[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

Fw: E-M:/ Fw: Fee Demo to be Extended ?!

Enviro-Mich message from "Delavan Sipes" <delavan@cybersol.com>

To all who will listen,

These fee programs have some serious shortcomings.  If our environment is
being preserved for esthetic as well as scientific reasons (not too mention
preservation of earth), it seems that if you don't belong to the money
crowd, you will no longer be able to enjoy the wilderness free of charge.
Aren't we making life difficult enough for those who are poor?  Now the
governments want to take away any opportunity the poorer folks have for
enjoying nature free of charge.  They won't be able to fish those rivers
without paying, nor canoe, nor float.  I'll bet they can't even wade without
paying.  These restrictions are ridiculous.  Remember the old saying, "The
best things in life are free. . ."  I'd like to add a clause, ". . . unless
the government gets a hold on them."

Restrictions should not discriminate against who may visit, only against how
many should visit.

I had the joyous opportunity in the mid-fifties to spend three days in
McKinley National Park (Denali).  It was glorious.  In three days we saw two
vehicles--one was ours.  One road, eighty miles long, that extended from the
railroad station (and hotel) to Wonder Lake.  We slept on the ground.  I
fly-fished Moose Creek.  We fried fresh grayling for lunch.  Denali obliged
us with an all day cloudless view.  A bit of rain brought scores of jack
rabbits out to the edge of the road where they sat like soldiers, maybe
one-hundred feet apart, for as long as it rained.  Whistling marmots
scampered around us, greeted us throughout the 24 hours of daylight.  We way
a massive herd of migrating caribou and a few grizzlies.
We had shipped the car to the hotel on the same train that we rode to get to
the park--it was marvelous.  There was no road that led to McKinley Park.

I returned to the park in the early eighties.  I drove to the park on the
"new" road that led the crowds to this wilderness mecca.
On the way there I was telling of my previous experience and was looking
forward to repeating it.  It was not to be.  I was stunned.  A tumultous
crowd milled about the hotel.  Cars were everywhere.  Camping in the park
was restricted to those who had made reservations almost one year in
advance.  Once you drove to your campsite, you were not allowed to leave it
with your vehicle until your camping time was up.  Then you were required to
drive directly to the exit.  Our alternative was to opt for a bus ride part
way into the park.  The road was still gravel, and narrow.  Busses were
stirring clouds of dust in both directions.  Hordes of people were wandering
about at the "stops".  The fragile alpine growth was nearly non-existent in
the visitor area, tampled out of existence.  Limits were well marked, so
that people did not wander off and destroy still more vegetation.  There
were only a few marmots in the visitor area.  Along the road, people stopped
and approached the casual grizzlies as though there were no danger.  Nowhere
was there a quiet area.  No place where one could just sit and admire the
beauty without the intrusion of the mindless crown.  I was devastated.   It
was the saddest wilderness experience of my life.
Denali had been destroyed in an effort to make the essence of its appeal
available to all, and in so doing had destroyed its appeal.  Is it still
magnificent?  I suppose so, but it will never be the Denali I loved.

Fee control or crowd control?  Given a choice, I would choose severe crowd
control.  With crowd control, visitation could be on a first come, first
served basis or it could be reserved for those who made advance
reservations.  Perhaps some other method of control could be exercised, but
to charge fees is an outrageous insult to the American people.

----- Original Message -----
From: Doug Cornett <drcornet@up.net>
To: <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2000 11:22 PM
Subject: E-M:/ Fw: Fee Demo to be Extended ?!

> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from Doug Cornett <drcornet@up.net>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The Fee Demo program is found in all 3 of Michigan's National Forests and
> at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (I'm not sure of Pictured
>  The Huron-Manistee is by far the worst, and charges for parking and
> picnicing at numerous access sites and trail heads throughout the Forest.
> There is even one river where there is a per day float fee for boaters.
> Fee Demo sites in the Huron-Manistee are listed at:
> http://www.m33access.com/ericson/
> In the 4 National Forests in Southern California, an "Adventure Pass" is
> required to drive on any of the roads.  Check out Wild Wilderness at:
> http://www.wildwilderness.org for an extensive data base on Fee Demo
> program.
> There are 3 other excellent organizations that have web sites dedicated to
> Fee Demo at:
> www.sespewild.org/sespewild - Keep the Sespe Wild Committee
> www.freeourforests.org - Free Our Forests
> (this site has an excellent links page to many other organizations opposed
> to Fee Demo)
> http://www.nofees.org/ - Public Access Coalition
> Doug Cornett
> Northwoods Wilderness Recovery
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Scott Silver <ssilver@wildwilderness.org>
> To: Scott Silver <ssilver@wildwilderness.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, April 19, 2000 8:27 PM
> Subject: Fee Demo to be Extended ?!
> Word has it that the USFS is pushing extremely hard to have the fee-demo
> program extended and that legislation may be introduced as soon as May 15,
> 2000. Details are still sketchy, but it appears that a bill will soon be
> presented to the House Interior Appropriations Committee. The bill is
> expected to ask Congress to authorize a modified demonstration program
> would, at a minimum:
> 1) extend the "demonstration" for a number of years
> 2) provide additional authority to charge recreation fees
> 3) make fees more universal within the US Forest Service System
> This development comes as no surprise. The USFS is committed to making
> industrial strength recreation its next business. This new business is
> entirely dependent upon the ability to charge user and access fees. The
> that the public has steadfastly refused to accept the very idea of paying
> take a walk in the woods has presented a major problem for the USFS and
> corporate backers of this program.
> Being unable to demonstrate support for the program, the Forest Service
> its corporate partners asked that the program be extended to September
> (which Congress approved in 1998). Now they are asking for STILL MORE TIME
> to work out the bugs and to demonstrate that this pay-to-play concept is
> viable.
> Wild Wilderness will be passing on additional information as soon as it
> becomes available. PLEASE use this opportunity to make your opposition to
> this proposed legislation know. (see
> for specific suggestions).
> PLEASE also join with activists all across America to demonstrate our
> opposition to the fee-demo program. The next National Day of Action is
> scheduled for June 10, 2000.
> For additional info on the Day of Action please see
> http://www.wildwilderness.org/docs/2000doa.htm
> Scott
> PS.... below are excerpted quotes from an article that appeared in
> yesterday's Arizona Daily Star. Expect more of these articles as Chief
> Dombeck tries to gently introduce the idea of extending forest fees.
> ---- begin excerpted article ---
> http://www.azstarnet.com/public/dnews/000419forestfee.html
> Wednesday, 19 April 2000
> Forest chief would make visitor fees permanent
> By Jim Erickson
> The $5-per-car Mount Lemmon recreational fee and similar charges in other
> national forests across the country should be made permanent, the head of
> the U.S. Forest Service said yesterday.
> The Forest Service began collecting the fee at the base of the Catalina
> Highway in September 1997 as part of a two-year federal program.
> The program was extended until 2001, and now Congress is considering
> it permanent.
> Forest Service Chief Michael Dombeck, said he supports the idea, along
> expanding the user-fee program to other sites in the national forest
> Currently, 100 national forest sites participate in the fee program.
> "Nobody wants to pay more for anything, whether it's shoes, lunch or a
> of milk," said Dombeck, who was in Tucson yesterday for a meeting of
> Service rangers.
> "But if you ask the question, 'Are you willing to pay if this money is
> invested into something that you use?' the response is typically about 80
> percent will support that," he said.
> Dombeck said the Forest Service plans to sell its recreational passes
> and is looking for other ways to make the system more customer-friendly.
> "One thing to keep in mind is that 99.9 percent of the 192 million acres
> national forest are free, and a large proportion of it needs to stay that
> way," Dombeck said.
> Reporter Jim Erickson can be reached at 573-4197 or e-mail
> erickson@azstarnet
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> Scott Silver
> Wild Wilderness
> 248 NW Wilmington Ave.
> Bend, OR  97701
> phone:       541-385-5261
> e-mail:      ssilver@wildwilderness.org
> Internet:    http://www.wildwilderness.org
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> SWAN: Listserv and forum for discussing environmental issues in the Great
> Lakes region. Archives at http://www.superiorwild.org
> Postings to: swan@egroups.com.
> ==============================================================
> ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
> and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
> http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/
> Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
> majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info
> ==============================================================

ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"