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Heads up!  From the CA Sacramento Bee newspaper today:  itemized list of proposed national park fee hikes,
which shocked me.  CA, a state maligned by some for its' tough environmental regs, etc is fighting this. 
This article includes a chart that lists all national parks with proposed fee hikes. 

Appalling.  Sad.  Sad
Everyone says that the NPS needs more funding... this increase is during peak months only and only in a few of our national parks across this country. I am completely for the fee increases but there should be a carve out for low income people (who should just get in for free to be honest). Our parks have become too overcrowded in recent years and the NPS is spending more money per person to clean up after us then they are generating in revenue from the increase in traffic.

For you and I, who visit regularly, we still just get the annual pass which is still $80 (a super deal no matter what).
There is a way that seems right to a man, but the way thereof leads only to higher costs and .... fee hikes. Sad
I did some backpacking up in the Tahoe area when I lived up in Rancho Cordova back in the 70s. Even then, I had to pay someone to allow me to haul my [then skinny] tush up into the woods to live in the dirt for a week. I blame refrigeration, the micro wave oven and Max Weber! Smile
We all love our parks. Beautiful and pristine, wonders of nature. 
Ever seen the line ups? And at $25-30 to get in?
Underfunded? I am always leery when I hear that. Especially when I see all of the new vehicles, expensive equipment, personnel and departments,...
And it doesn't cost the entrance fee to clean up after me or most. The majority drive in, park, walk around, explore, hike, take pictures, enjoy the moment, get something at the souvenir shop and leave.
Maybe some of the less popular remote parks generate less revenue.
Underfunded? Take that with a grain of salt.
A bankruptcy accountant i once knew attributed all bankruptcies to three things. Mngmnt, mngmnt and mngmnt.
I volunteered at Mt Rainier for awhile, and believe me, those rangers work with next to nothing. I was making flower signs at Sunrise once, and the ranger had a pencil that was a two inch stub. The printer was out of ink, and she didn’t even have a proper paper cutter to cut the signs. It even comes down to looking for the cheapest, one ply toilet paper.

Then a big winter storm comes, causes millions in damage, and guess as what? There goes the budget for printer ink. Not literally, but it takes so much to keep roads open, especially when floods and the freeze and thaw cycle chews them up. The park’s geologist has to constantly measure sediment flow in the rivers. Culverts need to be replaced, bridges in the backcountry need to be replaced. There’s a lot of infrastructure that needs maintenance. It’s not all a matter of emptying the trash cans, and leading nature walks.
I agree, the work that Rangers do is worth more than what they are paid. And, I love that the trails I hiked were well kept.

I wonder more about the management, management, management of, not just the park fees, but the whole of the government income stream.

I once burned up some electrons on my calculator to see how many dollars were going into "public" coffers just from property taxes. It's a lot! Enough to fund all of the important things. I guess I am frustrated by the feeling that caring for "we the people" isn't really the goal of those who hold the country's purse strings.

I would love to see a profit and loss statement from Uncle Sam so I can see where 20 trillion bucks a year really goes. I'll bet we could find plenty of fluff in it for Rangers to prosper and thrive with plenty of full length pencils, reams of paper and piles of ink cartridges! Smile
^^^ Agreed and tried to infer without getting deleted for political commentary. Not for argument sake, ego or opinion, but awareness.
Trying to choose words carefully as some are quick to delete. This is not a public forum. 

Like all organizations and expenses, if one were to analyze it and be aware of all the realities...

There are always profiteers and those down the ladder.
We have sympathy for the actual lower levels while
" management" claims underfunded after completing their expense account, giving a bloated contract to their cousin ( that washed out culvert), cashing in their kick back check, etc...
No organization is underfunded but certain people, areas get a bigger "piece" of the pie. Figuratively, let's not argue about the semantics.

We are so manipulated. Be aware of the rationalization and justifications of those validating expenses. People are getting rich from public coffers quietly. Not a conspiracy theory here but reality.
(12-22-2017, 10:54 AM)Minivanmotoman Wrote: [ -> ]Ever seen the line ups? And at $25-30 to get in? . . .

And it doesn't cost the entrance fee to clean up after me or most . . .

You see the lineup coming in.  What you don't see is the 6 - 8 Chinook helicopters ferrying water to douse forest fires all day for 2 months at $3000 per hour.  Now multiply that by the number of fires this year.  The NPS uses 'fire transfers' to spend the money budgeted for 'ink cartridges and pencils' to fight fires when they run out of fire fighting budget.
National Parks should, IMHO, be free for everyone. Raise the damn taxes to pay for them. That's what taxes are FOR.

(And limit the number of people allowed in every day, to limit the damage caused by overcrowding and over-visiting.)
^^^ yes, an over simplification on my part. Overhead and maintenance and extraneous expenses. 
We could chase our tails all day on this on multiple points. All partially correct.

We all love the forest service, rangers in a romantic, idealistic way. When you realize that they are now mostly policing today, and can be heavy handed, not the romance of smokey the bear anymore.

There is a history of gouging and overpricing on awarding contracts/services, with noble emotional appeals to validate costs and increases. All I'm saying is, don't take it all on face value when it appeals to an emotional aspect.
You may be disappointed when you see what's actually underneath that $3000/ hr charge. 
But then again, if you're the pilot or owner, it's ok.
For each to decide, just raising awareness.
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