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

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #75 on: November 20, 2019, 09:42:58 AM »
Having not heard or read anything on what has happened with the fee increases I emailed the park and got this reply:

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The park's proposal package, including received comments has been submitted for agency review/approval. We hope to announce any changes to the system soon, since the plan would be to have any modifications in effect in January. Stay tuned.

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Offline marufo

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #76 on: December 18, 2019, 01:15:11 PM »
https://www.nps.gov/bibe/learn/news/changes-to-big-bend-camping-fees-and-reservations.htm
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BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, TX –To make it easier for park visitors to plan ahead and enjoy remote Big Bend National Park, the National Park Service (NPS) will soon be implementing a number of changes to improve the visitor experience. 

“We’ve heard loud and clear that people want us to expand the park’s reservation system, and I’m excited that we’re able to respond,” said Superintendent Bob Krumenaker. “The reservation system will allow many visitors to plan their stays ahead of time and guarantee they have a campsite when they arrive. These changes benefit the visitor and will generate increased revenue for the NPS to reinvest in visitor services and deferred maintenance here at Big Bend.”

Increased Reservations for Rio Grande Village and Chisos Basin Campgrounds
To reduce the frustration of driving all the way to Big Bend, only to find that all campground sites are full, the park will significantly increase the number of campsites available for reservations online via www.recreation.gov or via phone at 1-877-444-6777. Beginning 9:00 am CST on January 15, 2020, two thirds of the campsites in the Rio Grande Village and Chisos Basin Campgrounds will be reservable up to 6 months in advance. One third of the sites will remain on a first-come first served basis. Cottonwood Campground will continue to operate as entirely first-come, first served.

New Reservations for Backcountry Camping
In order to better serve park visitors by decreasing wait times at visitor centers and to allow for more opportunities to plan ahead, beginning 9:00 am CST on February 1st, a selection of primitive backcountry campsites will be included in the online reservation system available through www.recreation.gov or via phone at 1-877-444-6777.

The first 58 sites to pilot this change will include the popular, centrally-located primitive car camping sites and designated backpacking sites in the Chisos Mountains. Roadside sites to be included are those at: Grapevine Hills, Paint Gap, Croton Spring, K-Bar, Hannold Draw, Nine-point Draw, Nugent Mountain, Pine Canyon, Robbers Roost, and Twisted Shoe.

Visitors will be able to review the various campsites, check for availability, plan a backcountry itinerary, and obtain a permit for specific backcountry campsites before heading out to Big Bend. Reservations will be available year-round, up to 6 months in advance. Following this initial phase-in period, additional backcountry sites may be added to gradually expand the opportunities available for reservation.

Camping Fee Changes
Beginning January 1, a number of changes to Big Bend National Park camping fees will be enacted. Those who already have campground reservations will not be affected.

    Developed Campground fees will increase from $14 per night to $16 per night.
    Backcountry Permits (backpacking, primitive roadside, and overnight river trips) will change from $12 per permit to $10 per night.
    Group Campsite fees will change to a nightly per site fee, rather than a nightly per person fee. The nightly rate is based on site capacity:

        Sites accommodating up to 14 people, $40 per night.

        Sites accommodating up to 25 people, $60 per night.

        Sites accommodating up to 40 people, $100 per night.

Holders of the Interagency Senior Pass (US citizens aged 62+) or Access Pass (permanently disabled US citizens) receive 50% discounts on camping, not to include the group campsites.

The increased revenue will be utilized to provide the contracted online reservation service through www.recreation.gov, improve camping and other visitor facilities parkwide, and help reduce Big Bend’s $90 million backlog of deferred maintenance.

In September-October 2019, NPS staff conducted public outreach for proposed increased reservations and camping fee increases at Big Bend. Hundreds of comments were received and support for these proposals was clearly indicated. The NPS also completed a campground comparability study that indicated an increase in camping/backcountry fees was appropriate. While the fee increase makes the campsites comparable to similar options, it also helps offset the fees charged by the contracted reservation service.

For more information about Big Bend's fee structure, please visit www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fees.htm
Note the weasel words "Hundreds of comments were received and support for these proposals was clearly indicated."
FTFY: "Hundreds of comments were received and support for these proposals was clearly indicated [in a few of them]."

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #77 on: December 18, 2019, 01:29:00 PM »
MERRY CHRISTMAS PUBLIC SCUM!

Hundreds of people said" Take more money from me, please"!

Those jackwads start by telling us that the they are going "To reduce the frustration" only to later admit they are going to use all the money to "improve camping and other visitor facilities parkwide, and help reduce Big Bend’s $90 million backlog of deferred maintenance."   

Now the park is for the "rich".

Does this mean I no longer have to go to the visitor's center for my reading of the "camping rules" and interacting with the govment employees, thus avoiding the worst part of my trip?
« Last Edit: December 18, 2019, 01:45:55 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.

May God Bless America!

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Offline Lissa

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #78 on: December 18, 2019, 02:34:22 PM »
$10/night for a zone camping permit seems like a lot.

I can maybe see for the Chisos / high impact areas that require Ranger time and effort to maintain.  But for zone camping?!?


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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #80 on: December 18, 2019, 03:02:29 PM »
It is a lot. And you don't even get turn down service and a mint!

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Offline presidio

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #81 on: December 18, 2019, 03:03:30 PM »
https://www.nps.gov/bibe/learn/news/changes-to-big-bend-camping-fees-and-reservations.htm
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These changes ... will generate increased revenue for deferred maintenance here at Big Bend.”

Maintenance? What a complete canard. Even with the obscene jacking up of backcountry fees, the chicken-scratch cash influx (compared to what's needed) won't make an observable dent in maintenance needs.

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Camping Fee Changes
Backcountry Permits (backpacking, primitive roadside, and overnight river trips) will change from $12 per permit to $10 per night.

Classic example of exploiting an untapped revenue source by charging folks, who have few needs and create few issues and want a bit of solitude, a prohibitive user fee to camp in a place having zero amenities.

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The increased revenue will be utilized to provide the contracted online reservation service through www.recreation.gov, improve camping and other visitor facilities parkwide, and help reduce Big Bend’s $90 million backlog of deferred maintenance.

As noted above, the money skimmed from the public in this legalized robbery scheme, won't affect maintenance one iota. However, it is a brilliant excuse, and one that can repeatedly be used to systematically raise fees on a regular basis. It can be done without doing 'comparable studies.' On the other hand, the sooner the NPS prices the public out of the parks, the sooner maintenance will be less important.

The obscene backcountry fee will bring in some amount extra money; the developed site increase less so. It begs the question (and the NPS has not, and likely will not, be forthcoming) as to how much of that money will go to the contractor servicing of recreation.gov and how much the agency actually will see.

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In September-October 2019, NPS staff conducted public outreach for proposed increased reservations and camping fee increases at Big Bend. Hundreds of comments were received and support for these proposals was clearly indicated. The NPS also completed a campground comparability study that indicated an increase in camping/backcountry fees was appropriate. While the fee increase makes the campsites comparable to similar options, it also helps offset the fees charged by the contracted reservation service.

It would be extremely revealing to see the actual statistics of comments vs. support, rather than the self-serving and nebulous 'clearly indicated.' Likewise, anyone ever seen the methodology and results of 'comparable studies?' There is an incredible lack of transparency about all this. Undoubtedly, the NPS would never reveal such data without a FOIA, and it might be difficult to get even then. But the NPS response to such a request would be very revealing.
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Offline mule ears

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #82 on: December 18, 2019, 04:42:08 PM »
A few comments.  Just today I was looking at the NPS Facebook page and almost every comment on the proposed fee increase was for it but my speculation is essentially all those folks are front country campers who don't give a shit if their fee goes up $2 a night.

As to comparability I did a brief study of other Park units and Big Bend would be in the very top level of backcountry fees charged.  As I think I have said before the comparison is with the State Park which is a really high fee structure, especially for backpackers.

In my comments to the park I strongly argued that backcountry roadside sites and zone campers are not the same thing and should be  charged differently but the word "backcountry" seems to mean the same thing to them and other outsiders who don't get off the paved roads to camp.

el Hombre- I am pretty sure you will still have to go to a visitor center to get your permit saving neither time or the reading of the laws.   :banghead:
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline Lissa

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #83 on: December 18, 2019, 05:14:53 PM »
I did a quick search.  Looking at top flight parks with trail quotas and/or extremely high visitor pressure:

Yosemite (JMT): free for walk-up.  $5 fee + $5/per person to reserve a permit
Rainier (Wonderland): free for walk-up. $20 for application to reserve.
Rocky  Mountain: $30 /trip fee, max 7 nights in high season
Smokies: $4/person/night for max of $20 a person, max 7 nights
Yellowstone: $3person/night, max $15/night.  Option for $25 *annual backcountry pass* that exempts user from nightly fee
Shenandoah: permit required but no info available on fees (campgrounds through recreation.gov) so may be free
Joshua Tree: free
Tetons: $45 advance reservation, $35 walk-up

Grand Canyon has rates most comparable to the Big Bend proposal: $10 for permit + $8pp/night below the Rim, $8/night for group above the Rim.

The proposed Big Bend plan does not seem *at all* in line with standard NPS pricing schemes. 

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Offline Flash

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #84 on: December 18, 2019, 05:43:23 PM »
For a two maximum 2-week long back country permit it is now $140 vs. $12 for a 1067% increase!  :icon_eek:

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #85 on: December 18, 2019, 05:55:46 PM »
As Flash, Mule Ears, and Lissa all point out, the per-night-fee for deep backcountry travel is idiotic.  There is no comparable fee structure within the NPS system. And no reasonable justification for it.  Few people make those trips, so very little revenue will be gained thereby.  On the other hand, if one wanted to create a penalty or disincentive for such travel, this approach is one of the best available options. It also happens to be the best way to insure no demographic or socioeconomic diversity among those who undertake such trips.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Al

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #86 on: December 18, 2019, 05:58:42 PM »
At least there is a Senior discount . . .

"Holders of the Interagency Senior Pass (US citizens aged 62+) or Access Pass (permanently disabled US citizens) receive 50% discounts on camping, not to include the group campsites."

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #87 on: December 18, 2019, 06:00:21 PM »
At least there is a Senior discount . . .

"Holders of the Interagency Senior Pass (US citizens aged 62+) or Access Pass (permanently disabled US citizens) receive 50% discounts on camping, not to include the group campsites."

Cold comfort, Al.  But at this point, I guess I'll have to take whatever I can get.  Actually, I can pay the full fee. I don't mind supporting the NPS if they need it. But I smell disingenuousness and I hate disingenusousness.  And I am not a fan of making the backcountry access harder for people less resourced than me.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Al

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #88 on: December 18, 2019, 06:07:44 PM »
At least there is a Senior discount . . .

"Holders of the Interagency Senior Pass (US citizens aged 62+) or Access Pass (permanently disabled US citizens) receive 50% discounts on camping, not to include the group campsites."

Cold comfort, Al.  But at this point, I guess I'll have to take whatever I can get.  Actually, I can pay the full fee. I don't mind supporting the NPS if they need it. But I smell disingenuousness and I hate disingenusousness.  And I am not a fan of making the backcountry access harder for people less resourced than me.

I agree.  There is no rational basis for the magnitude of fee increases.  But I too will take what I can get . . .

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Offline Lissa

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Re: Backcountry Permits are going online soon, but......
« Reply #89 on: December 18, 2019, 06:55:39 PM »
At least there is a Senior discount . . .

"Holders of the Interagency Senior Pass (US citizens aged 62+) or Access Pass (permanently disabled US citizens) receive 50% discounts on camping, not to include the group campsites."

Cold comfort, Al.  But at this point, I guess I'll have to take whatever I can get.  Actually, I can pay the full fee. I don't mind supporting the NPS if they need it. But I smell disingenuousness and I hate disingenusousness.  And I am not a fan of making the backcountry access harder for people less resourced than me.

I agree.  There is no rational basis for the magnitude of fee increases.  But I too will take what I can get . . .

Agree with all this.

And will also add that I find it particularly frustrating as they could also easily encourage diversity within use of the park by simply adjusting the fee structure down for zone camping.  Could maintain an income stream from the Chisos (to hopefully find maintenance of the Chisos sites) while simultaneously encouraging folks to use other areas of the park and providing a lower cost (but still beautiful!) option for folks with less means. The Grand Canyon clearly has this 2-tiered system for Rim vs Non-Rim so not a conceptually difficult or unprecedented idea. 

 


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