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14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Colorado 14ers access and fee issues only, please

Are you okay with paying a user fee to access Colorado 14'ers?

Yes, for all 14'ers.
24
9%
Maybe, for certain areas.
40
14%
Maybe, but only if the fees were small.
30
11%
No, fees should generally not be charged to access these areas.
182
66%
 
Total votes : 276
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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby PeteDunnewald » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:11 pm

Hungry Jack wrote:
KBenzar wrote:Although my message to coloradokevin got this conversation going, I have largely stayed out of it. However because the organization I head (Western Slope No-Fee Coalition http://www.westernslopenofee.org) is actively engaged in trying to influence national policy (i.e. congress), and has been for a long time, I will contribute one observation and one suggestion.
The observation is that access fees began as Fee Demo in the late '90s. They were pushed by some key Republican legislators (Ralph Regula, Richard Pombo - both gone now) but were embraced by the Clinton administration and made part of Al Gore's "Reinventing Government" initiative. They have been continued and expanded by both the Bush and Obama administrations. Fees have been supported and opposed by members of congress of both parties. There is plenty of blame (or praise depending on your point of view) to go around and no need to point fingers at each other down here in the real world where we are all just citizens. The prime movers pushing for fees are the commercial interests, led by the American Recreation Coalition http://www.funoutdoors.com/arc/about which promotes "public/private partnerships" that are really privatization of our public lands. ARC proudly claims responsibility for Fee Demo as an "ARC initiative." (see also http://www.parkprivatization.com) Their goal, which is already well advanced, is to accustom us to paying for access, then the commercial interests move in to commercialize that access and profit from it. Anyone who thinks the Forest Service can be trusted to protect us from that is, as one poster phrased it, "a special kind of naive."
Now my suggestion: The long term policy on recreation fees is set in congress and one of the key players is Colorado Senator Mark Udall, who sits on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, chairs the National Parks Subcommittee, and takes a keen interest in National Forest issues. All of you who are Colorado residents and have an opinion about this should send him your thoughts via his constituent webform: http://www.markudall.senate.gov/?p=contact_us Like other members of congress he only accepts comments from his constituents but those of you outside Colorado can write him c/o the National Parks subcommittee at http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-form

I will now crawl back under my rock. Thank you for your time.


Excellent perspective. Thanks for weighing in. Yikes.

Like many here, I am willing to pay more if it supports upkeep of the natural asset. I would not want to pay a dime for some corporate entity to profit off this.


Well, sounds like we're a little farther down this trail than I thought. Yikes is right!
Pete

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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby ChrisRoberts » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:23 pm

Dex wrote:If the $ was for SAR. Then I think instead of everyone paying; the person rescued should pay.

Good luck getting people to call in when they know theyre footing the bill.
*****

I honestly wouldnt be opposed to paying $5, to get to the TH and back the gas money is already a necessary expense, plus you have to stop and get a bite to eat afterwards...paying a bit extra would just be part of life. I could find a bigger waste of a couple of dollars pretty easily, at least I'd be in the mountains and maybe helping to upgrade the trails or facilities.
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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby Dex » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:31 pm

ChrisRoberts wrote:
Dex wrote:If the $ was for SAR. Then I think instead of everyone paying; the person rescued should pay.

Good luck getting people to call in when they know theyre footing the bill.
*****

I honestly wouldnt be opposed to paying $5, to get to the TH and back the gas money is already a necessary expense, plus you have to stop and get a bite to eat afterwards...paying a bit extra would just be part of life. I could find a bigger waste of a couple of dollars pretty easily, at least I'd be in the mountains and maybe helping to upgrade the trails or facilities.


There is insurance. I've done trips to 3rd world countries that require evacuation insurance. It was inexpensive - from memory 100/year.

http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2010/08/search-and-rescue-ops-cost-national-park-service-48-million-20086495

Using the info above - $1,400 avg isn't too bad to save a life.

I agree with a per car parking fee.
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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby Bean » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:49 pm

Dex wrote:I agree with a per car parking fee.


The judge who oversaw the Mt Lemmon case doesn't.

I'm astonished at how many of you want to give money to the USFS for nothing. If you care about maintenance of summer 14er walking trails, give money to the CFI. Creating another fee paid to the USFS will just bloat the bureaucracy (and encourage concessionaires), and maybe stick a ranger at the TH every once in a while.
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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby Chicago Transplant » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:49 pm

Based on responses to an earlier post I made, I felt I should clarify. I wrote:

Chicago Transplant wrote:the post below is meant to act as a summary of people's opinions of each other views


I never said my summary was what people were saying about their OWN political affiliation, I said it was what people were saying about the OPPOSITE one... It doesn't mean either is correct, but it shows the reason why people are butting heads.

I then went on to say re-appropriation of fees to the NFS is the way to go, but with the realization that a hiker lobby in DC is weak (if it even exists!) and that w/o deep pocket lobbyists, the hikers will always lose.

We might have a big budget as a nation, and the NFS part might be a drop in the proverbial bucket, but the fact is outside of our relatively small user group, nobody gives a rats rear-side about hikers and getting anyone in DC to actually move that money to where we want it is incredibly unlikely. We don't make anybody enough money for them to care about us. Maybe we need to brag more post-climb when we are in the neighboring towns having a meal or shopping in their stores, but fact is in the non-hiker diners and shoppers far outnumber us. Hiker groups have no lobbying power, maybe we need to get more vocal about our wants and needs as a community so people will listen to us.

Talking about how to fund the NFS amongst a bunch of hikers (like we are doing on this thread) is not going to fix anything, we need to change the minds of non-hikers to see our view and realize the importance of funding our public lands (preferably through money we already have, and not by new fees!)
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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby PeteDunnewald » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:58 pm

Chicago Transplant wrote:Based on responses to an earlier post I made, I felt I should clarify. I wrote:

Chicago Transplant wrote:the post below is meant to act as a summary of people's opinions of each other views


I never said my summary was what people were saying about their OWN political affiliation, I said it was what people were saying about the OPPOSITE one... It doesn't mean either is correct, but it shows the reason why people are butting heads.

I then went on to say re-appropriation of fees to the NFS is the way to go, but with the realization that a hiker lobby in DC is weak (if it even exists!) and that w/o deep pocket lobbyists, the hikers will always lose.

We might have a big budget as a nation, and the NFS part might be a drop in the proverbial bucket, but the fact is outside of our relatively small user group, nobody gives a rats rear-side about hikers and getting anyone in DC to actually move that money to where we want it is incredibly unlikely. We don't make anybody enough money for them to care about us. Maybe we need to brag more post-climb when we are in the neighboring towns having a meal or shopping in their stores, but fact is in the non-hiker diners and shoppers far outnumber us. Hiker groups have no lobbying power, maybe we need to get more vocal about our wants and needs as a community so people will listen to us.

Talking about how to fund the NFS amongst a bunch of hikers (like we are doing on this thread) is not going to fix anything, we need to change the minds of non-hikers to see our view and realize the importance of funding our public lands (preferably through money we already have, and not by new fees!)


Well said!
Pete

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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby Hungry Jack » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:58 pm

Bean wrote:
Dex wrote:I agree with a per car parking fee.


The judge who oversaw the Mt Lemmon case doesn't.

I'm astonished at how many of you want to give money to the USFS for nothing. If you care about maintenance of summer 14er walking trails, give money to the CFI. Creating another fee paid to the USFS will just bloat the bureaucracy (and encourage concessionaires), and maybe stick a ranger at the TH every once in a while.


I'd split hairs with the "for nothing" part, but you are spot in arguing that probably the most efficient way to have an impact is directly support CFI. In terms of operating efficiency and ROI, these local non-profits are far more capable than the federal bureaucracy.
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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby Mtn Geek » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:41 pm

Putting a $20 fee at a 14er TH may or may not cut down on the volume of people. If it stops 50 people hiking Gray/Torries on a busy weekend are you really going to notice the decline of hikers? I think the surrounding 13ers are going to be impacted the most. There is no way I'm going to pay $20 to hike a lowly 13er like Kelso. If I hike Kelso I'm going to do G/T and hopefully Edwards as well.

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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby Patinator » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:59 pm

Why not make the trail head a lot further from the peak? Sure it will have some upfront costs associated with new gates, signage etc., but over time it would require less road maintenance and would probably see a drop in casual climbers. Take for example what has been done at the South Colony Lakes trail head. I don't have any usage numbers, but would be willing to bet that the extra miles have discouraged some people. If this issue is really about the environment, I think this option should be in the mix.

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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby SilverLynx » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:05 pm

For the love of God, if the complaint is crowds, the solution is 13ers, not fees at trailheads.
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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby coloradokevin » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:10 pm

SilverLynx wrote:For the love of God, if the complaint is crowds, the solution is 13ers, not fees at trailheads.


Spot on.

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Re: 14'er Climbing Fees Might Be Considered

Postby nfire » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:13 pm

SilverLynx wrote:For the love of God, if the complaint is crowds, the solution is 13ers, not fees at trailheads.

but i want to climb 14ers. would be worth the $10 upgrade imo.

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