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[pct-l] Fees

Apparently, El Dorado NF has been chartered to try out user fees for
walkers.  Now cows pay $.05 per day I am told, but hikers pay $5 per nite
plus $5.  Sounds abusive to me.  Here's what I wrote (and I encourage you
to write too).  The copies went to my Senators and Rep as the FS claims
that it is Congress that set the $.05 for the cows:

January 9, 1998

John Phipps, Forest Supervisor
El Dorado National Forest
100 Forni Road
Placerville CA 95667

Dear Mr. Phipps:

After considerable reflection, please consider the following rates
for your hiker user fees for the Eldorado National Forest:

1.  Since a cow weighs about 900 pounds and a hiker about 180 pounds,
charge hikers one fifth of what a cow pays per day to use the forest.

2.  Bear in mind that the hikers do not eat the vegetation or
urinate or defecate in the creeks (usually) but hikers do not ask
decreases for these reasons.

3.  Hikers also do not have hooves that destroy trails and back-
country, and again, no decrease is requested for this benefit that
hikers bring to the forests.

4.  I would recommend that as a economy measure that the Forest Service
elect to waive levying any total charges under $1, as it would cost more
to collect them than the value of the revenue.

5.  I am not sufficiently expert to determine if the cow fee should
be the roughly five cents per day it is now, or the twenty five dollars
a day it would be if scaled to the current hiker fee, but I would
suggest that some modification of the two is in order.

6.  It is obvious that pack animals and grazing animals impose about
the same burden on Forest Service lands and should pay commensurate
fees.  Whether this should be five cents or twenty five dollars per
day, I leave to your discretion.

If you concur in my position, no reply is required.  But if you wish
to argue that grazing cattle are "sacred cows" COMPARED TO HIKERS, I
would appreciate your stating the legislative basis for that

I deeply appreciate your cooperation.   Sincerely,
David Gomberg

cc:  Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein, Tom Lantos

Dave Gomberg				gomberg@wcf.com
FormMaestro					http://www.wcf.com
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