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Climbers face Denali and Rainier fee increases, mountain groups raise concerns


Climbers are facing increased fees on Rainier (above) and Denali. The NPS says the controversial fees are necessary to cover mountaineering programs.

The National Park Service (NPS) is considering raising mountaineering fees in Denali and Mount Rainier National Parks, and climbing groups have taken note and raised concerns.

The NPS has proposed raising climbing fees at Denali from $200 to $500 and at Rainier from $30 to $43-$58. The NPS says current fees are inadequate to cover the cost of the mountaineering programs, and the increases are necessary to "support essential education, safety, and other public services."

The Access Fund, American Alpine Club, and American Mountain Guide Association jointly say such high fee increases are "unnecessary and unfair" and could price many climbers out of the parks. The non-profits say they are looking for ways to cut mountaineering program costs and generate alternative sources of revenue to support climbers, especially on Denali.

Have an opinion on the fees?

The NPS is still accepting public input, but the comment period ends Monday, January 31.

For more info on the fees, or to submit comments to Denali or Mount Rainier National Park:

 

    (In the interest of full disclosure, Trailspace is a member of the Access Fund and AAC, in addition to other outdoor non-profits.)

    Filed under: People & Organizations

    Comments

    Ben Cerise
    57 reviewer rep
    59 forum posts
    January 30, 2011 at 1:10 a.m. (EST)

    Hmm...sounds to me like the worthless Forest (so called) Service and the democratic party have their hands in the NPS. Sorry, I'm very disapointed in both of those entities.

    whomeworry
    87 reviewer rep
    2,224 forum posts
    January 31, 2011 at 10:27 a.m. (EST)

    Ben, just a comment, then I wish to address no more political rhetoric herein.  Of course the rest of this forum is free to carry on as they wish.

    I could be wrong, but I believe The NPS was a Republican invention, borne out by the Teddy Roosevelt Administration.  But if you are so inclined, we can just cut parks from the budget, close down all associated facilities, access roads and all other infrastructure that degrades with use when not maintained.  We won't miss them anyway, because as you pointed out, they are worthless.  I beg to differ, but your broad stroke lament provides little basis for an intelligent discourse. 

    In any case bitching about politics and castigating in such a knee jerk fashion serves only as a distraction, when the issue at hand is what services should be provided, and how shall they be paid for.  Grandiose indictments and sweeping generalizations may be provocative and entertaining, but rarely do they form the basis for rational planning and action.  Certainly if our society stands any chance of resolving our myriad of issues we need to focus more on conjuring solution and less on blame storming. The last time I checked, both political parties had their hands in my pockets. 

    Ed

    gonzan
    MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
    658 reviewer rep
    2,137 forum posts
    January 31, 2011 at 10:59 a.m. (EST)

    Ed,

     this is not a statement of agreement with the OC's statement, just an observation:

    I doesn't appear he said the NPS was worthless, but rather the Forest Service and the Democratic Party were.

     I would also prefer to discuss issues on the basis of the factors involved, rather than with just the colnclusive rehtoric.

    Tipi Walter
    225 reviewer rep
    1,158 forum posts
    January 31, 2011 at 3:43 p.m. (EST)

    I never like to see wild lands taxed or be subject to fee-only usage as then the old time mountain men types will have to sneak around to get their tremendous bag nights.  There's still a few neanderthals out there who want to live in the wilderness and move according to trail conditions and snow depths(ha ha), and the trend to charge cash for such experiences or lifestyles verges on the obscene. 

    Upkeep costs?  Close the roads, stop the helicopter and airplane flights, and let the strong or motivated get in on foot and then pray for rain.  Otherwise, everything will be adjusted, regulated, delineated, surveyed, culled, demarcated and nanny-stated to death by the Indoor Crowd, that peculiar bunch who swoop down in coats and ties with briefcases full of provisios and writs.

    I'm waiting for the Appalachian Trail to charge a $5 nightly fee for all backpackers including thru-hikers. 

    On the other hand, I'm a big proponent for closing easy access to wonderful spots, such as Denali plane flights and/or helicopter tourism.  Let the boys hike in like they used to do a hundred years ago, and earn it.  Keep the engines out and you may find a lot less of the Easy Access types venturing in for their nature fix.  The evolution and revolution of the National Park System?  Close the roads.

    denis daly
    72 reviewer rep
    1,047 forum posts
    January 31, 2011 at 7:31 p.m. (EST)

    @ Tipi- Somebody brought forward that argument the other day on a thread on the WB...Person who sided with the OP is a long time Trail Maintaner..Seems the OP was alittle off on some things but he brought up the fact..Trails need money for repairs...Like wise here with Danali.

    Also add in the fact how many users wether day weekend or long term repay in labor for such use...percentage I would thinnk is low...

    Tipi Walter
    225 reviewer rep
    1,158 forum posts
    January 31, 2011 at 8:09 p.m. (EST)

    In my neck of the woods the majority of trail work is done by a motivated and select group of volunteers, a group I call the Crosscut Mountain Boys.  And Odin knows how much trailwork I've done over the years just by hiking the trails and breaking limbs, moving branches and breaking endless briar stems and rhodo branches.  Beyond this, the great Wild Beyond has gotten by just fine for the last many million years without the need for cash exchanges and without any "help" from modern man.

    denis daly
    72 reviewer rep
    1,047 forum posts
    January 31, 2011 at 9:50 p.m. (EST)

    Tipi not trying to argue somantics or if this person did that...I am doing my part with the Roanoak crew on my thru...The point is the trail get used and with heavily used trails.It speeds up the process of erosion...It takes materials, labor to fix that area's...Excuse me for saying this but nature just cant will it away....It takes money to buy those materials and people...Thats what this is about...Those agency's are useing money  that all the Tax payers are providing for a small number of users....Costs rise we all  know it and sometimes the users have to doll finally their fair share...Some may say it's not a fair share but you could take the total number of tax payers and divide it by the amount of users...Then you realize its small....

    whomeworry
    87 reviewer rep
    2,224 forum posts
    February 1, 2011 at 6:34 a.m. (EST)

    Jeez, I said I won’t get into the politics of this issue but here I go.

    An obvious element of this discussion is what services should be provided (e.g. road access into park lands, ranger presence, SAR, trail and camp area restoration, etc.).  Some have already mentioned what the NPS should change regarding their policies and basic mission.  The suggestions sound rational to me, as a basic hiker/camper, however the mountaineer in me is less convinced.  As for the hunters, equestrian trekkers, fishermen, photographers, etc, I am sure they have unique perspectives too.  While wilderness management should have preservation at the core of its mission, those wiser than I have stated any policies must also reasonably benefit the people of the region as well, that doing otherwise places the whole program at risk.

    I learned in the 1980s to take a broader perspective on what I thought was appropriate use of park resources.  At that time I was part of a lobbying effort to preclude equestrian access in much of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  I got involved because I became frustrated attempting to negotiate steep trails that were particularly susceptible to equine caused damages.  It seemed an environmentally and fiscally sound stance, but it was not politically correct.  In effect we were making enemies out of a significant interest group who otherwise generally support pro-outdoors legislation.  In the midst of our efforts to garner support for equine exclusions, a certain senator’s aide elucidated me to the fact his boss relished his family horse packing trips into these very areas.  The senator also happened to be one of the more enthusiastic proponents of the NPS, supporting several efforts to add land parcels to state and federal park systems, and generally promote environmental legislation.  The aide concluded, suggesting it would be wise not to bite the hand that feeds.  I decided equine exclusion as such was counter productive, that horse sportsmen share most of the concerns hikers have regarding the topic of land use, and that we best work together in our lobbying efforts and work out win-win compromises where our interests conflict. 

    Another example where a well intentioned initiative backfired was in the 1990s, when a proposal was floated to make much of the Mojave Desert in California into a wilderness area, precluding the use of motorized vehicles within its boundaries.  The motivation of this project in part was to protect fragile archeological sites from ORV damages and vandalism.  The problem was this park would be so large that it would make accessing its core a perilous journey few if any would consider, essentially baring access to vast tracts of land.  I for one see little logic to land management policies that result in nobody’s benefit.  The set aside was subsequently modified, however, owing to other considerations.

    In the Denali context it is easy to get our panties in a bunch when we observe how much of the park’s budget is earmarked for mountaineering support logistics, meanwhile how little is charged to mountaineers.  It should not be lost on us, however, that it was mountaineering that initially brought the trekker/tourist to these mountains, that without mountaineering, Denali Park would remain almost totally inaccessible to all except those with wilderness frontier skills, and lots of time on their hands.  It should also not be lost upon us that the local populous need to make a living and that developing a tourist industry is more sustainable than relying exclusively on resource extraction activities, such as logging, mining and petroleum extraction.

    Tipi is warranted in his skepticism, regarding coat and tie “environmentalists.”  But since we too are outsiders, the locals tend to see us more aligned with the environmental interlopers, sans coat and tie, than as true advocates of their interests.  Making Denali a no fly zone seems reasonable, even “desirable” to me, but will that idea fly in Talkeetna, where fly-them-in tourism is a significant economic activity?  Likewise eliminating trails and associated maintenance (which benefits primarily hiker/campers since mountaineers usually disembark directly onto the glaciers to start their climbs) will effectively revert Denali Park back into terra incognita for all of mankind, a status it held until well into the 19th century.  What point is there in a park that no one can visit?  But that is not my point.  My point is this discussion may involve budgets and revenue sources, both something we in the lower 48 have a rightful interest in, but when it comes to defining what services should or shouldn’t be available, we should defer to the locals and support their lead in this regard to the extent it is possible.

    As for generally ripping out the trail signs and letting park land revert back to its virgin state: That sounds aesthetically appealing, but isn’t realistic.  To begin with many of the trails in use today were actually blazed by the peoples who occupied these lands before Europeans settled the Western Hemisphere.  Trails are inevitable; as long as people (and fauna) want to travel from one valley to another, their repeated passage is bound to wear trails into the land.  Thus it is not a question of having or not having trails, but whether or not we manage the impact trails have on the environment.  Today’s trails receive manifold the traffic they saw long ago, thanks to population growth, thus are more prone to wear and tear and the collateral damages to the environment that occurs when a poorly maintained trail erodes.  Likewise you may save of the cost of posting signs, but at the consequence of increased SAR costs, due to needlessly lost and disoriented hikers.  While a significant portion of grunt work is performed by volunteers, trail maintenance in rugged mountainous areas still requires people with special skills to engineer bridges, erosion control, passages over difficult or fragile terrain, the use of TNT, etc.  Lastly it is a noble notion to believe the wilderness needs no caretaker, but as long as campers are prone to leave trash behind and otherwise abuse the resource, someone needs to clean up the mess left behind.  Unfortunately these tasks have yet to be adequately managed by the pool of volunteers currently out and about in the back country, hence the need for a professionally compensated park service crews.

    denis daly
    72 reviewer rep
    1,047 forum posts
    February 1, 2011 at 2:17 p.m. (EST)

    Jeez, I said I won’t get into the politics of this issue but here I go.

    An obvious element of this discussion is what services should be provided (e.g. road access into park lands, ranger presence, SAR, trail and camp area restoration, etc.).  Some have already mentioned what the NPS should change regarding their policies and basic mission.  The suggestions sound rational to me, as a basic hiker/camper, however the mountaineer in me is less convinced.  As for the hunters, equestrian trekkers, fishermen, photographers, etc, I am sure they have unique perspectives too.  While wilderness management should have preservation at the core of its mission, those wiser than I have stated any policies must also reasonably benefit the people of the region as well, that doing otherwise places the whole program at risk.

    I learned in the 1980s to take a broader perspective on what I thought was appropriate use of park resources.  At that time I was part of a lobbying effort to preclude equestrian access in much of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  I got involved because I became frustrated attempting to negotiate steep trails that were particularly susceptible to equine caused damages.  It seemed an environmentally and fiscally sound stance, but it was not politically correct.  In effect we were making enemies out of a significant interest group who otherwise generally support pro-outdoors legislation.  In the midst of our efforts to garner support for equine exclusions, a certain senator’s aide elucidated me to the fact his boss relished his family horse packing trips into these very areas.  The senator also happened to be one of the more enthusiastic proponents of the NPS, supporting several efforts to add land parcels to state and federal park systems, and generally promote environmental legislation.  The aide concluded, suggesting it would be wise not to bite the hand that feeds.  I decided equine exclusion as such was counter productive, that horse sportsmen share most of the concerns hikers have regarding the topic of land use, and that we best work together in our lobbying efforts and work out win-win compromises where our interests conflict. 

    Another example where a well intentioned initiative backfired was in the 1990s, when a proposal was floated to make much of the Mojave Desert in California into a wilderness area, precluding the use of motorized vehicles within its boundaries.  The motivation of this project in part was to protect fragile archeological sites from ORV damages and vandalism.  The problem was this park would be so large that it would make accessing its core a perilous journey few if any would consider, essentially baring access to vast tracts of land.  I for one see little logic to land management policies that result in nobody’s benefit.  The set aside was subsequently modified, however, owing to other considerations.

    In the Denali context it is easy to get our panties in a bunch when we observe how much of the park’s budget is earmarked for mountaineering support logistics, meanwhile how little is charged to mountaineers.  It should not be lost on us, however, that it was mountaineering that initially brought the trekker/tourist to these mountains, that without mountaineering, Denali Park would remain almost totally inaccessible to all except those with wilderness frontier skills, and lots of time on their hands.  It should also not be lost upon us that the local populous need to make a living and that developing a tourist industry is more sustainable than relying exclusively on resource extraction activities, such as logging, mining and petroleum extraction.

    Tipi is warranted in his skepticism, regarding coat and tie “environmentalists.”  But since we too are outsiders, the locals tend to see us more aligned with the environmental interlopers, sans coat and tie, than as true advocates of their interests.  Making Denali a no fly zone seems reasonable, even “desirable” to me, but will that idea fly in Talkeetna, where fly-them-in tourism is a significant economic activity?  Likewise eliminating trails and associated maintenance (which benefits primarily hiker/campers since mountaineers usually disembark directly onto the glaciers to start their climbs) will effectively revert Denali Park back into terra incognita for all of mankind, a status it held until well into the 19th century.  What point is there in a park that no one can visit?  But that is not my point.  My point is this discussion may involve budgets and revenue sources, both something we in the lower 48 have a rightful interest in, but when it comes to defining what services should or shouldn’t be available, we should defer to the locals and support their lead in this regard to the extent it is possible.

    As for generally ripping out the trail signs and letting park land revert back to its virgin state: That sounds aesthetically appealing, but isn’t realistic.  To begin with many of the trails in use today were actually blazed by the peoples who occupied these lands before Europeans settled the Western Hemisphere.  Trails are inevitable; as long as people (and fauna) want to travel from one valley to another, their repeated passage is bound to wear trails into the land.  Thus it is not a question of having or not having trails, but whether or not we manage the impact trails have on the environment.  Today’s trails receive manifold the traffic they saw long ago, thanks to population growth, thus are more prone to wear and tear and the collateral damages to the environment that occurs when a poorly maintained trail erodes.  Likewise you may save of the cost of posting signs, but at the consequence of increased SAR costs, due to needlessly lost and disoriented hikers.  While a significant portion of grunt work is performed by volunteers, trail maintenance in rugged mountainous areas still requires people with special skills to engineer bridges, erosion control, passages over difficult or fragile terrain, the use of TNT, etc.  Lastly it is a noble notion to believe the wilderness needs no caretaker, but as long as campers are prone to leave trash behind and otherwise abuse the resource, someone needs to clean up the mess left behind.  Unfortunately these tasks have yet to be adequately managed by the pool of volunteers currently out and about in the back country, hence the need for a professionally compensated park service crews.

    I dont see you as getting into politics...lets face it local communities are impacted as much as the user or even more....Thats not politics thats reality...You also pointed out factors that need to be considerd..I agree with alot you saould in your post because it makes sense... 

    Tipi Walter
    225 reviewer rep
    1,158 forum posts
    February 1, 2011 at 4:13 p.m. (EST)

     

    Thanks whomeworry for the fleshed-out response.  Here are some of my thoughts:

    I'm all for making treks into our wilderness areas "a perilous journey few if any would consider."  So, if we can't drive, we bail?  As our population rockets to 450 million by 2045, we may want to reconsider reconfiguring wild lands into areas which "benefit the people of the region."  Don't we have enough roads as it is?  Haven't we had a bellyful of cars and traffic and screaming motorcycles and overhead jets and off-road vehicles?  Shouldn't we scramble to keep the rolling couch potatoes out of what's left?  Heck, they've got much of the country paved over with easy wheel access as it is.

     

    whomeworry mentions " . . . land management policies that result in nobody's benefit" and I think of our species-centric way of looking at wilderness lands that may in fact support a wide variety of non-human species, or other and another "body's benefit."  So, terra incognita will be vital as our population explodes, and of course, it's not terra incognita to the thousands of non-human species that call it home.  Let them have it and maybe we can keep our filthy hands off what's left. (i.e. 56,000 tourist helicopter flights over the Grand Canyon yearly).

     

    "What point is there in a park that no one can visit?"  Well, the point would be for those other mammals and birds and reptiles and fish that already live there.  They visit all the time.  And we are mammals too, but when we visit as campers we are usually RV propelled or rolling into big Park car campgrounds, and with excessive rolling access you find the worst littering problems.  Who's gonna clean up the mess?  Maybe the road in is the biggest piece of litter anyway.

     

    whomeworry
    87 reviewer rep
    2,224 forum posts
    February 1, 2011 at 9:13 p.m. (EST)

     

    ..I'm all for making treks into our wilderness areas "a perilous journey few if any would consider."  ... Don't we have enough roads as it is?  ... Shouldn't we scramble to keep the rolling couch potatoes out of what's left?   

    whomeworry mentions " . . . terra incognita... it's not terra incognita to the thousands of non-human species that call it home... 

     

    Politics is the art of the possible – Otto von Bismark, as Prime Minister of Prussia, 8/11/1876.

    I actually agree with your aesthetics and observations, that we don’t own this rock called earth. I also believe intact, undisturbed, ecosystems are a good thing for the planet.  I love my sojourns that take me to places where my party are the only humans present for miles around.  I do not believe in a Great Creator, but something about these settings makes me feel more connected to this universe.  While I support environmental agendas, I must admit part of that commitment is self serving, for the aforementioned reason.  It is not always wise to apply this credo unyieldingly, particularly when the parcel of interest is coveted by the public for other purposes, the least obtrusive being recreation.  I don’t think anyone wishes to see Denali exploited like Yosemite Valley, and turned into yet another pine scented Disneyland.  But given the thousands of square miles of designated wilderness already set aside in Alaska, it is an up hill battle convince popular opinion that some level of development in Denali jeopardizes the ecology.  In fact most of the area considered the destiny of these Denali tourist over flights is nearly sterile, with little flora and fauna.  Thus the specie most disturbed by these incursions is the two legged Environmentalist Arrogantus, which happen to be recreating in the shadows of these peaks. 

    Alaskans in particular love their countryside, but generally desire more accessibility than currently available.  They chafe at the notion of sprout eating granola crunching outsiders imposing purist ideals upon them; meanwhile these boutique environmentalists carry on in the lower 48, living in Mc Mansions constructed from old growth forests, commuting on eight lane freeways in escalades milled from open pit mined iron, fueled with North Shore oil.  The schism between what we practice and what we preach is not lost upon these folks.

    The reality is parks are public assets, and remain so only because we consent to such designations.  The keyword is We.  Actually we consist of Them and Us.  If we exclude equine use in a park we lose their support.  If we exclude motor campers, which outnumber hikers in most park locations, we lose their support too.  Limit park activities and access sufficiently, and you lose the support of all, except the environmental purist.  (Heck, even John Muir rode a horse and chopped up wood with a big axe while traveling in the Sierras.)  May I dare say without the support of these interest groups, the likelihood of a sustainable park system in any form is questionable.  Does Denali need a ski resort and sportsman lodge complex?  (This project was actually considered back in the days I was visiting the park.)  Probably not, there are plenty of venues better suited for folks interested in such amenities.  But even if this complex was developed it would occupy an almost insignificant footprint, considering the size of the park.  Yet decisions such as these are disproportionately influenced by those who view from their Manhattan penthouse windows is about as close as they’ll ever get to seeing Denali.

    I love waking up in my sleeping bag to the quiet of the outdoors.  I love the feeling of total isolation, and pristine vistas.  I realize, however, my opportunity to enjoy these pleasures would be severely limited if I established rules and set asides that precluded others the opportunity to enjoy the out doors in their own, albeit responsible ways too.  While Bambi benefits most from set asides, Bambi has no vote.  The reality is few people actually benefit from a park system, and those who avail themselves, usually like to drive in and set up motor camps.  Restrict park utilization enough, and you are likely to loose crucial support for the system.  Given the degraded state of Yosemite Valley and select portions of other parks, it makes sense to impose stricter limitations on access and permissible activities within these affected areas.  But given the continuing trend of population growth and encroachment, it makes no sense to establish policies that effectively lock visitors out from visiting the parks altogether, such policies will backfire, eroding support for the park system.  And once The People decide they’d rather have access to the oil shale under the park than a land mass good only for post card snap shots, these land tracts will be legislated out of existence, with Bambi being the ultimate loser. 

    Over population may eventually make this whole discussion mute, but that is beyond the scope of this Forum thread.   There is currently room for everyone, we just need balance the conflicting interests and find ways to meet their essential concerns in a sustainable fashion.  The area surrounding Whistler in British Columbia was not devastated by the establishment of this fishing/skiing/sportsman resort; something tells me Denali can tolerate some climbers and motor campers, provided sustainable policies are placed into practice.  And this will be possible only with a sufficient number of people willing to support such efforts.  Setting up policies that preclude motor camping because some are irresponsible is akin to baring vehicle traffic on highways because some drive drunk or speed. We may think motor campers already have enough access or are a bane, but they will counter we have plenty of inaccessible places to enjoy too.   I embrace horsemen and motor home emperors; they have more money than me to spend on lobbying efforts that support park service programs.  In any case we need their votes to sustain this system in any form.  It is possible only with their continued support.   Do not bite the hand that feeds.

    Ed 

    trouthunter
    MODERATOR TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
    884 reviewer rep
    3,432 forum posts
    February 1, 2011 at 10:52 p.m. (EST)

    Whomeworry said: As for the hunters, equestrian trekkers, fishermen, photographers, etc, I am sure they have unique perspectives too.

     

    Let me offer my perspective as a trout fisherman, I generally avoid the fishing subject on Trailspace unless asked about it, but since it is relevant here goes.

    I travel to TN & NC from my home near Charleston SC to fish for mountain trout, 7-8 hour drive.

    I gladly pay the 35.00 non resident 3 day permit to fish trophy waters in TN, NC is usually a little cheaper unless you fish the Cherokee reservation, but worth it.

    I obey the rules, practice LNT, and haul out trash if I encounter any.

    So here's my beef just for the purpose of this discussion:

    Why do all the rednecks get to ride rubber tubes down these glorious rivers & creeks yelling and hollering "gimmi another beer bobby" while they also leave behind a trail of trash, wet clothes, used bandaids, water bottles, and my favorite - wadded up copies of park rules and pack it in pack it out brouchures.....FOR FREE?

    Now, I realize there are fishermen who leave a mess behind too, but at least they do pay a usage fee.

    I actually don't worry about it much anymore, but this thread kinda brought it back up to the front of my mind.

     

    denis daly
    72 reviewer rep
    1,047 forum posts
    February 1, 2011 at 11:53 p.m. (EST)

    trouthunter asked myself the same question when I was in Texas..Why  am I paying and the tubers are free..I have no answer for ya there..But ya it got my goat as the saying goe's...

    gonzan
    MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
    658 reviewer rep
    2,137 forum posts
    February 3, 2011 at 2:56 p.m. (EST)

    I never ceases to amaze and disgust me when I find a soiled diaper or feminine products in the water or on the bank of a stream.

     *HORF!

     The lack of self respect that it would take to leave something like that in a creek is stunning.

    Ben Cerise
    57 reviewer rep
    59 forum posts
    February 4, 2011 at 1:52 a.m. (EST)

    Oh Boy!  I'm tired, it's late, and I get to go to work tomorrow, however, will TRY to post a more intellectual, intelligent and informed comment when I get home.  Montana has the highest (when weighed against our medium wage) tax per gallon on fuel that pays for our roads.  Can't think of one single road anywhere (Googled it) that ends at a trail head.  Look at Glacier National Park.  Every year 1.9 million people visit and pay an average of $12.00 just to get in. That's $22,800,000.00 just to get in.  The main road "Going to the Sun Hwy. is just under 50 miles long.  $456,000.00 per mile, just to get in.  Or; the park is 1,013,572 acres.  $22.49 per acre, just to get in.  With federal funding and all the other revenue generated by the park, I'm quite sure they don't need to impose higher, more, and/or new fees for back country use.  Personally, I would rather donate to the trail, be it money or time, than pay another permit fee.  Goodnight for now.....

    Ben Cerise
    57 reviewer rep
    59 forum posts
    February 4, 2011 at 2:03 a.m. (EST)

    Oh Boy!  I'm tired, it's late, and I get to go to work tomorrow, however, will TRY to post a more intellectual, intelligent and informed comment when I get home.  Montana has the highest (when weighed against our medium wage) tax per gallon on fuel that pays for our roads.  Can't think of one single road anywhere (Googled it) that ends at a trail head.  Look at Glacier National Park.  Every year 1.9 million people visit and pay an average of $12.00 just to get in. That's $22,800,000.00 just to get in.  The main road "Going to the Sun Hwy. is just under 50 miles long.  $456,000.00 per mile, just to get in.  Or; the park is 1,013,572 acres.  $22.49 per acre, just to get in.  With federal funding and all the other revenue generated by the park, I'm quite sure they don't need to impose higher, more, and/or new fees for back country use.  Personally, I would rather donate to the trail, be it money or time, than pay another permit fee.  Goodnight for now.....

    Ben Cerise
    57 reviewer rep
    59 forum posts
    February 4, 2011 at 2:07 a.m. (EST)

    Gladly pay $35?  Me too.  Denali wants to raise the fee 150%  I could deal with 5-10% every year....but 150%??? Come on...

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