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South Colony Fees

Colorado 14ers access and fee issues only, please
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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby Matt » Wed May 12, 2010 8:45 am

The South Colony area has been a FS pet project for years.
No amount of input from us is going to change the direction they are already set upon.
They pulled off the road closure with barely a whimper from the public, everyone just seemed to grab the old ankles.
Look for much the same output on this current issue.


This may be right, but I hope not.
Maybe grabbing the ankles instead of speaking up was the problem? If no one spoke up, how can anyone assert that public input doesn't work in this case?
The folks who've rallied to stop the Pillage at Wolf Creek provide an example of the system actually working. In this case, a billionaire couldn't pay his way into getting an eyesore at 10k feet because people spoke up and took action. For now, at least, it's going nowhere. Bravo. http://www.friendsofwolfcreek.org/

I, for one, am going to say something, even if Bonehead could be correct in saying it doesn't matter. No effort basically guarantees no reward.
We are all greater artists than we realize -FWN
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -HDT
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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby Nathan Hale » Wed May 12, 2010 12:51 pm

I encourage everyone who wishes to comment to read the information that the Forest Service has provided before commenting. In particular at the FS website (http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/psicc/sanc/), there is a document containing a list of expected objections and the FS response to those objections. If you're going to comment, it would serve everyone better if you read that first and didn't just comment with a bunch of things that they feel they've already addressed.

It would appear from that FAQ that accessing Humboldt from either the east ridge or N. Colony would be acceptable without the fee, although both would skirt the edge of the fee area according to the map.

Also, the proposal details where the funds would be spent. It seems to me that at least 50% of those expenses are unnecessary and could be cut out.
But for now we are young, let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see.

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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby semitrueskerm » Wed May 12, 2010 3:22 pm

This confirms what I've been saying for a while... In 5 to 10 years, most, if not all, 14ers will be charged fees...either in parking, camping, day permits, whatever. It's just too much for government to allow "free" access to the 14ers when the popularity of the climbs continue to rise. I say "free" a bit tongue in cheek since we obviously already pay taxes that go to BLM and other Parks services.

Re: South Colony Fees

Postby Jon Frohlich » Wed May 12, 2010 3:36 pm

semitrueskerm wrote:This confirms what I've been saying for a while... In 5 to 10 years, most, if not all, 14ers will be charged fees...either in parking, camping, day permits, whatever. It's just too much for government to allow "free" access to the 14ers when the popularity of the climbs continue to rise. I say "free" a bit tongue in cheek since we obviously already pay taxes that go to BLM and other Parks services.


Almost impossible to make it work in this state. I don't see the FS and BLM putting in the infrastructure it would take to actually maintain a fee program on more than a few peaks. It only works on a place like Whitney because it's a national park and your options are limited. Even then there are ways around like the MR. Fee fears have been building for a while but except for South Colony (and this one isn't even approved yet) we haven't seen much of any significant move in that direction.

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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby tmathews » Wed May 12, 2010 5:41 pm

Jim Davies wrote:
traderaaron wrote:Who really maintains costly summit trails, the NFS or groups like CFI?

Rocky Mountain Field Institute has been doing trail construction and maintenance in South Colony Lakes for the past eight years or so. While most of their work is done by volunteers, they do have a $380K annual budget (total, including other projects) of which about 40% comes from government grants. I wouldn't be surprised if the government funded over $35K of trail work in South Colony Lakes last year, plus there's the money spent on the road, parking, and campground.

$10 per person per day might be a little low, compared to the actual cost of running that area.


I ran into a group from RMFI last July on my way up Crestone Needle from Cottonwood Creek. They were working on improving the trail up Broken Hand Pass from S. Colony Lakes. Great group of folks.

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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby abrowland » Wed May 12, 2010 6:25 pm

Here's what $20K of fees / year gets you under their proposal:
"Wilderness Ranger presence (better security, better enforcement of backcountry etiquette, improved recreational experiences through active management of recreational settings and social behaviors)"

Better security? Will the ranger be there to protect me from marmots?
Better enforcement of backcountry etiquette? I can do that myself.
Improved rec experiences? I'd have an improved experience if just left alone!

What it will get me is a ranger handing out wag bags and issuing permits 7x week followed by a 10 minute lecture on backcountry etiquette, and some interpretive sign on the recreational benefits of the mountains. All this for $10-$20 a night. What a deal.

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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Wed May 12, 2010 7:37 pm

And eventually an expansion in local FS staff to manage the growing crowds???
I expect plenty of the fees will go to more Mt. Evans-style empire building?
"There's no recess and no rules in the school of life" - D. Mustaine

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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby bonehead » Thu May 13, 2010 10:11 am

BillMiddlebrook wrote:And eventually an expansion in local FS staff to manage the growing crowds???
I expect plenty of the fees will go to more Mt. Evans-style empire building?

Very true Bill.
Thanks for making me feel that I am not so for off route here on this thread.
Also traderaaron, semitrueskermand and abrowland !

Years ago I witnessed very similar politically motivated programs; either access/environmental issues, fee/Revenue Enhancement, or whatever BS, progress to culmination in CA. Opposition be damned, the Government got it's way. They instituted a yearly Rec? Pass; needed to just park on a county highway and go fishing for an hour, or have a picnic. Thankfully however; the pass is only required on government owned land, but which just happens to be half the West!
California/U.S. Government Land Management Bureaucrats currently have a strangle-hold on access/use ability in way too much of that state.

That Bureaucratic control mentality is coming here to all of Colorado, sooner than later.

I visited the FS/BLM office in Canon City yesterday. A very nice place with a very nice, helpful, and knowledgeable receptionist type FS lady. As a taxpayer I am glad to support her, as she seemed to be the only one working there, ostensibly.

However, it was a very large building with ~50 cars in the employee parking area. I would assume most of those cars represent a hands-off bureaucrat tucked away and lurking in their own little offices. I do try to assure myself that all of them are only "Trying to Help Me".
When Government on any level wants to help me, I know I'm in for trouble.
Pucker up, it's bend over time.
Last edited by bonehead on Thu May 13, 2010 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: South Colony Fees

Postby dubsho3000 » Thu May 13, 2010 10:47 am

semitrueskerm wrote:This confirms what I've been saying for a while... In 5 to 10 years, most, if not all, 14ers will be charged fees...either in parking, camping, day permits, whatever. It's just too much for government to allow "free" access to the 14ers when the popularity of the climbs continue to rise. I say "free" a bit tongue in cheek since we obviously already pay taxes that go to BLM and other Parks services.


How long have you been saying that? Are you butting up against your 5 years?

You require surprisingly little confirmation for your outlandish belief.

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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby bonehead » Thu May 13, 2010 10:53 am

del_sur wrote:
I, for one, am going to say something, even if Bonehead could be correct in saying it doesn't matter. No effort basically guarantees no reward.


Someone once said:
"If Voting Counted, They wouldn't let you do it"

I take politics and public policy very seriously. Money talks, BS walks. Connections count for a lot, but always follow the money.
As far as my personal pet peeve over this issue is concerned:
I know all 3 Custer County Commissioners and have recently lobbied each of them in person.
I visited the FS office in Canon yesterday to also express my opinion there.
I've done my part here, but I stick by my prediction.
Call me a cynic if you like. History has made me one.
And BTW, Everything Matters.

Re: South Colony Fees

Postby dubsho3000 » Thu May 13, 2010 10:58 am

Let's not forget this area has been trashed by people with poor backcountry ettiquette, and this area is overrun by gun-toting, acid-dropping rednecks. Not to mention common theives.

I'm not in favor of this fee (or any fees for public land access), but let's not pretend things are all sunshine and roses. We really shouldn't allow the degradation of such a beautiful area. Sometimes a compromise is necessary.

Re: South Colony Fees

Postby Bean » Thu May 13, 2010 11:01 am

dubsho3000 wrote:Let's not forget this area has been trashed by people with poor backcountry ettiquette, and this area is overrun by gun-toting, acid-dropping rednecks. Not to mention common theives.

I'm not in favor of this fee (or any fees for public land access), but let's not pretend things are all sunshine and roses. We really shouldn't allow the degradation of such a beautiful area. Sometimes a compromise is necessary.

Because charging a $10 fee (which will probably be largely ignored by "gun-toting, acid-dropping rednecks" and will certainly be ignored by thieves) will definitely make everything better.
gdthomas wrote:Bean, you're an idiot.

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