From The Noise in northern Arizona, an insightful article about the insidious effort to return our National Forests to the bad old days of Fee Demo.
The White River National Forest in Colorado wants to limit hiker access to a popular lake to only those who pay for a privately-operated shuttle or purchase a permit through a private vendor.
A community volunteer effort by Ohio equestrians has resulted in the dedication of a new horse/hiker trail on the Wayne National Forest. Now if only the Forest would stop making horseback riders buy “Trail Permits” to use the the trails they built themselves!
The Coronado NF has started yet another review of their developed recreation sites to decide which ones to close and which ones should increase fees. We first saw these reviews in 2006, under the name Recreation Site Facility Management Planning (RSFMP). After public controversy erupted they changed the name to Recreation Facility Analysis (RFA). In 2016 they changed the name again, to Recreation Site Analysis (RSA). Now they’re calling it Restructuring Developed Recreation (RDR). All these acronyms and name changes are nothing but lipstick on a pig. It’s always been about making recreation pay its own way in fees or shutting it down. A series of public meetings is being held, but as usual that is theater. They’re gonna do this.
The Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest uses a private concessionaire, American Land and Leisure, to operate all their campgrounds. Keeping these concessionaires profitable is the Forest Service’s priority, not keeping prices low for the public to be able to enjoy these taxpayer-built facilities. That’s why when AL&L wants a price increase, they get a price increase. Public input be damned.
It was only a matter of time. Once people accept having to pay to enjoy the natural world, it’s a small step until they break nature into separate products and start charging for them “a la carte.”
Governor John Hickenlooper has successfully requested a waiver from the USDA to the requirement for an advisory committee to review Forest Service fee proposals in Colorado. The committee has not been able to attract applicants for several years – or at least not the applicants they want, i.e. the ones who will approve everything. Now the agency can impose new and increased fees without even the illusion of public oversight.
Editorial from the LA Daily News debunking the Forest Service’s misleading press releases about the successful challenge to the Adventure Pass fee program in southern California.
Mountain News from Lake Arrowhead California on the end of parking fees outside developed sites on the San Bernardino National Forest.
San Luis Obispo (CA) Tribune on the end of parking fees in the Los Padres National Forest.