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Fees For Backcountry Travelers Kicking In At Yellowstone National Park

May 13th - 08:09am | ecbuck

There are definitely not complete standards that apply across the board at all the National Parks.

May 12th - 23:04pm | Rick B.

I'm not running. My gift to you, Eric, is that I'm chosing to walk away from the sorts of junior high school debating society drivel that you've sucked me into for the past too many years. As I turn my back on you, you can write anything in the world that you want to say and you will indeed have the last word. Go for it. I'll continue to discuss politely with those capable of it.

May 12th - 22:54pm | Gary Wilson

Yellowstone also has an entrance fee, which generates millions of dollars in revenue for the park to utilize.

May 12th - 22:12pm | ecbuck

Gary, perhaps you will answer the question that Rick B as run from.  How does Yellowstone have an annual back country fee when the SMNP superintendent claims establishing an annual back country fee in an NPS unit is not possible. That is the issue Smokies is raising. 

May 12th - 21:09pm | Gary Wilson

There have been backcountry fees in most National Parks across the west for decades.  Yellowstone also had a backcountry fee long before this year.  Anyone that was planning a trip before they got there and wanted to guarantee their space used the backcountry system and paid a 25.00 fee to get a permit.  I've given that park many of my george washingtons over the years, and none of my buddies a

May 12th - 08:35am | SmokiesBackpacker

Because you are unable to answer any questions logically.  Just like the NPS discrepancy with regard to implementation of backcountry fees across the system.  Like your justifications, their rationale is all over the place with regard to these fees.  When the NPS is bothered by questions from the public they are appointed to serve, they dismiss the questions or change the rationale.

May 11th - 23:38pm | Rick B.

Two points, backpacker. One, I don't have to personally answer any questions to you or your satisfaction. Two, I told Kurt I'd stop wrestling in the mud with a few of you guys, and so have yourself a pleasant evening without my assistance.

May 11th - 21:42pm | SmokiesBackpacker

This thread is about NPS backcountry fees being rammed down peoples throats and the Smokies is a fine example of the genesis of that very thing.  If they can offer an annual pass at Yellowstone, then they can offer an annual pass at other parks like the Smokies, BS fork and other NPS units.

May 11th - 18:16pm | Rick B.

This thread has nothing to do with the Smokies.

May 11th - 14:48pm | SmokiesBackpacker

It would be  more reasonable than the edict imposed in the Smokies.

May 11th - 12:39pm | Rick B.

This seems to be a very reasonable fee structure, including the annual fee ceiling. I don't think it is prohibitive to anyone seeking to hike backcountry.

May 11th - 08:11am | SmokiesBackpacker

It's interesting how Yellowstone can offer an annual fee for folks capped at 25 bucks when we were told by Dale Ditmanson, chief moustache in the Smokies, that he wasn't able to make any concessions or changes in the backcountry fees and there would be no annual passes and he would not honor other national park passes.  

Yellowstone, Grand Teton Raising Entrance Fees This Summer

May 12th - 18:50pm | rmackie

Kurt, others that are interested in this issue, PJ Ryan's latest issue of "Thunderbear" #295 (you can google Thunderbear and access the commentary there), lays out the issue really well in his own style, he really hits the crux of the issue. It is well worth the read. I am opposed to these increases, but PJ articulates it much better than I.  

May 12th - 17:58pm | Kurt Repanshek

'fraid it was more than "a few years ago," Megaera. It's been at least six years, and likely more. That said, I think they are reviewing the pricing, but haven't heard of an imminent increase. 

May 12th - 17:47pm | Megaera

Is there any noise over raising the annual parks pass price yet?  Or was the $30 jump a few years ago enough to satisfy them?

Joshua Tree National Park Taking Comments On Proposed Trail

May 11th - 22:33pm | ecbuck

Drove through Joshua last week.  Can't say I was overly impressed. Looks like the drive from Vegas to Baker. I didn't do any hiking (dog restrictions) but I would say any interesting trails that could be added could only be a help.

Northern Tier Senators Want A Little National Park Service Love

May 11th - 19:19pm | Jim Burnett

Good question.

May 11th - 18:27pm | Megaera

Are these senators voting for more than enough money to fully fund our existing NPS units first?  Enough more to provide funds for these trails?

Polling Shows Most Westerners Approve Of Federal Land-Management Agencies, Oppose Giving Lands Over To The States

May 11th - 08:55am | Beezo

I can see it now.  Slowy states will sell off pieces of the National Parks until there is nothing left but private land.  There will be no more family trips to places like Yellow Stone, Yosemite, or the Grand Canyon.  All of those beautiful buffalo will be killed off by the new land owners.  From someone who has visited those places, I'd like for them to be left as is so future generations can

Rangers File Charges In Graffiti Vandalism At Gateway National Recreation Area

May 10th - 21:23pm | trailadvocate

Hmm, wonder who they voted for last cycle?

May 9th - 12:56pm | Amarillobymorning

What's the news on that obnoxious "artist" girl who painted stuff on some of the western parks?If it was up to me, I'd offer to trade these cretins to ISIS for a couple of their prisoners.

May 9th - 10:52am | ecbuck

Hope the punishment is swift and severe.  Zero tolerance and substantial deterence.

Historic House At Valley Forge To Serve As Party Venue For Next Decade

May 10th - 14:36pm | Alfred Runte

Years ago, in 1971, to be exact, I was privileged to attend the 13th Annual Seminar for Historical Administrators held in Williamsburg, Virginia. Co-sponors of the six-week conference included Colonial Williamsburg, Inc., and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Fellows stayed in the dorms of the College of William and Mary. I was in between my M.A.

Traveler's View: Really, Aren't The National Parks Worth More Than $2.5 Million?

May 8th - 23:32pm | trailadvocate

There are some that pave the way to there retirement with "preferred alternatives" at the executive level.  To think that temptation and altruism never cross paths and alter outcomes are a bit naive.  

May 8th - 13:28pm | Rick B.

Scott - another consideration about this corporate thing is that there are various ways to invest which weigh social conscience as a major factor. If I chose to invest my money in various stocks, then I want it to go to the corporations which participate socially in a way I feel is socially responsible.

May 8th - 12:00pm | Alfred Runte

I keep wondering whatever happened to the idea that we are all shareholders in America. The slogan used to be for "God and Country." I don't recall corporations being any part of that, but perhaps someone can set me straight.

May 8th - 10:56am | ecbuck

I do not agree that claiming religious rights has anything to do with increasing shareholder valueTo not be forced into paying for benefits - of any kind - could improve profitability which would increase shareholder value.  But then, I am not aware of any public corporation that has tried to excercise a religious rights argument. 

May 8th - 10:30am | Scott Merritt

EC - Fair points; I will concede that election funding could arguably be in the interest of shareholders.  I do not agree that claiming religious rights has anything to do with increasing shareholder value.  You are 100% correct about effective regulation.  Thanks for making that distinction.

May 8th - 09:56am | ecbuck

They should not be allowed to be treated as a person; i.e. candidate election spending; refusing to comply with federal mandate for religious reasons (birth control). I'll accept EC's point, but you can't play both sides of the fence.

May 8th - 09:29am | Scott Merritt

I forgot one very important piece.  Back in the early 80s AB was trying to buy the second largest spring in Missouri - Greer Spring.  They were going to use it for bottled water.

May 8th - 09:18am | Scott Merritt

I think EC's comments about corporations are interesting.  I don't agree nor disagree with his statement about their purpose being very simple - generate money for shareholders.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I do have a few thoughts about it though.

May 8th - 09:12am | Perpetual Seasonal

If you go on the website of the Association of National Park Rangers or their facebook page you will see no mention of this deal with Budweiser and no posting of these articles from NPT.

May 7th - 23:11pm | wild places

 Again,if the parks are up for sale (and they obviously are)  then they should have at least gone to the highest bidder but this appears to be a backroom deal which is almost as disturbing as those who think AB is somehow promoting rape (it takes a troubled mind to make that connection).  If anything, be troubled by the possibility that they might team up with Jay Z for concerts in the parks (c

May 7th - 22:18pm | ecbuck

Man, have we "lost it" when we say that our major corporations "should not be philanthropic."Not at all.  That is not their purpose.  Their purpose is to generate funds for their shareholders.  If those shareholders want to be philanthropic, great but it isn't the role of corporations to give away money that isn't theirs purely to give it away.  

May 7th - 21:53pm | rmackie

Thinking of the posts above from Michael Kellett and Alfred, when I first started working in the Park on the trail crews, we worked 6 days a week.

May 7th - 20:53pm | Alfred Runte

As I read this, EC, I am listening to Peter, Paul, and Mary from a concert in 1965. Man, have we "lost it" when we say that our major corporations "should not be philanthropic." Bring on the "publicity," then, but what does it matter when you no longer have a country that you can sing about with pride?

May 7th - 19:54pm | ecbuck

Alfred,AB is not (and should not be) giving money to the Parks to be philonthropic, they are giving it for publicity. 

May 7th - 15:04pm | rmackie

Dr. Runte, this is one of your finest posts, exactly the issue here. Thank you. I also appreciated the post of M. Kellett and yourself on "addressing the backlog". It is stretch to me that we cannot find common ground on "man" contributing to  climate change.

May 7th - 14:11pm | Alfred Runte

I don't think "price" is the point being made here at all. Sometimes, a writer has to resort to irony or sarcasm before anyone can see the point. And the point is: The government, having presented the national parks as a gold mine, turns around and sells them as if they were tin.

May 7th - 08:55am | Harryb3570

Well said Kurt. This partnership with Budweiser is just not right for the NPS. The whole deal cries out for a congressional investigation. Even if the amount of money was $25 million it would still  be wrong. Dan Wenk and Jarvis need to face reality. They made a mistake and just say no to Budweiser. 

May 7th - 08:52am | ecbuck

I agree with you Kurt, the price seems low.  But I find it funny after all the indignation about the arrangement in the first place, now we are talking price.   Reminds me of a joke that ends with the women asking "what do you think I am" and the man responds, "we have already established that, now we are just negotiating the price". 

Op-Ed| Addressing The Backlog With New Backbone: History And The National Park Service Centennial

May 7th - 19:03pm | ecbuck

Michael -Two big differences between us.  First, I don't share your pessimism.  I think man can exploit the earth for his own good without long term negative impacts.  As you yourself noted several of today's parks are "restoration" parks.  Parks that in a hundred years or less have erased the "scars" of man.

May 7th - 11:26am | Alfred Runte

Some really good comments here, some of them even worthy of an article or two. First, about Yosemite. Once the federal government had completed the surveys of the high country, the handwriting was on the wall. Settlement claims under the Homestead Act, etc., then proliferated, culminating in the late 1880s. The park of 1890 was already hamstrung by 65,000 acres of private inholdings--or more.

May 7th - 10:26am | Michael Kellett

EC and beachdumb,No use in arguing about climate change. Reality will prevail, regardless of what we say.EC,

May 7th - 09:10am | beachdumb

has reached 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in recorded history

Acadia Then And Now: 40 Years Is Too Long Between Visits

May 7th - 13:07pm | JeanBjerke

Happy birthday, Acadia NP! It has been about 20 years since I last visited, and this article reminds me I shouldn't let too many more years go by. Acadia is an enchanting park, and I loved my first few visits, then moved from New Englad so it is not as easy to get back! I have some very fond memories of times in Acadia with several different family members.

Critics Say Legislation Penned In The Name Of Homeland Security Could Trample National Parks, Other Federal Lands

May 7th - 12:39pm | argalite

So they can use motorized vehicles in wilderness.  That will be great for cryptogramic soils.

Girl Scouts Getting More Involved With National Parks

May 7th - 12:30pm | Rick B.

Agreed, Jim. Programs to get more girls, more boys, more kids in general, as well as any other demographic. Getting them hooked young, on something healthy, is a Good Thing.

May 7th - 12:04pm | Jim Burnett

Absolutely an example of a much better way to introduce young people to our parks - as opposed to Anheuser-Busch's goal of "introducing a new generation of beer drinkers" to those areas!

Glacier National Park Officials Working To Craft Going-To-The-Sun Road Plan To Ease Congestion

May 7th - 12:28pm | Jim Burnett

I was there last summer at the start of the season. Opening of the "Sun Road" to private vehicles was delayed due to a late snowstorm, but we were able to ride the free shuttle from the west side most of the way to Logan Pass, and then walk along the road for several miles. It was a great way to enjoy the area without traffic.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide