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Thread: Pay More 2 Play (WMNF proposed fee changes)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Waumbek's Avatar
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    Pay More 2 Play (WMNF proposed fee changes)

    The details are in the link, basically a rise in the cost of the basic annual pass from $20 to $30 with a few offsets (e.g., no fee for dispersed camping at Gale River). Discuss away here, but the bottom line is to send your comments in to WMNF. Contact info is at the end of the link article.

    http://theunionleader.com/article.as...5-d0c1c2cafea6

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    A 50% increase. I guess the Government has to find new ways to fund USA Citibank. If cutting what's left of funding for the National Forest is part of Budget, looks like I'll still have to belong to SC.

    Do we have a proposed effective date? I'll go up last minute & get a $20. pass. They won't make us pay the extra $10 after it goes in effect. (WMNF Clawback)
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Stash's Avatar
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    With the amounts we spend on gear, food, fuel and everything else to pursue a voluntary activity is a $10/year increase really that big a deal? How does that figure into the total hiking budget? How much increase is there in the cost to provide the service?? I think I can handle it.

    There are many other increases going on. Compare it to the 156% increase tax increases for those who smoke http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/st...42069&ac=PHnws. Healthy activities still cost less!
    Stash

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Fisher Cat's Avatar
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    Good deal, I'll pay it. Maybe my attitude has changed now that I'm a displaced NH'ite/er. I've paid less than that for other things where I live now and have gotten zero satisfaction from them, so $30 would be OK. My only comment to the gov't would be that I would totally expect the increase to be reflected and invested back into the WMNF. ( We also pay for the tag even as trail maintainers who park at Lincoln Woods.) If in the end it supports my home forests and mountains, I'll pay it.

    My brother (lives in Gorham) and I have talked about this at length. I believe that its a bit excessive for residents of said counties in which WMNF exists to pay extra. They already pay to keep the roads in service as it is up there. It couldn't be too hard to differentiate, I mean if you can show up at a local ski area on Locals Day, flash your drivers' license and get a discount authenticating where you live, how hard could it be for the WMNF to see that as well? At the very least they should receive a substantial discount.

    OK, maybe my Jefferson local blood is brewing a bit.....
    " by reason of much foule weather and Extreme Bad Woods to travel in.."- From the letter of my great uncle Samuel Willard (accompanied by my grandfather Henry) to Governor Dummer on August 16, 1725, explaining the reason for his return, being instructed to "range all the country", of the Wawobadenik (White Mountains) July 19-August 16, 1725. I am a 13th generation New Englander and proud of it.

    LIVE FREE OR DIE - DEATH IS NOT THE GREATEST OF EVILS
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    Senior Member Wolfgang's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Waumbek;266093]The details are in the link, basically a rise in the cost of the basic annual pass from $20 to $30 with a few offsets (e.g., no fee for dispersed camping at Gale River). Discuss away here, but the bottom line is to send your comments in to WMNF. Contact info is at the end of the link article.

    I didn't read any thing about the senior passes that now cost $10.00 for life. I'll be 62 in march, and have been waiting for that senior pass benefit. It seems like every few years various places like ski resorts and the like are raising the senior requirements.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Papa Bear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang View Post
    I didn't read any thing about the senior passes that now cost $10.00 for life. I'll be 62 in march, and have been waiting for that senior pass benefit. It seems like every few years various places like ski resorts and the like are raising the senior requirements.
    The senior pass is good for any National Park or Forest in the country. I've used it happily for some years. A decision to change that would come at the National level, so I'm not worried about local changes.
    Pb

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Fisher Cat's Avatar
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    Heck, I like paying my pass. When I mail it in I send a note to my former 1989 graduate who works the desk processing the applications. She always sends a note back with my pass. I wouldn't recommend that its the cheapest way to keep in touch, but might as well use it for what its worth.

    But seriously, as Wolfgang mentioned the WMNF is willing to take feedback, why not take advantage of it? Its our forests too, and each and everyone of us care about it.
    " by reason of much foule weather and Extreme Bad Woods to travel in.."- From the letter of my great uncle Samuel Willard (accompanied by my grandfather Henry) to Governor Dummer on August 16, 1725, explaining the reason for his return, being instructed to "range all the country", of the Wawobadenik (White Mountains) July 19-August 16, 1725. I am a 13th generation New Englander and proud of it.

    LIVE FREE OR DIE - DEATH IS NOT THE GREATEST OF EVILS
    Gen. John Stark July 1809

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    Senior Member brianW's Avatar
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    I might be wrong but I believe the senior pass is good also for Corp. of Engineer parks.

    I mt bike a lot in Sumter NF in SC. There is some talk of doing the parking pass as well. Most of the bikers/hikers I have talked to are in favor of it as long as the money stays in Sumter not sent to DC.
    " The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator" -Louis Pasteur

  9. #9
    Senior Member walker's Avatar
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    Give the Forest Service your Input

    Straight off the WMNF Web Site

    "To provide feedback on this proposal, contact Marianne Leberman, Recreation & Wilderness Program Leader at wmnfplan@fs.fed.us or 603-528-8751, or Marianne Leberman, White Mountain National Forest,

    719 N Main St., Laconia, NH 03246
    by May 1, 2009."

    It's your forest...Let them know!!!

    WMNF Web Site With info... http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/white_mountain/news/2009/1235714400-1235745635-27-Feb-2009.php

    HikeSafe.....Walker
    Enjoy the Out Of Doors. It's time well spent

  10. #10
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    Speaking as a local, I would much rather have the congress fully fund the "Payment of Lieu of Taxes" that the government is supposed to reimburse the towns for land that could be paying property taxes but is owned by the government. I am not sure what the current numbers are, but in the past the forest service could only pay for about 1/3 of what is authorized by congress. That makes a big hit on a small town that has a lot of forest service property.

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    Senior Member Waumbek's Avatar
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    I agree. Same problem here.

  12. #12
    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    I'm really disappointed in the VFTT community and it's largely apathetic and accepting attitude towards these fees. I would encourage all of you to visit this site: Western Slope No Fee Coalition and to read carefully the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. [Edit to add:] I would also encourage all VFTTers to write or email Ms. Leberman objecting to the fee increase, and to the FLREA in general (see Union Leader article for contact information), and to send a copy to your U.S. Senators and Representatives.

    At least two of the dispersed camping areas that are mentioned in the Union Leader article above (Gale River Road & Haystack Road) did not conform to the FLREA and were therefore illegally charging fees. The Forest Service is only correcting its policy to conform with the law.

    If you feel that you should be contributing extra compensation for the burden you put on the hiking trails, join a club such as the Green Mountain Club or the AMC, and better yet, volunteer for trail maintenance.
    Last edited by TEO; 03-03-2009 at 09:53 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEO View Post
    I'm really disappointed in the VFTT community and it's largely apathetic and accepting attitude towards these fees. I would encourage all of you to visit this site: Western Slope No Fee Coalition and to read carefully the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.

    At least two of the dispersed camping areas that are mentioned in the Union Leader article above (Gale River Road & Haystack Road) did not conform to the FLREA and were therefore illegally charging fees. The Forest Service is only correcting its policy to conform with the law.

    If you feel that you should be contributing extra compensation for the burden you put on the hiking trails, join a club such as the Green Mountain Club or the AMC, and better yet, volunteer for trail maintenance.

    Teo, I am not sure why you should be "disappointed" in the VFTT community on this. I think that people can legitimately have different opinions on this without being labeled as "apathetic". For my part, the amount of enjoyment I get out of the WMNF each year exceeds by orders of magnitude the cost of the pass, even if it is increased. On the other hand if others disagree, and think the cost is excessive, or that any annual fee is inappropriate, I have no problem with that point-of-view. I think the thread is useful in that it provides contact information to those that do want to register their opinion.

    Larry

  14. #14
    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    One problem is that when people pay these fees, they are showing support for them and the FLREA. Some of these fees are unquestionably illegal, such as the ones they've been charging at the campsites on Gale River Road; others, such as trailhead fees, violate the spirit and often the letter of the law; and the law itself is bad. National Forest Land doesn't belong only to those who hike, fish, hunt, log, or camp on it; it doesn't belong only to the people who live near it or in the same state, it belongs to every single citizen of this country. That means that everybody should be able to use it and everybody who is able should help to pay for it. FLREA is shifting the burden from the owners of the land to those who use it.

    A sad result of this policy is that it limits public land to only people who can afford to use the land. While the fees may be relatively small now, they are increasing and will continue to do so. Out West, the problem is worse, there are many more different National Forests, and your season pass will only work at one of them (unless you have a senior pass or a relatively expensive America the Beautiful Pass).

    Finally, the idea that you have to pay to do something as simple as walk on public land is just plain wrong.

    If you feel like you should be paying extra*, that's fine, mail in a donation to the Forest Service, but when you pay these fees, you are supporting an un-American policy and law.

    *I believe that those of us who recreate in the backcountry should contribute something extra, and I think that hiking clubs are a great way to do that.

  15. #15
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Expressing my opinions on government and land use would invoke the ire of the moderators and the "no politics" rule. So please do not confuse apathy and following the rules of VFTT as one and the same.

    Tim
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