The Seattle Times reports feds are considering raising the entrance fees at Rainier and in the Olympics from $10 to $15.
In addition Gifford-Pinchot National Forest is soliciting private operations to fund the visitor centers at Mount St. Helens. Ideas being floated include helicopter tours, overnight RV camping, boat rentals.
I think all state and federal parks should charge an admission fee. In NC/Tn the Great Smoky Mts NP had 10 milleion wisitors in 2000. If each one were charged just one dollar that would be 10 million (advanced math) The park would not have to rely on the federal $ for finance when they don't have enough $ to even maintain what is there. The citizens who use all parks (federal, state) should
pay in order to have better parks.
You ruined my argument. I actually remembered that factum while typing the responce. Federal and state government have broken promises before, here is another one that needs to be broken! (I always thought it was the feds who prevented the park fees.)
Would the Feds Accepted to "Free" Restriction Now?
November 3 2005, 11:08 PM
I doubt the National Park Service would have accepted the "free" restriction on the Smokies if the deal were presented now.
TN and NC got a spectacular deal in "giving" their state parks to the feds during the depression. They unburdened themselves of the expense of maintaining the parks yet get to make full free use of it.
Institutions now do look "gift horses in the mouth."
The Highpointers Club offered to give the land for a Jakk Longacre memorial to the State of Missouri and we've been turned down flat because the land does not abut state land (although it is very close) and therefore is considered more expensive to maintain.
And of course there's my favorite topic -- Ground Zero.
In the mess at Ground Zero, a private 501-c-3 organization the WTC Foundation is supposed to own and operate the Memorial. However one of the very first things the Foundation did was to ask for the NPS to own and operate (and most importantly) pay for it. Even though this would seem the logical fit, the NPS so far has resolutely refused no doubt because it has basically been denied any say on the memorial.
i recall that a $5 million donation from the Rockefeller Foundation (the inheritance of John D. Rockefeller, a philanthropist and friend of the national parks) in 1929 for land acquisition to establish the park brought about its status as "free." Mr. Rockefeller has stipulated that his donation came only if the NPS pledged that the park would remain without a fee.
John D. Rockefeller also made significant donations to Acadia, Grand Teton, and Virgin Islands NP's.
By my reading the article the breakout for purchase was
$5 Million from the Rockefellers
$2.5 Million from NC
$2.5 Million from TN
$1.5 Million from the Feds
That's an amazing acquisition. That kind of money would buy you an o.k. apartment in NYC these days.
With that kind of money it's also easy to see why the feds thought they could have kept the park free.
While Rockefeller springs to mind in Acadia he's not the biggest contributor there (although he built the park's famed carriage roads and did contribute some pretty spectacular land), George Dorr is the big hero there.
The entrance fee for 7 days is $20 (although reduced to $10 off peak).
So users should be paying for upkeep of the parks? Ok, that's fine with me. But also let's make sure only people who watch PBS pay for it. And let's charge a per-child fee for everyone who uses the public schools. Let's make all roads toll roads. And while we're at it, only people who use oil should pay a fee for subsidizing our current war.
This message brought to you by a symphony musician who unfortunately is getting NO federal or state tax dollars.
If people can afford to travel to publicly underfunded parks with their camping trailers(watching public tv), being pulled by cars(that use oil and public roads), who took their children out of public school(they pay for with their taxes) so they can go on a family vacation; then they can afford to shell out a few $ for the parks upkeep.
This message is brought to you by a ER physician who pays a shitload of taxes and multiple hundred(s) $ in individual state, federal, and professional fees so he can do what he spent 9 years in training. No animus intended by the above statements, lets agree to disagree.
By the way going to some county HP's this weekend. (This statement is so Roger hopefully won't delete my flaming response)
I don't understand why every week there is at least one angry personal attack on this website. This could be a place to have a discussion about national/state park entry fees, but this isn't the best place. Even if it was, there really should be no room for anyone to personally attack another member and call them names. There seems to be such anger here. Why is it so easy to forget about discussing and sharing information about climbing/hiking/mountaineering and begin personal attacks? If you don't like the fees parks set, call your congressman and senators. Let's use this place to discuss peaks and trails and where the great places there are to go and see and how to get there and climb them safely. Please place your anger on another website that is used to political name calling.
I didn't notice any personal or angry attacks in this thread. Who attacked whom? Patrick and i just voiced the extreme end of the debate. He coming from his perspective, mine coming from my (way more than 9 years of studying to practice my craft, can't afford trailer homes, tends to hitchhike to the parks since after taxes, union dues, and expenses i basically end up at poverty level) perspective.
Thing is, the validity of both lines of reasoning points to some combination of all three sources of funding: tax-based, private, and user fees. We can and do constantly adjust and debate the proportion of those 3 sources. But i'm in a position of being especially sensitive to what happens when one source is eliminated entirely. With ONLY user fees and private funding, the parks cease to be EVERYone's parks. They then, by influence of where the $ comes from, evolve into something that caters specifically to a constituency. (I see that process happening in my own line of work. Why go to poor communities and give parks and ed concerts, when those people will never make donations or buy tickets?) When i'm old and invalid, i want the parks to be taken care of for the sake of the wildlife and the future. Not only for the sake of the users and private donors.
p.s. thanks Patrick for past route advice! i had a great time in the SE last spring.
Why is paying $10-15 to the Feds to enter a National Park a big deal when considered against the backdrop of the hundreds if not thousands dollars that you pump into private enterprises just to get to the Park? Airlines, rental cars, gas, hotels etc etc. It's kind of like the whole North Dakota White Butte issue with the $10 (or whatever it is now) that is asked to access the property after you spent $500 just to get there.
I know some folks stand on issues for the "principal of it," but I'm a big picture kind of guy. An extra few bucks for Park upkeep is something I'm more than happy to pay. This message is brought to you by an obnoxiously overpaid cop.