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Re: [pct-l] backcountry fees

>Back Packer writes:
> > >Form: Memo
> > >Text: (15 lines follow)
> > >Alan was discussing his costs for hiking in the Grand Canyon. Man, this is
> >
> >
> > Well said.  These fee mania must cease.
> >
>I don't agree.  I have a $300 tent, $200 sleeping bag, $200 pack, $50
>stove, $100 boots, $200 rain gear, $200 camera, $100 odds and ends,
>cost me $30 in gas and $40 in food for a backpacking trip.  I'm sure
>other people have similar costs.  If I can afford all that, I
>can afford an entrance fee.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion.  And yes since you can afford those
type of prices on equipment you can afford an added fee.  But there are
MANY MANY people who do not spend those types of sums on equipment and CAN
NOT afford the increasing fees.

Our country was founded on equal rights for all, not just those who can
afford them.

>Sure, there are some people who didn't spend as much.  Maybe their
>equipment is second hand or something like that, but it does cost
>money to blast the switchbacks out of rock, build the bridges across
>the rivers and run the wilderness permit system.  Maybe your fees
>don't go directly to the parks or wilderness maintainence, but it does
>go to the big pot of money where "everything" is paid for.

And I for one don't have a problem with making sure enough of the existing
dollars collected from the taxes I pay are allocated to provide these

If we extend the logic of fees further then I think parents of each child
should pay a fee of about $5,000 per year.  Now before you misunderstand
I'm not advocating this position, but it logical from the arguments used
for fees on all types of "governmental" services.

>Ever hike a trail in very early spring with all the trees down across
>the trail and sections washed out?  Go back in the middle of summer
>and those trees have been cleared and the trail repaired.  Do you
>think the beavers and bears did it?  No, it costs money. I'm sure it
>costs more money then they collect in fees.

Sure have.  I ran into that in various areas along both the PCT and CDT.  I
think it is part of hiking in the back country.  It is nice to have clear
trails, but I still hike throught the down fall.

I know someone has to do basic trail work.  I don't dispute that.  What I
do dispute is the move to use fee for service for most governmental
programs.  I would suggest rather that since we are losing the war against
drugs that we could divert say $100,000,000 from that $18 billion fund and
utilize that for back country maintenance across the country.

>I've been telling the rangers a Yosemite for years that they should
>raise the entrance fees.  It looks like this year they may do it.  The
>entrance fee for Yosemite in 1960 was $5.  Today it's still $5.  It
>should be more that $20 to keep up with inflation.

Oops.  I was just in Yosemite on Saturday and the fee I would have had to
pay if I didn't have a golden eagle pass would have been $20.  or $10 if I
had ridden my bike into the park.

Personally I would like to see no fees.  Growing up the only vacation my
family could afford was going to Kings Canyon, paying a $2 entrance fee,
camping was free then.  We brought all of our food with us and didn't spend
money on items while in the park.  Without such an opportunity I would
probably not have been afforded the opportunity to enjoy OUR National

While I am financially in a position where I can personally afford to pay
an increased fee, there are millions of people in the country who can not
afford these types of fees.  They are being unfairly excluded from enjoying
the wonders which are our national treasures.

We need to start thinking of all people not just those of us who can afford it.

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