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South Colony Fees

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

Postby JeffR » Fri May 14, 2010 11:39 pm

sailfast wrote:Sorry, I posted this in another thread before discovering this one. Piss off does not sound like much of a dialog on an important issue.

Don't play dumb... It's the same response that would be posted to anyone who registers and immediately posts to a thread only as a shill for any particular organization. There's plenty of dialog in the combined threads (guess you didn't actually read the other ones, hmmm?).

To answer your original "argument": hikers and climbers already contribute monetarily to the COSAR fund (as well as giving unquantifiable contributions via actual SAR resources and manpower), and much additional volunteer effort toward trail maintenance, environmental remediation and law enforcement/stewardship.
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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby sailfast » Sat May 15, 2010 1:06 am

I must be dumb, because I sure am not playing dumb. I am also not sure who you think I am "shilling" for. I think it is great that we hikers volunteer our time and money for the outdoor activity we love. However, until we become politicaly relevent we risk losing the great access that we enjoy. Hunting, fishing, OHV use, and snowmobiles help pay for their use of public lands via license fees, and registration fees, and because of this they are able to protect their public access. It might be time for us as a user group to do the same.

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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby glacierPaul » Sat May 15, 2010 5:26 am

Western No Fees Coalition?, Colorado Mountain Club?, Back Country Access?, Sierra Club? CFI?, I am sure there are many more organizations out there helping this "user group", others will chime in I'm sure.

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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby ClimbandMine » Sat May 15, 2010 12:51 pm

sailfast wrote:Re: Fees for South Colony Basin
by 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.


Obviously you have not been reading the other thread. so:

Dear USFS Management: The FLREA was intended to preclude user fees from such activities as hiking, backpacking, birding, and other low/no impact activities. Users of "public trails" do "pay their way" with assorted taxes, volunteer time, donations, and in Colorado purchase of the COSAR card. Volunteer organizations do the vast majority of the trail construction and maintenance on the 14ers (I don't know that I'd call any 14er trails appalling, unless you are a front range USFS employee that is used to gravel trails). Law enforcement? Do we really need armed LEO's roaming the mountains arresting dog owners? Do we need to turn Colorado into Yosemite Valley?

We have access to our mountains, our public lands. Fee or not, this is not going away. Bill mentioned this before, but if the USFS cannot get by on their current budget (which has been INCREASING the last few years) then less infrastructure and fewer employees are the answer. Not more fees and more infrastructure. This is how private industry operates. Maybe the USFS could learn a lesson or two in management.
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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby Jim Davies » Sun May 16, 2010 12:42 pm

sailfast wrote: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.

Actually, the "closer", more popular 14ers have almost all had major trail improvement projects over the past 10 years, thanks to organizations like CFI and VOC. The FS generally doesn't maintain these trails; it's done by volunteers and nonprofit organizations. While there are always spots on popular trails that could stand to be improved, overall the standard routes are in much, much better shape than they were in the mid-90's when I started hiking them.

If you sincerely want to help, try one of these links for some ideas. There are lots of opportunities, both on 14ers and other trails, all over the state.
http://www.14ers.org/Volunteer_Programs_Current.php
http://www.voc.org/index.php?option=com_hwdcourses&Itemid=114
http://fotp.com/projects/projects2010.htm
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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby coloradokevin » Sun May 16, 2010 12:52 pm

Jim Davies wrote:
sailfast wrote: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.

Actually, the "closer", more popular 14ers have almost all had major trail improvement projects over the past 10 years, thanks to organizations like CFI and VOC. The FS generally doesn't maintain these trails; it's done by volunteers and nonprofit organizations. While there are always spots on popular trails that could stand to be improved, overall the standard routes are in much, much better shape than they were in the mid-90's when I started hiking them.

If you sincerely want to help, try one of these links for some ideas. There are lots of opportunities, both on 14ers and other trails, all over the state.
http://www.14ers.org/Volunteer_Programs_Current.php
http://www.voc.org/index.php?option=com_hwdcourses&Itemid=114
http://fotp.com/projects/projects2010.htm


I agree completely, Jim.

The problem did exist on these mountains 10-15 years ago, and they have largely been solved. The irony of all of it, as you've said, is that volunteer groups made the diffence on these trails, not the forest service. I'd gladly give money/time to trail-related organizations, but I am still opposed to being taxed for my use of the mountains!

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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby coloradokevin » Sun May 16, 2010 3:30 pm

g wrote:Article in today's DenPo:

http://www.denverpost.com/frontpage/ci_15095017

"If we are successful, there are probably a handful of other places that would be interested in pursuing the same course," said Mike Smith, forester with the San Isabel National Forest, who is gathering public input for his pay-to-play plan."


Image


Exactly. I can think of 50-some other places where they might soon try this plan :roll:

The slippery slope effect isn't just internet paranoia. It has been happening for a long time now.

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Re: South Colony Fees

Postby RckyMtnWildman » Tue May 18, 2010 11:22 pm

Wow, kindof assumed/feared this would happen in my lifetime. While this is still confined to a certain "heavily used" area, this area is still quite a distance from any major metropolitan area, and makes one wonder what is in store for the more accesible trails leading to the top of 14ers? The USFS is throwing out the issue of conservation and management; legitimate concerns, most wilderness users don't want to see their beloved spots trampled, my question is how is charging a fee going to change this? Most true hikers/climbers go out to enjoy the nature, the freedom, and the accomplishment of physically exerting yourself against such a formidable barrier, we're not out to trash or ruin this gift of nature; we just want to experience it. Enough barbed wire and no trespassing signs exist in our country, Colorado has always been a place for people to come and experience the thrill of nature and the shrill of success with these wonderful mountains. People can do just fine in our environment without money-grubbing sharks or control freaks to tell us how to experience our environment!

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