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Thread: New WMNF Policy For Trail Adopters

  1. #1
    Senior Member RollingRock's Avatar
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    New WMNF Policy For Trail Adopters

    Our group does trail maintenance because we want to give back. The WMNF policy has always been that they will provide a free parking pass after 16 hours of work. It's a nice bonus...it's not something we do trail maintenance for...but it's a nice gesture.

    The new policy is that people must do 16 hours of trail maintenance within the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) runs from October 1, 20XX through September 30, 20XX. You cannot carry over hours worked from the previous year to the next. Since we perform trail maintenance once a year, about 8 hours worth, that basically means none of us will get a parking pass again.

    It's not going to deter us from performing trail maintenance, but the parking pass is basically the only thing the Forest Service does to reward trail adopters. They don't even send a thank you note.
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    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    Looks like those who do a spring and fall run will need to hit the fall cleanup before 9/30 in order to count for the year.

    I put Ammo Ravine back up for adoption after 7 years, but I did get a few (at least one) USFS card from Jennie B. thanking me. It came with the parking pass. Bruce was certainly appreciative as well. I was putting in 5-6 days a year so hours were not an issue.

    I hope it doesn't impact volunteers. It's a small gesture that doesn't cover the cost of your gasoline, but sometimes the gesture is everything. The "thank you" card was certainly appreciated.

    Thanks to all the volunteers.
    Humankind has not woven the web of life.
    We are but one thread within it.
    Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
    All things are bound together.
    All things connect.
    ~ Chief Seattle, 1854 ~

  3. #3
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollingRock View Post
    Our group does trail maintenance because we want to give back. The WMNF policy has always been that they will provide a free parking pass after 16 hours of work. It's a nice bonus...it's not something we do trail maintenance for...but it's a nice gesture.

    The new policy is that people must do 16 hours of trail maintenance within the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) runs from October 1, 20XX through September 30, 20XX. You cannot carry over hours worked from the previous year to the next. Since we perform trail maintenance once a year, about 8 hours worth, that basically means none of us will get a parking pass again.

    It's not going to deter us from performing trail maintenance, but the parking pass is basically the only thing the Forest Service does to reward trail adopters. They don't even send a thank you note.
    Link? Your use of 'year' is ambiguous.
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    Junior Member Salty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven View Post
    Looks like those who do a spring and fall run will need to hit the fall cleanup before 9/30 in order to count for the year.
    Actually, I would presume that to mean you can't carry over from fiscal year to fiscal year, so if you do 8 hours of maintenance of 10/1, then again in, say, April, in April you'd qualify for the pass.

    Link? Your use of 'year' is ambiguous.
    Every fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30, so throw in any number you like in place of the X's.

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salty View Post
    Actually, I would presume that to mean you can't carry over from fiscal year to fiscal year, so if you do 8 hours of maintenance of 10/1, then again in, say, April, in April you'd qualify for the pass.


    Every fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30, so throw in any number you like in place of the X's.
    That is what I would expect as well, but the OP's conclusion doesn't follow that. If you do work in the fall and then the spring it's all in the same fiscal year.

    I don't bother to claim the parking pass either, so this doesn't really affect me. I'm happy to volunteer, and my benefit is from the volunteer work of others.
    | 62.2% W48: 19/48
    Trail Adopter of the Guinea Pond Trail (Pemi District)

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    Senior Member nartreb's Avatar
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    I was a little confused by the initial post at first.

    What RollingRock is saying is that the system changed from "get a parking pass after 16 hours, even if it takes years to accumulate those hours", to "get a parking pass if you do 16 hours within one fiscal year."

    He is NOT saying that the difference between fiscal and calendar years is a problem. Though as Raven points out, there may be some people fewer than 16 hours already "banked" who will want to keep the fiscal year-end date in mind so as not to waste those hours.

  7. #7
    Senior Member RollingRock's Avatar
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    To clarify, I've been tracking who has been helping out for many years. I had someone who did 8 hours in 2014 and did another 8 hours in June 2018 but because of new rules, he cannot get a parking pass. Then again, three us did 8 hours in December 2017 and another 8 hours in June of this year so we will get a parking pass because we fell within the fiscal year.

    When I first started, the Forest Service began having a poster at all the trailheads recognizing who adopted a certain trail...no longer. They also sent a thank you note with the mailing of the parking pass...last year all I received was the parking pass. And now they are making the rules stricter for volunteers to obtain a parking pass. It seems that they keep pulling back...not the right direction to be going in if you are heavily dependent on volunteerism.
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    Sounds like volunteering really means volunteering. Govt needs every dime they can get.

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    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    How long is the parking pass good for? If its tied to the calendar year instead of the following fiscal year it can really shortchange someone who finishes the 16 hrs. in Sept.

    Thanks to all who do trail maintenance and you can park in my driveway if that helps ... but it's over 100 miles away ... but I have a good choice of bourbon and tequila.

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    Funny, most of the trail maintainers I know just buy the parking pass even though they put in far more hours than needed. Not sure with the new tax laws but it was explained to me that I could deduct the charitable tax rate of $0.14 cents per mile to drive back and forth to my AT boundary section. I don't itemize so I couldn't not take it. MATC also asks me to supply how many hours of driving to get to and from the trailhead as it counts towards their "hours in kind" that they usually have to contribute to get a federal match.

  11. #11
    Senior Member psmart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    How long is the parking pass good for? If its tied to the calendar year instead of the following fiscal year it can really shortchange someone who finishes the 16 hrs. in Sept.
    The pass is good for 12 months from when it is issued. They cut out a notch for the month so it's visible from either side.

  12. #12
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollingRock View Post
    To clarify, I've been tracking who has been helping out for many years. I had someone who did 8 hours in 2014 and did another 8 hours in June 2018 but because of new rules, he cannot get a parking pass. Then again, three us did 8 hours in December 2017 and another 8 hours in June of this year so we will get a parking pass because we fell within the fiscal year.

    When I first started, the Forest Service began having a poster at all the trailheads recognizing who adopted a certain trail...no longer. They also sent a thank you note with the mailing of the parking pass...last year all I received was the parking pass. And now they are making the rules stricter for volunteers to obtain a parking pass. It seems that they keep pulling back...not the right direction to be going in if you are heavily dependent on volunteerism.
    I am not sure this is a new rule, as this was my understanding when I started volunteering 4 years ago
    | 62.2% W48: 19/48
    Trail Adopter of the Guinea Pond Trail (Pemi District)

  13. #13
    Senior Member RollingRock's Avatar
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    I've been submitting names for my 10+ helpers for the past ten years, and the Forest Service always accepted my submission for my helpers for the parking pass who worked intermittently from year to year. If you are working solo it's probably not obvious to you.

    A previous post you have not requested a parking pass so if you have not tested the rule, how would you know?
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  14. #14
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollingRock View Post
    I've been submitting names for my 10+ helpers for the past ten years, and the Forest Service always accepted my submission for my helpers for the parking pass who worked intermittently from year to year. If you are working solo it's probably not obvious to you.

    A previous post you have not requested a parking pass so if you have not tested the rule, how would you know?
    I believe it's because I asked at my first training in 2014. As some might have noted, I am into semantics, so where there is ambiguous language I tend to ask questions. I was told that the 16 hours were for the season and they included travel. Using the fiscal year is a change from my understanding. Also, to be clear I use the phrase 'my understanding' to be significantly less weighted than 'I know for a fact', so I leaving room for misunderstandings and miscommunications in my working knowledge of things.
    | 62.2% W48: 19/48
    Trail Adopter of the Guinea Pond Trail (Pemi District)

  15. #15
    Senior Member RollingRock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    I believe it's because I asked at my first training in 2014. As some might have noted, I am into semantics, so where there is ambiguous language I tend to ask questions. I was told that the 16 hours were for the season and they included travel. Using the fiscal year is a change from my understanding. Also, to be clear I use the phrase 'my understanding' to be significantly less weighted than 'I know for a fact', so I leaving room for misunderstandings and miscommunications in my working knowledge of things.
    Regarding the policy change, I know for a fact.
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