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Big Bend Park Fees Going WAY UP

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SHANEA

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I suppose...
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2006, 11:15:33 PM »
Quote from: "TheWildWestGuy"
I agree with ShaneA - even with the new fee's it's still a bargin.


You know, I don't mind paying for things I enjoy.  I've always had the "mindset" that you can't take it with you - so you might as well
leave none behind.  Yea, I know, my taxes are supposed to have already paid for this, but, when running a slight deficit....every $10 counts.  I do realize that it is a hardship on those that don't have much disposable income - it's unfair in some ways as it's like a flat tax.  NO - I'm not proposing that we start paying entrance fees based on our ability to pay - ie. if you are at/below the poverty level you pay one fee and if you have a Brazillion dollars you pay more.

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Offline dryer

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Re: I suppose...
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2006, 06:53:35 AM »
Quote from: "SHANEA"
Quote from: "TheWildWestGuy"
I agree with ShaneA - even with the new fee's it's still a bargin.


You know, I don't mind paying for things I enjoy.  I've always had the "mindset" that you can't take it with you - so you might as well
leave none behind.  Yea, I know, my taxes are supposed to have already paid for this, but, when running a slight deficit....every $10 counts.  I do realize that it is a hardship on those that don't have much disposable income - it's unfair in some ways as it's like a flat tax.  NO - I'm not proposing that we start paying entrance fees based on our ability to pay - ie. if you are at/below the poverty level you pay one fee and if you have a Brazillion dollars you pay more.


I don't ming paying for a good thing, and BB is a good thing for sure.  However, since the public owns the place, I'd like to see more justification for a fee increase other than "we want to be in tune with what other places charge".   The management owes us that much since they work for us, and technically, it's required by law.   I'll still pay it.....not enough to keep me away.
KD5IVP, Texas

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Offline RichardM

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Big Bend Park Fees Going WAY UP
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2006, 02:07:23 PM »
Moderator Note: The discussion of the recent election of Governor of Texas has been moved here.

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Online elhombre

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Big Bend Park Fees Going WAY UP
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2006, 03:39:27 PM »
The ranger told me at my last visit (Nov) that the park attendance was down 40%.  I did not ask what date that number spans from but I would assume it is from the last year or 2.  I was told at the same time that money was so tight that a retired ranger's position was going to be left vacant because they needed to absorb the money.
 
So in true government fashion, they are going to raise fees because revenue is falling off.  I guess you have to give the higher up policy makers the benefit of dought because like me, they were educated by the same system they work for.  In the real world if you want more revenue you lower your prices to sell more or you lower your cost for bring the product to the market.  I applaud BB for absorbing a ranger postion because this decreases their cost, but raising prices is dead wrong.  

I only use the free campsites out in the desert when visiting so this change impacts me.  My main concern is that I change my campsites around about 50% of the trips I go out there.  Sometimes due to weather, like wind.  Sometimes due to friends showing up who don't have a great 4x4.  Sometimes I decide to explore an area more than first anticipated and don't want to move my tent.  Each time I want a change, it will cost me $10 more because a ranger has to pull out a 5 cent piece of paper and re-write my permit.  

What I believe will happen is people will load up their permit with days/campsites they may or may not use in order to avoid paying to add to their pemit.  Thus, taking campsites out of use needlessly with no one staying there.  I already see this when I'm there.  I see someone penciled in on the books when I get a permit only to drive by it for the next week with no one there.  If the park makes people pay for that spot they will feel they "own" that site for their time, so screw anyone else who may want it even if they are leaving for some reason.

Great Job BB Employees!

I will still visit and pay the price, but y'all sure haven't made it any more pleasant for me or my family.
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chisos_muse

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Big Bend Park Fees Going WAY UP
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2006, 07:31:49 PM »
Quote from: "elhombre"
The ranger told me at my last visit (Nov) that the park attendance was down 40%.  I did not ask what date that number spans from but I would assume it is from the last year or 2.  I was told at the same time that money was so tight that a retired ranger's position was going to be left vacant because they needed to absorb the money.
 
So in true government fashion, they are going to raise fees because revenue is falling off.  I guess you have to give the higher up policy makers the benefit of dought because like me, they were educated by the same system they work for.  In the real world if you want more revenue you lower your prices to sell more or you lower your cost for bring the product to the market.  I applaud BB for absorbing a ranger postion because this decreases their cost, but raising prices is dead wrong.  

I only use the free campsites out in the desert when visiting so this change impacts me.  My main concern is that I change my campsites around about 50% of the trips I go out there.  Sometimes due to weather, like wind.  Sometimes due to friends showing up who don't have a great 4x4.  Sometimes I decide to explore an area more than first anticipated and don't want to move my tent.  Each time I want a change, it will cost me $10 more because a ranger has to pull out a 5 cent piece of paper and re-write my permit.  

What I believe will happen is people will load up their permit with days/campsites they may or may not use in order to avoid paying to add to their pemit.  Thus, taking campsites out of use needlessly with no one staying there.  I already see this when I'm there.  I see someone penciled in on the books when I get a permit only to drive by it for the next week with no one there.  If the park makes people pay for that spot they will feel they "own" that site for their time, so screw anyone else who may want it even if they are leaving for some reason.

Great Job BB Employees!

I will still visit and pay the price, but y'all sure haven't made it any more pleasant for me or my family
.


Well, I hope that when you do come down to visit, that you don't walk into one of the Visitor Center's and take your frustrations out on someone at the desk. Chances are one of those people are a volunteer, an intern, or one of the many people that had NOTHING to do with these fee changes.

If I were you I'd contact the nps.gov website or write a letter to the Regional Director of the park service and ask them what generated these fee changes.

I, personally don't know for sure why the changes took place. And my suggestion to anyone is if you're not 100% sure how it did come about, please don't chastize any of the hardworking people who do give 110% at the Visitor Center's making no or little $ doing it.

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Offline okiehiker

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Blaming the messenger...
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2006, 10:23:12 PM »
I am the first to admit that there are things that some park service personnel do that drive me nuts sometimes.

I cannot, however, think of a profession in which there is more consistent competence and dedication to the task to which they are called than in the federal park service.  

We have an administration for which actual funding of the national park system is not a priority.  We have declining visitation in certain areas due to high fuel costs and people's adoption of "virtual" forms of entertainment.  This double decline in revenue means one of two things, either A. reduce services and visitor access to the parks, or B. find a way to continue offer services more cheaply and raise additional funds to pay for them.  

A $10 fee for a permit is not exorbitant and is unlikely to lead to abuse.  The thought that the park service and especially local park employees are in any way responsible for their funding circumstances is simple inaccurate and unfair to those personnel.  Concern and correspondence needs to be directed to Washington.
Funny... I have a story about that...

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Offline dryer

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Big Bend Park Fees Going WAY UP
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2006, 07:17:45 AM »
Quote
I, personally don't know for sure why the changes took place. And my suggestion to anyone is if you're not 100% sure how it did come about, please don't chastize any of the hardworking people who do give 110% at the Visitor Center's making no or little $ doing it.


Exactly.  The folks in the trenches probably don't know why fees were changed.  And as an avid public park  user, it's important we know what justified a fee increase other than "we want to be like the other parks".  Had the "powers that be" said "we're increasing park fees to bring employee wages in line with the national average", I would consider this due justification and would happily pay the increase.  
With respect to fee increases, what changes should I expect to see in BiBe other than 'business as usual'?  

I'm a bit more in touch with the Texas state park system and know where much of the funding goes.  The state system is somewhat more transparent.  I buy a season pass yearly, the TPWD magazine, and consider the overnight fees a bargain.
KD5IVP, Texas

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Online elhombre

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Big Bend Park Fees Going WAY UP
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2006, 11:05:43 AM »
In reply to Chiso_muse, I appreciate your comments but I believe you are interjecting your emotions into my posting.  I specifically aimed my criticism at the "higher up policy makers", not the front line government employees or volunteers at the vistor centers.  

Also, the previous postings indicate that there is nothing we as customers of the park were ALLOWED to take part in when this decision was made.  The decision was make internally without our input and the only way it will be changed is by the governing body to reverse it's decision.  Then, we the people who love BB and use it will get a say it's management.  

I believe the fee for back country permits will force people into over booking their stays and ultimately make campsites unavalible.  We will ALL drive by those empty sites on our way to our second or third choice.

Furthermore, the new fee will take away the benifit to not be penalized for changing our plans ( think customer service).  The rangers simply had to use the eraser of their pencil on the back country book and re-write a 5 cent permit.  The park is not losing $10 of revenue because I decided to move my tent.

Again, I did not nor intend to "chastize" the people at the visitor center.  I was at the park this week getting snowed on while walking the Dodson trail and never once attempted to "take (my) frustrations out on someone at the desk".  In fact, it was one of the best hikes/times I have ever had in the park.  That is why I will go back.
For 2 years the Fake News Media, Obama's FBI, CIA & DOJ, and Swamp dwelling Politicians COLLUDED, Illegally Spied,and LIED to America about POTUS in order to overturn an election

All the while demanding censorship and removal of opposition Conservative "hate speech" voices.  Globalists Hate Freedom

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chisos_muse

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Big Bend Park Fees Going WAY UP
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2006, 01:39:36 PM »
Quote from: "elhombre"
In reply to Chiso_muse, I appreciate your comments but I believe you are interjecting your emotions into my posting.  I specifically aimed my criticism at the "higher up policy makers", not the front line government employees or volunteers at the vistor centers.  

Also, the previous postings indicate that there is nothing we as customers of the park were ALLOWED to take part in when this decision was made.  The decision was make internally without our input and the only way it will be changed is by the governing body to reverse it's decision.  Then, we the people who love BB and use it will get a say it's management.  

I believe the fee for back country permits will force people into over booking their stays and ultimately make campsites unavalible.  We will ALL drive by those empty sites on our way to our second or third choice.

Furthermore, the new fee will take away the benifit to not be penalized for changing our plans ( think customer service).  The rangers simply had to use the eraser of their pencil on the back country book and re-write a 5 cent permit.  The park is not losing $10 of revenue because I decided to move my tent.

Again, I did not nor intend to "chastize" the people at the visitor center.  I was at the park this week getting snowed on while walking the Dodson trail and never once attempted to "take (my) frustrations out on someone at the desk".  In fact, it was one of the best hikes/times I have ever had in the park.  That is why I will go back.



"Great Job BB Employees!

I will still visit and pay the price, but y'all sure haven't made it any more pleasant for me or my family. "


I don't see this quote specifically aimed at higher up policy makers.

I have no quarrel with you, and am glad you enjoyed your time in the park.

I do agree with Okiehiker in his suggestion to direct your concerns towards Washington.

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SHANEA

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ShaneA Analysis...
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2006, 01:54:27 PM »
Ok, it's  raining here so I can't rake leaves  :D so my neighbors will just have to live with the leaves blowing in their yard for a few more days.  We go through this every year.  I generally don't pick up the 100 bags of leaves until the last leaf has fallen and they do it earlier and have to do it more often as I only want to do it once.  I'm also researching "unlocked" cell phones while I'm doing this...

Quote
Eighty percent of the entrance fee revenue collected returns to the park and is used to fund backlogged maintenance and visitor related projects that provide direct benefit to park visitors. Past fee demonstration projects include the replacement of the Rio Grande Village Nature Trail boardwalk, the installation of a permanent vault toilet at the Hot Springs parking lot, a new interpretive contact station and exhibits at Castolon, and the soon-to-be expanded Panther Junction Visitor Center.

http://www.nps.gov/bibe/parknews/nr06_10.htm

So, I thought I'd put my MBA to use and come up with an analysis of this.  Be sure and double check my numbers.
TYPE                   OLD   NEW   PCT CHG
VEHICLE                   $15    $20    33.33%
MOTORCYCLE   $5    $10    100.00%
ANNUAL PASS   $30    $40    33.33%
BACKCOUNTRY   $0    $10    undefined

Next, I took a four year average for park visitation and interpolated for December 2006.  My average is 343,000 visitors.  

Next, I "factored" the visitation by type:
85% or 292,000 are vehicle permits.
10% or 34,000 are motorcycle permits
05% or 17,000 are annual passes.
That adds up to 100% of the visits.

I also "factored" that 50% of the total visitors need a backcountry or river permit or 171,500 visitors.

This gives us a gross revenue of:
TYPE               OLD                   NEW
VEHICLE          $4,373,250    $5,831,000
MOTORCYCLE  $171,500             $343,000
ANNUAL           $514,500             $686,000
BACKCNTRY     $1,715                $1,715,000
TOTAL              $5,060,965    $8,575,000

Thus, there will be an increase of $3.5 million in gross revenue from visitations or 69%.  Of this $3.5 million, based on the ShaneA figures, $2.8 million will stay in the park.

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Offline presidio

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Big Bend Park Fees Going WAY UP
« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2006, 12:50:18 AM »
Quote from: "chisos_muse"
I, personally don't know for sure why the changes took place. And my suggestion to anyone is if you're not 100% sure how it did come about, please don't chastize any of the hardworking people who do give 110% at the Visitor Center's making no or little $ doing it.


Doesn't it strike anyone as odd that the NPS has never really revealed the underlying rationale for this change (beyond their need to be 'consistent' with other parks)?

There has been all kinds of speculation on the board about what the $10 will get you....one night, multiple nights. There have been statements that 'this or that ranger said', but NOWHERE has the NPS ever confirmed exactly how the fee will be applied and whether it is per night or per trip.

This is not a good sign. After all, how hard is it to issue a press release with the details?
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Offline presidio

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Big Bend Park Fees Going WAY UP
« Reply #26 on: December 14, 2006, 12:52:34 AM »
Quote from: "elhombre"
but raising prices is dead wrong.


Good to see someone else is concerned about this issue, instead of going along with the flow.
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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.
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Offline presidio

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Big Bend Park Fees Going WAY UP
« Reply #27 on: December 14, 2006, 12:54:59 AM »
Quote from: "dryer"
The folks in the trenches probably don't know why fees were changed.


But the superintendent ought to know and if he doesn't something is seriously out of whack.

As noted before, where is the full public disclosure?. This keeping info close to the vest has the smell of something fishy.
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
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--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline presidio

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Big Bend Park Fees Going WAY UP
« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2006, 01:51:53 AM »
If you go to http://parkplanning.nps.gov/ you can select any park to see what planning processes are open for public comment. You can also check archived documents.

What you will find is that there has been no public participation process concerning the new fees.

Major projects on federal lands require analysis. A fee schedule that stands to generate a lot of money constitutes a major change affecting the public and the way park lands/resources are used. An analysis and public comment period should have been done. It was not.

The BIBE archive goes back to June 1, 2005 and contains 2 documents. There are 4 documents presently open for comment. None involve the mining of your wallet for 'administrative services' to fill out a permit.
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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)

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Offline Casa Grande

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Big Bend Park Fees Going WAY UP
« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2006, 07:11:52 AM »
I appreciate your passion against this issue, Presidio.  I understand the arguments and you have some good ones.  However, I've long thought that fees in the park were way under where they should be, especially since congress hasn't been too kind to the Dept of Interior for quite a long time.  After all, I think a bulk of the revenue should come from the people who actually visit the park, not the hot dog vendor on the corner of Broadway and 42nd street.

 


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