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  1. #1
    2011 or 2011 Te Araroa Thru Hike Possibly
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    Default You pay to go into the wilderness?

    http://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisi...servations.htm

    I personally don't live in the USA, but I was looking at the website of the NPS (specifically the Big Bend National Park) and realised you nee to pay to visit the wilderness! How redicolous is that,that you have to pay to visit the wilderness, away from civilisation. I never knew such a thing existed.

    I read an online article by Michael J. Medler, and here's the link:

    http://trumpeter.athabascau.ca/index...ewFile/173/213

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    Registered User Fiddleback's Avatar
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    Some feel that 'user fees' are more appropriate, and economically more efficient, than taxation on all citizens. But in the end, the fees come no where close to supporting the areas and there's some question as to whether they even return to the area where they are collected.

    Still, there's something to be said about the rationale that people treat 'things' better if they have a recognizable cost attached than they do if 'things' are free, i.e., the tradgedy of the commons.

    All environmental problems, including conservation and protection of parks, are economic ones at their heart. Recognizing, quantifying and applying cost is one of the most difficult issues...

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  3. #3
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    If you went out into the middle of the wilderness without paying a fee, would you expect a park ranger to drive out to where you were for free? Gas costs money, the truck costs money, the insurances on the truck costs money, the salary for the park ranger...more money. The upkeep and repair of the trails and roads to get to you...more money. The upkeep and repair of the ranger station, ranger vehicle, communication equipment...more money. What about the map you picked up when you came into the park? The website you looked at to get information about the trail? What about the trash can you dumped your garbage in? The salary of the guy who empties that trash can? The restrooms you stopped in heading in to the park? The salary of the guy who cleans/empties the restrooms/portable toilets? The safe parking lot where you left your car? It all costs money, money, and more money.

    How do you pay for all that? Fees.

    Sure, some of them seem a bit much and we all know not all of it goes towards maintenance of the park, but that is what it is SUPPOSED to be for. Besides all the varied things most of us can think of, try this on for size. This past weekend, I was down on Eastern Neck Island in Maryland. It's a national wildlife refuge that is on the Atlantic Flyway, the main migratory path for birds on the eastern seaboard of the US. Due to loss of habitat and to keep the birds away from potential harmful pesticides used in commercial farming, the park service plants and maintains hundreds of acres of feed corn for the birds to eat on thier trip south. Granted, we are the ones who destroyed the habitat in the first place, so it is only right that we help repair the damage we've done, but who pays for that? Who pays for the land, the tractors, the seeds, the labor? Fees from the park service and taxes.

    A hundred thousand more tiny details like that all go into it, things that people like you or I would never think about. Sure, we all complain when we have to cough up $20 for a campsite, but maybe if we stopped and thought about all they do with that money...trying not to focus on any of the potential corruption in the system...perhaps we wouldn't complain so much.
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    You seek National Forest or BLM areas in the western states.

    I have a $40 sticker on the truck, that entitles me to walk on the other side of my property line and look back. I wouldn't mind, if I did not see wasted funds.

    I am glad the park is there.

  5. #5

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    Big Bend is a National Park, which very often have fees. I think most do. However, the US also has Wilderness Areas which have different rules for management.

    The wilderness article cited in the OP is 12 years old. There are some user fees at National Forests, but I don't know how prevalent user fees are at Wilderness Areas? Could be some at parking areas?

    There are multiple types of public use lands in the US governed by different sets of rules.
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    I dontate money on my state return to the state parks. I have also payed for camping at unmonitored campsite(i could have probably got away with not paying). The NPS is more than likely so under-funded. Pretty soon the "oil" people and "loggers" are going to be knocking at their door with alot more dollars than you and I have.
    Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.-John Muir

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    Quote Originally Posted by LiamNZ View Post
    http://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisi...servations.htm

    I personally don't live in the USA, but I was looking at the website of the NPS (specifically the Big Bend National Park) and realised you nee to pay to visit the wilderness! How redicolous is that,that you have to pay to visit the wilderness, away from civilisation. I never knew such a thing existed.

    I read an online article by Michael J. Medler, and here's the link:

    http://trumpeter.athabascau.ca/index...ewFile/173/213
    Have you ever done any tramping in your country??! Never heard of fees??! Your either joking or trolling...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nean View Post
    Have you ever done any tramping in your country??! Never heard of fees??! Your either joking or trolling...
    Yes, New Zealand has some great tramping tracks , and I've done some of them. Sure there are some fees, for well maintained campsites and huts, most of which have wooden beds and matresses etc, and some even have stoves. But paying to enter land in which you own (the citizens) is another thing entirely.

    I'm not joking, nor trolling.

  9. #9

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    No tax money in NZ goes to your national parks?
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
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    Registered User Ridge Rat's Avatar
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    Most National parks are free if you hike in. Its more of a parking fee than anything else. I usually dont mind paying. Its cheaper than a hotel and/or amusement park and the return is 50 times better.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alligator View Post
    No tax money in NZ goes to your national parks?
    Of course some does.

  12. #12

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    Then you have paid for your park from the back end. Just not up front.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
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  13. #13

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    I don't mind paying a reasonable fee to obtain a backcountry permit in a wilderness area. I have done so a number of times. Take the John Muir Trail for example. If there wasn't a permit system, this beautiful trail that crosses 5 or 6 different wilderness areas would be overrun by hikers and equestrians. That permit system has to be managed. That takes dedicated staff and costs money.

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alligator View Post
    Then you have paid for your park from the back end. Just not up front.
    Yeah, but I guess physically paying specifically to go into land you own yourself (citizens of your country) is more of a psychological thing, I guess it's almost like an insult.

    Anyway, to be honest your parks and the fees that are charged aren't really my business at the moment, nor do they affect me, however I just wanted to give people links to some articles so they can form their own opinions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LiamNZ View Post
    Yes, New Zealand has some great tramping tracks , and I've done some of them. Sure there are some fees, for well maintained campsites and huts, most of which have wooden beds and matresses etc, and some even have stoves. But paying to enter land in which you own (the citizens) is another thing entirely.

    I'm not joking, nor trolling.
    And the places you pay here have services as well. It's not like everywhere you go you have to pay a fee but a lot of our National Parks have amenities far beyond the small fee required.

    Why do you think you are entitled to free, how old are you?


    sorry, thats me trolling

  16. #16
    2011 or 2011 Te Araroa Thru Hike Possibly
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nean View Post
    And the places you pay here have services as well. It's not like everywhere you go you have to pay a fee but a lot of our National Parks have amenities far beyond the small fee required.

    Why do you think you are entitled to free, how old are you?


    sorry, thats me trolling
    Did I ever once say I'm entitled to free National Parks? And anyway, they're not free at all. Taxpayers pay for their upkeep. I wouldn't have a problem for that, it's just like people paying to maintain their roads etc, which are fundamentally the assets of the country.

    I just find it interesting that the government takes money away from taxpayers to maintain the parks (among other things) and then charges you further fees to use the assets that you (the citizens) own and have paid to be maintained (for you to use).

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nean View Post
    And the places you pay here have services as well. It's not like everywhere you go you have to pay a fee but a lot of our National Parks have amenities far beyond the small fee required.

    Why do you think you are entitled to free, how old are you?


    sorry, thats me trolling

    The best hiking i've found in Canada is on Crown Land (land owned by the people), and there are zero fee's... National or Provincial Parks on the other hand do have fee's but also provide services that attract people.... Another reason to avoid parks and stick to public lands... No amenities means no crowds and a whole giant forest all to yourself!

  18. #18
    Hiker Trash - Safety Squad! JokerJersey's Avatar
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    You mention paying taxes for the construction and maintenance of roadways, but what about the bridge tolls or toll-roads where you have to pay extra for using that feature? Bridges and high-speed highways with amenties cost more to maintain than an average country road. So, the taxes go towards ALL of the roads in one lump, then individual roads/bridges impose a toll to affect repairs outside of what the taxes can cover.

    Same thing applies here. Part of the overall taxes paid goes towards the maintenance of the park system, but nowhere near enough is allocated to take care of everything that needs to be done. In the end, the balance of the funds must be obtained from those who actually USE the services provided, which, in truth, is only fair.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiamNZ View Post
    Did I ever once say I'm entitled to free National Parks? And anyway, they're not free at all. Taxpayers pay for their upkeep. I wouldn't have a problem for that, it's just like people paying to maintain their roads etc, which are fundamentally the assets of the country.

    I just find it interesting that the government takes money away from taxpayers to maintain the parks (among other things) and then charges you further fees to use the assets that you (the citizens) own and have paid to be maintained (for you to use).
    Yeah, we get taxed on top of taxes. Got toll roads too. And if you own a small business- lordy be! Be happy you live down under; I love NZ btw.
    Please shoot up here first chance you get and straighten this mess out for us, won't you? I'm sure it would be appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LiamNZ View Post
    I just find it interesting that the government takes money away from taxpayers to maintain the parks (among other things) and then charges you further fees to use the assets that you (the citizens) own and have paid to be maintained (for you to use).
    It's common these days.... I have no problem paying my taxes, so long as that money goes to benifit the people through social programs, schools, roads, hospitals etc.... But I have a huge problem when they cut these programs so they can bail out banks and auto companys.

    I remember reading an article back in the mid to late 90s where the Royal Bank of Canada was proclaiming to have a "crisis of profit", meaning they where making so much money they couldn't lend it out fast enough to continue to make "their" money profitable... Hmmm, to bad these company's that are begging for money today didn't have to follow a budget like us ordinary folks and plan for hard times... I guess they already understood that the friendly tax payer would happily foot the bill for their bad decisions...

    So as we hand billions over to billionaires, we get to watch as our roads crumble, social programs get hacked to peices, school cuts, and hospital wait times increase... But no worries our wealthy are being well looked after..

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