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America’s Great Outdoors Initiative

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America’s Great Outdoors Initiative

Postby rightstar76 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:47 pm

Hi everyone.

I am watching on the Internet from earlier today a portion of America’s Great Outdoors Initiative conference today.

http://www.c-span.org/Watch/Media/2010/ ... doors.aspx

I am not sure how this will affect the Sierra but I hope it will mean new and improved trails, new and clean campgrounds, clean restrooms, signs, visitor centers, more rangers and interpretive staff, etc.

George, do you know how it will affect SEKI?



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Re: America’s Great Outdoors Initiative

Postby rlown » Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:21 pm

um, not Gdurkee, but... I was polled out of the blue the other day on state parks (well, i like Manchester State beach, so). I was ready to throw up the "do not call again" flag, but it was about state parks, so i demanded to be heard. I dont think this directly affects anyone, except for who they might want you to perceive it as affecting. More of a voting thing really. Vote how you want.

It's important to be clear to your representatives on what you do or don't support in local, state or national parks.

I watched a bit of the video, but i'm not sure it plays out farther than an asteroid or mars landing, unless the public is behind it.

I really don't want improved trails, or all that other stuff. just nice roads to somewhere as a starting point, and then, it's about my ability. Wilderness is supposed to be wilderness.

Just my thoughts.
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Re: America’s Great Outdoors Initiative

Postby rightstar76 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:52 pm

I think you're right about it being all talk. There's no bill or debate going on that's for sure.
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Re: America’s Great Outdoors Initiative

Postby balzaccom » Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:23 pm

I do want to point out an initiative on the California ballot in November: an $18 fee for every vehicle in the state, which would fund the State Parks, and give every vehicle free access.

Seems like a great idea to me...so it will probably lose.
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Re: America’s Great Outdoors Initiative

Postby rightstar76 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:28 pm

Ditto.

If people knew how much they'd save, they'd probably vote for it. But most people don't know. So they won't vote for it thinking it's too expensive, or they just won't vote.
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Re: America’s Great Outdoors Initiative

Postby dave54 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:25 pm

Like most government programs, the money will follow the people. So Tahoe area will get megabucks. Likewise the SoCal area. The more remote parts of the state that get less visitor use (like the places I visit, being a misanthrope) will get less money.

Anyone that has paid even minimal attention to government spending over the past year must be alarmed. Any single program passed can be defended as necessary and needed, but the total cumulative cost is horrific. All this new spending is going to crash around us before long. When it does expect austerity budgets for several years. Initiatives like this one will be deemed low priority and public land spending will be slashed. So any new pile of money given to public lands will be a short term increase ('bubble money' in govspeak), followed by a corresponding budget slashing.

I just cannot get real excited over this. I have seen too many similar 'initiatives' come and go. Launched with great hoopla and fanfare, but produce little long term benefit on the ground and slowly drift off into nothingness.

(Upon rereading this I sound like a pessimistic curmudgeon :lol: )

As for the California registration increase -- I already get free admittance from my pass. So I would not save anything. Only the altruistic part of me (admittedly, a tiny part), supports it.
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Re: America’s Great Outdoors Initiative

Postby try » Tue Apr 20, 2010 9:59 am

Well said, Dave. I very much agree with you on this. It worries me that the general population does not seem to realize the path that our government is taking us down. And as you say, these kind of programs will be the first to go. I'm afraid that when the time comes, we will not only revert back to square one, but actually end up way behind where we were. Does this make sense?
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Re: America’s Great Outdoors Initiative

Postby dave54 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:14 am

The car registration/parks funding is in the same category. Regular state park appropriations will be cut by the same amount the car fees raise for a net effect of zero. Then the state will 'borrow' from the parks trust fund to balance the general budget. At first it will be repaid, but in subsequent years it will not be repaid, followed by the state automatically taking a percentage of the fees, with the percentage rising over time. So the parks will still get less money and we will be stuck with the higher car fees.

Of course, the proponents of the new fee will promise this won't happen, but we all know what happens to political promises.

Upon reflection, I cannot support the car fees either.
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Re: America’s Great Outdoors Initiative

Postby try » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:09 pm

Ahem!
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Re: America’s Great Outdoors Initiative

Postby gdurkee » Tue May 04, 2010 8:07 pm

Rightstar et al:

Sorry to weigh in late. I've heard nothing -- though haven't been in the loop. There is some sort of initiative and funding to get more seasonal rangers/workers hired. Don't know if that's benefiting either Sequoia Kings or Yosemite though. If I hear anything, I'll post a note.

The problem with some of this type of funding is that the trails office, for instance, plans their projects at least half a year or more in advance. If money suddenly appears, it's hard to cobble together a worthwhile project and be able to hire minimally experienced people to do it. You also need good trail leaders, tools, a way to get their gear and food supplied every week (helicopter or mule). So you need more mules and packers to support them. And! you also need more support personnel at HQ to buy the food, put it together and ship it out. Sometimes these types of funding come with restrictions that it can only pay salary or can't be used for seasonal work after a certain date. Often, it's really kind of bogus. (I emphasize, I have no particular knowledge here. Only how some of these initiatives have worked in the past).

Not easy and can't be put together at the last minute.

g.
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Re: America’s Great Outdoors Initiative

Postby rightstar76 » Tue May 04, 2010 8:44 pm

George, thanks for sharing that with us. It's unfortunate the bureaucracy makes it so difficult to get things done quickly.

By the way, do you think the trail from Tehipite Valley to Gnat Meadow will ever be maintained again? Or is it going to eventually disappear?
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