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View Full Version : NH Proposes Fee If People Need To Be Rescued



grouseking
12-16-2012, 05:04 PM
http://www.wmur.com/news/nh-news/Hikers-rescued-in-NH-would-pay-a-fee-under-bill/-/9857858/17796880/-/item/0/-/uh2osn/-/index.html

The fee could run somewhere between 350 and 1000 bucks. Honestly, I think it is a good idea, esp if you are being a dumb hiker and aren't prepared. In the article, one rescuer said that he hasn't been able to replace his gear in 8 yrs because they cannot afford it, and adding this bill could aid with that. If you ask me, thats reason enough right there, because if gear fails, the hiker won't be the only one needing rescue.

What do you all think?

Kevin Rooney
12-16-2012, 05:28 PM
I don't have a problem with purchasing a "get out of jail free card", so long as it's reasonable in cost.

This has probably been covered before, but ... does the rescue insurance provided by the American Alpine Club cover rescues in NH?

grouseking
12-16-2012, 05:47 PM
Maybe Tim or Alan can change the above URL, but the article actually starts here (http://www.wmur.com/news/nh-news/Hikers-rescued-in-NH-would-pay-a-fee-under-bill/-/9857858/17796880/-/item/0/-/uh2osn/-/index.html).

I don't have a problem with purchasing a "get out of jail free card", so long as it's reasonable in cost.

This has probably been covered before, but ... does the rescue insurance provided by the American Alpine Club cover rescues in NH?

Whoops, fixed. Thanks.

Yeah I'm not really sure about any of that. Actually I'm pertty uninformed by the whole thing. I just know that if I was to get rescued, I would want the rescuers to have good gear. If the costs go to that, then I am all for it. It would be interesting to hear the other sides...as I am sure there are plenty. :)

MichaelJ
12-16-2012, 05:49 PM
Two things in this article that stood out to me:


The attorney general's office gets half of anything (Fish & Game) collects (for a rescue due to negligence).
This is news to me. I was not aware of this.


A policy change in 2011 by the National Guard Bureau in Washington that directed the New Hampshire National Guard to recover its costs for participating in the missions.
This is also news to me, I didn't know about this policy change. Previously the use of the Blackhawk was covered as training.

Tim Seaver
12-16-2012, 10:26 PM
From the linked article:

"(Fish and Game Maj. Kevin) Jordan said he does not understand resistance to charging for rescues since the hikers carried off the mountains are met by an ambulance that charges them as does the hospital they are taken to."

Really? Maj. Jordan has never heard the position of the Mountain Rescue Service on charging for rescue, even in the wake of the Scott Mason case in NH, after which the MRS re-affirmed their position on charging for rescue (http://www.mra.org/images/stories/docs/MRAChargePosition.pdf), based on the behavior of NH F&G? He has never heard the same from other rescue personnel in NH?

Mr. Jordan must have a very short memory or simply isn't being honest.

RoySwkr
12-17-2012, 09:41 AM
> the attorney general's office gets half of anything it collects.

Hmm, I thought they were supposed to provide an independent review but looks like they may have a bias :-)

That needs to be changed

> The cost of some rescues also has gone up due to a policy change in 2011 by the National Guard
> Bureau in Washington that directed the New Hampshire National Guard to recover its costs for participating in the missions.

Wonder what DART would charge, and they will bill insurers

Carrying out by hand may be cheaper but will put a lot more stress on both victims and rescuers

> Jordan said he does not understand resistance to charging for rescues since the hikers carried
> off the mountains are met by an ambulance that charges them as does the hospital they are taken to.

Then the bill should include language requiring health insurers to pay the rescue bill

What about lost hikers that aren't injured?

erugs
12-17-2012, 10:13 AM
> the attorney general's office gets half of anything it collects.

Hmm, I thought they were supposed to provide an independent review but looks like they may have a bias :-)



Did anyone else notice how this fall there were a lot of stories about rescues in the mountains printed by the Union Leader? And now there isn't much. I think there was a push to the press for a while, but now the press has let the issue drop.

sardog1
12-17-2012, 11:49 AM
This has probably been covered before, but ... does the rescue insurance provided by the American Alpine Club cover rescues in NH?

Ahh, it must be winter – the undead Count of Transylvania (aka "rescue insurance from the AAC") rises anew from his coffin. And is pierced through the heart, yet again, with this response from 2008. So far as I know from checking this earlier this year, the linked analysis still applies:

It's NOT rescue insurance from the AAC (http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?20832-Lots-of-Rescues-Taking-Stock&p=221873&viewfull=1#post221873).

;)

Highcomm
12-17-2012, 04:15 PM
http://www.wmur.com/news/nh-news/Hikers-rescued-in-NH-would-pay-a-fee-under-bill/-/9857858/17796880/-/item/0/-/uh2osn/-/index.html

The fee could run somewhere between 350 and 1000 bucks. Honestly, I think it is a good idea, esp if you are being a dumb hiker and aren't prepared. In the article, one rescuer said that he hasn't been able to replace his gear in 8 yrs because they cannot afford it, and adding this bill could aid with that. If you ask me, thats reason enough right there, because if gear fails, the hiker won't be the only one needing rescue.

What do you all think?

I belong to a mountaineering blog out of Colorado. They had a string of posts once about how crazy it is in the east that people are charged for being rescued. Interesting regional difference of opinion.

Tom_Murphy
12-17-2012, 05:11 PM
I belong to a mountaineering blog out of Colorado. They had a string of posts once about how crazy it is in the east that people are charged for being rescued. Interesting regional difference of opinion.

Many of us here in New England also feel that rescues should not be charged; for a variety of reasons.

However, one of the many things that complicates the discussion is that the NH Fish & Game has responsibility for S&R but does not have adequate funding. Also the funding mechanism that does exist draws its revenue from "non-hiking groups" hunters, fishermen, etc. NH has a history of fee for service that is percieved as being the fair way to distribute the cost of government.

I am sure I am doing a disservice to all sides with that brief summary but it is either that OR referring you back the many existing VFTT threads on this topic.

Highcomm
12-17-2012, 08:20 PM
Many of us here in New England also feel that rescues should not be charged; for a variety of reasons.

However, one of the many things that complicates the discussion is that the NH Fish & Game has responsibility for S&R but does not have adequate funding. Also the funding mechanism that does exist draws its revenue from "non-hiking groups" hunters, fishermen, etc. NH has a history of fee for service that is percieved as being the fair way to distribute the cost of government.

I am sure I am doing a disservice to all sides with that brief summary but it is either that OR referring you back the many existing VFTT threads on this topic.


The interesting thing is that NH promotes people coming to its state to hike and enjoy the outdoors. They need to expect that every now and then one of these tourists is going to do something stupid like get hurt or get lost while in the outdoors. I understand the political culture in NH. Not complaining about it but it seems a little difficult to understand sometimes. That said, I will do my best to never get hurt or get lost while hiking in that state.

Red Oak
12-18-2012, 05:41 AM
The interesting thing is that NH promotes people coming to its state to hike and enjoy the outdoors. They need to expect that every now and then one of these tourists is going to do something stupid like get hurt or get lost while in the outdoors. I understand the political culture in NH. SEveral threads regarding your first two sentences already on this forum.Glad you get the political culture in nh,I do not!
Nh is really a tale of two states.Southern nh is awash in Boston commuter money with all the benefits such as unchecked growth and traffic hell,while the northern section struggles with depopulation and lack of jobs.Never talk politics while in northern nh or maine!!

roadtripper
12-18-2012, 12:29 PM
If they charged a fee like that, then I would literally crawl my way out if I got injured. I would tell my family to try to sue the state if I died because charging a fee for getting injured is ridiculous (unless negligence is involved).

Tourism is NH's 2nd or 3rd biggest industry (NPR says it is #3). According to one report I read, tourism in NH contributes 4.6 billion to the NH economy each year.

Shame on NH for not directing some of the general funds to support activity of its 2nd or 3rd biggest industry.

DougPaul
12-18-2012, 02:02 PM
Ahh, it must be winter – the undead Count of Transylvania (aka "rescue insurance from the AAC") rises anew from his coffin. And is pierced through the heart, yet again, with this response from 2008. So far as I know from checking this earlier this year, the linked analysis still applies:

It's NOT rescue insurance from the AAC (http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?20832-Lots-of-Rescues-Taking-Stock&p=221873&viewfull=1#post221873).

;)
The AAC rescue insurance has been increased recently--your old opinion might be out of date.

Doug

weatherman
12-18-2012, 03:22 PM
I belong to a mountaineering blog out of Colorado. They had a string of posts once about how crazy it is in the east that people are charged for being rescued. Interesting regional difference of opinion.

One thing I like about having moved to CO is that people who use the backcountry seem to get along with one another pretty darn well, regardless of activity (the skier-snowboarder thing notwithstanding :)). The Search and Rescue Fund is funded by licenses to hunt, fish, use off road vehicles, register anything big you might use in the backcountry (like a boat), and, for those of us like me who don't do any of the above, voluntary SAR cards that you can buy for cheap. From my reading of the regs, if you get rescued and have a card, the Sheriff's office in wherever you get stuck can be reimbursed by the fund for the costs of your rescue. If you don't have a card, you'll of course be rescued anyway, but it's a really nice thing to do. Charging people for rescue would just not seem right, for a million reasons.

I can't easily find data on how well the fund works, but it's good to have, and I haven't heard complaints from people who hunt and fish about those who don't taking advantage of the system. Most people do more than one thing anyway.

TJ aka Teej
12-18-2012, 03:51 PM
"for a rescue due to negligence"

Who will be decide what that means?

David Metsky
12-18-2012, 04:10 PM
"for a rescue due to negligence"

Who will be decide what that means?
Probably the same folks who decide now.

Tim Seaver
12-18-2012, 04:28 PM
"for a rescue due to negligence"

Who will be decide what that means?

The same people who get the funds from a "yes they were negligent" decision, no? Which also cannot be challenged, if I remember correctly. Not exactly a Kangaroo Court, but it's a pretty huge conflict of interest to ignore IMHO.

Maddy
12-18-2012, 05:15 PM
I carry my gear to spend a night out but I do go solo with my dog.
If solo hiking is being negligent so be it. I will pay up and be grateful someone was willing to save my sorry bacon.

They have the hike safe protocol carefully spelled out. I suppose if that's what they go by and we wish to do our own thing, we will be deemed negligent in the "hikers court". It's like driving. The speed limit is non negotiable.

I don't like having to pay and would rather have insurance. We pay an ambulance fee here in town and it's not cheap.
We are having to pay for recycling bags which are mandatory. It's the way of the world. They all need funds to carry on.

I spend most of my time in MA an VT to save on gas. Didn't someone die of hypothermia on a trail in VT ? last year when they could not decided who was responsible for doing rescues? I think we discussed it. I have a PLB so I will be much more difficult to ignore.

sardog1
12-18-2012, 05:51 PM
The same people who get the funds from a "yes they were negligent" decision, no? Which also cannot be challenged, if I remember correctly. Not exactly a Kangaroo Court, but it's a pretty huge conflict of interest to ignore IMHO.

The decision to collect the funds would be subject to judicial review by a New Hampshire court. In fact, Fish and Game has no authority even to seize property or garnish any account or wages to collect the amount. The Attorney General would have to sue the party in question.

sardog1
12-18-2012, 06:05 PM
The AAC rescue insurance has been increased recently--your old opinion might be out of date.

Doug

It's STILL not "rescue insurance" beyond some health and accident benefits and a possiible helicopter evac under specified conditions: Adventure Advocates Accident Insurance Protection (http://www.adventureadvocates.com/member-benefits/accident-insurance-protection)

Tim Seaver
12-18-2012, 07:04 PM
The decision to collect the funds would be subject to judicial review by a New Hampshire court. In fact, Fish and Game has no authority even to seize property or garnish any account or wages to collect the amount. The Attorney General would have to sue the party in question.

Thanks for that correction. Do you have any links for more reading on the process?

EDIT: All I can find is this:


What is the process for determining if a rescued person is billed? (http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Law_Enforcement/sar_funding_FAQs.html)

All Search and Rescue Missions go through a review process involving guidelines established by the Attorney General's Office. That review process involves the mission's supervisor, the N.H. Fish and Game Department Administration, and lastly a review by the N.H. Attorney General's Office for a final concurrence. All cases are unique and not all will get billed.

It still sounds like the F&G is making the call, and just sending it through for approval. Shouldn't those "guidelines" be public?

bikehikeskifish
12-18-2012, 07:20 PM
You might try NH RSA206:26, especially XII and bb of http://gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/xviii/206/206-mrg.htm which references

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XII/153-A/153-A-24.htm - liability for negligence
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/X/126-A/126-A-20.htm - NH state assisted living
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XI/151/151-7.htm - NH state assisted hospital
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XXI/263/263-56.htm - driver's license suspension

As a parenthetical remark, all that is really new this time around is the sliding-scale fee, which I know had been discussed last year at this time - I heard about the idea personally from our resident hiker and NH state senator Jeb Bradley.

Tim

Tim Seaver
12-18-2012, 07:33 PM
Thanks, Tim. All I could find so far, using "rescue" as a search term, was this, but nothing on how negligence is determined other than stating that F&G determines it:


Section 206:26-bb
206:26-bb Search and Rescue Response Expenses; Recovery. –
I. Notwithstanding RSA 153-A:24, any person determined by the department to have acted negligently in requiring a search and rescue response by the department shall be liable to the department for the reasonable cost of the department's expenses for such search and rescue response. The executive director shall bill the responsible person for such costs. Payment shall be made to the department within 30 days after the receipt of the bill, or by some other date determined by the executive director. If any person shall fail or refuse to pay the costs by the required date, the department may pursue payment by legal action, or by settlement or compromise, and the responsible person shall be liable for interest from the date that the bill is due and for legal fees and costs incurred by the department in obtaining and enforcing judgment under this paragraph. All amounts recovered, less the costs of collection and any percentage due pursuant to RSA 7:15-a, IV(b), shall be paid into the fish and game search and rescue fund established in RSA 206:42.
II. If any person fails to make payment under paragraph I, the executive director of the fish and game department may:
(a) Order any license, permit, or tag issued by the fish and game department to be suspended or revoked, after due hearing.
(b) Notify the commissioner of the department of health and human services of such nonpayment. The nonpayment shall constitute cause for revocation of any license or certification issued by the commissioner pursuant to RSA 126-A:20 and RSA 151:7.
(c) Notify the director of motor vehicles of such nonpayment and request suspension of the person's driver's license pursuant to RSA 263:56.

Source. 2008, 167:2, eff. June 6, 2008.

bikehikeskifish
12-18-2012, 07:40 PM
... but nothing on how negligence is determined other than stating that F&G determines it:

I though it was that oddly-name official - "A. Reasonable Person" :)

The definition of negligence has long been a sticking point for me.

What is ambiguous in this article is whether or not the state will charge $350-$1000 for ALL rescues, negligent or not. If they only include the ones currently billable, then they are going to have an even harder time recovering costs. The article includes a one-liner:

The state does not bill for rescues if an investigation finds no negligence.

but that appears after the bit on the original 2008 law. The comments attributed to Jeb Bradley seem to be targeted at unprepared people... but it is still being drafted.

Tim

sardog1
12-18-2012, 08:28 PM
Thanks, Tim. All I could find so far, using "rescue" as a search term, was this, but nothing on how negligence is determined other than stating that F&G determines it:
If any person shall fail or refuse to pay the costs by the required date, the department may pursue payment by legal action, or by settlement or compromise, and the responsible person shall be liable for interest from the date that the bill is due and for legal fees and costs incurred by the department in obtaining and enforcing judgment under this paragraph.

The Executive Director sends a bill. The Attorney General tries to get the target of the bill to pay with the usual strongly worded letter(s). If that doesn't happen, the AG goes to court and tries to establish negligence before a judge or jury. "Negligence" is a concept that is litigated on a daily basis by courts in NH and all over this country. F&G and the AG don't get to define it. The court defines its legal meaning for a jury, if it gets that far. Then the finder of fact (judge or jury) matches the facts against the definition and decides whether the defendant was negligent.

BTW, if I were a defendant who was from "away", I'd think long and hard before putting my fate in the hands of a local jury on this one. Might be one of those occasions to waive a jury trial right and put it solely to a judge.

MichaelJ
12-18-2012, 09:01 PM
(c) Notify the director of motor vehicles of such nonpayment and request suspension of the person's driver's license pursuant to RSA 263:56.

Anyone know if reciprocity gets involved here if one is from out of state? Or if an out-of-stater's privilege to drive in NH can be revoked *in this situation, under this law* ?

Maddy
12-19-2012, 12:02 PM
Anyone know if reciprocity gets involved here if one is from out of state? Or if an out-of-stater's privilege to drive in NH can be revoked *in this situation, under this law* ?

I don't know if this relates exactly to what you are asking but NH does have reciprocity with MA. IF you get a speeding ticket in NH it counts in MA and you will have to pay the surcharges. I just read on the web that most states do.

MichaelJ
12-19-2012, 01:32 PM
I was more curious if NH would/could ask MA to withhold renewal of my license or registration, or if this law allows for NH to revoke my right to drive in NH.

Maddy
12-20-2012, 10:15 AM
I was more curious if NH would/could ask MA to withhold renewal of my license or registration, or if this law allows for NH to revoke my right to drive in NH.

I thought that might be what you were getting at.
I would think it might apply otherwise only NH residents would bear the real burden of the punishment. The rest of us could just drive around scott free while they are doomed to hike to work and stay in the house. Some could conceivably lose their jobs if they cannot get a ride to work. That would seem very unfair and prejudicial to the hikers who live in NH.

Mac
12-20-2012, 10:51 AM
$10K bill for rescued BC (Canada) Snowboarder:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/12/19/bc-snowboarder-search-bill-boucher.html

MichaelJ
12-20-2012, 02:40 PM
$10K bill for rescued BC (Canada) Snowboarder:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/12/19/bc-snowboarder-search-bill-boucher.html

Cypress is a ski area and he went out-of-bounds. He claims that he missed the fences/ropes/signs, but also admits to being highly distracted due to learning some personally tragic news. Being a customer of a ski area and leaving the area boundaries is, to me, a different situation than hiking in the National Forest, which does not have such in-bounds out-of-bounds delineations.

RoySwkr
12-20-2012, 07:28 PM
Cypress is a ski area and he went out-of-bounds... Being a customer of a ski area and leaving the area boundaries is, to me, a different situation than hiking in the National Forest, which does not have such in-bounds out-of-bounds delineations.

What if the out of bounds area is National Forest?


“Read this,” one sign read in all capital letters. “Ski Area Boundary. Minimum of $1000.00 rescue fee!
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2012/12/17/sports/AVIE_HikeUp-slide-15RB/AVIE_HikeUp-slide-15RB-custom2.jpg

Maddy
12-20-2012, 07:40 PM
They don't mess around do they?
Holding firm to their decision!

bikehikeskifish
12-26-2012, 08:12 AM
What is ambiguous in this article is whether or not the state will charge $350-$1000 for ALL rescues, negligent or not. If they only include the ones currently billable, then they are going to have an even harder time recovering costs. The article includes a one-liner:

The state does not bill for rescues if an investigation finds no negligence.

but that appears after the bit on the original 2008 law. The comments attributed to Jeb Bradley seem to be targeted at unprepared people... but it is still being drafted.

Tim

I spoke with Jeb over the past week, and his story jives with this one I heard today on NHPR, the proposed bill is to charge EVERYONE $350-$1000. There is an $18 "hiker safery card" to cover you in case something goes wrong, or, you will be covered if you participate in any of the current annual funding mechanisms (hunting/fishing license, registered OHRV/boat, etc.)

http://www.nhpr.org/post/bill-proposes-mandatory-fines-all-hiker-rescues

Tim

JCarter
12-26-2012, 09:04 AM
From the article:


Hikers could avoid being charged for their rescue by purchasing a newly-created $18 Hiker safety card that’s good for a year.

And the proposed rescue fines wouldn’t apply to anyone with a current NH hunting or fishing license, or who had registered their snowmobile, ATV or boat with the state.

Ok, so it's a "flatlander fine", because obviously anyone who doesn't have one of the above doesn't live in NH. And they don't have to worry about that pesky "negligence" thing any more if they just charge everyone. But the amount is an order of magnitude too low to pay the bills, so expect the amount to go up dramatically once this is in place.

But on the flip side, for $18 and a cell phone call, I don't need to actually prepare for my hikes any more. All that emergency gear that's been slowing me down can stay home. (sarcasm mode off)

roadtripper
12-26-2012, 09:38 AM
This whole thing makes me sick. NH's general fund should handle this because without MA visitors and MA residents w/2nd homes, NH's economy would be in tough shape.

Ed'n Lauky
12-26-2012, 10:19 AM
I spoke with Jeb over the past week, and his story jives with this one I heard today on NHPR, the proposed bill is to charge EVERYONE $350-$1000. There is an $18 "hiker safery card" to cover you in case something goes wrong, or, you will be covered if you participate in any of the current annual funding mechanisms (hunting/fishing license, registered OHRV/boat, etc.)

http://www.nhpr.org/post/bill-proposes-mandatory-fines-all-hiker-rescues

Tim

OK, I willing to do that. But where does one get that $18 card?

Tim Seaver
12-26-2012, 10:22 AM
It might be worth fleshing out the differences between what is being proposed for NH, and the current system used in Colorado ( CORSAR card (http://www.huts.org/In_The_Field/corsar_info.html)).

Two things that stand out right away are:

1. In Colorado, buying a card is voluntary (http://www.examiner.com/article/have-you-purchased-your-colorado-search-and-rescue-card), whereas in NH, no card (or NH lisc.), you pay.
2. You can pay annually in CO, $3 a year, but no such option in NH - the full $18 or nothing.

( and please correct me if I am wrong)

Personally I think using a voluntary model would go over MUCH better, and if done in a away that appealed to people's better side, would possibly be more successful at bringing in $$$$.

I still don't think the specter of being charged for rescue will bode well for NH in the long run, but in any case, I got my $18 ready.

Ed'n Lauky
12-26-2012, 10:44 AM
Another question, is the "$18 dollar card" going to be "$18" for non residents or will it like the other licences be much higher?

bikehikeskifish
12-26-2012, 10:46 AM
To clarify, the card is $18 per year (says the article). I have passed all of these comments along to Jeb Bradley, and he is aware of this discussion.

As I understand it, the idea on the fee range is to increase the rate of compliance. It's not as crippling a fee as say $25K (clearly), and they probably don't need to give half to the atty general to collect it, etc. If enough people buy the $18 license but don't require rescue, that might make up the discrepancy between the $350-$1000 per rescue and the actual cost (a guess).

Personally, I buy an annual fishing license, so it would work out well for me.

I don't know what the cost is in/out of state nor where you would purchase one. Probably in the same places as hunting / fishing licenses which includes an online mechanism (which is what I do myself).

Tim

Raven
12-26-2012, 11:08 AM
Personally I think using a voluntary model would go over MUCH better, and if done in a away that appealed to people's better side, would possibly be more successful at bringing in $$$$.


I totally agree; as we all know, mandates are not popular in NH (and many other places either).

I think an opt-out clause is important for the principle, whether it is used or not.

Maddy
12-26-2012, 11:42 AM
I like it. Where can we get them?

Don't leave home without it. Pack-boots- spikes -dog- insurance card! :D

RoySwkr
12-26-2012, 06:34 PM
But the amount is an order of magnitude too low to pay the bills, so expect the amount to go up dramatically once this is in place.

Just the opposite: the number of annual hikers in NH is about equal to the deficit, so $1 would be a fair amount - and the $1 fee paid by ATV and boat owners covers all users not just one person

Note that a hunting license is $24.50 and you get a lot more for it than you do for an $18 hiking permit

DougPaul
12-26-2012, 09:53 PM
Just the opposite: the number of annual hikers in NH is about equal to the deficit, so $1 would be a fair amount - and the $1 fee paid by ATV and boat owners covers all users not just one person

Note that a hunting license is $24.50 and you get a lot more for it than you do for an $18 hiking permit
Yes--$18 for a hiking permit is exorbitant compared to the $1 contributed by other licensees. (Sure, there will be administrative costs: $3-$5 seems a lot fairer to me.)

Doug

Maddy
12-27-2012, 06:34 AM
http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Licensing/license_prices.htm

Seems like we are getting a good deal.

bikehikeskifish
12-27-2012, 06:39 AM
It is not a permit. Fishing or hunting without a license in NH is against the law. Hiking without the "hiker safety card" is not. NH RSA 214 mentions an administrative fee of $10 for licenses for permanently disabled persons who qualify for the lifetime free fishing (or hunting) license. If it costs $10 to administer, then only $8 is going towards the cost of rescue. Since the legislation is still in draft form, we don't know anything for sure. Maddy's link shows all NH F&G product prices. Replacement licenses are $6, so figure the administrative costs are between $6 and $10.

Tim

Maddy
12-27-2012, 06:44 AM
This is true, but it seems like we are getting a lot of bang for our buck.

How many hikers are rescued as compared to fisherman and hunters in the Whites.
We don't seem to hear of very many of those types being airlifted into choppers, and requiring high tech rescues, and/or rescues involving lots of searchers, some lasting for days on end. It would be most interesting to see what the numbers are.

Tim Seaver
12-27-2012, 11:07 AM
$18 a YEAR? Yeah, that seems over the top.

I'd like to hear the explanation as to how NH has to charge 6 times what Colorado does.
That said, I would still buy one - the program is going to need some fine tuning, and adjusting the cost of the fees will certainly be one of them.

RoySwkr
12-27-2012, 12:55 PM
This is true, but it seems like we are getting a lot of bang for our buck.

You sound like the big spenders on the school board here :-)

F&G spends big $$ on raising fish in hatcheries, doing wildlife studies, etc. which is what most of the license fee goes for whereas hikers will get nothing else for their money

If the administrative cost is really $6-$10 (which I doubt) compared to $1 for searches, then what they need is to sell a multiyear license say $20 for 10 years so the money goes where it belongs


How many hikers are rescued as compared to fisherman and hunters in the Whites.

Fishermen and hunters are more likely to get lost elsewhere and more likely to help themselves, at one time F&G had a large portable air horn they would set up near the lost hunter's vehicle and blow it until he walked out

The year the Eagle Scout got lost in the Great Gulf, the second most expensive incident was an elderly hunter lost near Bear Brook SP who wasn't found until the next spring - but because he had a hunting license and turned up dead there was no furor over sending him a bill

Maddy
12-27-2012, 01:06 PM
I would love to see more than "2 case studies". We need to look at the bigger picture not isolated incidences. That is the scientific method. I want to see real numbers.

Here's to BIG spending!
$18/yr=$1.50/mo= 5 cents/day OUCH! I feel the pain. There goes one cup of Starbucks per month but darn my LIFE IS WORTH IT.


What am I to do??? Woe is ME!
http://i1150.photobucket.com/albums/o614/mollybmd/images1.jpg

bikehikeskifish
12-27-2012, 02:34 PM
Without the voluntary $18 card, and the sliding-scale fees, I'm told there will be increased pressure for broader-based fees, like parking fees at all state trailheads. I asked Jeb if he could break down the $18 and how the arrived at that number... will report back anything I hear.

Tim

Ed'n Lauky
12-27-2012, 02:46 PM
Tim
Do you know if this insurance will cover all hikers or will there be loopholes so that you find you are actually not covered anyway? For instance, are solo hikers covered?

bikehikeskifish
12-27-2012, 02:56 PM
Tim
Do you know if this insurance will cover all hikers or will there be loopholes so that you find you are actually not covered anyway? For instance, are solo hikers covered?

Unknown, sorry. Jeb did suggest that if you are prepared, you would fall more towards the low end of the sliding scale. So, if you think you only need one rescue every 21 years, you'd break even without buying the card.

Tim

sardog1
12-27-2012, 03:50 PM
The year the Eagle Scout got lost in the Great Gulf, the second most expensive incident was an elderly hunter lost near Bear Brook SP who wasn't found until the next spring - but because he had a hunting license and turned up dead there was no furor over sending him a bill

I don't think you know the facts of this incident. This 70-year-old hunter passed away from natural causes, as determined by an autopsy. His son had been in contact with him by radio while they hunted together and lost contact. His body was found five months later, just fifteen feet off a trail, but it snowed heavily the first night of that search. Another son walked that trail calling his name, that very night. The body was not found until the end of the next April. He had a radio, a GPS and a cell phone with him. Hardly an example of an unprepared hunter deserving a bill from F&G ...

RoySwkr
12-27-2012, 07:25 PM
We need to look at the bigger picture not isolated incidences. That is the scientific method. I want to see real numbers.

Fish and Game conducted 954 search and rescue missions over the past six years that cost $1.8 million, said Jordan. The agency has operated at an average annual deficit since 2006 of $101,446, he said.
http://www.wmur.com/news/nh-news/Hikers-rescued-in-NH-would-pay-a-fee-under-bill/-/9857858/17796880/-/item/0/-/uh2osn/-/index.html

Although Monadnock may be the most hiked mountain in America, with as many as 120,000 hikers a year,
http://www.monadnockmountain.com/FAQ.htm#1

2011 WMNF Recreation Fees $527,025
http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5389495.pdf

So just charging $1 to everyone who climbed Monadnock and $1 to everyone who bought a WMNF pass would cover the deficit and everybody else could hike free - exactly what more facts do you need?




So, if you think you only need one rescue every 21 years, you'd break even without buying the card.

Hmm, since I have hiked over double that without needing a rescue, I guess I won't be buying one :-)

I will not buy one at that ripoff price on general principles and will do what I can to keep the law from being enacted, but if they charge me $500 to be carried out I will gladly pay considering the alternative :-)


I don't think you know the facts of this incident....Hardly an example of an unprepared hunter deserving a bill from F&G ...
I didn't say he deserved a bill, I said it was an expensive search that Maddy apparently had never heard of

Andrew
12-27-2012, 08:38 PM
So just charging $1 to everyone who climbed Monadnock and $1 to everyone who bought a WMNF pass would cover the deficit and everybody else could hike free - exactly what more facts do you need?

Most of the rescues and searches on Monadnock are handled by state park staff, not F&G. That's why you typically don't hear about the dozens of responses there every year. Also the hiker total includes many non-fee trailhead hikers, as well as discounted or special program (groups, schools, comp military & seniors). Besides the service charge just went up a dollar there to help cover S&R costs.

Most F&G wildlife research programs are funded through grants, although I would suspect game species agency match probably comes from license fees. Almost every minuute of a biologists time is coded off to specific grants depending on varying duties.

I'm happy to buy the card, just like when I was first thrilled to be able to buy the WMNF pass the first year it came out. I have wanted to buy a hunting license to help fund them even though I don't hunt, but did not want to have to take the safety course that is required. Have wanted to buy a fishing license but again, don't currently fish.

I know for many it's the principle of the whole thing, but I don't get why people are so cheap on this. I would be much happier to know that an agency that might save my butt some day in a difficult situation would not have to be pinching pennies to do their jobs.

Maddy
12-28-2012, 07:18 AM
Fish and Game conducted 954 search and rescue missions over the past six years that cost $1.8 million, said Jordan. The agency has operated at an average annual deficit since 2006 of $101,446, he said.
http://www.wmur.com/news/nh-news/Hikers-rescued-in-NH-would-pay-a-fee-under-bill/-/9857858/17796880/-/item/0/-/uh2osn/-/index.html

Although Monadnock may be the most hiked mountain in America, with as many as 120,000 hikers a year,
http://www.monadnockmountain.com/FAQ.htm#1

2011 WMNF Recreation Fees $527,025
http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5389495.pdf

So just charging $1 to everyone who climbed Monadnock and $1 to everyone who bought a WMNF pass would cover the deficit and everybody else could hike free - exactly what more facts do you need?



Hmm, since I have hiked over double that without needing a rescue, I guess I won't be buying one :-)

I will not buy one at that ripoff price on general principles and will do what I can to keep the law from being enacted, but if they charge me $500 to be carried out I will gladly pay considering the alternative :-)


I didn't say he deserved a bill, I said it was an expensive search that Maddy apparently had never heard of

My first question is this. Why try to keep others from buying the $18 protection plan? We have an opt out option so we could make our own decision about which plan is best for our individual budgets. I agree with Andrew. By buying the plan we help support those who risk life and limb to help save our sorry bacon, and we have the option of not buying into it and paying the $250-1000 bucks when they come a lookin' for us. The decision should be ours to make.

Last but not least you wrote." I didn't say he deserved a bill, I said it was an expensive search that Maddy apparently had never heard of."
I have some excellent news. I believe you are making reference to the Scott/dead hunter case rescue. I never wrote one word stating that you said "he deserved a bill". What I did write was this.

"I would love to see more than "2 case studies".We need to look at the bigger picture not isolated incidences. That is the scientific method. I want to see real numbers." Let me explain. It would be great if we could see how many hikers vs how many hunters/ fisherman required rescue over the last 10 yrs. I think hikers might outweigh the hunter/fisherman rescues but until we see real date comparing the two we can't really comment on it. They pay for a license, we do not.

I will put your mind at rest. Maddy did hear of both cases. I would LOVE to know where you got the idea that I had never heard of the case. Was it because I said the two cases were not enough for a real comparative study? Bottom line is we need all the data to compare hikers and hunter/fisherman. We don't have it. This much Maddy knows. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and hope that was not meant as an insulting remark to me.

You do however raise a good point. I think that perhaps if you die of natural causes on the mountain there should be an exemption that states you will not be fined. Personally, I hope they leave me to rest in peace. :)

http://i1150.photobucket.com/albums/o614/mollybmd/fun-baby-face_zps6fbc8483.jpg

I have gotten over giving up 1 cup of Starbucks per month! Will brew it at home!:)

sardog1
12-28-2012, 07:47 AM
I didn't say he deserved a bill, I said it was an expensive search that Maddy apparently had never heard of

Actually, you said this in part:



The year the Eagle Scout got lost in the Great Gulf, the second most expensive incident was an elderly hunter lost near Bear Brook SP who wasn't found until the next spring - but because he had a hunting license and turned up dead there was no furor over sending him a bill

RoySwkr
12-28-2012, 09:31 AM
Most of the rescues and searches on Monadnock are handled by state park staff, not F&G. That's why you typically don't hear about the dozens of responses there every year. Also the hiker total includes many non-fee trailhead hikers, as well as discounted or special program (groups, schools, comp military & seniors). Besides the service charge just went up a dollar there to help cover S&R costs.

That was just an example to show how many hikers there are in the state as to why a $1 fee would be enough. I'll bet that in the final version fee-paying state park visitors anywhere will be excluded from the charges.



Why try to keep others from buying the $18 protection plan?



I know for many it's the principle of the whole thing, but I don't get why people are so cheap on this. I would be much happier to know that an agency that might save my butt some day in a difficult situation would not have to be pinching pennies to do their jobs.
Because the cost is outrageous compared to the expense it's supposed to cover. At one time the F&G dive team was an expensive part of the SAR budget, yet if the boat registration fee was raised by $18/yr for every person that boat could seat I'll bet there'd be an outcry there.

RoySwkr
12-28-2012, 09:39 AM
Actually, you said this in part:
"The year the Eagle Scout got lost in the Great Gulf, the second most expensive incident was an elderly hunter lost near Bear Brook SP who wasn't found until the next spring - but because he had a hunting license and turned up dead there was no furor over sending him a bill"

That's exactly what I said, but I never said he should receive a bill (nor did Maddy)

I meant that the statewide media did not get into a months-long frenzy over the incident, which I still believe to be true




I will put your mind at rest. Maddy did hear of both cases. I would LOVE to know where you got the idea that I had never heard of the case.



How many hikers are rescued as compared to fisherman and hunters in the Whites.
We don't seem to hear of very many of those types being airlifted into choppers, and requiring high tech rescues, and/or rescues involving lots of searchers, some lasting for days on end. It would be most interesting to see what the numbers are.
Last edited by Maddy; Yesterday at 02:52 PM.

It appeared to me from your statement that you were not aware of that very expensive case, apparently I was wrong

Maddy
12-28-2012, 10:37 AM
Quote by Fish and Game Maj. Kevin Jordan "Hunters, anglers, boaters, snowmobilers and all-terrain vehicle riders pay 100 percent of the rescue costs through license fees but averaged only 14 percent of the rescues since 2006. Hikers pay nothing toward the agency's search and rescue fund but averaged 57 percent of the rescues, Jordan said."

Read more: http://www.wmur.com/news/nh-news/Hikers-rescued-in-NH-would-pay-a-fee-under-bill/-/9857858/17796880/-/7htn25z/-/index.html#ixzz2GMZepBVV

I don't care about media frenzy, but I do care about data like this. These numbers are most likely quite accurate. Close enough. Even if they provided hard data, case by case to us, I have to believe that hikers would win the most rescued status.
"Hikers pay nothing toward the agency's search and rescue fund but averaged 57 percent of the rescues, Jordan said."


I believe the free ride is over. The END! Time to hop off the train and pay up. Either thru a charge for our rescues or with a yearly contribution of 5 cents per day.
$250 /18=~14 rescues (13.8 to be exact)
$1000/18= ~55 rescues

To fully reimburse a 50000 rescue, it would take 2777 hikers paying $18/yr. That is one single very costly rescue. Does not account for all those in between.

I think this $18/yr is a real bargain! Quote: "Recent rescue costs ranged from about $200 to more than $50,000."

I must be missing something but I don't see what on God's green earth we have to complain about.

Raven
12-28-2012, 11:41 AM
Quote by Fish and Game Maj. Kevin Jordan "Hunters, anglers, boaters, snowmobilers and all-terrain vehicle riders pay 100 percent of the rescue costs through license fees but averaged only 14 percent of the rescues since 2006. Hikers pay nothing toward the agency's search and rescue fund but averaged 57 percent of the rescues, Jordan said."


Costs can be measured in many ways other than financially. Of the volunteers who make up the vast majority of those actually doing the rescue work, what percentage of them are hikers as compared to anglers and hunters? My guess is well over 57%. What is the financial value of that service that is provided for free by the hiking community and how will that be taken into account when charging hikers?

Maddy
12-28-2012, 11:49 AM
Costs can be measured in many ways other than financially. Of the volunteers who make up the vast majority of those actually doing the rescue work, what percentage of them are hikers as compared to anglers and hunters? My guess is well over 57%. What is the financial value of that service that is provided for free by the hiking community and how will that be taken into account when charging hikers?

I think we need to look at the SAR group as a separate entity. It matters not it they are hikers, off duty firemen , fisherman, dog owners, skiers, runners, etc. They have been trained to do SAR work and they choose to volunteer. It's a group who is highly trained to find lost souls.

I have been relating this back to my volunteer position working with sick, injured, orphaned wildlife.
The clinic where I work is supported mostly by donations, and they have a good number of very dedicated, hard working volunteers. Some have a history of working with animals, most of us do not.
There is a lawyer, college students, nurses , office workers, we even had an architect, etc. All of us are trained at the clinic to do the actual job. We are all wildlife volunteers.

SAR people are all trained volunteers. Some might be avid hikers, others walkers, bicyclists ,etc. Is it a requirement that all SAR people be hikers in the Whites to be on an SAR team? I wouldn't think so but I could be wrong. Even if they were, they want to do this line of work and they are really dedicated. I don't think we all need to get a discount because they want to do rescue work. I don't get a discount when my dog goes to the hospital because I am a volunteer there. It doesn't work that way.
We work at the clinic so they can keep their cost down.

When it's all said and done, it would seem logical to calculate what they charge us based on their expenditures, and not the entire teams qualifications both on and off the job.

Ed'n Lauky
12-28-2012, 12:13 PM
Personally I think there should be insurance and even at $18 I would buy it today. It will cost me almost that much in gas just to make a round trip to most parts of the Whites.

My statement that I would buy it is conditioned by one thing: that I am covered!!! I don't want to be told after the fact that they're going to charge me anyway because I went out solo or didn't have my lip balm with me or whatever. If I have the assurance that I'm covered I would pay. If they want to lower it to $10 so much the better. :)

JCarter
12-28-2012, 01:39 PM
Personally I think there should be insurance and even at $18 I would buy it today. It will cost me almost that much in gas just to make a round trip to most parts of the Whites.

My statement that I would buy it is conditioned by one thing: that I am covered!!! I don't want to be told after the fact that they're going to charge me anyway because I went out solo or didn't have my lip balm with me or whatever. If I have the assurance that I'm covered I would pay. If they want to lower it to $10 so much the better. :)


++++ Would agree again.

If the $18/yr is unconditional, I'm there. I already pay $25/yr on the WMNF parking pass, plus at least $40/round trip on gas every time I hump it up from MA to go hiking. $18 is chump change.

But I know of at least one recent case where an experienced, reasonably-well prepared hiked was whacked over $7K for being "negligent", even though the only thing she did wrong was call for assistance. And yes, I'll hike with her again next chance I get.

I'm not really concerned with the bill for when somebody actually saves my worthless carcass, but from when someone decides on their own that I "need" saving, and then wants to bill me for it. That Eagle Scout that keeps getting referenced is a perfect example (Scott Mason) -- he didn't call for help, and ultimately, he self-rescued even though he was injured, but they wanted to bill him essentially because he was hiking solo. Eff that. Almost all AT thru-hikers are solo. Are they all negligent?

But you know what? If F&G starts bringing in funding through this, they had better find a way to feed some of it to the currently free, volunteer SAR groups that actually do the work. If they don't, I can imagine a lack of enthusiasm that will result in increased costs long-term.

peakbagger
12-28-2012, 02:16 PM
Aha, therein lies the rub on the fee, what does it cover? Is is a "get out of jail free" card where all sins are forgiven including egregious contempt for basic hiking standards? Do I really want to be subsidizing the AT hiker from long ago who bought a fifth of whiskey and proceeded to Moriah to get drunk and wander around and ultimately need to be rescued, if not does the "person of authority" decide that the dayhiking gear a hiker had in her possession was "inadequate" for the conditions (per last years rescue on Jackson) and charge anyhow despite a fee?

In any case it comes down to judgement call with no defined limitations except that the total collected has to at least cover the cost of S&R initially and then become a revenue source to subsidize other efforts when the F&G budget is cut. Its a slippery slope. Will the fee be applicable to someone going out of bounds at a ski area and will ski areas elect to include the fee in the lift tickets? On a more practical front does the fee cover the elderly individual that decided to walk home to down south when he went on a hike or the youngster who wandered into the woods?

Raven
12-28-2012, 03:50 PM
I think we need to look at the SAR group as a separate entity. It matters not it they are hikers, off duty firemen , fisherman, dog owners, skiers, runners, etc. They have been trained to do SAR work and they choose to volunteer. It's a group who is highly trained to find lost souls.


The paid people also choose to go out. No one's arm is forced to rescue anyone. We are each responsible for our own choices and that includes the choice to go out after someone needing rescue. I have the utmost respect for the peope in SAR but it's still a choice to do.

I can agree with the above point to a degree, but if we're all treated the same, then why aren't we all treated the same? Licenses for some (fishing/hunting), "insurance" for others? It's likely I wouldn't buy one on principle alone. I can afford $18. But if I need a rescue, I'll drop the $500 or $1000 if I am found negligent which is highly unlikely if they use a reasonable definition of negligence. To address another point, calling solo hikers negligent is unreasonable if based solely on the fact they are hiking solo (or bushwhacking, or out on a really cold day, etc).

IMO nickel and diming various groups in various ways to try to pay for this is silly in particular when some groups are paying more than others. Inconsistency will breed contempt.

RoySwkr
12-28-2012, 04:06 PM
Quote by Fish and Game Maj. Kevin Jordan "Hunters, anglers, boaters, snowmobilers and all-terrain vehicle riders pay 100 percent of the rescue costs through license fees but averaged only 14 percent of the rescues since 2006. Hikers pay nothing toward the agency's search and rescue fund but averaged 57 percent of the rescues, Jordan said."

Ah, some numbers

So the "Hunters, anglers, boaters, snowmobilers and all-terrain vehicle riders" are 14% of the rescues and hikers are 57%, that leaves 29%

Some notable (and expensive) cases include:
* Learjet that missed landing at Lebanon and wasn't found for months, probably the most expensive search ever in NH but most paid by others than F&G
* Murder victim found in Ct. R. by F&G divers
* Confused elderly people including one recently in Waterville Valley
* Kid staying at condo in Lincoln who got lost walking home
* Drownings involving inebriated midnight canoeists - only powerboats pay fee
* Man who fell overboard after party on cruise ship (oops, maybe the Mt Washington pays the $1 fee)
Why not extend the $18 fee to pilots, murderers, condo renters, canoeists, partiers, etc. :-)

I agree that hikers should pay, but something closer to their fair share - if $1 per year covers a boat owner and everybody aboard plus everybody they lend it to, while hikers are asked to pay $18 each and if you loan your snowshoes that person needs their own coverage, that seems like a ripoff to me

bikehikeskifish
12-28-2012, 04:09 PM
But if I need a rescue, I'll drop the $500 or $1000 if I am found negligent which is highly unlikely if they use a reasonable definition of negligence. To address another point, calling solo hikers negligent is unreasonable if based solely on the fact they are hiking solo (or bushwhacking, or out on a really cold day, etc).

The new law removes the negligence clause. IF you get rescued, you WILL get a bill. If you are negligent, it will be towards the $1000 end, and if not, towards the $350 end, or so Jeb suggested. Again, it is still all in draft form.

Tim

Maddy
12-28-2012, 05:28 PM
There is no denying the numbers. As could have been predicted we are at the top and have enjoyed freebie rescues for some time. It's only fairly recently that they have come looking for some reimbursement. If the new proposal is unfair and prejudicial against hikers, perhaps those who feel this way could form a group, hire a good attorney, and take it to the judge. Why not? The problem will not be solved discussing it here. You need an action committee to get the ball rolling and get this gross injustice reversed. It seems like that would be the next logical step to take.

Why be angry, upset, and bitter about something if you can change it. We don't know until we try.
Some folks have made some great arguments against the proposals so why not take it that one step further and present them to the appropriate people for revision. IMHO it's worth a shot! There is nothing to lose and all to gain.

Personally I don't agree with it, but I do respect that others have a different POV and encourage them to do whatever it takes to be heard by the powers that be. "Treating us all the same argument is a good one.".

Raven
12-28-2012, 08:09 PM
The new law removes the negligence clause. IF you get rescued, you WILL get a bill. If you are negligent, it will be towards the $1000 end, and if not, towards the $350 end, or so Jeb suggested. Again, it is still all in draft form.

Tim

Thanks for that clarification Tim. Yes, I'll be interested to see how much the law, if it comes to pass, actually resembles the draft.

As far as paying for any rescue, that brings us full circle back to the injured/lost now possibly considering his or her financial situation before making a call putting the hiker/angler/sledder/snowman-maker/bush-pilot in more jeopardy and in some cases putting the rescuers at greater risk by postponing a call that could have been made earlier.

I certainly don't pretend to have the answers but I don't think this is good practice and neither do many other SAR groups from what I have seen. Of course, I'm for an entire paradigm shift. How many times over could all the rescues in NH be paid for by the lowest salary in the NBA? Just saying' Priorities and values.

RoySwkr
12-29-2012, 09:30 AM
If the new proposal is unfair and prejudicial against hikers, perhaps those who feel this way could form a group, hire a good attorney, and take it to the judge.
...
Some folks have made some great arguments against the proposals so why not take it that one step further and present them to the appropriate people for revision. IMHO it's worth a shot! There is nothing to lose and all to gain.

Taking it to a judge is a waste of time, I don't believe a law is unconstitutional just because it is unfair or stupid or there would be a lot fewer laws :-)

Last session I went to 2 of the state house hearings from which the original bill was referred for study, as I said in an earlier note I intend to testify against this one. As for "nothing to lose", one can spend a lot of time waiting for a hearing to actually begin although the testimony itself is usually interesting.

One thing nobody has mentioned is that the reason there are more rescues of hikers is that there are a lot more hikers! While fishing gear may be relatively cheap an ATV is not, you need to take a course to hunt or operate a boat while even Sen. Bradley would agree that anybody with a T-shirt and a pair of sneakers can call themselves a hiker with no knowledge required :-) That's why $1 per hiker would be plenty since the _proportion_ requiring help from F&G is minimal.

One last question: if you have a hunting license, you still need to buy another license to fish and yet another for your ATV. So why don't hunters, etc. also have to buy a hiking license if they aren't genuinely hunting? (Sure, officer, there are so many fish on Mt Lafayette in January that I just brought 6" of line with a hook on it.)

rocket21
12-29-2012, 10:45 AM
The agency has operated at an average annual deficit since 2006 of $101,446, he said.
http://www.wmur.com/news/nh-news/Hikers-rescued-in-NH-would-pay-a-fee-under-bill/-/9857858/17796880/-/item/0/-/uh2osn/-/index.html


There is over $600K in annual revenue in the State Parks department that could be used to cover this. This was proposed in the 2011 budget, however a special interest group associated with Cannon Mountain was able to get it shut down, as that money is currently funnelled into debt payments the ski area is unwilling (and unable, due to continued spending) to make out of its operating budget.

Maddy
12-30-2012, 09:02 AM
Taking it to a judge is a waste of time, I don't believe a law is unconstitutional just because it is unfair or stupid or there would be a lot fewer laws :-)

Last session I went to 2 of the state house hearings from which the original bill was referred for study, as I said in an earlier note I intend to testify against this one. As for "nothing to lose", one can spend a lot of time waiting for a hearing to actually begin although the testimony itself is usually interesting.

One thing nobody has mentioned is that the reason there are more rescues of hikers is that there are a lot more hikers! While fishing gear may be relatively cheap an ATV is not, you need to take a course to hunt or operate a boat while even Sen. Bradley would agree that anybody with a T-shirt and a pair of sneakers can call themselves a hiker with no knowledge required :-) That's why $1 per hiker would be plenty since the _proportion_ requiring help from F&G is minimal.

One last question: if you have a hunting license, you still need to buy another license to fish and yet another for your ATV. So why don't hunters, etc. also have to buy a hiking license if they aren't genuinely hunting? (Sure, officer, there are so many fish on Mt Lafayette in January that I just brought 6" of line with a hook on it.)

I do hope this all works out for you and have a resolution that you can live with. I did think the discriminating against other groups, (i.e. hikers vs boaters/ hunters, etc) was an issue but perhaps it is not "unconstitutional". Maybe it would be more like "favoritism". I am not saying that is what is going on, but legally it might not be considered discriminatory.

You do have all that personal time to lose having to take time out to present your argument, but you are on a mission so putting forth all that energy is worth it. Any other hikers going?

I think the bottom line for me is regardless of the fact that "we have the "least" rescues because "proportionately" we have the most hikers", we still cost them oodles and have a negative effect on the budget. When I think about Scott's mom, desperate to know where her son was, and the time and effort it took to find him, I doubt they would have said to Scott, "keep up the good work boy, you are doing great at self rescue. We apologize for interrupting your hike and will report back to mom that you are lookin' great." I have no idea Scott had "self rescued" until I read it here a few posts back. I know he did a great job surviving. Don't know if I would have done as well as he did but seriously, I would not have been up there doing that particular hike either solo in winter at his tender age.

Warning...I use satire in the next two paragraphs to make a point.

Perhaps they could insert a clause that they will wait 72 hrs before "initiating" a missing hiker rescue. No point in rushing into anything and then getting bashed because they made a decision to respond. Give 'em a little time to work their way out and then go seek and find.

The ones who call for rescue are a big problem. Keep the panic under control and your finger off the 911 option. It was mentioned that a woman hiker "had to pay $7K for doing nothing more that calling for a rescue". I think I recall that case. Wasn't she lost and not equipped to spend the night, or is that different one? Could have hunkered down and tried again in the morning. Saved herself a few bucks. Hopefully she would have lived to enjoy her savings. Wasn't it chilly out?

As for the murdered folks and those who drowned, lost Alzeihmer people, and little kids....I don't want to go there. Too sad!

I look forward to how this is resolved. I sure do hope that those of us who want the "get our of jail free card" have that option. Why not in a democracy? I am going to email F&G again to share my POV. They always respond and are very polite.


I hike in my most beautiful state of VT so my chances of getting lost there are much greater. Can't help but think back to the poor buy who was left to die of hypothermia be.cause no one could figure out who was responsible for doing the SAR. State Police? Fire Dept? Locals? Hikers? I believe they did solve that dilemma.

Anyone watch Coast Guard Alaska and Alaska State Troopers. They are really on top of their game. Most everyone out and about in the bush have PLB's unless of course they are "runnin' from the law." When they don't have a PLB it gets downright scary.
It's not a bad place to live. :D

Last but not least our big fella, who was rescued by F&G, will be released soon to hibernate in a den provided for him by F&G. He will be returned to the area from whence he came. He is in fact quite taken with his barrel and scoots in and out of it.
http://i1150.photobucket.com/albums/o614/mollybmd/IMG_1559_zps774416fb.jpg

Raven
12-30-2012, 10:18 AM
is there an official way to donate money to search and rescue such that the entirety of the donation goes directly toward the cause? I would send a $20 check tomorrow.

under principle I will not support another insurance. My mother in Florida pays over $4,000 per year for homeowners on a modest home to crooks who actually differentiate hurricane insurance from wind insurance from flood insurance. It matters also whether you are flooded from below or above. My prediction is insurance will start cheap and sound fullproof. Once the 'insurance train' begins to roll, however I expect the same type of differentiation to occur and rate hikes to be common place. It is always in the insurance company's best interest to find ways to not pay. If privatized, it will be about making a profit.

Tim Seaver
12-30-2012, 11:14 AM
The ones who call for rescue are a big problem. Keep the panic under control and your finger off the 911 option. It was mentioned that a woman hiker "had to pay $7K for doing nothing more that calling for a rescue". I think I recall that case. Wasn't she lost and not equipped to spend the night, or is that different one? Could have hunkered down and tried again in the morning. Saved herself a few bucks. Hopefully she would have lived to enjoy her savings. Wasn't it chilly out?

I have posted it too many times to remember, but it evidently needs repeating:


....A perceived or actual belief that the subject of a SAR mission will be billed for the
lifesaving actions undertaken on their behalf must not delay or interfere with a timely call
for help. Such delays can, at the minimum, cause further danger to the person in peril and,
at the maximum, place their life in jeopardy. Delays can place SAR personnel in extreme
danger and unnecessarily compound and extend the length of the SAR mission. Because of
these factors, and to eliminate the fear of being unable to pay for having one’s life saved,
SAR services should be rendered to persons in danger or distress without subsequent cost recovery
from the person(s) assisted unless prior arrangements have been made.
The mission of SAR organizations is to save lives, not just the lives of those who can
afford to pay the bill. As such, methods and means should be developed and used that
diffuse the cost of humanitarian SAR operations among the many, allowing anyone to
reasonably expect emergency aid without regard to their circumstances.

( From NASAR's position paper (http://www.nasar.org/files/board_of_directors/positionpaper/No_Bill_for_SAR_Position_Statement_-_NASAR_4-2009.pdf) )

Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion on this - I just happen to value the opinion of the people actually doing the SAR work a bit more.

Tim Seaver
12-30-2012, 11:40 AM
Possibly of related interest (http://www.unionleader.com/article/20121230/NEWS07/121239972)


The state also owns a Bell helicopter, used primarily for rescues, purchased for $1.6 million from a combination of federal drug forfeiture, state drug forfeiture, federal Street Sweeper grant funds and some state highway and turnpike funds, Sweeney said. Sweeney said the helicopter - which is equipped with forward-facing infrared equipment that enables it to detect a person's body heat - costs a lot less than the expense involved in using only people on foot.

One ground search that covered 2 square miles required 110 searchers and took 921.5 person/hours to complete at a cost of $75,000. "By contrast, the copter can cover 30 miles during a three-hour flight at a cost of $2,064," Sweeney said in an email."On another occasion, a hiker having a heart attack on a mountaintop was rescued quickly at a cost to the state of $1,921, where an exclusively ground rescue mission would have taken at least 18 people eight hours at a cost of $9,936 for manpower, or 417 percent more, and the hiker would have likely died," Sweeney wrote.

Renting a helicopter and loading the required gear "would be impractical," he said. The operating budget for the aviation unit is $177,590 a year in current expenses, repairs and maintenance, aviation fuel and other expenses, he said. He estimates the salaries and benefits of the two pilots could add up to an additional $150,000 annually.

Maddy
12-30-2012, 12:14 PM
[QUOTE=Tim Seaver;387480]I have posted it too many times to remember, but it evidently needs repeating:



( From NASAR's position paper (http://www.nasar.org/files/board_of_directors/positionpaper/No_Bill_for_SAR_Position_Statement_-_NASAR_4-2009.pdf) )

Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion on this - I just happen to value the opinion of the people actually doing the SAR work a bit more.[/

And well you should and so do I. Surprise? I don't think so. I think you know right well that I have the highest regard for them and the work they do.

In my last post I made suggestions because their seem to be complaints that F&G presses on to do rescues and then are criticized for having "jumped the gun", sought out folks who did not need to be rescued, and then billed them for their efforts and hard work. I used satire but I think that was quite obvious. I'm not foolish or dumb enough to think that they would consider delaying a rescue. However some of the folks on these boards seem to believe that they are very foolish for wanting to be paid. I presented a ridiculous solution because of comments like Scott being billed when he "self rescued", and the bill sent to the hiker "who did nothing wrong except call for a rescue". IMHO those comments are pathetic thank you's for all the hard work those people did. Anyone reading this who does not know the real facts of both of these cases would most likely conclude that F&G were out to get money from poor helpless souls who did everything by the book and then were fined. Not true.

When they are criticized for what they did, what is the option? I presented a few, and yes they are absurd, but I was making a point. We can't have our cake and eat it to.

I want to make one thing very clear. I absolutely value the work of the rescue teams, be they F&G or volunteers. I have tremendous respect and admiration for all of them. I trust their judgment implicitly and don't appreciate reading posts that imply they are foolish, and jump the gun to rescue people who don't need rescuing, and then bill them. IMHO once a rescue call comes, they respond. And yes, I think they should be reimbursed for their efforts. Making glib comments that effect people's perception of them is not a nice thing to do and I will support and defend t hem any way I can.

I am going to go back and clarify that I used satire to make a point in my last post.

F&G even saved our little black bear juvy and he didn't even call for his rescue. Those folks are just plain hard core.

expat
12-30-2012, 02:28 PM
I have another couple of questions about all of this.

1) The state provides free rescue if you're in trouble in the water when you're at the Hampton Beach or Wallis Sands as well as other state parks, why would the mountains be different? Just due to cost? What would be the impact of a rescue fee at the beaches?
2) Does the rescue fee apply to only rescue-needing individuals in a group, to an entire "group"? Say one member of a group is injured and nobody has bought a card. One member is injured and needs a rescue. Would the other members wait until rescuers were nearby, then leave the injured individual to get rescued, and that person pays the fee (or maybe they split it up after the fact) to keep from each having to pay a separate rescue fee? Could a group buy one card, and then leave it with the one person who is injured, while the rest don't need rescue and do as I mentioned above?

sardog1
12-30-2012, 03:22 PM
Costs can be measured in many ways other than financially. Of the volunteers who make up the vast majority of those actually doing the rescue work, what percentage of them are hikers as compared to anglers and hunters? My guess is well over 57%. What is the financial value of that service that is provided for free by the hiking community and how will that be taken into account when charging hikers?

Being somewhat familiar with the makeup of the SAR community in NH, I will respectfully disagree. Some of the service is provided by AMC staffers, who for the most part are compensated by the AMC for their time. Some of the rest are paid by their employers but that number is pretty small. Some use their vacation time. From what I know personally of the responders who are not AMC staff, few would refer first to themselves as "hikers", and the number of peakbaggers among them is certainly minuscule as a fraction of the total.

If you're involved in SAR work, a huge chunk of your time is consumed by training and responding. This is particularly the case for the dog handlers (ask my wife what it was like when I was involved ...), but the others probably spend as many (or more) hours on SAR as on many of their other outdoor pursuits.

sardog1
12-30-2012, 03:23 PM
is there an official way to donate money to search and rescue such that the entirety of the donation goes directly toward the cause? I would send a $20 check tomorrow.

There is a way, but the VFTT rules probably bar me from mentioning it directly here. I'll leave it to the mods to decide that. I'll send you a PM for your own use in the meantime.

Raven
12-31-2012, 04:08 AM
There is a way, but the VFTT rules probably bar me from mentioning it directly here. I'll leave it to the mods to decide that. I'll send you a PM for your own use in the meantime.

I appreciate the PM. I prefer to help in a way that impacts as directly as possible. Your suggestion certainly covers that and i was happy to 'put my money where my mouth is.' i would also be happy to share this information with anyone who PMs me so as to not break any VFTT rules.

Thanks also for your comments on the makeup of S and R groups. i appreciate the first hand knowledge.

Andrew
12-31-2012, 09:10 AM
1) The state provides free rescue if you're in trouble in the water when you're at the Hampton Beach or Wallis Sands as well as other state parks, why would the mountains be different? Just due to cost? What would be the impact of a rescue fee at the beaches?

It can be difficult to understand, but any political subdivision is not one big happy family, I suspect this is true in many states, but in NH with the lack of broad based taxes, it is exacerbated. This comment is not only specific to xpat's comments, but is relevant also to some earlier comments. NH has spoken repeatedly about the preferred direction for funding of government services and fees to funds actions are the current course. Actions are largely determined by legislative law, as are funding methods. That touches on another thread of maybe a supervisor of a specific state park might know that is of significant public benefit to plow a frequently used trailhead but not have the proper equipment to do so, they can't just call DOT and expect a truck to show up. Don't blame the crews on the ground, as it's getting worse as pennies are pinched and people have been pushed out or lost jobs because they have tried to do the right thing towards public service. And luckily there are some high profile people who continue to do this and lives are continually saved.

The "state" needs to be clarified in each situation as actually an agency responsible. The Parks are not F&G and regarding beaches the services charges are implemented specific to the responsibilities that are most reasonably covered by the managing agency. When a situation goes beyond the routine resources, it often steps up a notch to another agencies area of responsibility. More on an earlier comment that just rubs me and steers back to Parks. So they had been almost totally unfunded by the GF for decades and finally get a little help on thing not originally expected to be funded by the operations budget (things like historic sites falling apart, major capital infrastructure investment, etc), and just this year pay off a long-time multi million dollar operational defecit to finally have funds to not be on the brink of destruction. Now a little rainey day fund above the basic needs is seen as a windfall that can be grabbed for something else.

More to say but gotta go. Maddy thanks for the balanced comments and the bear updates. Your pictures made me wonder but now clear, jut finished Ben's book and enjoyed that much of my intuition may be true with this fascinating and mis-characterized creature.

bikehikeskifish
12-31-2012, 08:31 PM
There is a way, but the VFTT rules probably bar me from mentioning it directly here. I'll leave it to the mods to decide that. I'll send you a PM for your own use in the meantime.

The moderators' interpretation of the rules say it is OK.

Tim

rocket21
01-01-2013, 07:19 AM
More on an earlier comment that just rubs me and steers back to Parks. So they had been almost totally unfunded by the GF for decades

This isn't the case. Millions of dollars are sent to the Parks from the General Fund for capital improvement (such as Hampton Beach).

The Parks are expected to break even, however the state continues to cut checks when they run a deficit - it's not like they run out of funds and shut everything down.

And finally, if the Parks department wasn't subsidizing the net costs of a major ski area (it's been a net drain on the overall Parks budget 9 out of the past 10 years), it would have a surplus which could finance millions of dollars of capital improvements, as well as perhaps a good faith check to SAR every year.

Andrew
01-01-2013, 08:08 AM
It is true in that I said "almost". Before the "..finally getting a little help.." from the General Fund for capital improvements over the past few years, the last major capital appropriation was in the 1960's.

It actually does get pretty close to shutting things down and buildings have been falling apart. The park fund does borrow heavily from the GF when in a defecit (had been nearly perpetual), but gotta give credit that they steadfastly finally paid it back (w/ significant help from Cannon).

In a former job with parks on my first day in 1994, my first duty was to straighten bent rusty nails in order to repair picnic tables.

I think F&G does not need to be in a similar situation. I remember helping a sargent get some Stabilicers for Region 4 to replace the only existing gear they had, 1950's era fisherman ice cleats. He had to jump through so many hoops to get a funding stream, which was unfortunate.

rocket21
01-01-2013, 10:24 AM
gotta give credit that they steadfastly finally paid it back (w/ significant help from Cannon).

In reality, that was a reswizzling of books. Cannon took $1.5M from the general fund that year and $0.5 million from Sunapee, then transferred $0.8 million back to the Parks account. Even if you include the $0.8 million positive transfer to the Parks account (and even exclude the $1.5 million general capital fund expense), Cannon has been a $5.5 million net cost to the Parks over the past decade.

$5.5 million in principal would finance tens of millions in bonds to restore the State Parks, as well as perhaps contributing funds to SAR for operations relating to the parks.

sardog1
01-01-2013, 03:11 PM
The moderators' interpretation of the rules say it is OK.

Tim

Thanks very much!

For those who wish to contribute directly to the volunteer groups that perform the bulk of the SAR work in NH (in terms of hours spent), you may do so through the New Hampshire Outdoor Council (http://www.nhoutdoorcouncil.org). Full particulars are available at the link. FWIW, I'm not personally involved these days, so I have no personal stake in the matter ... except my status as a potential recipient of their services. :o ;)

Andrew
01-01-2013, 03:33 PM
Rocket, I commend your diligence and time in researching details. But back to my original point that the state agencies are not one big happy family, meaning the state budget is not a big pot shared for any need; instead many accounts and specific appropriations, often with the appropriation specific to a source (fee). So much of the lumps you mention are capital investment, specific to infrastructure building, and are to be used specifically. The defecit was in the operations fund, and paid back by operations revenue, and lumping all together in argument is not reality.

But alas we have drifted far from the original intent of this thread, which is about a specific account being in dire straits and another attempt to try and find a fair and balanced funding stream to head off an inevitable disaster. An objective that continues to prove to be terribly difficult!

I'm looking forward to buying my 'card' if the legislation passes.

rocket21
01-01-2013, 05:30 PM
But back to my original point that the state agencies are not one big happy family, meaning the state budget is not a big pot shared for any need; instead many accounts and specific appropriations, often with the appropriation specific to a source (fee). So much of the lumps you mention are capital investment, specific to infrastructure building, and are to be used specifically. The defecit was in the operations fund, and paid back by operations revenue, and lumping all together in argument is not reality.

Not quite...some bonds are recognized at the State level, some in capital accounts, and some in operational accounts.

There is a stream of revenue being taken from ski area/concessions/zip line leases in Southern New Hampshire that's been sent to Cannon Mountain ski area. There was a handshake agreement in the 1990s that Cannon would become a modern, self-funded ski area, and that after the initial bonds were paid off, the Sunapee lease revenue would be allocated throughout the rest of the Parks system.

This has not happened. Instead, more of this money has been funneled to open a new mountain peak at Cannon, while kicking skinners/snowshoers/hikers out of it.

This revenue stream is now in excess of $600K per year. This revenue could fund massive improvements throughout the Parks system, as well as perhaps allocating funds to cover the SAR deficit.



I think one issue with the data set, in regard to SAR, is the broad use of the term 'hiker.'

- Casual walkers
- Swimmers (ie walking to Diana's Bath)
- Picnic'ers
- Birders
- Causual hikers
- Bushwhackers
- On trail peakbaggers
- Thru hikers
- Trailrunners
- Skinners
- Snowshoers

It would be interesting to see the # of SAR calls per breakout.

peakbagger
01-10-2013, 06:46 AM
Here is a link to the Berlin Daily Sun with details on the proposed rescue fee

http://berlindailysun.nh.newsmemory.com/

I really do not like the major loophole that hikers have to pay the entire fee for the rescue if "judged negligent". That is one heck of a slippery slope as F&G appears to have adjusted its definition of negligence over the years as revenue dried up. One persons negligence is another's accident. Sure it will start out with lots of assurances that only the worse cases will be judged negligent but recent history is that the likelihood of charging is somewhat related to the budget cycle or when F&G has too many rescues in a row.

Breeze
01-10-2013, 07:26 AM
Here's a different link, same article, no password required

http://www.berlindailysun.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=44053:proposal-would-bill-hikers-for-cost-of-searches-and-rescues&catid=103:local-news&Itemid=442

Breeze

peakbagger
01-10-2013, 08:30 AM
Thanks, I thought the first link was public

eddie
01-10-2013, 08:37 AM
I really do not like the major loophole that hikers have to pay the entire fee for the rescue if "judged negligent". That is one heck of a slippery slope as F&G appears to have adjusted its definition of negligence over the years as revenue dried up. One persons negligence is another's accident.

If you have an accident or medical problem at home, an ambulance with EMTs provided care and transport to a medical facility. This is not free and it shouldn't be if you have an accident or medical problem in the mountains. This risk and related costs should be assumed and paid for by the user, not the state nor the USFS. Maybe the insurance industry could provide backwoods medical care and evacuation insurance for SAR costs and fines?

Tim Seaver
01-10-2013, 08:42 AM
"The last piece, according to officials, is a voluntary Hike Safe card that hikers could purchase to support the fund. The card would cost $18, and anyone who had one would have their bill forgiven should they need a rescue so long as they weren't found negligent."

So you could buy the card and still get charged the full cost.

Some really great minds behind this. :rolleyes:

Yeah..."not optimal".

marnof
01-10-2013, 08:43 AM
I'm curious what percentage of rescues cost under $1,500, to justify the lower "deductibles." *

I'm also curious how many people on this forum would purchase the Hike Safe card. I'm not sure I'd have much use for it.



* actually a fee, not a deductible

spider solo
01-10-2013, 09:02 AM
If you have an accident or medical problem at home, an ambulance with EMTs provided care and transport to a medical facility. This is not free and it shouldn't be if you have an accident or medical problem in the mountains. This risk and related costs should be assumed and paid for by the user, not the state nor the USFS. Maybe the insurance industry could provide backwoods medical care and evacuation insurance for SAR costs and fines?

Depending how you view things, the above could also be viewed as... 2 wrongs don't make it right...

True that an ambulance and EMT services are not free...in this county.
Actually it is extremely expensive... perhaps the most expensive in the world.
To carry that same "tradition" into our hiking or back country endeavors, would seem, to me, to just be heaping more expenses onto
private citizens, something I would think that insurance companies would love . $$$$

Ed'n Lauky
01-10-2013, 09:33 AM
I'm curious what percentage of rescues cost under $1,500, to justify the lower "deductibles." *

I'm also curious how many people on this forum would purchase the Hike Safe card. I'm not sure I'd have much use for it.





* actually a fee, not a deductible

I'd buy it as long as a solo hiker was not automatically considered negligent. Why not do a poll? It would be interesting to see the results.

Breeze
01-10-2013, 10:14 AM
Diver's Alert Network offers several policies for recreational sports ( hiking is included, technical mountaineering/climbing, is not.) Their cheapest ANNUAL policy is @ 300 bucks. Trying to scrutinize the policy details on this computer ( .pdf) hurts my eyes.

Point being, there is recreational sports insurance available if one wanted to pay for it, and play the " insurance" game. Even insurance has < wiggle room>, the devil is always in the policy details.

I, too, have issues with the " deemed negligent" aspect of the NH proposal, that slippery slope doesn't seem to have any " policy details".

As PB said

"One persons negligence is another's accident. Sure it will start out with lots of assurances that only the worse cases will be judged negligent but recent history is that the likelihood of charging is somewhat related to the budget cycle or when F&G has too many rescues in a row."

Costs are costs, when there is wiggle room for making payment a punitive matter rather than a cost recovery, there needs to be much more definitive oversight than a one word judgment call.

I'm not going to change any minds, and my own mind may be the most difficult .

Breeze

sdways01
01-10-2013, 10:24 AM
I'm curious what percentage of rescues cost under $1,500, to justify the lower "deductibles." *

I'm also curious how many people on this forum would purchase the Hike Safe card. I'm not sure I'd have much use for it.



* actually a fee, not a deductible

I wouldn't, but I also already have a hunting/fishing license and an ATV registration. So by their rules I am covered as long as not negligent.

marnof
01-10-2013, 10:25 AM
I'd buy it as long as a solo hiker was not automatically considered negligent. Why not do a poll? It would be interesting to see the results.

I didn't see a guarantee of immunity from negligence fees as part of the deal.

If solo hiking is deemed negligent, I'm in trouble. :rolleyes:

Is hiking with four-legged friends considered solo? ;)

bikehikeskifish
01-10-2013, 10:28 AM
What might happen if the funding issue is unsolved? Would rescues go to 100% volunteer? What would the impact be if there was no state agency (i.e., F&G) responsible for SAR? Would that be better?

I too have an annual license (fishing) so I may be covered by that and disinclined to purchase the $18/year card. In reality, $1000 is not enough to deter me if I am seriously injured.

Tim

RoySwkr
01-10-2013, 10:43 AM
I wouldn't, but I also already have a hunting/fishing license and an ATV registration. So by their rules I am covered as long as not negligent.

I don't see that in the article.

While I would imagine that an ATV accident would not be billed, it doesn't say that. And if you're hiking and not fishing, it doesn't say you're covered by having a fishing license.

bikehikeskifish
01-10-2013, 10:55 AM
I don't see that in the article.

While I would imagine that an ATV accident would not be billed, it doesn't say that. And if you're hiking and not fishing, it doesn't say you're covered by having a fishing license.


I spoke with Jeb over the past week, and his story jives with this one I heard today on NHPR, the proposed bill is to charge EVERYONE $350-$1000. There is an $18 "hiker safery card" to cover you in case something goes wrong, or, you will be covered if you participate in any of the current annual funding mechanisms (hunting/fishing license, registered OHRV/boat, etc.)

http://www.nhpr.org/post/bill-proposes-mandatory-fines-all-hiker-rescues

Tim

from the link above, I see the following:

And the proposed rescue fines wouldn’t apply to anyone with a current NH hunting or fishing license, or who had registered their snowmobile, ATV or boat with the state.

It's not in the current article, however.

Tim

Breeze
01-10-2013, 12:02 PM
What might happen if the funding issue is unsolved? Would rescues go to 100% volunteer? What would the impact be if there was no state agency (i.e., F&G) responsible for SAR? Would that be better?



Tim

The NH volunteer pool is incredibly deep, and not just in numbers. Wilderness First Responder cert gets your foot in the door, for sure, but there are many, many, volunteers between AVSAR, Mountain Rescue Service, Pemi VSAR, UVWRT, MWVSP and so forth whose qualifications are EMT W/ Advanced Life Support, Physician Assistant right up to Board Certified MD's in several specialties. Their " volunteer " status belies their training and professional qualifications.

NHF&G is statutorily " in command" of an SAR, but that can mean anything from one truck 2 agents to 8 trucks 16 agents....... and in at least one emergency I can recall, one person (a member of multiple SAR teams, ski patrols, and the Gorham Ambulance crew as well as a Registered Pharmacist) managed to direct a NH Air Guard BlackHawk evac of a grievously injured BC skier from the west side of MW without ever speaking to NH F&G. He had a portable radio and connectivity to Gorham EMS.

One of the things that stick in my craw concerning the Berlin Daily Sun article is the cavalier attitude of NHF&G towards the volunteers who threaten to cease being of service in the face of the proposed changes.

From my POV, NH F&G will be up sh*t creek without a paddle no matter HOW much money they have or don't have if those volunteers choose to be not available.

Just my 2 cents... and not an answer to your question.

The state of NH could make NHSP the statutory " SAR command", and while that would let NH F&G off the hook, it still would not change the budget puzzle. There is an unfunded mandate.

Breeze

bikehikeskifish
01-10-2013, 12:12 PM
I suppose I should add that to the question, then... and What would the impact be if the volunteers all quit?

I feel at least like I am getting something for my money when I call for a rescue. Mainly what I want is clarity in the process, so that I (and others) can go about what I (we) love with an understanding of the "rules" we need to play by.

Tim

mtnpa
01-10-2013, 12:40 PM
I suppose I should add that to the question, then... and What would the impact be if the volunteers all quit?
Tim

Cost of rescues would increase bigtime

sardog1
01-10-2013, 02:29 PM
"Jordan said he has heard people in volunteer groups that assist Fish and Game say they would likely stop volunteering their time if victims are charged.
'It's been threatened,' he said, but the department has to make the numbers work even if it risks alienating volunteers.
Chandler is also sensitive to that concern. 'Obviously [volunteers] are important,' he said. 'We really need their help.' But again, he said, this is the starting point for the conversation."

Apart from the ethical considerations and the possible effect on delaying calls for help from people fearing a hit to their wallets, there is a small, but not negligible, risk that the collection and redistribution of fees could expose the volunteer groups (and possibly their individual members) to lawsuits involving SAR missions. To this point, the money F&G has been collecting has not been distributed to the NH Outdoor Council (umbrella group for the volunteer groups) because of the budget gap at F&G, so the associated liability risk has been very small. But it could increase enough to cause some to consider not participating if the money starts flowing to the groups. It's a question that the groups need to consider very carefully with the benefit of legal counsel.

Breeze
01-10-2013, 02:44 PM
Not only cost, but initial response time would increase, as well as duration of the mission, and with longer duration, survivablity decreases for the injured, risks rise for the limited number in the response team, who all have to be out longer.

If F&G gets called for a high ice accident tomorrow,oh, say on Frankenstein or in Pinnacle Gully/Huntingtons Ravine.... their first phone call is going to be to Mark Synnott/Mountain Rescue Services.

Next winter, If Mark says heck with that, you guys now can bill for your time, pfffft.....none of us are getting anything for risking OUR ^^^...... How many ice climbing specialists are there in F&G vs Mountain Rescue Service?

If someone called F&G right now from the obs deck on Mt Washington, or the dungeon of LOC, F&G would be talking to Cyrena of MWOBS , she'd be onto Slim or Chris or Gus to fire up MWOBS snow-cat, pay one of them thru MWOBS to get F&G paid staff PLUS volunteers to the top of Mt W. Thats just what has to happen. F&G doesn't have the equipment or the trained staff, they NEED ASSISTANCE. Right now it is offered and done because it just is part of the territory.

If costs become billable by F&G in all situations, ancillary folks are going to want their share, too. What was once offered on a volunteer, good-will, do unto others, we are all in this together basis will become billable and invoiced line items. Rescue bills will grow faster than dandelions in May.


Summer and Fall , someone goes down on pick-a-trail close to the summit of Washington, Pierce, Jeff, Clay, Madison, Adams... before F&G even gets a unit to the Auto Road, AMC has sent up a van with 8 or more, OBS and MWSP have contributed another 6 between them, bystanders have been recruited, a full 18 person litter carry crew has the injured to available transport off the summit of Washington with an EMT monitoring their condition and Gorham EMS ( or DHART helo) is waiting at the base to transfer. F & G arrives, fills out a report. Hypothermic due to Not dressed for conditions ??? Negligent. Pay the State. But the state doesn't recover anyone's FULL cost, so who gets what orts ? Who decides who gets paid and how

Truly, this is not optimal. I don't blame F & G in the least for any of it, their deck of cards was shorted by the NH Legislature. F&G is trying to find forward movement as are so many others who love the outdoors.

Breeze

Its a crying shame, IMHO.

RoySwkr
01-10-2013, 06:07 PM
from the link above, I see the following:

And the proposed rescue fines wouldn’t apply to anyone with a current NH hunting or fishing license, or who had registered their snowmobile, ATV or boat with the state.

It's not in the current article, however.

Yup, and that's part of the problem - what's proposed seems to change from day to day and even hour to hour.

If an $18 fee won't cover negligent hikers, why should a $24.50 fee cover negligent hunters? Why should $1 from a boat license cover you if you get drunk and fall overboard? Why is Jeb picking on hikers?

bikehikeskifish
01-10-2013, 07:04 PM
As I readit, it is Gene Chandler pushing it. I'm not sure it's changing from day to day, it may be that reporters are picking up or reporting different things. It does say it is still a work in progress and not yet a bill, so it could change even still. Jeb is "picking on hikers" presumably because he believes they use a majority of the resources and should pay for it. I've been gently nudging him to participate here... no luck yet.

Tim

Red Oak
01-10-2013, 07:07 PM
Yup, and that's part of the problem - what's proposed seems to change from day to day and even hour to hour.

If an $18 fee won't cover negligent hikers, why should a $24.50 fee cover negligent hunters? Why should $1 from a boat license cover you if you get drunk and fall overboard? Why is Jeb picking on hikers?Why I will not pay for "insurance".I would pay for ski insurance though in Vermont to get hot chocolate from that lemonade stand at killington run by sardog if I get "offtrail" by accident or not.{not familiar with any position by jeb on this matter]

Breeze
01-10-2013, 07:08 PM
There is an unfunded state mandate that the NH legislature refuses to address, despite some alarming facts.

No one should be pickle in the middle, but no one can tell the NH legislature exactly why they need to get over the river and through the woods. Hikers do that, all the time, but not the State Legislature.

Kinda why we kick this can as often as we can, if there is to be a fee for service, there can no longer be any expectation of free service.

Breeze

bikehikeskifish
01-10-2013, 07:19 PM
I think they are trying to address it, finally. The 2008 law whereby charging is based on the new standard of negligence has not produced enough funding to cover the costs, and so they are moving along to the next thing to see if that will work. I really wish they would outline what the standard is so that people can make educated decisions about risk.

Whether you agree or disagree with the idea that rescues should be free or not free, it is a NH way of life to have many services be funded by user fees. There is ample precedent for charging for rescues, as is the case with ambulances, and there is ample precedent for tax funding, as is the case with police and fire. I happen to think that the NH way of thinking aligns it more with the ambulance side (personal hazard) versus the police / fire side (public hazard).

Tim

Breeze
01-10-2013, 08:17 PM
Tim, there isn't any graceful way to point to the unrecoverable F&G costs for the multiple searches and eventual recovery of the deceased Peter Shintani or the multiple searches for the elusive and absent Kevin Race, or to the Scott Mason fiasco. Those missions cost big money with no hope of cost recovery.

You and I are so not far apart, both of us want to see a standard so everyone can just go hike their own hike, know what their risks are and go, do, live, be. Or die trying?

Breeze

peakbagger
01-11-2013, 06:18 AM
The daily sun article mentioned there is a rational solution, fund S&R from the general fund which is partially funded by the room and meals tax. Outdoor activities are part of tourism and tourism is a major business in NH. If someone is negligent to a well defined rational set of standards rather than an arbitrary decision motivated by political expediancy, than bill for it.

The reason the rescue fee is brought up is that the legislature would much rather force a self funding resolution no matter how bad it is as NH bascially runs government in perpetual fiscal crisis. That method allows the state to have no broad based income tax and sales tax but it does shift cost to other areas including user fees.

Folks forget that the majority of the state legislature are mostly retirees as few working folks can afford to be in the legislature, therefore the the folks making the rules may tend to take a very conservative approach to what a negligent act may be. I expect to some, any winter hiking is inherently negligent act.

mtnpa
01-11-2013, 09:19 AM
...If costs become billable by F&G in all situations, ancillary folks are going to want their share, too. What was once offered on a volunteer, good-will, do unto others, we are all in this together basis will become billable and invoiced line items. Rescue bills will grow faster than dandelions in May...

Hadn't thought about it like that. Maybe I can quit my day job.



...there is a rational solution, fund S&R from the general fund which is partially funded by the room and meals tax. Outdoor activities are part of tourism and tourism is a major business in NH. If someone is negligent to a well defined rational set of standards rather than an arbitrary decision motivated by political expediancy, than bill for it...

This is how it always should have been done.

RoySwkr
01-11-2013, 09:43 AM
The daily sun article mentioned there is a rational solution, fund S&R from the general fund which is partially funded by the room and meals tax. Outdoor activities are part of tourism and tourism is a major business in NH. If someone is negligent to a well defined rational set of standards rather than an arbitrary decision motivated by political expediancy, than bill for it.

Once the Globe travel section starts reporting the $500 fines along with articles on hiking in VT, the tourist lobby may change their view on this

There is a sort-of rational standard in that the underlying statute defines reckless conduct as a crime, what if a conviction was required before negligence is established?

Just yesterday Susan Lynch was quoted that more outdoor activity was good for general health, but she has no clout any more :-)

sardog1
01-11-2013, 12:37 PM
Anyone who thinks that a majority of the NH Legislature cares one fig about what some of us call the commonweal hasn't been paying attention over the years: New Hampshire facing crisis in mental-health access
(http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?aid=/20130108/NEWS/301080406)
Hikers, especially those who don't vote here, are way, way down the list in Concord.

DougPaul
01-11-2013, 02:51 PM
Hikers, especially those who don't vote here, are way, way down the list in Concord.
No but they do want our tourist money.

Doug

skiguy
01-11-2013, 05:54 PM
No but they do want our tourist money.

Doug
Last I heard everyone whom lives in the New Hampshire never leaves. We all stay here waiting for them flatlanders to come up here and pay our way. Why heck should we go south and pay sales tax in another state when we've got our bread buttered on both sides. We pay no sales tax or income tax cuz them folks from Taxachusetts carry our load. Pretty Sweet. :p;):)

Breeze
01-11-2013, 06:20 PM
Mods are gonna nuke this....... its a given.....

I live in ME and work in NH. I pay income taxes in ME on NH earnings as well as property taxes on my ME property. Conversations over many years with many NH resident co-workers have told me, the butter is spread pretty equally over the whole loaf of bread and all the sandwiches we eat.

Breeze

bikehikeskifish
01-23-2013, 07:33 AM
Heard this today on NPR. Also applies to the Lost skiers in VT but brings up an interesting quote from Kevin Jordan.

http://www.npr.org/2013/01/23/169522284/schussing-down-slopes-can-snowball-into-a-search-and-rescue-bill

Tim

Creag Nan Drochaid
01-23-2013, 10:31 AM
hb0256 will have a public hearing by the Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee on Thu 1/31 at 2:30 PM in room 307 of the Legislative Office Building.

Tim Seaver
01-23-2013, 12:45 PM
Heard this today on NPR. Also applies to the Lost skiers in VT but brings up an interesting quote from Kevin Jordan.

http://www.npr.org/2013/01/23/169522284/schussing-down-slopes-can-snowball-into-a-search-and-rescue-bill

Tim

From your linked article:


Kevin Jordan, who helps run New Hampshire's search-and-rescue program, says "when people get in trouble, they don't hesitate to call."

"They call immediately because they are in trouble," he says.

His program — which frequently handles rescues in the White Mountains, an area known for severe weather — has been less squeamish about billing when it finds that those who were rescued have been reckless or negligent.

Jordan says the policy has stirred up debate, but he doesn't think it deters anyone from seeking help — though he admits there isn't a way to prove that.

Poppycock. As I have posted numerous times previously, there have been many documented cases of people either delaying a call for rescue or actively avoiding search parties, both behaviors caused by fear or financial repercussions.

Mr. Jordan is making statements that may sound authoritative, which in fact are demonstrably false.


Since the mid to late 1980's, (http://www.examiner.com/article/fear-of-paying-for-rescue-may-kill-you) it has been documented that lost or injured people balk at receiving help from SAR teams because they fear the bill they "heard about". Many victims try to self-rescue adding to injury or causing their own death. Here are examples from a collection of reports from Colorado emergency rescue personnel:

A Boulder climber failed to arrest his rappel and plunged off the end of his rope. His body slammed into the rocks below breaking his pelvis. Fearing enormous costs of rescue, the man and his climbing partner decided to rescue themselves. Their attempt at evacuation exacerbated and added to the fallen climber's injuries. In the middle of the night, the two realized they couldn't get out without help. The unhurt climber hiked out and called search and rescue. In the end, the extraction of the injured climber in the middle of the night increased hazard to the search and rescue teams.

Another case in Summit County tells of a hiker climbing Quandary. She got stuck on a dangerous length of trail as the sun dipped below the rugged peaks. She called 911 on a cell phone, but refused offered SAR assistance. She told the dispatcher to just talk her down. When it got too dark to pick her way out of that stuck place, the 911 person insisted on calling SAR. Again the girl refused. The two argued back and forth until the 911 operator asked why the girl was so resistant to being rescued. "I can't afford it!" she said. Hiker girl was a college student who feared having to abandon her education to pay for rescue efforts.

Climber and Quandary Girl were lucky. Hesitation to call for help can seal a death sentence.

bikehikeskifish
01-23-2013, 02:58 PM
That was the interesting quote ;)

Tim

sardog1
01-25-2013, 05:53 PM
CONCORD, N.H. – A legislative hearing before the N.H. House Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee regarding proposals to address the shortfall in funding for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's search and rescue activities is scheduled for Thursday, January 31, 2013, at 2:30 p.m. in Room 307 at the Legislative Office Building in Concord, N.H.

Legislative Hearing January 31, 2013, on Fish and Game Search and Rescue Funding (http://www.wildnh.com/Newsroom/2013/Q1/SR_funding_hrg_012513.html)

RoySwkr
01-31-2013, 07:23 PM
Hearing ran 3.5 hrs but sponsors and press left about halfway

Testimony about as expected:
* Many SAR groups opposed billing for rescues
* AMC and RMC wanted to use rooms & meals tax, would require only .002%
* ATV users tired of hikers freeloading, one wanted to bring back hut tax
* Search dog lady said increasing number of lost with Alzheimers, autism, suicide usually in So. NH

Maj. Jordan was up last and said all the suggestions had failed to pass in the past
* CO style card projected to raise only $25k in NH, not nearly enough
* VT decided to wait till morning to rescue lost guy on warm night, but he had broken femur and died of exposure
* Gen Reidel trying to eliminate charge for helicopters
* x-c skiers 1.4% of SAR but counted as "other" not hikers
* 2% were swimmers
* Crime involved in 8.6%
* 43% of searches in White Mtns, harder to guess where victim was in So NH
* Wanted to keep all SAR money in one pot to use as needed instead of billing user groups separately, don't know at beginning whether missing girl is lost, runaway, or murder victim
* No staff or funding to prepare bills to send out
* Asked what happens if law changed to remove F&G responsibility with SAR left to volunteers, he said volunteers fine as searchers but not trained to manage them

The youthful committee chairman will appoint a subcommittee to review testimony and revise bill as necessary

bikehikeskifish
01-31-2013, 09:13 PM
Thanks for attending and reporting, Roy.

Tim

TEO
02-01-2013, 12:15 PM
Jeb is "picking on hikers" presumably because he believes they use a majority of the resources and should pay for it. I've been gently nudging him to participate here... no luck yet.

Feel free to share with Jeb that since the change in law lowering the standard for billing/fining for SARs from recklessness to negligence, I have consciously reduced the amount of money that I spend in NH. Instead of stopping for breakfast along the way to my destination and for a post-hike meal, I now bring extra food and beverages (water, tea, etc.) to consume on the drive home and I wake up a little earlier to have breakfast at home, or stop to grab a bite before entering or after leaving the state. I make sure that I fill up my gas tank before entering New Hampshire and wait until I've left to refill. No longer do I stop at the L.L.Bean stores in Lebanon & Concord. My goal is to spend as close to $0 as is possible in the state, while at the same time not reducing my time hiking and skiing there. (Actually, the last couple of summers I've increased my hiking in New Hampshire.) With this proposed legislation I have become more fastidious in my efforts.

I encourage others to do the same.

Mountain49
02-01-2013, 01:02 PM
Aha, therein lies the rub on the fee, what does it cover? Is is a "get out of jail free" card where all sins are forgiven including egregious contempt for basic hiking standards? Do I really want to be subsidizing the AT hiker from long ago who bought a fifth of whiskey and proceeded to Moriah to get drunk and wander around and ultimately need to be rescued, if not does the "person of authority" decide that the dayhiking gear a hiker had in her possession was "inadequate" for the conditions (per last years rescue on Jackson) and charge anyhow despite a fee?

In any case it comes down to judgement call with no defined limitations except that the total collected has to at least cover the cost of S&R initially and then become a revenue source to subsidize other efforts when the F&G budget is cut. Its a slippery slope. Will the fee be applicable to someone going out of bounds at a ski area and will ski areas elect to include the fee in the lift tickets? On a more practical front does the fee cover the elderly individual that decided to walk home to down south when he went on a hike or the youngster who wandered into the woods?


I'm the woman who got charged $7,000 for the rescue on Jackson almost 2 years ago. I was found negligent because I didn't have a compass or GPS on me and made the decision to hike when forecast for above treeline conditions was very cold and windy. I had enough clothes, etc. to spend the night out in below 0 temperatures. I got lost, first time in 15 years. I know some people are critical of me for not having a GPS or compass. I took an outdoor lesson a few years ago to learn how to use a GPS. Had some difficulty learning how to use it but finally got it. Never needed to use a GPS before and 3 years later didn't remember how to.
The first people to find me were 3 men from Mountain Rescue Service, who were terrific. I did feel a little idiotic getting lost and being rescued. But it happened. I've come to terms with paying over $7,000 but it's a lot of money. Paying $1000 to be rescued sounds great to me!

JCarter
02-01-2013, 01:28 PM
I'm the woman who got charged $7,000 for the rescue on Jackson almost 2 years ago. I was found negligent because I didn't have a compass or GPS on me and made the decision to hike when forecast for above treeline conditions was very cold and windy. I had enough clothes, etc. to spend the night out in below 0 temperatures. I got lost, first time in 15 years. I know some people are critical of me for not having a GPS or compass. I took an outdoor lesson a few years ago to learn how to use a GPS. Had some difficulty learning how to use it but finally got it. Never needed to use a GPS before and 3 years later didn't remember how to.
The first people to find me were 3 men from Mountain Rescue Service, who were terrific. I did feel a little idiotic getting lost and being rescued. But it happened. I've come to terms with paying over $7,000 but it's a lot of money. Paying $1000 to be rescued sounds great to me!

The problem with this bill is you would have STILL gotten dinged for 7 Grand. If you'd had the GPS, it (might) have been lowered to 1K, but ONLY if they decided that you also had sufficient shelter, and food, and if the weather report wasn't threatening enough, and if you weren't a flatlander. The guys from MRS and the other volunteer rescue organizations are fantastic, but they still get nothing.

The fact is, you survived a night out without injury, regardless of the fact that rescuers eventually showed up.

I can honestly say that having a GPS on me did help me find the trail once. But if it had been whiteout conditions, I doubt it would have actually made a difference.

Haven't heard a peep about the idiots (yes, I've had time to digest the incident report) who triggered an avalanche and a massive rescue in the Huntington Ravine and sent 3 guys to the hospital. Oh, that's right, most of them were from NH. Not Negligient. (Ok, to be fair F&G wasn't involved, so if they had been, all evidence suggests that this rescue wouldn't have triggered a "fine").

My apologies, but my attitude about this has been steadily deteriorating over the last 3 years. I need to go for a hike and clear my head.

erugs
02-01-2013, 01:32 PM
I've been wondering, Pam, how you were looking at this newest bit, and the fact that the cost seems to be going down. I'm still feeling upset that you were charged, and charged so much, when others get lucky and don't run into problems.

erugs
02-01-2013, 01:34 PM
And so, if I read this right, the hikers from the recent Tufts rescue, will be fined 7 Grand? Just like Pam?

Mountain49
02-01-2013, 02:24 PM
Hey, my name is Julie.

erugs
02-01-2013, 02:33 PM
Ooops. I knew that, Julie.

JCarter
02-01-2013, 03:38 PM
And so, if I read this right, the hikers from the recent Tufts rescue, will be fined 7 Grand? Just like Julie?

But if they aren't, that messes up my "flatlander tax" theory. Darn your facts!

Well, they had maps and compasses, they just didn't look at them.

Ed'n Lauky
02-01-2013, 03:42 PM
Since all they had to do was lead them out, I would think there would be only one flat rate charge for the group and not a per individual charge.

JCarter
02-01-2013, 03:43 PM
... fact that the cost seems to be going down. I'm still feeling upset that you were charged, and charged so much, when others get lucky and don't run into problems.

Actually, the costs aren't going down. Some super-genious in Washington decided that NG helicopter flight time for SAR is no long "training", and has to be reimbursed at full cost. 7 grand won't even begin to cover even the simplest flyover any more. So if NH F&G doesn't extract it from the victim, it comes out of their budget (which we all understand they don't have).

RoySwkr
02-01-2013, 04:40 PM
I'm the woman who got charged $7,000 for the rescue on Jackson almost 2 years ago. I was found negligent because I didn't have a compass or GPS on me and made the decision to hike when forecast for above treeline conditions was very cold and windy. ...
I've come to terms with paying over $7,000 but it's a lot of money. Paying $1000 to be rescued sounds great to me!

The problem with this bill is you would have STILL gotten dinged for 7 Grand.
In my testimony, I made it clear that many hikers feel an unfair negligence standard was being applied to them. I suspect the committee will ignore this testimony as Sen. Bradley said that only 38 of 900+ were billed so obviously the state is being fair, and Maj. Jordan said the state had a 3-step process before billing.

Personally I would contest the $7000 in court as it is way beyond the value of services rendered to you. I'll bet plenty of hikers here would testify for you, and with luck a pro bono attorney :-)


And so, if I read this right, the hikers from the recent Tufts rescue, will be fined 7 Grand? Just like Pam?

Well, they had maps and compasses, they just didn't look at them.

Since the helicopter wasn't used, more likely a few hundred, or even nothing if they were all volunteers or the state decides they weren't negligent.

They looked at the map and saw the trail led to Rte.302, but without GPS didn't know how far it was :-)

It was my understanding that this was a closed area with $5000 fine for entering, so maybe the Feds will go after them, anyone have photos of the postings?



Haven't heard a peep about the idiots (yes, I've had time to digest the incident report) who triggered an avalanche and a massive rescue in the Huntington Ravine and sent 3 guys to the hospital. Oh, that's right, most of them were from NH. Not Negligient. (Ok, to be fair F&G wasn't involved, so if they had been, all evidence suggests that this rescue wouldn't have triggered a "fine").

I think only one was from NH.

By law/agreement, rescues in Tuckerman/Huntington during the snow season are by USFS so F&G not involved. I suggested that this could be extended to Wilderness areas where lack of trail maintenance makes it easy to get lost and hard to rescue.

Tim Seaver
02-01-2013, 04:52 PM
Maj. Jordan said the state had a 3-step process before billing

1. Is the hiker from Mass. ?
2. Is the piggy bank low ?
3. Can we get away with it?

Sounds like a fair process to me.

RoySwkr
02-26-2013, 10:02 AM
Who pays for helicopters to rescue swimmers?
http://www.midweek.com/who-pays-when-rescues-required/