May I add;
As much as I hate paying fees for things, money has to come from somewhere.
As discussed previously, the money comes from congressional appropriations, which increased $15 million in 2009 and $7.5 million this year. And just because the funds are supposed to be used on site doesn't mean that the FS won't cut the appropriation side of the funding to leave South Colony funded exactly as before. Except that we're paying more.
Falcon 3 wrote:
I see fees for this as no different than any other fees you pay to use "public goods".
In one sense you're right, except that we already pay for public lands the same way we pay for our streets. Adding a fee is similar to charging a toll to use the street in front of your house. First, imagine how obnoxious it would be to have to stop and pay a toll every time you used your street, and second imagine how much extra infrastructure / fee collectors it would take to implement such a program. You're basically arguing against the fees and in favor of the efficiency of appropriated funding.
Falcon 3 wrote:
The solution is simple. You pay the fee, or you don't. If you disagree with the law, disobey it. This is America so to ahead and protest. If you get caught you pay the fine.
Unfortunately, the solution isn't that simple. For example, the law (FLREA) clearly and unambiguously states that the Forest Service cannot charge for scenic overlooks. So if you visit the Forest Service's designated overlook at the upper end of State Hwy 5 (the Mt. Evans road), and the Forest Service writes you a citation, should you be found guilty? In other words, if you're driving 50 in a 55 zone and an officer writes you a citation for doing 50 in a 35 zone, should you pay?
Jim Davies wrote:
Somewhere in the FS documents they say that climbing Humboldt via North Colony Lakes or the east ridge wouldn't require a fee, so the west side of the Crestones would also be free (for now).
James Scott wrote:
The fees keep refering to camping and hiking in South Colony. Does this mean the mountains will be free if we use the Willow Lake approach from the west? Not just refering to this specific set of mountians, but how many basins and how many approaches lead to summits of 14ers? Will the fees specifically be for using these basins and valleys, or for standing on top of the mountian? And if it is for standing on top of the mountain, what if someone stops a few feet short of the summit?
The Fee Proposal states: (emphasis added)
Designated Fee Area â€“ The entire South Colony basin above the new trailhead on the San Isabel N.F and the Cottonwood Lake basin on the Rio Grande N.F., including the climbing routes to the summits of Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle and Humboldt Peak.
Broadly interpreted, as the Forest Service is likely to do, this means that simply being present on the summit of any of the 3 14ers would require a fee. It would make no difference which access you used, although you might very well get away with not buying a permit if you climb via one of the other routes and don't linger long on the summit.
Anyone over the age of 18 must have a special recreation permit to be in the area
Again, entering the area, the area being defined by the Forest Service, and not which route you use, is the deciding factor in whether the FS expects you to have a permit. And remember, the FS is deciding the boundaries of the area. We can expect that if the Forest Service believes that too many people (in their opinion) are avoiding the fee, they can change the boundary to encompass more areas.
Jim Davies wrote:
And you're right, there's no way they could enforce these fees, so they will wind up being mostly voluntary.
It all depends on how much the FS wants to push the point. They've budgeted $20,000 for a ranger. I can easily see a ranger stationed full time in the basin, and who climbs one or more of the 14ers daily doing fee compliance, at which point what you're really paying for is fee enforcement.
You libtards sure like the word "must" when it comes to other peoples money, huh?
I find the argument works both ways. While I may ask that other people fund our public lands, I'm not complaining about putting their children through school, paving their street, etc. Society works when we join our resources together. In reality both sides seem to expect the other to pay for what they think is important, and many expect the other side to pay more for what they don't think is important.