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Great news out of Arizona!

Colorado 14ers access and fee issues only, please
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Great news out of Arizona!

Postby D8S » Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:55 pm

Almost a year ago, Jim Smith went backpacking in the Red Rock / Secret Mountain wilderness on the Coconino National Forest. When he got back to his vehicle, the Forest Service had left him what they call a "Notice of Required Fee". Except a judge recently decided that the fee was not in fact required, and in fact it was the Forest Service that was non-compliant, writing a decision clearly detailing how the Forest Service is out of compliance.

A newspaper article is here:

http://azdailysun.com/news/local/article_32ed0646-b675-5c0c-9bca-e0cc216bec60.html

The judge's decision is here:

http://www.westernslopenofee.org/pdfuploads/2-Motion_to_Dismiss.pdf

Way to go Jim!

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Re: Great news out of Arizona!

Postby Jim Davies » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:00 pm

Do you actually climb, or just post anti-fee stuff?
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: Great news out of Arizona!

Postby Matt » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:26 pm

Do you actually climb, or just post anti-fee stuff?


I happen to climb a bit, and have spent months of my life in Sedona.
Since when is actually climbing something a requirement for posting here?
Regardless,
This is fantastic news if it holds up.
There's nothing like having to pay $5 per day just to park along the side of a road. :roll:
Most years, the $80 I spend on the Federal Interagency pass are covered just by visits to Sedona.
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
Peak List

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Re: Great news out of Arizona!

Postby D8S » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:45 pm

Jim, if you read my peak list as well as my other posts, you'll see that I not only climb, but ski, bicycle, as well as travel extensively. I also tend to focus on peaks other than the 14ers, and practice LNT.

There are many, many experienced hikers and mountaineers on this and other websites, including you, and there's no reason to believe that I know any more than you. For that reason, unless I have something significant to add to the conversation, I don't post. That's just who I am.

Years of dealing with fee legislation has lent me a bit of expertise that most people don't have the time nor the inclination to research. For that reason, this is a subject that I feel I can add significantly to the public knowledge, as well as addressing the misinformation that is often present. Therefore, most of my posts are on this subject.

I appreciate those of you who have both the opportunity and the willingness to spend a significant amount of time on this forum. Thanks for taking up my slack. And thanks for asking.

Dave

del_sur wrote

There's nothing like having to pay $5 per day just to park along the side of a road.


How about $20 a night to carry your own tent, sleep on the ground, and pack out your WAG bag?

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Re: Great news out of Arizona!

Postby Jim Davies » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:50 pm

I guess since I live in Doug-Bruce-ville, all the "starve the beast" stuff gets old. I'm content with the $100/yr or whatever I shell out for various fees (mostly for a state parks pass). Nitpicking about $5 seems petty to me, especially for a high-use area.

And I think the $20/person/night thing is a phony proposal anyway, as I've said in the other thread. Think of it as the Forest Service trolling, and you've taken the bait. :)
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: Great news out of Arizona!

Postby D8S » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:25 pm

HI Jim, sorry about the miscommunication.

Fee opposition has nothing to do with a Doug Bruce style "starve the beast" mentality. In fact quite the opposite. Having listened for years as the manager of a certain unnamed (for their protection) fee area state "I don't get any appropriated funding, and the fee revenue isn't enough", I realize that fees are not the panacea that they're often made out to be. I don't see South Colony as an exception. Its too easy for the Forest Service to starve the new fee area, and expect it to fund itself.

They tried that at Valles Caldera in New Mexico, and after less than a decade its $15 million in the hole.

My position is not "starve the beast", but "provide the Forest Service with a stable and reliable source of funding" I don't know if you had the opportunity to attend the Great Outdoors Initiative meeting in July, but many, many people spoke up and commented on how well Jeffco Open Space and GOCO run their programs. It was immediately noted that neither of those programs run on fees, but on a more stable and efficient tax funding. It was also noted that the DOW tried running a fee program for a few years, and gave it up.

I'm glad you're happy paying fees. If I recall correctly, an annual state parks pass is going up to $70/yr, and $35 for a second vehicle. Add in a Interagency pass at $80/yr, and a few other passes totalling $40 annually, you're easily up to the cost of a basic tent, foam pad, and sleeping bag.

If you want to pay it, I won't stop you, but I would ask that you not expect me to feel the same way.

And from a management standpoint, it makes more sense to keep high use areas free.

I understand that you believe the proposal to be a troll, but I don't follow your logic. I doubt you can guarantee that if there were no opposition the fee wouldn't be implemented.

Perhaps I'm naive, but there's only one reason to tell the public that its not a serious proposal, as you seem to allege being told, and that is to keep people from commenting in opposition. Before the Forest Service can implement a new fee, they have to show that there is general public support. Therefore, if Mike Smith and Paul Crespin really don't want to implement the fees it would still make sense for them to solicit public comment in opposition, so that they can honestly tell the Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (RRAC) that there isn't public support, and divert the pressure from their superiors onto the RRAC, and fee opponents. "Hey boss, we tried, but it didn't work. Its not our fault"

Considering they were talking about implementing the fees 4 years ago, I'm skeptical about your assertion. I think they're pulling your leg.

I guess we'll see what they say at the next RRAC meeting.

Dave

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