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Fees for South Colony Basin

Colorado 14ers access and fee issues only, please
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Fees for South Colony Basin

Postby scottrappold » Wed May 12, 2010 4:46 pm

The Forest Service made if official Tuesday, issuing a press release about their proposal to charge $10 hiking and $20 camping fees at South Colony Basin.
In the interest of spurring conversation about it (not to mention website hits for my employer, The Gazette), here's a story I wrote about it:

Days of free fourteener climbing may be ending

Forest Service wants to charge first fourteener permit fees at South Colony Basin near Westcliffe
May 12, 2010 4:30 PM
R. SCOTT RAPPOLD
THE GAZETTE

Hikers and mountain climbers on the West Coast have long grown used to tight regulations on popular peaks – make a reservation, sometimes months in advance, and pay a fee to climb.
In Colorado, the 500,000 people who climb a 14,000-foot mountain each year just go and climb it.
But those days could be numbered.
The U.S. Forest Service Tuesday unveiled plans to begin charging hikers and backpackers a fee, $10 per person, per trip to hike and $20 to camp, in heavily used South Colony Basin in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, an access point for four fourteeners. It would be the first permit and fee requirement on a fourteener, with the exception of Culebra Peak, which is privately owned.
“This would be precedent setting,” said Mike Smith, forester with San Isabel National Forest.
It also promises to be controversial, with one group, the Western Slope No Fee Coalition, pledging to fight it.

Read the whole story here:http://www.gazette.com/articles/mountain-98597-fourteener-climbers.html

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Re: Fees for South Colony Basin

Postby Wish I lived in CO » Thu May 13, 2010 6:29 am

I look up to the mountains - does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! Psalm 121:1-2

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Re: Fees for South Colony Basin

Postby sailfast » Fri May 14, 2010 10:05 pm

Don't you think it is time for all users of public trails on Colorado's 14ers to start paying their way. The conditions of the trails on many of the closer 14ers are apalling, and the forrest service seems to have no budget for trail maintenance these days. Hunters and fisherman already pay to play via license fees, as well as contributing to the state search and rescue fund. I would be in favor of a fund generated by user fees to pay for access, trail maintenance, law enforcement (dogs running loose), and environmental remediation of trail damage.

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Re: Fees for South Colony Basin

Postby coloradokevin » Fri May 14, 2010 10:42 pm

sailfast wrote:Don't you think it is time for all users of public trails on Colorado's 14ers to start paying their way. The conditions of the trails on many of the closer 14ers are apalling, and the forrest service seems to have no budget for trail maintenance these days. Hunters and fisherman already pay to play via license fees, as well as contributing to the state search and rescue fund. I would be in favor of a fund generated by user fees to pay for access, trail maintenance, law enforcement (dogs running loose), and environmental remediation of trail damage.


Interesting... another member who joined only to promote fees. Seriously, Bill, I'm starting to think your theory was very sound on the employment of these newest members.

Sailfast,

No, I don't think that we need to be paying "our way" on 14'ers. The 14'ers are piles of rocks, dirt, and trees that have existed for millions of years without our assistance. I don't cut switchbacks on trails, I don't need a ranger to guide me through the woods, and I don't litter while I'm in the mountains. I've been traveling in a low-impact manner in the mountains for my entire life, and I don't want to see any additional development of these areas on the part of the forest service. Moreover, much of the trail maintenance cost is already carried by those of us who hike, as many trail projects are completed by volunteers. Also, who are you to say that the people who are hiking the 14'ers aren't also paying for fishing and/or hunting licenses?

I don't see the need to pay the salary for another fat ranger who sits at a visitor center all day, and can't even provide information about the trails I'm hiking on (all too common these days, I'm sorry to say). I also don't need any other fancy infrastructure to enjoy the mountains, save for a primitive parking lot (and these have been around for generations). The Forest Service already receives some of my tax dollars (though I wish more funding went towards the mountains, and less towards social welfare programs), and in the past decade or so I haven't been very happy with the way they've been managing these funds. Quite honestly, it is getting to a point where you practically need to pay a fee to walk out your door and do anything. The mountains don't need any additional increase in governance.

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Re: Fees for South Colony Basin

Postby sailfast » Sat May 15, 2010 12:52 am

I am all for less government, and I think the Forrest Service does too little with the resources that they have. As hikers and climbers we have enjoyed near unlimited assess on public lands. But, other user groups such as rafters, mountain bikers, 4X4s, and others are loosing access every year. I think our group should continue to volunteer to police and maintain trails, however, I also think we would be politicaly more relevent if we helped pay for our chosen form of recreation like hunters, fishermen, and snowmobilers do. This might be the price we pay to continue to enjoy fantastic access to our public lands.

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Re: Fees for South Colony Basin

Postby hatidua » Sat May 15, 2010 11:50 pm

This strikes me as a case of them charging "because they can".

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Re: Fees for South Colony Basin

Postby tommyboy3087 » Sun May 16, 2010 1:31 am

"Our public lands?" If they are ours and public, why should we have to pay to visit them? I just wish more people would take better care of the land; not just being content with not littering, but picking up others trash as well, and educating others on LNT. I know I'm preaching to the choir here though...
It is not the mountains we conquer, but ourselves. --Sir Edmund Hillary

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Re: Fees for South Colony Basin

Postby paul109876 » Sun May 16, 2010 7:05 am

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_15095017

Here's the link I saw. If the money is put to good use I have no problem with it. 10$ is not going to break me.
But rest assured if it is put in place for one location others will soon follow. Just think of how much money would be collected if you were required to have a permit to climb Quandry or Grays???
I know one day that my son and I were at Quandry we stopped counting cars once we hit 120!!!!

I would rather donate to a non-profit organization or non-governmental agency instead to protect and clean up beautiful places- as long as there is "clarity" in the spending of the money. Instead of giving more money to some government agency.
Heck they want to give everyone health care...How about getting food and shelter to everyone 1st?? But that's another topic.
A person who risks nothing, learns nothing, has nothing and becomes nothing.

Don't let your actions contradict your desires

Crap on your shoes eventually wears off. Rough patches are only temporary.

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Re: Fees for South Colony Basin

Postby elhombre » Sun May 16, 2010 7:18 am

Obama's new information regulatory czar, Sunstien, said in a paper that he thinks the government should pay covert Internet users to infiltrate web sites and blogs in order to promote pro-government positions. Your comments,"Sailfast", sure make it look as if you are one of these government agents. If you aren't a government agent, then please help me understand why you are so willing to pay for something that is already budgeted for out of the federal general fund. Are you one of the 48% of Americans who don't pay any federal income tax and this is your way of paying your share? Please, help me understand.
“I will tell you these are ammunition, they’re bullets, so the people who have those know they’re going to shoot them, so if you ban them in the future, the number of these high capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won’t be any more available.” Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado, leading congressional sponsor of a federal ban on high-capacity magazines.

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Re: Fees for South Colony Basin

Postby England » Sun May 16, 2010 7:43 am

elhombre wrote:Obama's new information regulatory czar, Sunstien, said in a paper that he thinks the government should pay covert Internet users to infiltrate web sites and blogs in order to promote pro-government positions. Your comments,"Sailfast", sure make it look as if you are one of these government agents. If you aren't a government agent, then please help me understand why you are so willing to pay for something that is already budgeted for out of the federal general fund. Are you one of the 48% of Americans who don't pay any federal income tax and this is your way of paying your share? Please, help me understand.

and joined just a day ago to comment on a political based thread..... :-k
Peter Gallagher quote: "Many people say I move fast for a guy that's out of shape. Then I just remind them that round is a shape".

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Fees for South Colony Basin

Postby fourseasonhiker » Sun May 16, 2010 8:25 am

In the same article regarding charging fees in south colony basin, they also mentioned the possibility of requiring reservations and permits to climb 14ers! So much for spontenanety and following the weather! I don't know about you, but I finalize my hiking plans by the weather forecast, and I can decide within hours whether or not to try a 14er tomorrow. How can I get a permit on such short notice?

If permits are required, the unintended consequences could be more deaths or rescues on the mountain, as people will be more likely to push to the summit during a lightning storm than before, because they have to do it while they have the permit. Enough people from out of state area already doing this. I know, because I have met several of them who push forward, when I have turned around, and they shrug and say, "But this is my only chance!" If permits are required, in state hikers will be doing the same thing.

Another unintended consequence will be for people to try to get as many 14ers done in the next two summers before the fees and permits are implemented. That is my plan. I will step it up and finish off the 14ers before summer 2012. I think that the 14er trails and peaks will be a lot more crowded for the next two summers because of this.....what do you all think?
FourSeasonHiker

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Re: Fees for South Colony Basin

Postby hatidua » Sun May 16, 2010 9:40 am

fourseasonhiker wrote:Another unintended consequence will be for people to try to get as many 14ers done in the next two summers before the fees and permits are implemented. That is my plan.


My plan as well.

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