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View Full Version : White Mtn. National Forest and parking



woodstrider
10-05-2005, 05:31 PM
Has anyone actually gotten a ticket because they did not have the proper permitt to park at one of the WMNF parking areas? Just curious.

roadtripper
10-05-2005, 06:20 PM
No.....but I've seen a ranger checking cars and issuing tickets on two occassions.

once @ Sabbaday Falls
once @ Gale River trailhead

Zimmer
10-05-2005, 06:53 PM
I got one when we were parked at the Ammo trailhead, and there were numerous other cars there that had been ticketed, too. Funny thing was that I had just gotten a sticker the day before, and had put the new one on the driver's side, where the FS worker at the Trudeau Rd Ranger Station had told me to put it. I had left the expired one on the passenger's side on, figuring I'd take it off later. I got a ticket for having an expired pass. :rolleyes:

We had spotted a car at Caps Ridge, and when we went to retrieve it, the WMNF guy was there distributing tickets. I showed him my current sticker and he tore the ticket up.

I also got one for blocking the gate at 5 Corners, but I fought that successfully. I sent a picture of the gate across the way (Gale River Loop Road), which has a clear sign saying "Do Not Block Gate", and a picture of the gate I blocked (on the dump side of Route 3), which has no sign telling you not to block it. I got a letter a couple of weeks later saying that the ticket had been dismissed.

forestgnome
10-05-2005, 07:21 PM
I just bought my 6th two-vehicle season pass. It's stangely disappointing to hear reports (other threads) about unpaid tickets with no consequences after years. I work hard for my money, and I could use the $25.00 elsewhere.

Waumbek
10-05-2005, 07:21 PM
No.....but I've seen a ranger checking cars and issuing tickets on two occassions. once @ Sabbaday Falls
once @ Gale River trailhead

I've seen three rangers doing that, i.e., issuing one ticket. Seriously. More pertinent, I believe (but am not certain) that the WMNF parking pass program is no longer a "voluntary" fee demo program, as it was for so many years even though most people apparently never knew that. There were bitter complaints that people paid the parking fee (and $100 fines) because they thought it was mandatory and that this was then used as evidence that the public supported the parking pass. But I think the WMNF parking pass has recently gone over the line to "mandatory." Just a reminder: if you're 62, get a lifetime golden eagle pass form any WMNF service center and it will exempt you from parking passes. You must apply in person.

spider solo
10-05-2005, 07:55 PM
Well confusion still reigns...though I haven't been around that much the last few months I was under the impression the fee system was to be diminished if not all together done away with because it had been succesfully fought in the western states.
Since it was presumed a National ruling I believed it would affect us.

David Metsky
10-06-2005, 08:41 AM
It may have been fought on individual National Forest districts, but if anything I see it expanding. Here in the WMNF they've removed some of the lesser used and remote trailheads especially in the western part of the forest. But I don't see it going away here any time soon.

-dave-

sapblatt
10-06-2005, 08:44 AM
I have seen it (ticketing) at Welch Dickey and along Zealand Road - i think at the Trestle Trail...probably patrol the more popular trailheads all the time...

carole
10-06-2005, 09:06 AM
Unless things have changed all I have ever gotten was a notice on my car that I forgot to pay or sticker was expired or similar. Once was on a new vehicle which I forgot to get a sticker for and another time my sticker was expired. It just told you where to pay. I would send it in with money for a sticker and received it in the mail in a couple days. No ticket or fine. Are others finding something different??

chomp
10-06-2005, 09:11 AM
The tickets are unenforcable which is why you can just ignore them. The sticker is not a "parking" sticker, but rather a "recreation" sticker. Technically, you can leave a car at one of the parking lots, and as long as you are not using WMNF Land for "recreation" purposes, you don't need a sticker. One example of this would be using the lot as a virtual Park-and-Ride.

Anyway, the important thing is that the USFS has to prove that you were indeed recreating to enforce the ticket in court. Because of this, the tickets are unenforcable, and are not even brought to court anymore (something like 50+ tickets were tossed in a single session a few years ago.)

I have gotten several tickets over the years, never to hear anything about them again. So keep enjoying your public land FOR FREE.

David Metsky
10-06-2005, 11:45 AM
The money from the fees goes back into the Whites. This report (http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/white_mountain/passes/2003_fee_demo_report.pdf) shows much of the work done in the 2003 fiscal year. The 2004 report isn't online that I can find. The earlier reports indicate that less than 15% of the fees are used to support the collection of funds.

I gladly purchase a pass each year, or get one through volunteer work. While I understand the desire to have public lands free for all to use, the fact is that the rest of the voting public and/or Congress doesn't agree and doesn't appropriate enough funds. The projects and increased patrols are paid for one way or the other, since I use the forest heavily I have no problem paying a little extra.

-dave-

Blue
10-06-2005, 11:58 AM
In the past, I always paid the daily fee, using the green envelope, indicating which day I was there and putting the tag on my dashboard. I didn't do it as much at trailheads in the winter.

Recently I discovered that the daily pass is only good for 24 hours. I always thought that if you were leaving your car for the night, it was ok to buy a 1-day pass (for 1 overnight). At Lincoln Woods last weekend, we were told that it's only good for 24 hours, so you would have to buy a weekly pass or a yearly pass! We bought the yearly pass.

sapblatt
10-06-2005, 12:06 PM
The two car yearly pass is one of the best deals around...I have used it 20-25 times this year for only $25...can't beat it!

bruno
10-06-2005, 12:15 PM
The tickets are unenforcable which is why you can just ignore them. The sticker is not a "parking" sticker, but rather a "recreation" sticker. Technically, you can leave a car at one of the parking lots, and as long as you are not using WMNF Land for "recreation" purposes, you don't need a sticker. One example of this would be using the lot as a virtual Park-and-Ride.

Anyway, the important thing is that the USFS has to prove that you were indeed recreating to enforce the ticket in court. Because of this, the tickets are unenforcable, and are not even brought to court anymore (something like 50+ tickets were tossed in a single session a few years ago.)

I have gotten several tickets over the years, never to hear anything about them again. So keep enjoying your public land FOR FREE.

couldn't've said it better myself!! i'll say it flat out--i bought the stickers for 2 years and then i felt like chomp says--i decided to enjoy MY land for free! :) :D LIVE FREE OR DIE!!!!

AntlerPeak
10-06-2005, 12:54 PM
Well confusion still reigns...though I haven't been around that much the last few months I was under the impression the fee system was to be diminished if not all together done away with because it had been succesfully fought in the western states.
Since it was presumed a National ruling I believed it would affect us.

They are still charging $30 for the NW Forest Pass. Where in the west was it successfully fought?

woodstrider
10-06-2005, 06:30 PM
What really annoyes me about the user fees is that the monies collected are not even specified for a single purpose, but just go into the general coffers.

spider solo
10-07-2005, 02:49 AM
I did a quick google search as I didn't remember where I had read it and came up with an article from June 2005.

Forest Service Ends User Fees at Hundreds Of US Recreation Areas.

This paricular article goes on to state the Agency plans to eliminate fees at about 500 locations...but further states it will likely not happen in Forests that have parking lots or toilets which will likely keep the fees.
I found it interesting that this article was published from a seniors group which has me wondering if I saw my hopeful article in AARP..in which case I can safely say "I don't remember" what I did with my issue....

......It's been a few years since the fee systems were crammed down our throats...
...errrr ...I mean were widely embraced by the general public as a great idea...
I suppose it depends on how one views such things.

Myself... I purchased the annual passes for two the first couple of years..then faded off after realizing it was costing us more than just using a day pass as needed. (Good point about needing two for an over night)

I figure hikers were just an easy target for more money...personally I would pay more readily if I saw them put up a toll booth at each end of the 'Kanc' and charged everyone who used it.

forestgnome
10-07-2005, 06:39 AM
Dave Metsky, thanks for the link to the report. That reads more like a campaign brochure than an accounting report. It states total revenues, then lists a bunch of ways they spent the money. No specifics on how much was spent on any one project. It lists trash removal. I've never seen FS picking up trash. Lately, I've been bringing a trash bag and doing clean-ups at trailheads after hikes. Lots of trash is years old. :mad:

Perhaps they're too busy with "interpretive programs". Now that's rubbish!!! :mad:

RoySwkr
10-12-2005, 06:20 PM
The earlier reports indicate that less than 15% of the fees are used to support the collection of funds.
...
I gladly purchase a pass each year, or get one through volunteer work.
I couldn't find any such financial report that shows how much was actually spent on commissions to agents, installing fee tubes, printing envelopes, etc. Perhaps you could provide a link to this?

In my opinion, many of the projects on which fees are spent such as campground renovation and school programs are not properly chargeable to parking fees. And certainly I don't want to pay for ranger patrols to remove cairns :-)

Increased FS visits to trailheads to issue tickets may reduce crime, and may make it harder to sleep in your car.


While I agree with Chomp, I usually avoid parking in such places, either by getting someone else to drive, choosing another trailhead or parking outside that 1/2 mile "zone." Can anyone(David Metsky et al.) clarify if that 1/2 mile is a radius or a diameter from the trailhead?
You sound like you're nearly as stingy as me :-) Actually I make a game out of finding unique hikes that don't require fees, it's no stranger than a lot of hiking games.

It appears from the official rules that it is 1/2 mile radius http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/white/recreation/fee_demo/pass_not_req_here.html

Bobonanda
10-13-2005, 10:56 AM
Question: Where does the money come from to fund projects such as the Lincoln Woods parking complex (years ago), the fairly new (?) Rocky Gorge parking area, new overlooks and bathrooms, etc.?

Does any of the financing for these projects come from the parking passes, or some other source? Are proceeds from the "recreation" passes earmarked only for trail projects?

/rob (in N.C.)