass, good for half price camping discount. My husband has one, so I don't need one; but they're not transferable, so for $10 I would not mind having my own, in case our situation changes.
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Old 01-04-2017, 05:03 AM   #92
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We also use ours at National Forest Campgrounds. It's good for 50% off the nightly camping fee. We have purchased the pass every year for the last 5 years and have yet to "lose" money on it.
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The senior pass is a one time purchase life time pass. I'm not sure what pass you are referring to?

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Army Corps of Engineers parks also accept the Senior Pass, good for half price camping discount. My husband has one, so I don't need one; but they're not transferable, so for $10 I would not mind having my own, in case our situation changes.
BLM Campgrounds too.

We both have passes. That way either one of us can pay. At National Parks they always ask for a driver's license along with the pass so only the pass owner can use it. While the west may have more parks, the east has numerous National Forests. National Forest Campgrounds are our favorite. Check in is typically quick ( self service), they are low cost ($5-$10 with the pass), and they tend to be well planned. Perfect for an overnight between destinations or a base to explore the area.

And Wisconsin has some very nice NFS Campgrounds.
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Old 01-04-2017, 09:26 AM   #93
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The house of Representatives passed new legislation yesterday to make it easier to sell our public lands. We can look for more development in and around parks. That may help park budgets.
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Old 01-04-2017, 09:32 AM   #94
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We no longer go to Wisconsin because of their fees. We used to go about every other year when our daughter lived there, but when we had to pay $5 more for a day pass than residents to go to a state park we decided no more. It was about $15 for the day if I remember correctly. Camping a whole lot more. They are a very anti-tourism state with their high fuel costs usually about 20 cents more than neighboring states and park fees. We can camp in a private park for half of a state park and have full hookups and security. That is what we did last year when we went through WI to see the USS Cobia Museum. In TN the state park entry fee was free when we went and camping was $25.
Our Wisconsin legislature has decided that State Parks will get no state funds and must be self-supporting through fees, etc. Its a libertarian dream and users get to pay more. Look for more of this nationally, e.g. senior pass increases, etc.
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:38 AM   #95
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Congress passed new legislation yesterday to make it easier to sell our public lands. We can look for more development in and around parks. That may help park budgets.
And this may help like in Alabama with the State parks being operated by private firms and run into the ground, all of the value extracted and then left in very poor shape, needing money for refurbishment.
Personally I am against selling public lands especially in or near our parks.
WE OWN THEM, not some corporations.
One function of government is to protect the value of these parks for the citizens.
As things go the parks up keep is probably a relatively low cost, but underutilized asset. (However from what I hear they can get pretty busy too so underutilized might not be correct).
Once sold there is no going back
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:56 AM   #96
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Selling off public lands is a one time gain and a lifetime loss.
We stayed in several Alabama State parks and the conditions were deplorable . Non functioning restrooms , roads in need of repair , unsafe drinking water , sewers that backed up , crumbling infrastructure etc. We paid for 5 nights in one Alabama SP but left after one night and suffered the financial loss. That SP was later sold off for penny's on the dollar and not for the benefit of the citizens of Alabama. It seems now days that corporate interest have the edge over public good and common sense !!.
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Old 01-04-2017, 12:05 PM   #97
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Selling off public lands is a one time gain and a lifetime loss.
We stayed in several Alabama State parks and the conditions were deplorable . Non functioning restrooms , roads in need of repair , unsafe drinking water , sewers that backed up , crumbling infrastructure etc. We paid for 5 nights in one Alabama SP but left after one night and suffered the financial loss. That SP was later sold off for penny's on the dollar and not for the benefit of the citizens of Alabama. It seems now days that corporate interest have the edge over public good and common sense !!.
EXACTLY!

I have seen it done and now the State of Alabama is getting ready to do it again.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:23 PM   #98
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The senior pass is a one time purchase life time pass. I'm not sure what pass you are referring to?
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I have the America The Beautiful Pass available from the same department as the senior pass. I believe they function the same, just different price points aimed at different demographics.
Here is the site: https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm
I didn't know that if you have a permanent disability the pass was free....
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Old 01-04-2017, 02:02 PM   #99
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"America The Beautiful" pass doesn't provide 50% discount at NPS, NFS, BLM and COE camp grounds.
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Old 01-04-2017, 02:37 PM   #100
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Sid, both the America the Beautiful pass and the Senior pass provide free admission to many federal properties. The latter also usually entitles the bearer to a fifty percent discount on camping fees.

We camped over thirty nights at Cape Hatteras National Seashore or Great Smoky Mountains National Park last year so, even though there's no entrance fee at either, it saved us well over $300.
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