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An issue with access to a popular So Cal Trail - Vivian Cree

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An issue with access to a popular So Cal Trail - Vivian Cree

Postby KathyW » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:58 pm

The Forest Service has installed a gate to the only parking area for the Vivian Creek Trail and is locking the gate for eight hours per day. There is no parking allowed along the road in the area. The gate and other improvements were installed to meet the requirements to collect the Adventure Pass Fee. In their quest for fees, the Forest Service has limited public access to a hiking trail. We may see access to other popular hiking areas limited as the Forest Service installs improvements to meet the requirements for fee collection (restrooms, picnic tables, kiosks, gates, and security).

We'd like to send a message that this is not an acceptable. Here's a petition against the locked gate at Vivian Creek's parking lot:

http://www.change.org/petitions/us-depa ... e_petition

Not about Vivian Creek, but has anyone read the plans for Death Valley? Permit requirements that will eventual lead to more fees, the NPS taking over cabins volunteers have been maintaining, and more commercial activities allowed. The push for more fees on public lands is increasing. It scares me because this might mean more development and commercial activity as well as increased limitations to access.

The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act expires next year. This is the act that allows for the collection of some of these recreation fees. If you don't want it renewed the way it is currently written, you might want to speak up.

More information:
http://naturalresources.house.gov/calen ... tID=337394



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Re: An issue with access to a popular So Cal Trail - Vivian Cree

Postby Ikan Mas » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:50 pm

I understand your pain, but keep in mind what congress has been doing with FS budgets over the last few years. Sequester probably made things worse.

In Oregon and Washington, you have to have a Northwest Forest Pass to park at most any trailhead. It's $30 a year or $5 a day. See:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r6/passes ... ev2_027010
What's nice about the forest pass is that you can use it in both states, so people that live in Portland can use the pass across the river. I think it would be a good thing in CA if they would actually use it for some improvements and it worked in the NW as well.
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Re: An issue with access to a popular So Cal Trail - Vivian Cree

Postby cahikr » Fri May 30, 2014 4:37 pm

I agree with you this gate should be removed, I have been permitting out of Fish Creek or South Fork the last couple of years just so I may get a earlier start than would be possible from Vivian.
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Re: An issue with access to a popular So Cal Trail - Vivian Cree

Postby sparky » Fri May 30, 2014 6:06 pm

Yes we have "adventure pass" in select national forests in california. I just pretend that fee doesn't exist.....seems to work pretty well for me.
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Re: An issue with access to a popular So Cal Trail - Vivian Cree

Postby KathyW » Fri May 30, 2014 9:17 pm

sparky wrote:Yes we have "adventure pass" in select national forests in california. I just pretend that fee doesn't exist.....seems to work pretty well for me.


You should ignore those fees if you are just parking and walking through one of those areas that are designated as fee areas in the National Forests. If you just park and walk through the area heading out into the wilderness, you do not now or have you ever needed an Adventure Pass - not that the Forest Service will tell you that and they will likely try to intimidate you into paying the fee.

A good chunk of the fee money that is collected is wasted on the bureaucracies that were created to manage the fee programs. The fee program has changed the focus of the public land agencies from public service and resource management to revenue generation. In addition, the fees have created incentives to develop unnecessary facilities to allow for the collection of additional fees. The fee program costs the taxpayer much more than it is necessary to maintain facilities than it would if the public agencies were just funded the cost of maintaining restrooms…etc.

I do wonder if the agencies could get by without the fees or additional funding by just cutting down on bureaucratic waste The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) expires later this year, and of course the plan is to amend it to allow for additional fees including fees for parking. Even if you don't mind paying the money it costs to maintain facilities, there is no reason to support a fee program that is more costly than just funding the agencies additional money to maintain facilities.
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