Utter Insanity: National Parks
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2017-11-11 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Federal Government , 283 references Ignore this thread
Utter Insanity: National Parks
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Who could have seen this coming...... smiley

The National Park Service has announced a proposal to more than double the peak-season entrance fees at the country's busiest national parks, including Shenandoah, Yosemite, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon.

The park service said Tuesday that it needs the revenue expected from the fees to address its nearly $12 billion backlog of deferred maintenance. But the announcement has been met with worries that higher prices will push the parks out of reach for many Americans.

I was honestly blown away that there was a $30 per vehicle fee to come into the Grand Canyon park last summer.  For what amounts to a "day pass" for many people that's ridiculous.  Further, the camping fees are quite high and thus you would think they'd absorb the vehicle fee there, since you're already paying to be in the park in the camping fee.  And make no mistake -- we're talking about pay showers here when it comes to nickel-and-dimeing you to death -- you have to toss $2 in for four minutes of hot water.

Doubling that is prohibitive for a whole lot of people, and in fact it'll keep me out even though I can afford it.  Beyond not buying the "deferred maintenance" argument (I sure as hell didn't see evidence of that) there are all the nickel and dime "fees" along with rampant concessionaire granting that makes for utterly-silly pricing on anything inside (like a beer or a coke) more-akin to a football stadium than a national park.

Interestingly enough the one place this won't hit is the Smokey Mountains.  The reason is that in exchange for state support for cutting 441 over the pass between Cherokee and Gatlinburg both states required that the Federal Government not toll the road.

I'm not buying what the Interior Department is selling, in short.  Other than bureaucratic overhead and bloat, which I'm quite sure is rampant as in all branches of government the fact is that as usage has risen so have the fees, since they're assessed on every car that goes through the gate.

Since these parks already take 331 million visitors (by their counting) through the gate I simply don't see the funding problem, never mind that the more people come the more money they have.  Raising prices by 100% is rather more likely to result in a drop of visitors and might in fact drop visitor rates enough that it's a net negative.  Or even worse, it'll move a hell of a lot of people to the annual pass which will then provide an incentive to come even more-often, which in turn will increase damage and cost to the parks without any reasonable corresponding increase in revenue.

Leave it to government to first jack up costs through waste, fraud and inefficiency, and them come back with a demand for more money.

It's what they do.

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Uwe
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Hmm... $70 for a one day pass under this proposal, or $80 for an annual pass to all the parks? The latter seems like a no-brainer.

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"I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do." -- Robert Heinlein
Drifter
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DOI gives out more than a hundred million/year in 'grants', for unknown purpose and unknown result.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/09/05/gop-re....
Handyone55
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I just turned 62 and got a " Geezer Pass " for state and federal parks. The federal park pass cost me 8 dollars and I get a 50% discount off fees on non peak days. The state pass was free and gives similar discounts.

I read that the federal pass cost is going to 86 dollars, so I ran out and got one a few days after my birthday. This is still a good deal if you go camping a lot. The pass is good for life and should pay for itself very quickly.
Flaps10
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It's a money grab.

I make annual motorcycle road trips with my oldest kid. On a trip through Yellowstone two years ago we were some of the only English speaking people there.
Tickerguy
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I was waiting for one of the Asians in the Canyon park to get either gored or trampled by an elk.

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Winding it down.
Quik49
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Yup...jlgoing to jelly is ridiculous...try taking a boat to Teton on Jackson lake....fees fees fees....then they stick you...if your dumb enough in the crap trinket shops....

Hell the nation recreation area where I like to fish jumped thier fee just to park about 50 pecet in the past 2 years...haven't seen a improvement on anything.

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Long Vaseline....

Quik49
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Yellowstone in October is a fine time.... Weeds out the standing on the toilet crowd if ya know what I mean

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Long Vaseline....

Chaparral
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They could jack the fees into the three figures for Yosemite and Kings Canyon and still have a waitlist.
Randyvw
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hesperia ca
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a few months ago i got my geezer pass for 10$. when i heard it was going to 80$ in november, and you couldn't get a replacement if lost, i bought another one....just in case i lose it.

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Remember what Mark Twain said...If you don't read the internet, you're uninformed. If you DO read the internet, you're MISINFORMED.
Orionrising
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they are trying to limit park use, some like Yellowstone, acadia and others are highly overused, to the point parking etc is impossible in season, Might be better to have a US resident price and foreign tourist price....
Mr_clueless
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Need it to pay for health benefits for the park rangers.
Jfedak
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Down in Fraggle Rock
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> they are trying to limit park use

This. Many of the western parks are overvisited to the point where there are safety and sanitation issues on top of the ubiquitous traffic and parking issues.

Yosemite had days this summer where they literally had run out of parking in the valley and multiple hour lines at the park gates are now commonplace.

This is as much of a panic ploy to reduce overcrowding as it is a money grab.

Quik49
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Arches in January.... fantastic....and not a damn soul in sight...was there last year then....you could hear a pin drop....no flailing kids... parents yelling.... *******s in pictures....

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Long Vaseline....

Sean
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Quote:
Arches in January.... fantastic....and not a damn soul in sight...was there last year then....you could hear a pin drop....no flailing kids... parents yelling.... *******s in pictures....


My place in January (Feb, March, April, May, June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov and Dec).... fantastic....and not a damn soul in sight...was there last year then....you could hear a pin drop....no kids... parents yelling.... *******s in pictures....

Ahhhh!!!!!

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Jfedak
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Hour long entrance line at Arches in May: https://imgur.com/6hvec67
Maynard
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on the move
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Damn, we were there in the spring. If you get in early its not an issue. Arches and Canyonlands are awesome. You can actually get a off road there and be legal.
Yellowstone IMHO sucks and is over rated ,rangers are *******s. Tetons were cool to see though
Year passes still appear to be $80 for the average joe. Those daily increases are crap.
Flappingeagle
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They might be trying to reduce traffic or it might be a money grab or it could be both.

The bottom line for our country as a whole though is that the average and below American can't afford to live in America anymore. If it wasn't for the continuous flow of new debt the economy would default. We are WAY, WAY, OUT OVER OUR SKIIS. Face plant coming up.

Flap

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Bjonsson
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Yosemite Valley is gorgeous, but its a crowded mess during peak summer months. There are so many people driving around on some summer weeks that there's actually some smog that develops. Camping there really lacks any sense of outdoor adventure, it feels more like a "music festival" type environment, but with no live music. Crowded to capacity campsites, stadium-like concessions prices, tour buses driving by every few minutes with a dude on the PA making announcements and calling out landmarks. **** that.

Yosemite Valley is best during the off season. Just bring a big jacket, and in return you have the run of the place.

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Flaps10
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I would almost buy the overcrowding issue - if they stopped promoting those destinations
Roundabout
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South Side of the Sky
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Orionrising wrote..
Might be better to have a US resident price and foreign tourist price....


This idea is not a bad one. I remember years ago, when visiting Karlstejn Castle outside Prague (Czech Republic), I noticed a sign near the entrance. Since my knowledge of Czech is fairly limited, I did deduce that there was a price for entrance (a numerical number, like 90) in Koruna (Czk), the local currency. However, there also was a number that was stated as a word - "Devet" - which I knew meant nine (9), along with some more text in Czech.

Purely on a hunch, I asked the Czech person I was with if this meant that locals pay only "Devet" Koruna for entrance, and she said was that is indeed what it meant. Kind of sneaky of them to hide this fact as a word instead of number, but not surprising. This meant that tourists paid ten times what locals pay to enter the castle. Later, I found out that this is not at all unusual in many areas of Europe. A year later, when I was in Moscow, I found they did the same in the Kremlin, at museums and theaters inside. They let the tourists pay the bigger cost of maintenance and upkeep. I really didn't mind so much, since I could well afford this amount and locals were paid far less than "westerners". I only wish our government would have the same consideration for we Americans, who paid for these parks and facilities with taxes over our lifetimes (and our parents, grandparents lifetimes).

I'd have no issue at all with this. If you're a tourist from any other country than the USA, you pay double (or 10X) more than a citizen. If they do the same in their country to us as tourists, we have the choice to use the facility or not, just as they do. Since so many states (including CA) are handing out Driver's Licenses like candy to illegals as well as citizens, the "USA" price should only be for people that have passports, as you must be a citizen to obtain one. I'd be happy to show mine, to avail myself of the citizen price.
Tickerguy
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A foreigner does not pay TAXES, and TAXES are part of what goes into the maintenance and upkeep, since these departments have formal federal funding.

Show proof of citizenship or permanent residence (you're paying taxes) or pay the higher price.

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Roundabout
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Agreed, Karl. I posted (paraphrased) most of what I said above, along with what you said in reply to the link (shown on the NPR site) that goes directly to the NPS where they are asking for comments. I don't know if anyone at the park service actually reads or cares about the public comments, but I tossed it to them anyway. No doubt they wouldn't implement this common sense idea, since someone would screech "discrimination"!! and sue.
Ntb
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Quote:
I was waiting for one of the Asians in the Canyon park to get either gored or trampled by an elk.

Smart move. Might as well offset the entrance cost with some free meat.smiley

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Click
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They actually need to cut ( not raise) the fees and the staff. The whole thing is a racket and there is an army of do-nothing rangers who drive around all day in new 4x4s... Actually, 50% of the rangers should be fired or sent to the southern border where the illegals are trashing the environment...

Anybody who's spent any length of time around government agents knows what's going on. I was just recently in Sedona, AZ and some the state and federal land is now off limits to people with pets. And I have a well behaved dog as companion. As you drive in the entrance way to some of these small parks there's actually signs posted that prohibit playing a radio. Not because it's a nuisance to other visitors, but because of the "sensitive wildlife". Bull****.

You see, I am old enough to remember a time when these park people knew their place. Nowadays, you can't even pick up some dead sticks from the ground to build a campfire... I actually confronted a ranger in Bryce Canyon during a "controlled burn" a few years ago when he pointed out to me that collecting wood from a National Park was illegal. I replied, "next thing we know you government agents will be telling us we can't******on a tree, yet controlled burns are costing taxpayers over a million and a half dollars in the state of Utah and I can't pick up some squaw wood"? I was ready and willing to receive a ticket, but the ranger just laughed and said, "I hear ya, but please don't do that again"... and off he drove in his brand new 4x4.. I continued to load wood in the back of my pickup that was in the path of the burn, thus, it was going to be set fire anyway.

The rangers and other Forest Service and Park Service people are on a gravy train and one of the nice things about the future collapse of the US economy is these people will be cut to the bone right along with their pensions...

I'm looking forward to visiting the National Parks during a time when there's few government people around to ruin the experience...
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