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Old 10-27-2017, 06:31 AM   #21
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If National Parks are no different than any other product or service, then why have them? Are they equal to a carpet cleaning business? Are they equal to a for profit amusement park?

Or, who owns them? Pay for the "privilege" of visiting our own land? Do you pay to visit your property? Are parks "consumed" like gasoline?

The idea is that they are areas too precious to allow to be destroyed. They are recognized and formed by national proclamation. That carries responsibility to care for them on a national level.

I see the need for some maintenance charges to be passed along to users, but not at a level that inhibits use. Or such that it allows a politician to claim he's doing something about the deficit. In other words, using the parks for personal career enhancement while making it harder for millions of people to enjoy them.

Pay to play misses the point entirely. Pay who? Who can tell me I have to pay to play on my land? Or you on yours? Maybe we should just allow the oil companies to pay to play and drill, or the lumber companies to pay to play and then clear cut. That is, if the parks are just there to "consume".

If raising the fees is a good thing, then maybe raising them more would even be better. Why not raise them to $1,000. per visit? Where is the point where a good raise becomes a bad raise? What guarantees are in place to make sure the money goes to enhance the parks in some way?

I've visited the parks all my life and I've seen a steady increase in rules enforcement, some rangers acting like hard nosed police, areas and roads being locked away or closed off, camps moved farther away from the points of interest and historic sites being kept off limits for bogus reasons. I've seen historic equipment and artifacts bulldozed into pits and covered up. I've seen the equivalent of a swat team show up in Humvees 60 miles out in the desert at a hot springs checking for expired license plates and dogs off leash.
Maybe the increases will be used to tighten the restrictions on visiting our parks.
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Old 10-27-2017, 07:13 AM   #22
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Below is the wording of the proposed increase from the NPS website. Since there are options to "get more bang for the buck" by purchasing other types of passes, I would be in favor of this fee increase proposal. Remember, it's only for 17 parks during their peak 5 month seasons. Also, since it is for private, non-commercial vehicles and travelers, I would further propose that those large tour buses should have fees raised per person rather than as a single vehicle.

Here is the official language:

During the peak season at each park, the entrance fee would be $70 per private, non-commercial vehicle, $50 per motorcycle, and $30 per person on bike or foot. A park-specific annual pass for any of the 17 parks would be available for $75.

The cost of the annual America the Beautiful- The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, which provides entrance to all federal lands, including parks for a one-year period, would remain $80. Entrance fees are not charged to visitors under 16 years of age or holders of Senior, Military, Access, Volunteer, or Every Kid in a Park (EKIP) passes. The majority of national parks will remain free to enter; only 118 of 417 park sites charge an entrance fee, and the current proposal only raises fees at 17 fee-charging parks.
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Old 10-27-2017, 07:39 AM   #23
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.

I've visited the parks all my life and I've seen a steady increase in rules enforcement, some rangers acting like hard nosed police, areas and roads being locked away or closed off, camps moved farther away from the points of interest and historic sites being kept off limits for bogus reasons. I've seen historic equipment and artifacts bulldozed into pits and covered up. I've seen the equivalent of a swat team show up in Humvees 60 miles out in the desert at a hot springs checking for expired license plates and dogs off leash.
.

Then there's the National Parks Service, 10000 signs telling you what you can't do and not one sign saying welcome, we're glad you're here. Like it or not, they are in the hospitality business.
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Old 10-27-2017, 07:54 AM   #24
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Who can tell me I have to pay to play on my land?
You DO pay to play on your own land. Property taxes and the expense to maintain it. There's no such thing as a free lunch, even if you THINK you own it.
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Old 10-27-2017, 07:57 AM   #25
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Sorry, but the current "Conservative" climate does not conserve anything but the wealth of the advantaged and the rest of us can just go pound sand.
Parks exist to be mined and exploited, evidently.
I apologize if my opinions differ from others, but there you are
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:07 AM   #26
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Below is the wording of the proposed increase from the NPS website. Since there are options to "get more bang for the buck" by purchasing other types of passes, I would be in favor of this fee increase proposal. Remember, it's only for 17 parks during their peak 5 month seasons. Also, since it is for private, non-commercial vehicles and travelers, I would further propose that those large tour buses should have fees raised per person rather than as a single vehicle.

Here is the official language:

During the peak season at each park, the entrance fee would be $70 per private, non-commercial vehicle, $50 per motorcycle, and $30 per person on bike or foot. A park-specific annual pass for any of the 17 parks would be available for $75.

The cost of the annual America the Beautiful- The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, which provides entrance to all federal lands, including parks for a one-year period, would remain $80. Entrance fees are not charged to visitors under 16 years of age or holders of Senior, Military, Access, Volunteer, or Every Kid in a Park (EKIP) passes. The majority of national parks will remain free to enter; only 118 of 417 park sites charge an entrance fee, and the current proposal only raises fees at 17 fee-charging parks.
I love it! I wouldn't dream of trying to visit the Grand Canyon during peak summer season anyway! Seems like a great idea to encourage off-peak visits. As more and more schools go to non-traditional calendars, it's becoming more feasible for families to travel off-peak.

Don't tour busses already pay the per-person rate? I'd be in favor of giving hikers and bicyclists a break, though. Let's also encourage low-impact transportation.
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:10 AM   #27
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You DO pay to play on your own land. Property taxes and the expense to maintain it. There's no such thing as a free lunch, even if you THINK you own it.
No. I don't get charged an entrance fee every time I drive onto my place and my property has no national interest to be preserved for all future generations. It's completely different. I'm happy to share the cost of National Parks by paying taxes for that purpose. Only charging the users of parks would mean they have no national value. If they have no national value they can be exploited for profit and ruined. Excessive fees discourage use and the fees can go to any purpose, related to parks or not.
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:15 AM   #28
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Sorry, but the current "Conservative" climate does not conserve anything but the wealth of the advantaged and the rest of us can just go pound sand.
Parks exist to be mined and exploited, evidently.
I apologize if my opinions differ from others, but there you are
As the Governor of Wisconsin so eloquently put it
" It is not the responsibility of government to provide recreational opportunities for it citizens "
He was giving a speech on privatizing or selling off the state parks and wildlife areas .
We all know that the 1% has been treated unfairly and needs more government incentives and profit opportunities.
We in Wisconsin soon may have to purchase a $35 park sticker /pass for the privilege of walking / hiking / hunting on unimproved state forest land / wilderness .
Taking photos of the flora and fauna costs extra
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:27 AM   #29
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I love it! I wouldn't dream of trying to visit the Grand Canyon during peak summer season anyway! Seems like a great idea to encourage off-peak visits. As more and more schools go to non-traditional calendars, it's becoming more feasible for families to travel off-peak.
It seems you are already helping to control the crowds by visiting off peak, and you didn't even have to be charged extra to do it. With limited campsites, the reservation system regulates how many can stay in many parks, so the extra fees aren't needed for that. I don't know how much day visitors impact the cost of running the places. Off peak visits are the best for me too, as I don't seek out crowds, but a lot of beautiful places are closed all winter because of snow. October is one of the best months to travel because the weather is nice and school in open. Last season in the Sierras, there was so much snow that the season started late.
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Old 10-27-2017, 09:11 AM   #30
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Why would it cost billions to keep something natural?
Where I live they will fine me if I let my yard return to nature, then the government will charge multiple times a fair rate to mow.
By definition, if nature cain't take care of itself it ain't natural

If you really want to destroy our national park system, make it impossible for the public to visit them through excessive fees and restrictions, then watch funding dry up when the public has forgotten them.
A day's wages for a day's visit to the park?
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Old 10-27-2017, 09:27 AM   #31
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Isn't the entrance fee good for something like 7 days? So it's actually a day's work (at minimum wage) for a week's visit for the whole family. If you want to visit for only one day, that's your choice, but you're really missing the point of visiting a national park.

Park accommodations do not limit access because the large majority of visitors do not sleep inside the park. There is no limit to the number of rooms and campsites that can be developed outside park boundaries. I have only observed Grand Canyon NP closely, but I'd say day visitors are a huge impact.
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Old 10-27-2017, 09:39 AM   #32
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A few years back there was a fee increase on the toll roads around Chicago. They doubled. Put that way it seems bad. They went up 40 cents. Doesn't sound to bad. When was the last increase to the park fees? How much? Are they worth what the fee is? These are the points that should form the discussion. Is the money needed? Will it be used properly? Whether it is from taxes, fees, or non-profits raising money, the real question should be are we willing to maintain the parks as they need to be maintained. If the general public is not willing (by who they place in office at election time) then those who value them will still be the ones who will work to maintain them.
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Old 10-27-2017, 09:48 AM   #33
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Park Fees

There is two ways to pay for your enjoyment. 1.Pay yourself. 2. Take money by force (tax) from someone else. Do not steal is a good rule.
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Old 10-27-2017, 09:53 AM   #34
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Good input and discussion. I have a few comments. Consider this: Should Pebble Beach golf course on the ocean of N. California be purchased and designated a National treasure and available for all, free of charge? It would be misused and ruined. What percentage of the US population use our National Parks? 100%? No. 50%? I doubt it but I don't know. Why should the National Parks be made free, supported by taxes to all?

I believe there should be national funding for the parks and they are national treasures. However, I think the users should pay a significant portion of the maintenance. I don't think they should be free to the public, paid by public funds, as they are not used by everyone.
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Old 10-27-2017, 10:02 AM   #35
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I believe there should be national funding for the parks and they are national treasures. However, I think the users should pay a significant portion of the maintenance. I don't think they should be free to the public, paid by public funds, as they are not used by everyone.
When's the last time you used an aircraft carrier?
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Old 10-27-2017, 10:06 AM   #36
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When's the last time you used an aircraft carrier?
When I went on the Yorktown in Charleston

Another way to think about that is to say -- every day -- I use them to sleep without worry of another 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, etc.

National Defense is an every second thing.
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Old 10-27-2017, 10:13 AM   #37
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I believe there should be national funding for the parks and they are national treasures. However, I think the users should pay a significant portion of the maintenance. I don't think they should be free to the public, paid by public funds, as they are not used by everyone.
So I don't have any children. Why should I have to pay for schools since I am not using them? I don't drive over the Brooklyn Bridge so why should my taxes go towards maintaining it? Ad nauseum!
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Old 10-27-2017, 10:15 AM   #38
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. When was the last increase to the park fees? How much? .
We spend alot of time in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. We bought our first RV in 2004. At that time a campsite was $20/ night. Fishing was free as was driving on the beach. Climbing the lighthouse was also free. The campground fee was the only source of revenue. Today camping is $28/ nightat 3 of the 4 campgrounds. A drive on the beach will cost you $50-$120 for a permit. Climb a light house $8-$10. A state fishing license $12 for 10 days. The ferry between Hatteras and Ocracoke is still free for now.

Two years ago Colter Bay campground was $20/ night. This fall it was $30.
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Old 10-27-2017, 10:31 AM   #39
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Why are the people who complain the most about taxes and want the government out of their lives , the same people who expect the Federal Government and FEMA to rescue them everytime they experience some bad weather ?
I don't live in a hurricane zone so why should I pay for those who chose to live near the Ocean.
I was taught that charity is a virtue , helping others is the right thing to do and being selfish and self centered is wrong.
Unfortunately the "What's in it for me crowd " is prevailing
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Old 10-27-2017, 10:52 AM   #40
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O lets cut this out now.
We have gone from cost of and support of national parks to Gimmedats.
This is a discussion for the weirdo blogs now
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