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Mt. Evans Road Fiasco GETS WORSE?

Colorado 14ers access and fee issues only, please
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Postby ClimbandMine » Tue May 29, 2007 1:59 pm

One point I've made, and have made by writiing now to the Clear Creek Ranger district, CDOT, and two congressmen, is that the USFS is not following the law on MT. Evans. If i have to, than my governement damn well better.

I have no problem paying taxes, even though they are my biggest expense, as I'm sure they are for most of you. The rest of the country doesn't much care that we have to pay a fee. Likewise I don't give a s**t when a military base in California gets closed. Same difference. That's government. Common good is a balancing act. Cut a budget to save a tree or kill an Iraqi. Whatever. If you don't make your voice heard, your leadership won't know the issues you really care about.
Last edited by ClimbandMine on Tue May 29, 2007 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby BillMiddlebrook » Tue May 29, 2007 1:59 pm

To me, this problem is not about the fee.

Their process for collecting fees seems flawed based on the recent information that came out in the news and releases made by CDOT. I agree that the USFS is underfunded in most districts, but they still have to play by the rules and should be open and honest with the public. If this was a Forest Service road, I would have never had a problem with it and would have gladly paid the $10 to use the area. In fact, thinking it was owned by USFS, I've done so over the past decade - contributing $200 via the Mt. Evans road. And I will continue to do so when I use the USFS parking areas and facilities.

The policy was set by the Clear Creek Ranger District (Ranger: Daniel Lovato, I believe) and I suspect they will hear quickly from employees if there is confusion and frustration with their policy. If someone wants to call them, the district number is 303-567-3000.

And I'll say it... Just a few hundred thousand dollars of the Iraq war money would go a long way in an USFS district.

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Postby cbauer10 » Tue May 29, 2007 2:24 pm

Whoopsie wrote:...if you haven't noticed the condition of the road is significantly better than it was 10 years ago.


Not that I disagree with you, but since CDOT sees none of that money, that fee has not contributed to the improvement of the road. Our tax dollars have paid for that not the USFS fee.

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Try 7 News

Postby peterarcher10 » Tue May 29, 2007 2:37 pm

Why doesn't everyone drop 7 news a message about this issue and see if they can get any answers? Here is the link http://www.thedenverchannel.com/contact7/index.html
Put it under 7 News Investigates

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Postby Andy » Tue May 29, 2007 2:51 pm

BillMiddlebrook wrote:To me, this problem is not about the fee.

Their process for collecting fees seems flawed based on the recent information that came out in the news and releases made by CDOT. I agree that the USFS is underfunded in most districts, but they still have to play by the rules and should be open and honest with the public. If this was a Forest Service road, I would have never had a problem with it and would have gladly paid the $10 to use the area. In fact, thinking it was owned by USFS, I've done so over the past decade - contributing $200 via the Mt. Evans road. And I will continue to do so when I use the USFS parking areas and facilities.

The policy was set by the Clear Creek Ranger District (Ranger: Daniel Lovato, I believe) and I suspect they will hear quickly from employees if there is confusion and frustration with their policy. If someone wants to call them, the district number is 303-567-3000.

And I'll say it... Just a few hundred thousand dollars of the Iraq war money would go a long way in an USFS district.

We should invite Lovato or another USFS representative to participate in this thread. :idea:
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Postby Todd Caudle » Tue May 29, 2007 3:15 pm

Arguments about shrinking budgets and the like aside, this issue is about the USFS charging for something they clearly shouldn't be charging for. Here's an easy analogy. Say the USFS had facilities in the breakfast cereal aisle at your local King Soopers store, for which they required a fee to enter. Would you really think it's fair to have to pay to enter King Soopers' front door, even if you have no need to enter the breafast cereal aisle? Especialy when you consider that none of that money paid to enter KS would go to the upkeep of all the other aisles, but would instead go to the USFS's general fund, and maybe trickle back to the breakfast cereal aisle?

Here's an interesting comparison: The USFS is collecting $10/car for entrance onto the Mt. Evans highway. Supposedly that money is for upkeep of the USFS-managed facilities along the road, like Summit Lake. Which do you think is more expensive, emptying the trash cans at Summit Lake, or maintaining that road, and clearing it of snow for summer travel? We're already paying for the road's upkeep through Colorado taxes, why should we have to pay the USFS for services we don't necessarily intend to use, and for which they're not even supposed to be collecting a fee?
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Postby ontopoftheworld » Tue May 29, 2007 3:22 pm

Todd Caudle wrote:Here's an easy analogy. Say the USFS had facilities in the breakfast cereal aisle at your local King Soopers store, for which they required a fee to enter. Would you really think it's fair to have to pay to enter King Soopers' front door, even if you have no need to enter the breafast cereal aisle? Especialy when you consider that none of that money paid to enter KS would go to the upkeep of all the other aisles, but would instead go to the USFS's general fund, and maybe trickle back to the breakfast cereal aisle?


I would just go to Safeway.

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Postby Todd Caudle » Tue May 29, 2007 3:33 pm

Touché! (Although I think the USFS does have control of frozen foods, as well as dairy at Albertsons.)
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Postby Scott P » Tue May 29, 2007 3:34 pm

Their process for collecting fees seems flawed based on the recent information that came out in the news and releases made by CDOT.


Yes, Bill. I was just worried about picking on the wrong person (people).

Anyway, maybe CDOT should just take back the road.

In the meantime, people should just boycott or bike it. :wink:

We're already paying for the road's upkeep through Colorado taxes, why should we have to pay the USFS for services we don't necessarily intend to use, and for which they're not even supposed to be collecting a fee?


Good point, but remember that most of CDOT's money comes from Federal, not State funds and is paid for with Federal taxes.

I would just go to Safeway.


Another good point. Why not just hike up a different side of the mountain and why are supposed "hikers and climbers" here wanting to take the highway up or even climbing a peak with a highway up it in the first place?

The best thing that could happen to Mount Evans is to not have built the highway there in the first place. Other than Mauna Kea and White Mountain, no peak over 12,000 feet in the entire US has had to suffer the indignity of having a road to the top. Colorado has many, many high peaks with roads on them.

Colorado is already the least wild state in the west (by the distance you can get away from a road), so why not visit a "less developed" peak if you are a climber or hiker? :?

Do you really want Colorado to be like back east where many of the highest mountains/hills have roads to the top? Most of the Western State's higher peaks on average require walking much longer distances than the average 14er. A shame, really that there are so many roads in the high mountains of CO.

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Postby BillMiddlebrook » Tue May 29, 2007 4:19 pm

Scott Patterson wrote:Why not just hike up a different side of the mountain and why are supposed "hikers and climbers" here wanting to take the highway up or even climbing a peak with a highway up it in the first place?


Personally, I go up there for various reasons other than a climb:
1) Take family visiting from back east (they love it!)
2) Get my kids up higher than they've been able to hike so far
3) For various types of landscape photos
4) Check conditions for skiing in Summit Bowl (like Saturday)
5) Take pictures of shedding goats in summer
6) Check out trail modifications by the CFI, so I can update the site
7) View elk herds in the fall

Postby Bean » Tue May 29, 2007 4:27 pm

Scott Patterson wrote:If someone was harrassing me all day, I would just quit.
Great idea. All the coercive toll collectors quit, there'll be no one there to try to rob people.

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Postby Scott P » Tue May 29, 2007 4:31 pm

Source? I just find it hard to believe considering some of the conjested states back east.


I said in the West, not the US.

Anyway, the maximum core to premimeter distance of any roadless area in Colorado is just over 8 miles in the Weminuche, by far the least in the west. Compare that with 38 miles in Montana, 60 miles (??) in Idaho, 19 miles in Utah, and so on. If you want I can read and post the exact figures since this is just off the top of my head.
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Bill, I respect you so much (seriously), but can I pick on you, hee hee? :D

1) Take family visiting from back east (they love it!)


Can they walk?

2) Get my kids up higher than they've been able to hike so far


How old? I would find it very reasonable to take a three year old, maybe two up from Guanella to Bierstadt. Is Evans from Guanella so much harder than Bierstadt?

3) For various types of landscape photos


Can be done on foot (or bike).

4) Check conditions for skiing in Summit Bowl (like Saturday)


Can be done on foot (or bike).

5) Take pictures of shedding goats in summer


Can be done on foot (or bike).

6) Check out trail modifications by the CFI, so I can update the site


Can be done on foot (or bike).

7) View elk herds in the fall


Can be done on foot (or bike)

OK, please don’t kick me off the site. :D

Great idea. All the coercive toll collectors quit, there'll be no one there to try to rob people.


Not so. They will just hire another one and train with taxpayer money as long as the policy stays the same. That's why you go after the policy makers and not the lowly workers.

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