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Thread: Is New Baxter State Park Director Hurting Operations?

  1. #16
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    Sounds like bringing a hand saw and cutting dead firewood off of one of the many old turnouts off the road is the way to go. The park doesn't (or at least did not) consider kiln dried wood scraps like board ends "firewood" so my past approach was to bring some scraps from the shop for firelighting and then supplement wood purchased from the campground with wood I cut along the road on the way back from a hike. It is surprising that RB campground was not full during the week. Maybe a shift to shorter term visits?

  2. #17
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Sounds like bringing a hand saw and cutting dead firewood off of one of the many old turnouts off the road is the way to go. The park doesn't (or at least did not) consider kiln dried wood scraps like board ends "firewood" so my past approach was to bring some scraps from the shop for firelighting and then supplement wood purchased from the campground with wood I cut along the road on the way back from a hike. It is surprising that RB campground was not full during the week. Maybe a shift to shorter term visits?
    It was not terribly full 4th of July week either. I tried booking a site/lean to at South Branch for AUG and SEP vacations and it was pretty well booked with the exception of stray nights here and there at various sites.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

  3. #18
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    The discontinuation of "opening day" was a factor in my NOT returning to the park this year. We customarily visit every two years, occasionally more frequently, and the January event was a great opportunity to meet up with others including staff and other hikers, make complex arrangements, sometimes for small groups, and just get up to date first hand. It was also an excuse to get up there in winter for a weekend in the snow and cold. So, YES, from my standpoint the New Baxter State Park Director is Hurting Operations and I've not heard any commentary to suggest there has been any improvement in other areas.

    Paying for firewood in the park? That's a penny wise and pound foolish way to hurt attendance, not that many necessarily rely on free firewood but it was a nice amenity that kept possibly infected wood out of the park.

  4. #19
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Paying for firewood in the park? That's a penny wise and pound foolish way to hurt attendance, not that many necessarily rely on free firewood but it was a nice amenity that kept possibly infected wood out of the park.
    Still free in winter, AFAIK. I'd consider it a nuisance fee so as to encourage responsible usage of the available wood. If it were free, people would "hog it".

    Tim
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  5. #20
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    The firewood fee may also be a way of shifting "tourist" revenue to the SFMA budget. In the past the SFMA has been under external scrutiny over its management and if the profit was worth the impact. This was in the era of Jamie Sayen and Restore the North Woods supported by Roxanne Quimby and others that advocated a pure "wilderness or nothing" approach. There were detractors that claimed that the area was not managed "scientifically" rather it was a short term way of plugging budget gaps using high impact logging. Percival Baxter specifically called out that it was to exist but there were parties that were trying to argue that it should be allowed to revert to wilderness. I believe that the firewood was supplied by an outside vendor for many years and at best any profits were minimal to the park.

  6. #21
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    Still free in winter, AFAIK. I'd consider it a nuisance fee so as to encourage responsible usage of the available wood. If it were free, people would "hog it".

    Tim
    Yah $3 per bundle for a decent bundle (at least up to this year) is well worth it. I car camp a fair amount and $6-$9 a bundle for campground wood is pretty common. I never had a problem with the fee in Baxter until the wood sucked this year.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

  7. #22
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    Baxter hired a new Chief Ranger last week. Hopefully he will hit the ground with his boots on and restore some BSP values.

    https://observer-me.com/2019/07/24/n...er-state-park/

  8. #23
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    Hard to change course in the middle of busy season.

  9. #24
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Just for the record, I stayed at the South Branch Campground this past week and our experience was the polar opposite of July in Roaring Brook. The ranger found us late in the afternoon at our site for check in, checked our slip, reviewed ALL the rules of the campground in great detail (he even told me not to use my Yeti cooler, which is IGBC rated when padlocked) and told us to have a good time. Was very friendly. There was a handicapped couple (deaf) several sites down that fired up a generator while he was talking to us and he promptly went and dealt with that after speaking to us. They also had two "service dogs", one of which barked at everyone walking by and clearly was not a service dog. My wife said the morning I hiked the ranger was at their site early AM and later that day they had packed up and left. Not sure if they were asked to leave or it was coincidence. Outhouses were very clean, plenty of toilet paper and had air fresheners. The piles of paper and excrement inside were pretty high and had a lot of flies but were fine otherwise. Firewood was excellent. Combo of nice, dry and highly burnable pine as well as birch. The last night we bought two bundles that were 100% birch and had a nice, long, hot fire. The morning we were packing up another ranger stopped to empty the ash from our fire pit and had a nice friendly conversation too. So I'm hopeful our 2019 Roaring Brook experience was indeed a "one of" disappointment with the transition in management and things are back on track.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

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