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Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......

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Offline Al

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #60 on: September 14, 2019, 03:52:16 AM »
Well said, El Hombre.   Honestly, I was kind of on the fence about the increase, but I think you're right.

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Is there a Cliff Note version for the simple among us of whom I may know?

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Offline DesertRatShorty

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #61 on: September 14, 2019, 08:29:12 AM »
The fee increase for back country camping is huge.  From $12 per permit to $12 per night!  That's ridiculous!

If I read it correctly it will not apply to the sites you usually prefer like along the OOR and Fresno.  Equally it doesn't look like it will apply to zone camping which I almost always do.  It makes some sense to charge more for the heavily used roadside sites and the Chisos backcountry sites.

I will be contacting them to check on all of the above though.
Has it been determined whether the proposed increases will also apply to zone camping?

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Offline poor_camper

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #62 on: September 14, 2019, 08:34:06 AM »
Well said, El Hombre.   Honestly, I was kind of on the fence about the increase, but I think you're right.

Sent from my pocket machine using Big Bend Chat mobile app

I argued some of the same points as El Hombre in my feedback to the park.



Re: Proposed Changes to Camping Reservations and Fees
Big Bend National Park News Release of August 15, 2019
Page 1 of 8

Summary
The proposed fee increase for BBNP should not be adopted because:
  1. It inhibits visitor diversity and discriminates against poorer minorities contrary to stated NPS goals for national parks.
  2. It produces only a miniscule revenue stream to offset its claimed purpose of reducing the maintenance backlog.
  3. It discourages families with children who can only afford camping within the park in order to avoid lodging and meal costs. Education of children is another NPS goal.
  4. There have already been recent park fee increases. This proposal would result in the public shouldering the burden, within the past five years, of two backcountry fee increases for a 149% surge for the average backcountry permit, and a developed campground fee increase of 14%, both after already absorbing a 50% increase of entrance fees in the same timeframe. The Cost of Living Index has risen only 7% in the comparable years.
  5. It is unwarranted for backcountry permits because those sites require very little of the maintenance backlog monies for which the fee increase has been justified.
  6. It contributes to ever spiraling fees by using commercial outside-the-park camping rates (usually higher than the NPS rates) as justification for NPS fee increases, which then encourages camp providers outside the park to do likewise, which leads to the next NPS justification for a fee increase.
  7. It forces visitors to bear the cost burden of the NPS decision to implement a camping reservation system that has ongoing charges.

Further details, comments, and references can be found below.

Thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration.

Respectfully,
A concerned camper



Re: Proposed Changes to Camping Reservations and Fees
Big Bend National Park News Release of August 15, 2019
Page 2 of 8

Item 1
Reference 1A
From https://www.npr.org/2016/03/09/463851006/dont-care-about-national-parks-the-park-service-needs-you-to
The National Park Service overall has a diversity problem. There were a record 307.2 million visits to U.S. national parks in 2015, and it's fair to say that the majority of those visitors were white. The National Park Service doesn't track the demographics of its visitors, but the most recent survey commissioned by the Park Service to see how different population groups related to the parks found that 9 percent of American visitors were Hispanic. African-Americans accounted for 7 percent. Asian-Americans were 3 percent. Collectively, minorities made up just over 20 percent of the visitors to national parks, despite the fact that they made up nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population.
Some of the reasons were universal: the cost is prohibitive?

Fees are too high at NPS units
    All  White  Hispanic  Black  Asian  Am. Indian
Park visitors  20%  18%  32%  25%  4%  37%
Non-visitors   28%  24%  40%  33%  28%  5%

The hotel and food costs at National Park System units are too high
    All  White  Hispanic  Black  Asian  Am. Indian
Park visitors  36%  33%  47%  54%  40%  59%
Non-visitors   46%  40%  59%  56%  43%  28%


Reference 1B
From https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/north-america/united-states/national-parks-service-entrance-fee-increase-spd/
It disproportionately affects families of color," said Gabe Vasquez. He's the New Mexico coordinator for Latino Outdoors, a group that helps Latino communities get outside.



Re: Proposed Changes to Camping Reservations and Fees
Big Bend National Park News Release of August 15, 2019
Page 3 of 8

Communities of color have been historically underrepresented at national parks. Whether barred by the cost of reaching and entering parks or deterred by a sense that they don't belong, minorities are consistently only a fraction of annual park attendance.
"This would be yet another obstacle for us to fight," said Teresa Baker. In her free time, Baker helps run the African American Nature and Parks Experience, an organization that brings communities of color to national, state, and local parks as a means of spreading passion for conservation.



Re: Proposed Changes to Camping Reservations and Fees
Big Bend National Park News Release of August 15, 2019
Page 4 of 8

Item 2
Reference 2A
From https://americanhiking.org/advocacy/national-park-fee-increase/
[At the national level] If the NPS put towards the maintenance backlog the entirety of the estimated $70 million/year in additional revenue to be gained from fee increases, it would take at least 170 years to clear up that log jam.
Unfortunately, the backlog is now so monstrous (4 times the annual NPS budget) that there is probably no way that the federal government could tackle it on its own, but no one is helping the problem by making visitors pay more to little effect while simultaneously decreasing government funding.
So you might say, ?Well, I support my parks, so I am willing to pay a bigger fee to help defray costs, even if it only makes a small difference.? I agree -- so am I. But, again, that?s not really the point. Here?s what I think is the crux of the issue:
  1. Increased entrance fees are unlikely to make much of a dent in the $12 billion backlog. The NPS, Congress, and the private sector are going to have to get creative and hash out a strategy that brings real, sustainable money to the table.
  2. For low income families that are regular visitors to a local NPS site, increased fees could actually become prohibitive, even if they are unlikely to monetarily affect middle income families that can afford a trip to a far away park.
  3. Raising fees also has an intangible effect on groups that have traditionally been disenfranchised in one way or another from enjoying our national parks.

That last one might seem less concrete, but it is nevertheless important. For various reasons too complex to go into here (e.g., see this and this), people of color, while supportive of the national park system, have often felt excluded from it and make up a much smaller percentage of park visitors than their percentage of the general American population would imply. The cost of an entrance fee is not the biggest reason for that sense of being an outsider, but it is a reason. Increasing the fee only adds yet another barrier to diversity in park visitors.



Re: Proposed Changes to Camping Reservations and Fees
Big Bend National Park News Release of August 15, 2019
Page 5 of 8

Item 3
Reference 3A
From https://www.nps.gov/bibe/learn/news/proposed-changes-to-camping-reservations-and-fees.htm
?Camping fees remain a small percentage of the total cost of a Big Bend vacation? ? NPS Newsletter

Not so; not for a backcountry camping vacation. The contract the BBNP NPS has negotiated with their Concessionaire has a current rate (with taxes) of $166.11 for a Rio Grande room in the Basin. Currently a backcountry campsite (regardless of the number of days or people) is $12. For an average 2.5 day Backcountry permit, the difference in lodging alone is $390, not to mention the significant cost savings of bring one?s own food for meals. Lodging and meals are the significant contributors to a vacation in BBNP, but only if they are used. Backcountry camping avoids those expenses so the proposed camping fee increase becomes a much larger part of these cost effective Big Bend vacations.
This justification from the NPS newsletter fee increases is specious. It appears that NPS?s logic is ?As long as you?re spending a lot of money anyway, you should not mind giving us more.? Using the same logic, campers could argue ?The revenue generated by this increase is such a small percentage of the maintenance backlog, the NPS should not mind forgoing the proposed fee increase.?

Any NPS increase ought to stand on its own merits.

Reference 3B
From https://www.nps.gov/bibe/learn/news/proposed-changes-to-camping-reservations-and-fees.htm
Campsite Fee Changes To offset reservation service costs, more closely match other campsites in the area, and provide improved customer service, the park is proposing modest increases to fees for backcountry permits, developed campgrounds, and group sites. Revenue will be utilized to provide the contracted online reservation service through www.recreation.gov, improve camping and other visitor facilities parkwide, and reduce Big Bend?s $90 million backlog of deferred maintenance.

The visitors are now asked not only to pay more for camping permits (on the average), but also to pay for the administrative tool the NPS has decided to force campers to use for reservations. This should be an NPS administrative expense, not a continuing visitor obligation.

Increasing an average backcountry permit by 148% (from $12 to $28.49) or a maximum 14 day permit by 1,225% (from $12 to $168) is not a modest increase.



Re: Proposed Changes to Camping Reservations and Fees
Big Bend National Park News Release of August 15, 2019
Page 6 of 8

The 80% of the proposed backcountry fee increase BBNP would be eligible to keep would contribute only 0.0826% yearly to the maintenance backlog, less than one-tenth of one percent. These visitor fee increases are not the solution to clearing the maintenance backlog.

Using out-of-park camping rates to justify park camping fees will inevitably lead to a never ending ratcheting of fees as private camp providers will then use the new park fees as justification to raise their rates.



Re: Proposed Changes to Camping Reservations and Fees
Big Bend National Park News Release of August 15, 2019
Page 7 of 8

Item 7
While working toward a new online campsite reservations tool for remote visitors is an admirable step in the right direction for improved customer service, there are certain aspects to be considered:
  1. Before implementing a new reservation system, NPS must ensure there is a way for visitors to cancel a reservation.
    a. This ability is a firm requirement if the NPS is truly concerned about customer service. It is difficult to plan one?s life to the day 6 months in advance. Cancellations and changes will be inevitable. Much like the standard ability hotels have for online reservation modifications, the same should apply here. One survey estimates a 40% cancellation rate for hotel reservations. Changes to reservation dates would push that rate even higher.
    b. Early cancellations should result in full refunds. If the NPS expects the visitor to shoulder the burden of the cost of this new system, the visitors should have the right to expect the system to work in a fair manner. The system should handle date changes online without charge if made reasonably in advance of the original reservation date.
    c. One fear is that if visitors do not cancel, campsites will be booked well in advance but be left empty should a visitor be unable to stay with the original booking dates. Empty but unavailable campsites will not be well received by the public.
  2. The new reservation system should be able to handle changes to the selection of campsites, just as is possible today with hand written Ranger issued backcountry permits.
  3. It should remain an option for visitors so desiring to request and pay for a camping permit at a Visitor Center. This is especially true for those groups who may be unaware of the online system or for disadvantaged groups who have limited or no internet access or skills.
  4. Will hand written permits be available from ALL Visitor Centers as required by the 2019 Compendium?
  5. Will the NPS make available computers with internet access for visitors who show up in person without campsite reservations and do not have the means to access Recreation.gov? Or will Rangers handle that online transaction on behalf of visitors?
  6. Will unreserved campsites that are part of Recreation.gov still be available for use by visitors who appear in person to request a Ranger written permit? If not, excluding these sites would be discriminatory to minority groups unable to use the online reservation tool.
  7. How will the NPS enforce the 14/28 day camping limits per year as stated in the Compendium if permit data is fragmented. Does this rule no longer apply?
  8. The system should be able to handle the occasional ?solo hiker? information sheet at backcountry roadside sites. Visitor safety should be a top priority, especially for those camping alone.
  9. If the system is expanded to include zone camping and/or river permits in the future, the NPS should consider a flat rate for these permit types instead of a by-the-day fee.
    a. These permits are often longer than average in length (e.g., a Lower Canyons trip of 7 to 10 or more days). A fee growth of 600% to over 1,000% for such a trip is unacceptable.



Re: Proposed Changes to Camping Reservations and Fees
Big Bend National Park News Release of August 15, 2019
Page 8 of 8

    b. Zone and River camping contributes little to the park maintenance backlog, and these permits should not be charged by the day.
10. As a minimum, the new system and NPS policies should be as flexible as are currently available with hand written Ranger issued permits.
11. In general, the NPS need to be more transparent about the full capabilities and limitations of the proposed reservation system prior to its deployment. There are often unintended consequences when making a major change without detailed public input. It is impossible to comment in any meaningful way about the merits of a new system without being given the full specifications and capabilities of the proposed online tool and the corresponding new policies and procedures the NPS will undertake if it is deployed. To truly enhance customer service, the NPS should first solicit public input to establish the requirements and policies visitors wish to see for a new campsite reservation system. Unfortunately, it appears that is not the NPS plan.

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Offline presidio

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #63 on: September 14, 2019, 12:36:39 PM »
All your points are well-taken. The public is (and should be) very concerned. The NPS, on the other hand, operates in an echo chamber and hears nothing but their own grand ideas, unanchored to reality.

1. It inhibits visitor diversity and discriminates against poorer minorities contrary to stated NPS goals for national parks.

The NPS constantly spews concern about diversity. It all is lip-service, as their actions demonstrate little action to correct the imbalance.

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6. It contributes to ever spiraling fees by using commercial outside-the-park camping rates (usually higher than the NPS rates) as justification for NPS fee increases, which then encourages camp providers outside the park to do likewise, which leads to the next NPS justification for a fee increase.

It's both worse and more simple than that. The NPS operates a round-robin scheme. One park raises entry fees and/or camping/use fees. Then, the other parks follow along using the 'justification' that increases are necessary to maintain parity among parks. It is a never-ending cycle. Yes, commercial providers hitch a ride on that logic but the impact on NPS fees mostly is an internal mechanism of parks keeping up with each other. Given that the NPS provides none of the amenities to be found in commercial campgrounds (often at rates similar to NPS fees for lesser facilities), no direct comparison of cost is possible.

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This justification from the NPS newsletter fee increases is specious. It appears that NPS?s logic is ?As long as you?re spending a lot of money anyway, you should not mind giving us more.?

There are more than a few park users who have zero problem with fee increases and occasionally some can be found who are very willing to pay whatever the NPS thinks is fair. There's a lot of subtext in this attitude: the carefully concealed effect of keeping out the riff-raff, and reducing the user load so the eager payors can have less congestion and competition for facilities and services (and a more 'pure' experience).

Of course, as others have noted, such actions only lead to a continuous downward spiral as increased fees result in fewer people willing to pay the tolls to use their public land, which leads to increased fees as revenue declines....ad naseum.

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The 80% of the proposed backcountry fee increase BBNP would be eligible to keep would contribute only 0.0826% yearly to the maintenance backlog, less than one-tenth of one percent. These visitor fee increases are not the solution to clearing the maintenance backlog.

As I noted in an earlier reply, 'The facts, although interesting, are irrelevant. – Unknown. The NPS dangles the premise the increase will have an effect on maintenance, so the uninformed will believe the extra money they pay actually will mean something.

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To truly enhance customer service, the NPS should first solicit public input to establish the requirements and policies visitors wish to see for a new campsite reservation system. Unfortunately, it appears that is not the NPS plan.

Genuinely consulting the public for input most definitely is not the plan. Never has been, never will.
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Offline mule ears

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #64 on: September 15, 2019, 03:31:50 PM »
Only about 10 more hours to get your comments in.  Here is what I sent:

Thank you for the opportunity to give input on the proposed camping changes.  I understand the frustrations of people driving a long way to the park and not being able to find front country campsites and can agree to both increasing the number allowed to be reserved in advance and an increase in fees to do so.  My main concern is with the recreation.gov site and the potential abuse of it with people reserving sites and not showing up to use them which would in effect actually reduce the number of sites available to the general public not increase them.

Do you have any good data on how many sites are now reserved online and how many are no shows?  What is the policy for opening up sites that have no shows?  I think that people who do that kind of thing should lose their sites and pay the fees they would have owed.  No refunds for no shows and limited for cancellations.

Likewise I can also see opening the most used backcountry roadside sites to online reservations, these are, in reality, front country sites just with fewer amenities than the three campgrounds.  The fees should be slightly lower but I have the same abuse of the system concerns.

As a backpacker in the park for over 45 years I cannot agree with both opening the Chisos sites to advanced reservations or the enormous fee increase for a permit.  The whole reason for no permits being issued more than 24 hours in advance is the harsh nature of the Big Bend backcountry and the need for most people to have some kind of guidance and discussion of their backpacking plans with a ranger or volunteer.  I would speculate that most people coming to the park to backpack are first timers and first time desert hikers who need guidance, this is a classic ranger interpretive/education job and cannot be substituted by a reservation system.  Backpacking is not the same as car camping.

The proposed reservation system might help in reducing the number of permits having to be written for roadside sites but people will still have to have permits written for backpacking trips as each one will be slightly different and just being able to reserve the Chisos sites will not reduce the need for rangers to write permits for an Outer Mountain Loop hike or any other backpack that might or might not include a stay in the Chisos. 

While $12 for a permit of up to 14 days is probably the lowest in the entire NPS system, at least for major parks, the proposed increase is not “reasonable” and to charge the same per night for a person who carries their camp in on their back as someone who drives up to a site (with a bear box) is ludicrous.  Most parks have either per-site-per-night or per-person-per-night fees and many have a cap.  I think the most reasonable is a fixed fee per permit for simplicity.  Increase it to say $36, a 3X increase but do not make it open ended.  Most of my trips are now zone or wilderness camping of 6 or 7 nights, which would make my permit $72 or $84, that is a huge increase for no additional services.

If you do go to a backpacking reservation system it should include the whole park and should use the software system like Zion or Great Smoky Mountains use, they work well and are easy to use.  With Zion’s system you can reserve but you still have to pick up your permit in person which gives the double check needed in a place like Big Bend.  Do not use recreation.gov for backpacking reservations.
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Offline steelfrog

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #65 on: September 15, 2019, 03:45:48 PM »
Are they proposing that zone permits also will be issued by online reservation system?  And/or will experience an increase fee?

If not, won't affect me much.

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #66 on: September 15, 2019, 05:35:21 PM »
Just checked my e-mail and this is what the government representative wrote back to me.  YoungHiker (my daughter) read both messages and stated : "From the way they worded their response, it seems like they don't care what the public thinks, they are just going to do what they want and implement the new system."        :great:

Greetings from Big Bend National Park.
Thank you for taking the time and providing input on the park service's proposed changes to Big Bend reservations and camping fees.

I do have a couple of clarifications regarding concerns mentioned in your comments

1. Campground reservations at Big Bend are managed online through recreation.gov. When visitors reserve a campsite for park campgrounds, they sometimes arrive late in the day or in the evening. Their site is held for the first 24 hours. Typically the visitors let the park know they are late, or that they are on their way and will be there the next day. In that case the sites are held. If no contact is made, during busy times, those sites are released. Refunds are processed through Recreation.gov.

2. The proposed amenity fee changes were derived through a comparison study of similar camping options in the surrounding area, and other regional national park sites. It is NPS policy to regularly review fee structures at each park, and make sure that offerings are in line with other similar opportunities.

3. One of the many advantages of having campsites reservable online through Recreation.gov is that the public can access the site and see which sites are reserved and which sites are available 24/7 in real time. This proposal would increase the numbers of reservable campsites and expand the "reservable" season at the two busiest campgrounds, facilitating park visitors in planning their vacation and ensuring that they have a place to camp. 

Thanks again for your input,


1.  Didn't clarify anything.  I asked for the published policy on "no-shows" and you gave me "during busy times, those sites are released".  What is a busy time?  When are they release?

2.Where exactly in the Big Bend region  are there federally funded campgrounds that the comparison can be made with?  You mentioned Canyonlands as being in the area on the phone.  Well, it's $30 for up to a 14 day permit there, not $168.  In the area?

3.  You really need to list some of these "many advantages".  You have only stated the one obvious thing a reserve system does.   If a system that gives the public up to date info on campsite vacancies is SOOO good, Why can't that be a stand alone feature like it was before?  Why does it have to be paired with reservations?  And at such a high price?

As we say on the trail "It Sucks to Suck."  So, Suck it public.  That's all folks!

« Last Edit: September 15, 2019, 05:49:21 PM by elhombre »
If other countries on the planet want to see America suffer and ultimately destroyed, who are they cheering for right now?  Trump, or the leftist democrats and their media supported hate machine?

Seek out the facts for yourself.  Begin by using Startpage.com,  not google.

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Offline poor_camper

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #67 on: September 15, 2019, 07:31:16 PM »
I suspect the main reason that backcountry permits will soon be charged on a daily basis is that recreation.gov probably cannot handle one price for a variable 1 to 14 day for a permit.  They've decided to force the square peg into the existing round hole.  No changes required to the existing reservation system that way.

Still haven't heard the official word on what the plan is for zone camping.

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Offline presidio

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #68 on: September 15, 2019, 10:52:25 PM »
YoungHiker (my daughter) read both messages and stated : "From the way they worded their response, it seems like they don't care what the public thinks, they are just going to do what they want and implement the new system."

Even the kids understand it. I rest my case.

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Greetings from Big Bend National Park.
2. The proposed amenity fee changes were derived through a comparison study of ... other regional national park sites. It is NPS policy to regularly review fee structures at each park, and make sure that offerings are in line with other similar opportunities.

I refer you to the 'round robin' scheme I earlier described.

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As we say on the trail "It Sucks to Suck."  So, Suck it public.  That's all folks!

Exactly!
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Offline DeserTrek

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #69 on: September 16, 2019, 09:57:53 AM »
Say I was to go backpacking Mesa de Anguila, would that count as zone camping or backcountry camping? Last time I did this trail was during a shut down, so I was able to avoid the whole permit ordeal.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #70 on: September 16, 2019, 11:10:30 AM »
Say I was to go backpacking Mesa de Anguila, would that count as zone camping or backcountry camping? Last time I did this trail was during a shut down, so I was able to avoid the whole permit ordeal.

Right now zone camping but that is one of the big questions, under the new fee system will a zone permit be charged the same as the Chisos sites?
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Offline DeserTrek

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #71 on: September 16, 2019, 12:24:01 PM »
Soo..... I just got off the phone with a ranger over at the Panther Junction Visitor Center. Under the new proposed system, Zone "Wilderness" camping will be treated the exact same as Backcountry camping. Permits will be issued $12 per a night.

I never thought I'd see the day where zone camping cost over $12 per night. Seriously though, last week I went backpacking in Gila NF and didn't have to deal with any of this money grabbing bs.  A $30 entrance fee + $84 (7 days) in camping permits. Way to rich for my blood.... Im not made of money and personally find it insulting to the public as a whole.

They can keep there hands out as long as they want... It ain't happening!    :eusa_hand:

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Offline Lance

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #72 on: September 16, 2019, 12:30:37 PM »
Soo..... I just got off the phone with a ranger over at the Panther Junction Visitor Center. Under the new proposed system, Zone "Wilderness" camping will be treated the exact same as Backcountry camping. Permits will be issued $12 per a night.

I never thought I'd see the day where zone camping cost over $12 per night. Seriously though, last week I went backpacking in Gila NF and didn't have to deal with any of this money grabbing bs.  A $30 entrance fee + $84 (7 days) in camping permits. Way to rich for my blood.... Im not made of money and personally find it insulting to the public as a whole.

They can keep there hands out as long as they want... It ain't happening!    :eusa_hand:

Wow, $12 a night for zone camping?!? That's a pretty sharp increase from before, especially for multi-day backpacking trips. No point in complaining or commenting though. Like YoungHiker already said, they're going to do what they want regardless of what we say. They always have.

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Offline presidio

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #73 on: September 17, 2019, 03:34:49 PM »
Soo..... I just got off the phone with a ranger over at the Panther Junction Visitor Center. Under the new proposed system, Zone "Wilderness" camping will be treated the exact same as Backcountry camping. Permits will be issued $12 per a night.

I never thought I'd see the day where zone camping cost over $12 per night. Seriously though, last week I went backpacking in Gila NF and didn't have to deal with any of this money grabbing bs.  A $30 entrance fee + $84 (7 days) in camping permits. Way to rich for my blood.... Im not made of money and personally find it insulting to the public as a whole.

They can keep there hands out as long as they want... It ain't happening!    :eusa_hand:

Wow, $12 a night for zone camping?!? That's a pretty sharp increase from before, especially for multi-day backpacking trips. No point in complaining or commenting though. Like YoungHiker already said, they're going to do what they want regardless of what we say. They always have.

The NPS and other groups complain about park overcrowding (even as they all rely on an unending stream of tourists as their reason for existence).

The solution? Raise user fees to the point the public-at-large is priced out of the equation. Problem solved, since the moneyed will pay whatever the ride costs to enter their playground. Everyone else can watch Ken Burns reruns of how great and revolutionary was the national park idea.

As DeserTrek found, going to the non-park public lands is a freer (in more ways than one) experience, encouraged and enabled by the more accommodating mindset of those non-park agencies.

It really is hard to grasp how tone-deaf the NPS is.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #74 on: September 20, 2019, 02:35:10 PM »
Soo..... I just got off the phone with a ranger over at the Panther Junction Visitor Center. Under the new proposed system, Zone "Wilderness" camping will be treated the exact same as Backcountry camping. Permits will be issued $12 per a night.


Well that's no good.

 


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