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Maine's Second Congressional District Favors National Park For North Woods

Jun 9th - 12:41pm | chimani

@MegaeraSimilar to Baxter State Park which sits right next to the proposed new national park, it would have an endowment created to help maintain the park so as to not impact the otherall budget of the park service. 

Jun 7th - 13:54pm | Megaera

May we please fund our existing parks appropriately before we add any more?  Please?

Impetus For Current Move To Raise Fees Across National Park System Dates Back More Than A Decade

Jun 9th - 11:34am | Lee Dalton

Jun 9th - 11:32am | Lee Dalton

Here's a thought for all the folks hollering that they pay taxes to support the parks so they shouldn't be expected to pay any additional fees.The national parks receive something like  0.001 percent of the national budget.What did you pay in income tax last years?Take that number and multiply it by 0.001.What do you get?

Jun 9th - 00:05am | SmokiesBackpacker

So in summary, Maegera,NPS employees like fees, the public doesn't.  Since the NPS are kings and queens who rule in their fiefdoms without oversight, taxpayers get fees and unlimited fee increases.  Just like Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir intended.  Public lands are for concessionaires and those that pay them well.  It is capitalism on the backs of taxpayers.

Jun 8th - 21:30pm | Lee Dalton

Actually, we all might be very surprised at how many of our tax dollars do wind up going to amusement parks and other private operations.  How many local governments provide tax breaks or special deals of some kind to those money makers because the money doesn't stop at the gate.  People who attend the parks spend money in town.  Just as people who visit national parks spend money in nearby tow

Jun 8th - 19:33pm | Megaera

This entire article just makes me angry.  Are the national parks just for the elite?  For a lot of us, those fee hikes *can* make the difference between going to the parks or not, yet my tax dollars are supposedly going to fund something I probably won't be able to afford to visit because the fees are too high.  I don't see any of my tax dollars going to Disneyland.  That's the difference.  It'

Jun 8th - 14:11pm | wild places

Thanks Kurt for shedding some light on the process. What is missing from the explanation is what the consultant’s original task was some 15 years ago? What was the goal in reviewing fees? To maximize revenue, keep the parks as affordable as possible or to compete with Disney theme parks? 

Jun 8th - 14:09pm | ecbuck

There wasn't much information included in the story about that study, so it's not clear to me what was lacking in that one.I would say not including an analysis of what higher fees would do to behavior was a major shortfall of the first study.  In fact, one must wonder what it was they did study if that was excluded. 

Jun 8th - 13:50pm | J.Thomas

ec - Not a problem, but I'm not sure what you meant when you said "The study should have been done right the first time." There wasn't much information included in the story about that study, so it's not clear to me what was lacking in that one.

Jun 8th - 13:05pm | ecbuck

An interesting discussion. As to whether the NPS should have done another "study" before deciding to raise fees,

Jun 8th - 13:02pm | Lee Dalton

I definitely don't like fees for anything.  But given the current failure by Congress to get off their fannies and actually do something, what alternatives are there?Critics decry fees and increases, but don't offer any viable alternative ideas.

Jun 8th - 12:51pm | Rick B.

It would be nice if the parks were properly funded by congress on an ongoing basis. It would cost annually less than one of the mothballed and unused jets sitting in a desert graveyard. No more fighting over incremental fee increases, and the paranoid NPS haters would find some other reason to attack "Jarvis and and his jack booted thugs."

Jun 8th - 10:52am | J.Thomas

An interesting discussion. As to whether the NPS should have done another "study" before deciding to raise fees, I don't know what that would cost, but I'd bet a credible survey by a reliable firm to cover users of parks nationwide would run into 6, or more likely, 7 figures. 

Jun 8th - 10:10am | rmackie

Interesting article Kurt, thank you. I am generally opposed to these fee increases. these are public lands and should be supported accordingly. The issue of comparability in setting campground fees is puzzling to me, where would you find this, private sector campgrounds that charge what the market will bear? Is this the direction we want to go in our parks?

Jun 8th - 08:06am | ecbuck

I find it interesting that Ms Kupper says:"There has been no analysis on what may happen. We plan to analyze the trends after the increased rates have been implemented,"But later is quoted saying

Higher Fees Coming To Muir Woods National Monument

Jun 8th - 20:17pm | ecbuck

Never undisclosed.Which makes your denial of an affiliation even more perplexing.I'm not going anywhere and certainly not at your direction.

Jun 8th - 18:52pm | Rick B.

My publicly available bio on NPT for the past five years: "Rick B. is a 60+ year old retired nurse, thoroughly enjoying the freedom of retirement. His wife is a museum curator for the NPS. ..." Never undisclosed. Moving on, as directed.

Jun 8th - 17:03pm | NPT Editors

 [From the Traveler's volunteer moderator] Okay, folks, enough. The topic of this story is Muir Woods. If you want to discuss it in a civil manner, that's fine. Otherwise, move along. 

Jun 8th - 16:59pm | ecbuck

Unless your only instinct is to immediately argue against something just because I said it, find another thing to complain about.

Jun 8th - 16:00pm | Rick B.

I figure your command of other facts is similar to your . .. guessing attack about my employment. I'm a retired nurse, collecting Social Security and a small corporate pension. I have never worked for the NPS in my life.I did not attack that the ballot box was stuffed - I wondered about the possibility. It happens on campaigns of all sorts on every side of issues.

Jun 8th - 15:05pm | SmokiesBackpacker

You park service employees are incredible, Rick and Lee.

Jun 8th - 14:08pm | Rick B.

Eric...My comment was about the method of mass opinion-making, not the side it is deployed upon. I think any of that stuff creates a false picture. Unless your only instinct is to immediately argue against something just because I said it, find another thing to complain about.

Jun 8th - 13:18pm | ecbuck

And one always has to wonder how many 'written comments' are mass generated identical postcards and organized cut-and-paste letter campaigns, versus individual citizens on their own generated comments.

Jun 8th - 12:55pm | Lee Dalton

Good point, Rick.  And most people are much more likely to write a comment about something they oppose than one they support.  Thus, virtually ANY study of this sort will be skewed toward NO.Kinda like requiring a dentist to do a survey of patients to see how many would support having fees raised to pull a tooth.

Jun 8th - 12:45pm | Rick B.

And one always has to wonder how many 'written comments' are mass generated identical postcards and organized cut-and-paste letter campaigns, versus individual citizens on their own generated comments.

Jun 8th - 07:05am | J.Thomas

Lee - Perhaps the following will help answer your question. This previous story on the Traveler reported the court decision that rejected a lawsuit to overturn the backcountry fee at the Smokies.

Jun 8th - 06:46am | J.Thomas

What was requested above was "a link or copy of that record of comments." What was provided in the previous comment wasn't that information, but simply a link to another story on this much-hashed over issue. No helpful information there.

Jun 8th - 06:16am | SmokiesBackpacker

Like the rest of NPS employees your mind has been made up from the get go Dalton. But for others unfamiliar with the track record of fee abuse and subsequent data manipulation so.characteristic of Jarvis cabal, here is your link. /2011/12/hiker-wants-great-smokies-mountain-national-park-divulge-comments-proposed-backcountry-fee9125

Jun 7th - 23:52pm | trailadvocate

Lee, the topic at the time was the Mules in the Canyon.  He wanted to and did for the most part, get rid of them (by 75%) and the 100+ years of a truly American experience.  You know, the poo on the trail sissy thing.  Not fee increases.

Jun 7th - 22:05pm | Lee Dalton

Kurt?  Do you?It's pretty pathetic though, that people who are willing to pay $100+ each month for TV and another $100 for smart phone fees, squawk about a small increase to pay for services they use in parks.Heck, y'pay $10 just to go see a bad movie and almost as much for popcorn and sody pop.I guess it's all in one's priorities.

Jun 7th - 21:45pm | trailadvocate

Yes, Martin did the same thing at GRCA with the public comments during his tenure as Superintendent.  Kurt has them on file, I believe.

Jun 7th - 19:51pm | ecbuck

How funny. Lee wants someone to substantiate their claim after he has done nothing but run when asked to do the same. 

Jun 7th - 19:36pm | Lee Dalton

Smokies, can you provide a link or copy of that record of comments?  Let the rest of us see it.  Then we can decide for ourselves who is right.

Jun 7th - 18:35pm | SmokiesBackpacker

Wild Places,

Jun 6th - 13:22pm | wild places

Your Yosemite, A Threatened Public Treasure

Jun 8th - 19:29pm | Megaera

The real problem with Yosemite is that it's within a day trip of far too many people, and within an overnight of far too many more.  I don't see there's much to be done about the fact that the nine-mile valley is being "loved" to death, unfortunately.

Discriminating Explorer: Kalispell, Montana, Gateway To Glacier National Park

Jun 8th - 06:05am | Rebecca Latson ...

Great article! Kalispell has grown so much since I lived in nearby Columbia Falls, eons ago.  I vowed to myself if I ever decided to move back to Montana, Kalispell would be the place I'd go to live. It's a nice-sized town near the edge of Glacier National Park, with (now) plenty to do, and a little less expensive than nearby Whitefish.

Bison Gores, Tosses Australian Visitor Several Times At Yellowstone National Park

Jun 7th - 14:09pm | Rick B.

Love the Kirby article.

Jun 7th - 11:42am | Lee Dalton

Here is an entertaining take on this story by Bob Kirby, the Salt Lake Tribune's most thoughtful ;-} editorialist: last paragraph summarizes the whole issue very well.

Jun 6th - 14:58pm | ecbuck

Anyone have an outfitter recommendation at Yellowstone to take my 6 year old granddaughter on a trail ride?  Found a 1 hr ride by Flying Pig Rafting in Gardiner but I don't know anything about them. 

President Obama Proposing Wilderness, Wild And Scenic River Designations For Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Jun 7th - 09:30am | Lee Dalton

But the view from the hilltop is so much better than what you get from under a bridge.

Jun 6th - 20:29pm | ecbuck

I don't know why Gary is worried about manufacturing in the US.  Between you, Lee and Gary there is more fabrication going on in this country than ever.  You all manufacture  broad claims and accusations but when asked to back them up, you head for the hills. 

Jun 6th - 20:04pm | Rick B.

Have a nice day, Eric.

Jun 6th - 19:58pm | ecbuck

And had your own unique interpretation. Oh but then you are smarter than the folks at NBC, CNBC and Newsweek and many more. So  tell us, where specifically does this report refute the conclusions of the 2004 report? 

Jun 6th - 19:39pm | Rick B.

Sorry, Eric. I read the report instead of the reports about the report.

Jun 6th - 19:20pm | ecbuck

Rick, you certainly have a different interpretation of the recent EPA findings.

Jun 6th - 19:07pm | Rick B.

And now the 2004 study has been refuted, by the EPA itself.

Lend A Hand To Clean Beaches At Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Jun 7th - 08:39am | Lee Dalton

Wouldn't it be wonderful if EVERY visitor to every park simply took a few minutes to keep the place clean in the first place?Why should it have been such a surprise the morning I found a camper actually wiping down the sink he had used in a restroom? 

More Than 200,000 Said To Voice Opposition To Development On Grand Canyon National Park's Doorstep

Jun 6th - 12:30pm | ecbuck

and shut the two monstrositiesWhat exactly is monsterous?  There is speculation by some of some potential negative impacts but nothing actually known.  I say do the study - loser pays. 

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