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


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Old 12-03-2009, 01:30 PM   #1
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The Forest Service is proposing to reduce the discount provided to seniors and disabled citizens from 50% to 10% at Nat'l Forests Campgrounds.

Go to this site and submit your comment but please be polite and respectful in doing so. You may also contact your state elected officials and let them know your opinion of this proposed change.

Here is the link to the official notice. http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-28744.htm

There is a direct link to the comment page in the document. Or use this link:
http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/hom...900006480a60f36

If a campground fee is $16, with 50% discount, we would pay $8 as it is now. But if it goes to 10%, we would only get $1.60 off or we would have to pay $14.40.

I am AGAINST it for sure. It is to reduce the discount, not reduce the fee.
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:33 PM   #2
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Thank you for the heads-up, Adrian.

I just left a (very respectful) comment in my husband's name, as he is the one who holds the Senior Access card.
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Old 12-03-2009, 03:00 PM   #3
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I'm not against it, and here is why. When I had a young family and wanted to go camping, campground fees were an issue. Most of the seniors I saw in campgrounds had trailers and motorhomes and in some campgrounds are paying the same fees as the families with tents. I didn't see then and I don't see now that I'm approaching senior age why those with more money should get bigger discounts. Disabled, okay, but if there is a discount it ought to be based on income, not age. If the choice is higher fees for some to maintain a 50% discount for others, I'm against it.

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Old 12-03-2009, 03:30 PM   #4
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This is a copy of what i sent to them , feel free to copy and past what you like if any , or add something to make it your own words.. [ Please do not change The Forest Service is proposing changes to its directives
governing permits for operation of campground and related Granger-Thye
concessions (concessions with Government-owned improvements) on
National Forest System lands. please keep as is allow existing concessioners to continue operating under the
terms of their current permit. I don't think holders of Senior and Access
Passes and Golden Age and Golden Access Passports. can not afford the increase as every thing has gone up so much for the ones on a fixed income . thank you for letting me have a voice ]
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Old 12-03-2009, 03:36 PM   #5
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That's a good point, Bobbie. Some seniors are low-income, but then some young people are struggling too. It is hard to pull into a campground with a tent or small trailer (which is what you can afford), and then know that the seniors next to you in their million dollar rig and enjoying a nice retirement package from their job (the old fashioned kind, that you stayed in for years and who were generous) just got 50% off their site. Especially when it is a "public" (i.e. owned by all of us) campground.

If there is going to be a discount, it would be nice if it were for those who are just barely (or not quite) able to go camping, due to the cost.

Since the government already knows what people's financial situation is, it seems like there could be a discount card for the people who qualified for it. Obviously any system is open to some level of abuse (low income person who could make more but doesn't by choice, etc.), but you have to at least try to make it fair. This seems to like it would be more fair, if there is going to be any kind of discount program. And it would (still) include those seniors who were getting by on low incomes.

Thank you for posting about this, Adrain.

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Old 12-03-2009, 03:58 PM   #6
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I completely agree with Bobbie. I am in the middle as far as age goes. But be assured there will be an uproar over it, then they will all just go camp at Wallie World.



Now in no way do I think the senior discount issues are the real problem, but can't discuss that here. So, what ever happens we have to live with it.
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Old 12-03-2009, 04:38 PM   #7
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If you go and camp for two or three days, the added cost would be not so much of a burden. However, those of us retired persons on fixed income who are not rich and own little eggs to keep the price down, and wish to be on the road for extended lengths, would have their expenses nearly double.

It will probably prod us into selling our camper. Anyone want to buy an egg?
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:29 PM   #8
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Judith,

This is where an income or "net worth" basis for a discount would help people. In other words, those - such as yourself - who would be genuinely hurt by the full fee would still get a discount. And you wouldn't be giving up your discount just because other seniors (who could afford the full fees), were using it*.

Alternatively, since we're probably not going to influence the Feds to change on this, have you considered things like BLM/dispersed camping? I know there are also other "free" camping places that you can seek out. (That said, I will be sending in a comment, because I think it's good to "vote" on this.)

I hope you don't sell your egg just based on the Forest Service rules. That would be a real shame if you enjoy using it.

Raya

*Not that there's anything wrong in a legal sense with seniors who don't really need it taking the discount now, because they are going by the current rules.
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:56 PM   #9
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Judith,

This is where an income or "net worth" basis for a discount would help people. In other words, those - such as yourself - who would be genuinely hurt by the full fee would still get a discount. And you wouldn't be giving up your discount just because other seniors (who could afford the full fees), were using it*.

Alternatively, since we're probably not going to influence the Feds to change on this, have you considered things like BLM/dispersed camping? I know there are also other "free" camping places that you can seek out. (That said, I will be sending in a comment, because I think it's good to "vote" on this.)

I hope you don't sell your egg just based on the Forest Service rules. That would be a real shame if you enjoy using it.

Raya

*Not that there's anything wrong in a legal sense with seniors who don't really need it taking the discount now, because they are going by the current rules.
I think you are overestimating the number of seniors with the big rigs since they are the ones that stand out. The Nat. Forest Campgrounds and Nat. Seashore Campgrounds are a benefit to numerous seniors on a fixed income. We have paid taxes and into Social Security for over 50 years, and that on a teachers income. The income qualification will just result in more government employees and even higher fees.
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:03 PM   #10
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Hi Eric,

Sorry if I wasn't clear. It's funny how I can read something I wrote, and it seems so obvious to me, but then.... proves not to be!

I want seniors who need the discount to get it. The current plan just takes it away from everyone, when perhaps if it were only given to those who genuinely need it, there would be enough to go around. This means that someone like you, who has a genuine need due to a low income/net worth, would (still) get a sizable discount.

But now, because all seniors are getting it, regardless of need, it's a larger amount of money to fund the program, and so they are proposing cutting it altogether (down to 10%). At least this is how I interpret it.

I'm not in favor of a big bureaucratic program; but likewise, I don't want to see seniors who can afford to go camping use the money that would otherwise be available to those who can't. There could be a good way to accomplish it (at least we do not know that there isn't).

So, in summary, I would like the program to be need-based, so that people such as you can still go camping.

Raya

PS: In the interest of not totally hogging the thread, I'll head off to other thread pastures. It's an interesting topic though.
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:52 PM   #11
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I don't see this as a NEED based issue, I see as a RESPECT based issue.
I guess that is a totally foriegn idea to a large portion of a changing population.

I was raised to show respect for all of my elders without concern for which individual deserved it, because my behavior and attitude reflects on me, and who I am, more than on those with whom I interact.
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Old 12-03-2009, 07:04 PM   #12
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"Disabled, okay"

Bobbie;
With all due respect , you stated that senior discounts should be need based, because some of them are wealthy. Are you of the belief that all disabled persons are poor?
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Old 12-03-2009, 07:40 PM   #13
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"Disabled, okay"

Bobbie;
With all due respect , you stated that senior discounts should be need based, because some of them are wealthy. Are you of the belief that all disabled persons are poor?
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.

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Old 12-03-2009, 08:02 PM   #14
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I don't see this as a NEED based issue, I see as a RESPECT based issue.
I guess that is a totally foriegn idea to a large portion of a changing population.

I was raised to show respect for all of my elders without concern for which individual deserved it, because my behavior and attitude reflects on me, and who I am, more than on those with whom I interact.
EPH-6:2
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.

On edit
[b]From what I can tell, attendance is down and the real worry is for the concessionaires bottom line. They bid the contracts and have know for many years about the senior discount, so why is this coming up? I encourage everyone to read the proposal.
Maybe we need just to go back to the "iron ranger"
My two cents worth
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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.

Quote:
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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