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Mt. Evans User Fee To Continue

Colorado 14ers access and fee issues only, please
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Re: Mt. Evans User Fee To Continue

Postby Mark A Steiner » Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:20 pm

Matt wrote:
Mark A Steiner wrote:The annual National Park fee is $40 anywhere, anytime.

The Interagency Pass is $80 per year and covers entrance fees to NPS, USFS, and BLM-administered sites.
http://www.fs.fed.us/passespermits/annual.shtml
Mine pays for itself several times over each year, even now that I don't spend a couple weeks in Sedona any more.
An added bonus is telling the Mt. Evans fee taker that I won't be paying today, just to see the reaction. It's easy to see that they catch a lot of hell for this and have been coached on avoiding confrontation. In June I was told that I "shouldn't mind paying money to support National Parks." I took my pass back and asked if Rocky was the closest National Park to Mt. Evans...
If I didn't have this pass, I probably wouldn't go up there at all because I do think the fee is BS.


Indeed it is Matt. Thanks for the Interagency Pass data. If I ever get enough time away to use the derned thing, it may well be worth it.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content - Paul the Apostle.
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Re: Mt. Evans User Fee To Continue

Postby tundraking » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:25 pm

Used road and climbed peaks today in this area, did not pay $10 fee. I told the ranger that I was not going to use any amenities and he said "you can't stop anywhere". I told him I could as long as it was an undeveloped area with no amenities. He said "the paved road is CDOT, the dirt is ours, you can't stop". I informed that this was not accurate. He said he didn't want to argue and let me through.

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Re: Mt. Evans User Fee To Continue

Postby coloradokevin » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:56 am

tundraking wrote:Used road and climbed peaks today in this area, did not pay $10 fee. I told the ranger that I was not going to use any amenities and he said "you can't stop anywhere". I told him I could as long as it was an undeveloped area with no amenities. He said "the paved road is CDOT, the dirt is ours, you can't stop". I informed that this was not accurate. He said he didn't want to argue and let me through.



Yeah, I've been trying to figure out their logic for some time now. Summit Lake is a Denver Mountain Park, and is owned by the City and County of Denver. How in the world do they figure that they own that area? Even for the uninformed, the Denver sign should have been a hint.

The city of Denver has owned this park since 1924, and it consists of 160 acres which are surrounded by National Forest lands. So, if I drive a Colorado state-owned highway directly to a 160 acre Denver-owned park, and then hang out at that park, how is the forest service entitled to a fee?

See this link:

http://www.denvergov.org/parks/MountainParks/SummitLakePark/tabid/434959/Default.aspx

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Re: Mt. Evans User Fee To Continue

Postby Screed » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:51 am

tundraking wrote:Used road and climbed peaks today in this area, did not pay $10 fee. I told the ranger that I was not going to use any amenities and he said "you can't stop anywhere". I told him I could as long as it was an undeveloped area with no amenities. He said "the paved road is CDOT, the dirt is ours, you can't stop". I informed that this was not accurate. He said he didn't want to argue and let me through.


Bravo, dude. I see nothing wrong with the way you handled the situation. Did you get a notice of required fee?
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Re: Mt. Evans User Fee To Continue

Postby Steaky » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:00 pm

It's not the clearest thing in the world. What they need is to have every member of staff sit down together and have a short presentation and discussion on the topic. In fact, I'm sure they do, its just that nobody remembers the same thing.

I think the situation is a bunch of convoluted BS that puts the rangers and staff in a bad position where they look like assholes if they try to enforce the law and fees, and softies when they let in a number of jerks who swear they wont use the facilities, but actually do. The problem I see with the Evans Road is that if you post up signs saying, "If you don't leave the road, you don't have to pay" of course everyone will say they wont leave the road, and the average person will think that, regardless of the signs, that its perfectly okay for them to leave the road if they have to take a big dump in the toilet, want to buy something at the gift shop, want to get a better picture of the goats, etc.

I'm sure the rangers there, like the rangers anywhere, have to deal with a huge number of people who get indignant when told that no, they could not just "check it out" for free. Or the people who say they are just going to pick up a disabled friend/family member and are found three hours later with a whole picnic spread set up. Or the people who came in before the entrance booth was manned and "didnt see" any of the signs and drove around the barricade that said, "STOP - PAY HERE" and swear they were going to pay on their way OUT of the park. These aren't the majority, or even the minority, but they're the ones you remember when that next car comes to your window with a reason why they dont feel they have to pay.

...Just thought I'd try to give a different perspective. I don't agree with how it seems to be presented by the experiences some here have had ("No, you have to pay!) but aside from it becoming a free-for-all, I'm not sure what a good solution wold be.

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Re: Mt. Evans User Fee To Continue

Postby Carl » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:43 pm

Steaky wrote:Or the people who say they are just going to pick up a disabled friend/family member and are found three hours later with a whole picnic spread set up.


Charging a fee solely for "picnicking along roadsides" is expressly prohibited by United States Code Title 16 Section 6802(d)(1)(A). Just sayin :wink:

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Re: Mt. Evans User Fee To Continue

Postby EricB » Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:26 pm



According to that link:

"The U.S. Forest Service charges a fee to access the recreational area along Mount Evans Road (Hwy 5). Denver receives a portion of the fees collected to assist in maintaining our Mt. Evans parks. Recent parking lot improvements, accessible wilderness trail, and restrooms were built using these funds and a State Trails grant."

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Re: Mt. Evans User Fee To Continue

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:33 pm

I have a good solution...

Tear down all of the US Forest Service amenities, including the fee station, and let CDOT simply be responsible for road maintenance. It's already "cherry-stemmed" to the end of the road and the USFS could simply be removed from the equation. CDOT already does all road maintenance and handles closures.

Done. What fee?
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Re: Mt. Evans User Fee To Continue

Postby hberry » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:14 pm

Image

Re: Mt. Evans User Fee To Continue

Postby Bean » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:20 pm

Steaky wrote: I think the situation is a bunch of convoluted BS that puts the rangers and staff in a bad position where they look like assholes if they try to enforce the law and fees

They don't just look like assholes - they are assholes - because they're "enforcing" a fee that is in direct violation of the law.
gdthomas wrote:Bean, you're an idiot.

http://throughpolarizedeyes.com

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Re: Mt. Evans User Fee To Continue

Postby larkinrx2 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:46 pm

BillMiddlebrook wrote:I have a good solution...
Tear down all of the US Forest Service amenities, including the fee station, and let CDOT simply be responsible for road maintenance. It's already "cherry-stemmed" to the end of the road and the USFS could simply be removed from the equation. CDOT already does all road maintenance and handles closures.
Done. What fee?


but that would remove the things they can charge for and some people probably enjoy...... how about tear down the gate at the bottom of the road and move it to the entrance to the visitor center parking lot. It will be like driving into the flagship REI but there will be a fee instead of a threat that the parking is only for REI
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Re: Mt. Evans User Fee To Continue

Postby D8S » Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:46 pm

Thanks all for the great comments. Please accept my apologies for being so absent.

As those who have taken the time to read the actual decision understand, the court ignored the plaintiffs' "as-applied" challenge, and alleged that the plaintiffs challenged the Forest Service's implementation of the fee program on its face, alleging that the plaintiffs asserted that every person who has ever been charged the fee, or will ever be charged the fee, is being charged improperly. Reading the arguments makes it clear that the plaintiffs made no such assertions, but simply altruistically included "those similarly situated" in their prayer for court relief. This is what created the problem.

Steaky wrote

It's not the clearest thing in the world. What they need is to have every member of staff sit down together and have a short presentation and discussion on the topic. In fact, I'm sure they do, its just that nobody remembers the same thing.


The simple way to administer the fee in compliance with the law is to charge a fee only for those who stop at the Nature Center. But let's not forget, the Forest Service stated in 2005 "don't advertise this (the ability to visit without paying if you don't use the amenities) capability." It's not a question of communicating with its employees, its a question of the Forest Service choosing to comply with the law.

Inviting members of the Western Slope No-Fee Coalition to sit down with the entrance station attendants would also clarify the issue, but the Forest Service wouldn't like it much. The Custer County Commissioners asked the Forest Service to do just that concerning the So Colony Fee proposal. The Western Slope No-Fee Coalition accepted, and the Forest Service declined.

by hberry » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:14 pm


Image

I love your comment, though I'm not sure I understand it. The issue that has been beaten to death is that the Forest Service really [i][b]is[b][i] violating the law. That's a given, proven beyond any doubt. That has been proven time and time again. Its only the court that doesn't allow this issue to die, in this case by narrowly focusing on a single statement and ignoring the rest of the evidence.

Dave

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