Big Bend Conservancy
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I agree with ShaneA - even with the new fee's it's still a bargin.
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 wellleave 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
but raising prices is dead wrong.
The folks in the trenches probably don't know why fees were changed.
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