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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 » Thu May 13, 2010 11:04 am

Hey Bonehead,
Thanks for walking the walk, even if it doesn't match your talk :wink:
I'm not gonna call you anything, but your views sound cynical and defeatist. Lacking the background you just provided (your personal efforts), your posts could easily be construed as those of someone who wants the FS to succeed in this and is trying to minimize the outcry from people on 14ers.
If you hope for something better, but haven't had personal success, why discourage others?
Your experience with the Custer folks makes your viewpoint quite understandable, but not necessarily absolute. What if 500 Boneheads went to lobby the Custer people? Voting may not change much, but lots of people annoying the s**t out of bureaucrats could work out pretty well..

I stand by my example of what's happened in Wolf Creek. How do you explain those results? In general, money always wins, but not in that case, so far.
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 Oman » Thu May 13, 2010 11:24 am

Can't say whether a $10 fee will make anything better, but I don't think the old system has been working very well at South Colony. It's harder and harder to ignore hiker and camper damage around popular but unregulated 14er trailheads.

At the top of the old South Colony 4wd parking area was the disgusting but accurately named s**t Rock, and there were dozens of ramshackle campsites and catholes all around the area by the Crestone Needle turnoff.

We did the Four Pass Loop last fall and unfortunately found TP hanging on trees and many open toilets in the woods all along the south shore of Snowmass Lake. The Chicago Basin can be pretty disgusting. Como Lake ain't a garden party either, though that area has a lot of non-hiker traffic too.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but will note that I haven't seen basic sanitation problems on Longs, which gets a lot more traffic than the Crestones, Snowmass, the Blanca Group, or the Chicago Basin. The rap against the National Park Service is that it industrializes recreation. What's the alternative, though?

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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby Greenhouseguy » Thu May 13, 2010 11:40 am

Oman wrote:I'm not sure what the answer is, but will note that I haven't seen basic sanitation problems on Longs, which gets a lot more traffic than the Crestones, Snowmass, the Blanca Group, or the Chicago Basin.


Longs has the high altitude outhouses in the Boulder Field. If you build it, they will come.
"May your boulder be your blessing." - Aron Ralston

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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby bonehead » Thu May 13, 2010 11:51 am

Hey del_sur,
Thank you for not calling me anything,
and my views are definitely cynical, but not in the least defeatist.
My posts should NOT be construed as those of someone who wants the FS to succeed in this, and I am NOT trying to minimize the outcry from people on 14ers.
Quite the contrary. I want to wake people up.
I wish 500 Boneheads went to lobby the Custer people. I have been annoying the s**t out of bureaucrats (elected officials actually) for years, it has become my hobby.

Power to what happened in Wolf Creek.
But how do you explain those results?
Public Information and embarrassment that could come too close to certain politicians, maybe??

I will PM you shortly to avoid furthering this Hijack.
Pat

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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby tmathews » Thu May 13, 2010 11:56 am

Looks like the news has hit Denver's media, now: http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/23542616/detail.html

Re: South Colony Fees

Postby traderaaron » Thu May 13, 2010 1:38 pm

From an economics standpoint it would seem the problem is something that is free and which is not owned by anyone but by everyone is overused.

The simplest solution would be to implement a fee, the price of which would be dictated on the level of use the area can withstand without needing to build national park like infrastructure. Whether that amount is $10 or $100 or some changing variable would be up to the demand by users at each price level. How many are willing to pay $10, too many? Then it would have to increase to a level sufficient to decrease users. The NFS/BLM/National Parks never do this and that's why they have to use costly and time consuming reservation and permit systems instead of economic means to ration visitors.

This could be relatively simple (not likely for the FS though) and be structure in a way to avoid the need for reservations, infrastructure and ranger interference I believe.

I know that few like to think of 14ers in terms of pure economics as a way to manage resources but it may be the best option there is?

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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby elkheart22 » Thu May 13, 2010 1:55 pm

Oman wrote:Can't say whether a $10 fee will make anything better, but I don't think the old system has been working very well at South Colony. It's harder and harder to ignore hiker and camper damage around popular but unregulated 14er trailheads.

At the top of the old South Colony 4wd parking area was the disgusting but accurately named s**t Rock, and there were dozens of ramshackle campsites and catholes all around the area by the Crestone Needle turnoff.

We did the Four Pass Loop last fall and unfortunately found TP hanging on trees and many open toilets in the woods all along the south shore of Snowmass Lake. The Chicago Basin can be pretty disgusting. Como Lake ain't a garden party either, though that area has a lot of non-hiker traffic too.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but will note that I haven't seen basic sanitation problems on Longs, which gets a lot more traffic than the Crestones, Snowmass, the Blanca Group, or the Chicago Basin. The rap against the National Park Service is that it industrializes recreation. What's the alternative, though?


Good question, what is the alternative?
Obviously, we, as hikers & climbers can't, or won't, regulate ourselves. So, somebody has to do it for us.
The last 20 years the South Colony Basin has become nothing more than a
defacated-enhanced, enviromental nightmare.
I don't like closures & fees anymore than anybody else. However, nobody has yet to
come up with a better solution.
We're basically loving our mountains to death.
Lakes below the mountains
Flow into the sea
Like oils applied to canvas,
They permeate through me. --- Jimmy Buffett

Re: South Colony Fees

Postby Bean » Thu May 13, 2010 2:01 pm

elkheart22 wrote:Good question, what is the alternative?
Obviously, we, as hikers & climbers can't, or won't, regulate ourselves. So, somebody has to do it for us.
The last 20 years the South Colony Basin has become nothing more than a
defacated-enhanced, enviromental nightmare.
I don't like closures & fees anymore than anybody else. However, nobody has yet to
come up with a better solution.
We're basically loving our mountains to death.

Since when does everything have to be regulated?

As I suggested, drop a composting toilet in and be done with it. That seems to work well enough for countless other trailheads, why is an empire required?

And people really need to stop with the "loving the mountains to death" nonsense. We aren't. They have been here for a very long time. They will be here a long time after we're gone. The only mountains that are truly being "loved to death" are the ones getting the tops blown off for coal extraction, or those being completely eradicated for mining of other minerals.
gdthomas wrote:Bean, you're an idiot.

http://throughpolarizedeyes.com

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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby zacob » Thu May 13, 2010 2:25 pm

Come on Bean. We all know regulation is the answer.
I mean look at all the wonderful examples out there of how successful governments are at regulating things.
Take for example Mt Everest the mother of all managed mountains. Its only about $60K for the permit and for that you get to experience climbing the world’s tallest trash pile.
or closer to home let’s take a look the border that is being managed so well. Hell just go to the DMV to learn how well the government can manage and regulate.
But really the proof that is in the pudding... what are two mountains that people keep bringing up as examples of where they would pay or where they already pay. Longs Peak and Mt Evans. On any given weekend in the summer these are likely two of the most crowded peaks in Colorado why because the governmental infrastructure is closest. We are not loving out mountains to death but if we bring in the government we will regulate them to death.

You want a perfect example of self regulation look at the mountains that are remote, look at places where the government hasn't plowed in a road and built a trail head. You want to protect the mountains the solution isn't to build more crap the solution is to remove the crap we have already built. get the government out of the business of managing the "wilderness" that of course is the key word its wilderness... stop trying to manage it. every time the EPA, or the forest service gets involved the people and the environment get the shaft.

Bottom line The solution isn't to build in a fee structure and add amenities the solution is to make it free and stop maintaining the road and trail heads. You will be amazed and just how quickly the mountains will re-claim the landscape.

Re: South Colony Fees

Postby Bean » Thu May 13, 2010 2:49 pm

The only 14er climb I've ever spent $107 was on Culebra, and yes that's counting food, gas, consumable and/or lost gear, etc.
gdthomas wrote:Bean, you're an idiot.

http://throughpolarizedeyes.com

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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby covfrrider » Thu May 13, 2010 2:52 pm

The federal gubberment should sell them to private individuals (ala Culebra) to pay down the debt. Then the private individuals can open them to the public (or not) as they see fit and charge what the market will bear.

I'm sure Algor, Soros, Raines and Stern could afford to buy them all and let people climb them for free.

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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby BIO_KNEE » Thu May 13, 2010 2:53 pm

Bean wrote:The only 14er climb I've ever spent $107 was on Culebra, and yes that's counting food, gas, consumable and/or lost gear, etc.



I wish I got that gas mileage! :cussing:

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