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Please comment on South Colony Fees!

Colorado 14ers access and fee issues only, please

Access restrictions are inevitable

Postby Urban Snowshoer » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:33 pm

I don't claim to have any more right to hike and climb the 14ers anyone else on this site; however, I do understand the need for management, which may include some kind of limits. There's no free lunch here, access restrictions (fees, limited number of permits, etc) are the price you pay for keeping use at a sustainable level.

Previous posters and links have cited the financial unfairness of fees, which I generally agree with. A more important point might be that money itself isn't going to suddenly make the increased popularity of 14ers sustainable. Only limiting the number of people is really going to change things, and fees aren't the best way to impose limits.

Re: Please comment on South Colony Fees!

Postby Urban Snowshoer » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:40 pm

Vermont wrote:http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20100928/NEWS/100929817/1078&ParentProfile=1055

I can't believe this is true. I understand that the peaks need money to be maintained, but this just seems bureaucratic mess.


Money, though crucial in supporting maintenance, is only part of the equation. The other part, for lack of a better term, is carrying capacity: i.e. you can only have so many people using the areas, before it becomes unsustainable and destructive.

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Re: Please comment on South Colony Fees!

Postby D8S » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:21 am

Political Animal wrote:

Money, though crucial in supporting maintenance, is only part of the equation. The other part, for lack of a better term, is carrying capacity: i.e. you can only have so many people using the areas, before it becomes unsustainable and destructive.


In a large sense, that is very much the point. The Forest Service didn't implement a carrying capacity, only a fee. They closed the top of the road, which resulted in a new user created trail up Humbolt, and the closure has increased the number of visitors using the west side access (which crosses private land without a right of way - a no-no).

In essence, the actions won't decrease impacts, but spread those impacts out over a larger area, thereby making the impacts more difficult to manage.

Several years of volunteer labor have hardened South Colony Basin so that it is more capable of withstanding the impact of numerous visitors. From a management standpoint, it makes no sense to disperse those impacts to other more pristine areas, which is a logical reaction to the implementation of a fee program. Instead, visitors should be encouraged to use the South Colony Basin access, where it would be easier to install toilet facilities and maintain a Forest Service/volunteer presence.

Looking at the situation logically, the attempted implementation of a fee program had less to do with management than with money, and more with beginning the process of charging for general access to public lands.

Dave

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