Forums Forums Public High Lakes Forum High lakes discussion Trail Park Passes and access to high lakes!

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    • #81217

        “At last nights meeting the perennial subject of Trail Park Passes was broached. And, regardless as to whether or not you are Pro or Con on the matter, the following is some first hand experience dealing with the subject. Keep in mind that the Little Giant Pass area is not known for its fishing. However, the implications for parking at various trailheads in National Forests without passes””, where they are required, is pervasive and may carry consequences that affect where people go to plant fish and generally recreate: ^^^^Someone had the audacity to park my Toyota 4runner at the Little Giant Pass trailhead on the Wenatchee National Forest last year, this during the first week of August.^^When the vehicle was returned to me (or, is that when I returned to it?) a week later, it had this little envelope stuck between the windshield wiper and windshield. The envelope was provided to me for the purpose of remitting something called a “”trail park pass fee””.^^I decided to see if theaught some rainbow trout. I also caught trout in Washington from Fish Lake through the ice. One time I was trying to catch some perch in Fish Lake but couldn&#039″

      • #84510
        Brian Curtis

          “It is my understanding that while they were passing out the courtesy envelopes they weren’t really enforcing the fees. That has changed this year. They no longer hand out courtesy envelopes, instead tickets are issued. I don’t know of anyone that has done so, but it sounds like you could earn yourself a trip to the magistrate this year.^^^^They’ve also change their policy of where a pass is necessary. In years past it was needed at all trailheads. Now it is needed only at ^^designated sites.^^^^The Forest Service doesn’t really care where their trail funding comes from. They have a lot of trails to maintain and they need a lot of money to do it with. It is up to Congress to give the Forest Service enough money to do their job. Congress decided that a user fee was preferable to a general tax increase to fund trail maintenance. I suspect that, while we in the hiking community almost universally revile the fee, most Congressmen’s constituents think it is a pretty good idea that they don’t have to pay for trails they’ll never use. Road maintenance is not covered by the NW Forest Pass. “

        • #84511
          Ken McLeod

            BC says:^^They’ve also change their policy of where a pass is necessary. In years past it was needed at all trailheads. Now it is needed only at designated sites.^^^^This I think the FS was Right On in doing.

          • #84512
            Jeffrey Early

              “I have to agree — I think that the trail passes are a great thing. Just starting up in graduate school I’m not exactly rolling in money, but paying 30 dollars for a year long pass seemed just fine to me. I’ve already logged many miles and hours on trails in the month of having the pass and I am very appreciative of the fact that the trails are maintained.^^^^Considering how much it costs just for one night at the movies or out on the town, it seems like a steal to me.^^^^One could argue that our taxes should be covering such costs, but our society has recently rejected many such socialist actions. No longer can we relay on the government for public radio and television funding — maintaining our national forests too now. In many ways it’s quite a shame, but because there is so much opposition to raising taxes, we’re stuck with this capitalist approach of charging a fee… ^^^^Living in Oregon now I missed the meeting and don’t know if this was addressed, but one very relevant argument against trail passes is that they may dissuade people of lower socioeconomic status from visiting the woods… anyway — too bad I missed the meeting. Anyone fill me in on the arguments against the passes?^^^^Anyway — I should be working…”

            • #84513
              Tom Bentzen

                “This is just another SLICK way to TAX people for something they’ve ALREADY been taxed for! If the budget doesnt cover this issue, then stop building roads for the damn logging companies! FS will save MORE than enough money to cover their trail park theivery!^^^^Typical democrat tactic of double taxation!^^^^TB”

              • #84514
                Sandy McKean

                  Typical democrat tactic of double taxation!

                  ^^^^… opposed to the Republican method of tax rebates, spend anyway, and thereby driving up the national debt.^^^^Later the unfortunate Democrats have to be the bad guys and raise taxes in order to pay off these Republican loans.”

                • #84515

                    “You all know I can’ stay out of this…^^^^I was with the USFS (lead backcountry ranger) the year we implemented the fee permit in the Enchantments – although the USFS has since denied my involvment because of my rebell like nature. I left them because of it. A few years later they tried localized permit systems elsewhere in the Alpine Lakes (foss lakes and necklace valley) but there was alot of opposition. Eventually the USFS came up with the regional Trail Park Passes.^^^^It really has very little to do with the USFS and they really can’t be blamed.^^^^Congress intentionally cut funding to wilderness and recreation gradually over the last 20 years to force a new revenue stream into the USFS – freeing more funds for congress (that no longer had to be allocated back to the public). Up until the 70’s, we got something back for our federal income taxes but then congress decided that maybe that was not a good idea. ^^^^I am all against the passes and permits until congress bring us back to the level of funding we had in the 60’s and 70’s. If the forests recieved say 0.1% (whatever it was) of the general funds, then that is what we should have restored today. If we still have problems, then I might agree with permits and such. But I think it is rotten for congress to just fill there pockets with our taxes and shut off the ‘water’ and give us nothing in return.^^^^If you want more information go to:^^^^^^^^Scott Silver has done a fair job there getting all the facts straight (with supporting documents). ^^^^BTW, the USFS is getting real nasty in some areas about the trail park passes. Some forests will force you through the magistrate and folks are losing. It has been give and take. The website above will cover some of the legal battles that have ensued.^^^^^^-Ken”

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