NPS fee increase to $70?

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Jimr
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Re: NPS fee increase to $70?

Post by Jimr » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:38 pm

And the green lube spills all around all around. And the green lube spills all around.

limpingcrab, I've heard many stories like the ones you shared. One coming from my current landlord that included both a requirement to over cost the job to be considered and,,, this is the kicker,,,,, it was for a gas pipeline to be installed on a military base. Once his cost was adjusted,,, his father calculated that the pipe was not large enough to accommodate their plan. He was told it didn't matter. Build it! They'll tear it out and replace it later.

Just now, asking for my landlord to confirm my facts, he said that was not even the big one. His father was contracted to build barracks at a cost of 12 million dollars. Once complete, within just a few short weeks, they were torn out and replaced with a 200 million dollar barracks project.

There are numerous examples of government waste that just boggles the mind.

The appropriation system encourages waste, not cost control. Spend your appropriation or won't get as much next year. Deficit spend and you may get an increase. Personally, I have no idea what measures could be put into place to encourage frugal, bang for the buck spending. Government is not business. My gut says there is a correlation between government overspending and a tax wedge being driven between suppliers and demanders, but I have not thought it out. Just a nagging that there is a correlation there somewhere.


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The Other Tom
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Re: NPS fee increase to $70?

Post by The Other Tom » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:26 am

$70 seems excessive to me. That's what, a $50 increase ? I have a senior pass so I haven't paid lately and don't know what the current fee is.
I understand they are "behind" on repairs and need a "shot in the arm" to catch up. The thing is once those fees go up, they don't go down.

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Re: NPS fee increase to $70?

Post by rightstar76 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:40 am

$80 for an annual parks pass? That will disappear real fast. Wouldn't be surprised if it becomes $360. After all, if the annual pass for each of the 17 parks is $70, there's no reason the $80 all parks pass would stay. Example: Go to Yos and SEKI on an annual pass, you have to buy two and it's $150. That $80 all parks pass is bye bye or no longer applies to the 17 parks during peak season.

But that's only part of it. I might be a little supportive if the $$$ was used wisely. But wisely depends on perspective. Wisely to me means making the parks world class, doing more than backlogged maintenance . Wisely to bureaucrats means something else such as fat personal expense accounts and even fatter misappropriations. Oh and as daily use drops, and the money that was supposed to roll in is less than forecast, expect the familiar we have to raise the fees again to the tune of $100 a pop. Because one time visitor use is where all the money comes from. Makes sense since you get one vacation a year, or it's a once in a lifetime visit to the U.S. That's most of the visitors. If you go all the time you're not a typical visitor.

As far as this being a ploy to reduce auto traffic, I'm not sure. From my perspective, it looks more like a ploy to take away our $$$ to make up for the $$$ being cut from the budget. If auto traffic drops, which I assume it will, the price per auto will go up to make for the loss. And I doubt if park maintenance will be any better than it is now. Even with fewer visitors, I wouldn't be surprised if the maintenance backlog gets worse.

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Re: NPS fee increase to $70?

Post by oldhikerQ » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:52 am

I believe that the fee increase was proposed by the politically appointed head of DOI, not the NPS. The increases would affect 17 national parks during peak visitor season. It appears to me that the goal is to reduce visitor days to support the emerging moves by the current administration to sell off the parks.
YMMV
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And that has made all the difference.
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Re: NPS fee increase to $70?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:11 am

Yosemite has both wilderness areas (most of the park) and Yosemite Valley, which IS NOT a wilderness area. It is not realistic to expect an wilderness experience in Yosemite Valley. What needs to be restricted is the number of vehicles not necessarily people. However I think those busloads of tourists that dump 50 people out at one spot need to be restricted to smaller busses. What I do expect in Yosemite Valley (and is not happening) is bathrooms without ankle deep toilet paper, better air quality (which banning individulal campfires in the summer would go a long ways), and not allowing 3 hour traffic jams. There seems to be little or no coordination between entrance stations and the Valley, and little use of available technology to have better traffic control. I am not adverse to limiting visitors, but instead of just pricing out the poor, I rather see a lottery system, or limit at entrance stations when full (with a system where people heading to the Valley could early on see in real time, when the gates are closed so there is not a 5 mile line of cars backed up down the road).

I see the parks funding their own maintenance as a disguised step to privitization.

We just returned from a loop trip to the southwest and were vary dismayed that certain parks, such as Zion, are effectively impossible to visit (now as compared to 10 years ago), primarily the problem driven by the guided bus-load tour industry, to the exclusion of the average family.

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Re: NPS fee increase to $70?

Post by rlown » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:18 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:Yosemite has both wilderness areas (most of the park) and Yosemite Valley, which IS NOT a wilderness area.
Wait.. There's a valley? :) I always come in from the East so I could care less about the D'land on the West side..

It'd be nice if they worked in destination to an entry fee, or maybe Whoa Nellie should open up a parking lot and shuttle people into strategic points..

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Re: NPS fee increase to $70?

Post by psykokid » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:09 am

I always buy the year pass since I tend to go to at least two parks a year with my son's scout troop, at least one or two with the family on separate trips, and the annual pass also covers the "adventure pass" fee for spots in the Socal Forestry areas. The question is how soon after they raise the 7-day entry pricing for NPS areas will they hike the cost of the yearly pass?

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Re: NPS fee increase to $70?

Post by oldhikerQ » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:39 am

I am fortunate (?) enough to be of the age where I have my forever senior NPS pass, so the proposed price increase does not affect me. Still, it stinks for my kids and their ability to introduce their kids to the experiences that we shared 20+ years ago.
The Missus and I still visit Yosemite annually in the late February/early March time frame, so crowds are not an issue for us. That is, except for the year that our trip coincided with the peak light on Horsetail Falls. What a zoo. still, we either walk or take the bus when we are visiting. The car stays in the same spot in the parking lot for the duration of our visit. So much simpler.
I wish that the NPS could come up with a way to limit congestion in Yosemite.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

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Re: NPS fee increase to $70?

Post by markskor » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:53 am

On the fence on this, especially in regard to Yosemite. Something has to be done to limit the all-too-many overnight visitors there...those with cars. At the current time, mainly in the summer months, Valley resources are increasingly over-taxed to the point where summer enjoyment has been seriously compromised.

For example, years ago, (in the pre Delaware North era), there were free 10 free shuttle buses servicing 1 million yearly visitors. Today, with 5 million visits/year, there are still only 10 shuttles servicing the Valley. Long lines, fist fights at the bus doors, just a giant clusterduck. Talking to a few (friends) bus drivers there, was told that most of the shuttle buses show 400,000+ miles and are used up. New buses (BTW, seriously needed) take 2 years to order/deliver. Aramark (foolishly) did not take this into account when taking over - again, did not do their homework?) and are now saddled with this dilemma.

The option of closing the many park entrance gates when "filled" is not the answer as many use the Tioga corridor as a pass thru (east to west)...seems a bit harsh/short sighted to then turn cars away if someone arbitrarily decides the park is too full, as there are no other viable thru options available (unless you consider the 7 hour trip - Sonora Pass/ Mojave as a viable option).

The main issue seems to be there are too many cars/ no parking in the Valley. There has to be some way (not closing all the gates option) available to limit the traffic crush. Increasing the entrance fee to $70 seems harsh, but the $80 "year long pass" is still a viable option available today still.

My suggestion (long time previously proposed but always rejected/ shot down) is to have huge down Valley parking lots with free frequent shuttles then running campers into the Valley proper... and charge up the butt extra if you must drive your car deep into the Valley. Have another "gate" somewhere, (a two tiered fee system?) that gives you the option of paying more if you must drive all the way in. Have a higher RV price there too...($5/foot entrance fee?) to park those behemoths in the Valley...nothing extra if you park them down Valley and shuttle your gear in.

Have more backpacker/ "no car" campsites available...Have more buses and shuttles available too. BTW, would rather see one YARTS bus dumping 80 individuals off than 40 extra cars trying to find somewhere to park.

Let those who are car/RV dependent pay more...thus not imposing these extra costs on those who do not want it or cannot afford it.

All this is moot for me though as I have an employee pass, and when no longer working, still have my life-long senior pass too...@ $10.
just my 2¢
Mountainman who swims with trout

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Re: NPS fee increase to $70?

Post by franklin411 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:21 pm

This is a blatant move towards privatization, and it's thoroughly undemocratic to boot. Wish we had a Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot type who could/would put these kinds of proposals to rest with extreme prejudice.

And if deferred maintenance is an issue, and I think it is, then why are we giving rich people a tax cut amounting to $1,500,000,000,000? We could dial that back by what... 0.04%?...and keep the parks open to the people who (used to) own them.

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