I discovered today that the forest service is planning on doing away with the 50% discount for camp fees for those of us over 62 who qualify for the lifetime senior parks pass.
First the Forest service started subcontracting out the management of National Forest camp grounds and the price for these sites escalated.
For example, a few years ago I used a National Forest site in the Black hills during a Centennial trail hike and the price was a ridiculous $31 for a site in a campground with pit toilets. ( Usually the national Forests charge $12) Now the subcontractors say they cant make enough money with the senior discounts and want them abolished. It will likely take effect in 2011.
What upsets me the most is that for the last 30 years I have purchased a National Parks pass and Forest service sticker every year and for most of these 30 years I car camped and used the camps extensively. It bothered me that with my very small car and small tent I was paying twice the camp fees that the older folks were paying with their often huge RV's. I reasured myself that one day I would enjoy the same half price privilege.
Well, last Summer I turned 62 and immediately purchased my lifetime pass with the prospect of being able to enjoy the low cost National Forest camping in my upcoming retirement. Imagine how I feel when I hear it is to be taken away within the year.
Excuse the complaining, I had to vent.
Certainly it will not significantly affect hiking/backpacking but I also take extended car camp trips with my grandchildren.