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PA state park & state forest road closin gs
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“PA may close at least 35 state parks and maybe as many as 50.
I also read that 1000 miles of state forest roads could be closed as well. The state forest road closings could affect access to trailheads.”
I wonder whose fault THIS is...
“I'm not sure what the effect of "closing" the forest roads would be. Many are already "closed" in the winter but that simply means there is no maintenance done on the them. There's precious little maintenance done on the now.”
“I guess it all depends on what they mean by "close".”
“I believe this is Rendell posturing with the General Assembly over the budget.”
“And we know what posture they both have us assuming.”
“waves to Geobeet......”
“One list that's circulating closes 8 of the 9 state parks on the Mid State Trail system.”
“Here's the list of parks that could close.
"Pennsylvania State Parks identified for possible closure
Parks '08 attendance
Kinzua Bridge 44,433
Blue Knob 431,738
Clear Creek 136,702
Colonel Denning 61,864
Fowlers Hollow 30,325
Big Spring Delaware Canal
(Black Eddy ONLY) 521,080
Ralph Stover 200,077
Greenwood Furnace 199,607
Penn Roosevelt 37,637
Whipple Dam 102,528
Kettle Creek 97,179
Ole Bull 82,444
Linn Run 195,950
Laurel Summit 23,223
Laurel Mountain 43,229
Little Pine 107,680
Hyner Run 63,350
Hyner View 36,070
Upper Pine Bottom 1,085
Memorial Lake 155,599
M K Goddard 209,570
Mt Pisgah 64,076
Oil Creek 124,364
RB Winter 138,103
McCalls Dam 2,446
Sand Bridge 17,513
Reeds Gap 64,450
Poe Paddy 38,135
Poe Valley 1,523
Ryerson Station 44,230
Big Pocono 112,591
Yellow Creek 203,053
White Clay 68,040
Warriors Path 38,017
Trough Creek 61,252
Salt Spring 30,682
Archbald Pothole 38,205
Sam Lewis 117,357
Erie Bluffs Central & Regional Offices
Source: Budget Reduction in the Bureau of State Parks provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. List dated May 20, 2009."”
“There are a few fairly popular parks on that list.”
“I started looking at the parks that they are shutting down. Here is a paragraph from Swatara State Park..
Swatara State Park was acquired with capital development funds appropriated by the Pennsylvania General Assembly. A recreation area is planned for the future and will offer canoeing, fishing, hiking, picnicking, bicycling, swimming, camping and environmental education.
“There's hardly a week that goes by that I don't spend some time in Promised Land state park and the surrounding state forest, which is right next door to me. Just last weekend I took a 10 mile hike, went canoeing and did some fishing. It would really cramp my style if that park were to close. It's one of the big reasons I enjoy living where I do. I keep my canoe at one of the mooring sites on the lower lake. My kids can go over there any time they want and take a walk or go for a paddle. I would gladly pay an annual user fee if that would help keep parks open.
Once the parks are closed, they will still be accessible in certain areas by visitors such as hikers. The parks' campgrounds, swimming facilities, restrooms, roads and parking lots will not be available to use. They will be locked or posted.
According to DCNR, there also will be no public services such as maintenance of facilities (built or natural), no resource management, environmental education or law enforcement on the sites.
“I think Pay needs to start charging for state parks. I would gladly pay.”
“i agree, get a yearly pass and keep out teh riff raff”
“they should start charging to enter the Smokies too.”
“I shelled out $80 for a national park pass..
It costs %15 to drive on Skyline Dr. $30 for an annual pass...
Still a good deal for what I get...
Yeah I don't mind paying a to enjoy the scenes..
“I think if they start charging to enter the Smokies it reverts to Rockefeller or something.”
“Senate's Budget Would Cause Closing of at Least 35 State Parks
What You Can Do About It
Our enjoyment of the 117 State Parks and 2.1 million acres of State Forests is at risk.
After the Governor cut $7 million from DCNR’s budget, the Senate Appropriations Committee axed an additional $19 million. Senate Bill 850 would force DCNR to close at least 35 State Parks, over 1,000 miles of State Forestry roads and reduce our Ranger staffing.
These closures would affect millions of hikers, anglers, hunters and campers.
Read the DCNR press release at : http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/news/resource/res2009/09-0520-budget.aspx
These closings will have a devastating effect on our footpaths, especially the Mid-State Trail. The MST links more state parks than any other trail in the state.
Eight of the nine State Parks linked by the Mid-State Trail are on the list of possible closures. Only Hills Creek State Park escaped the listing.
Trails routed through State Parks offer safe parking, tested drinking water, restrooms and ease of finding the trailhead. When the MST was planned, our State Parks were the jewels in the crown.
The Senate budget cuts are particularly onerous because they will reduce tourism in our Commonwealth, hurting the rural businesses adjacent to those State Parks and Forests. Closing 35 state parks would turn away more than 3 million visitors. That would wipe out at least $57 million in visitor spending in nearby communities.
In addition, it is expected that DCNR will be forced to cut the staff of DCNR Rangers who promote safety and enforce the law. At last report, there were only 4 3 DCNR Rangers (37 full-time and six part-time), compared to the 50 employed in 2005. Given the 13% increase in ATV registrations during that same period, we should have more Rangers, not 14% fewer.
The $19 million cut planned by the Senate Appropriations Committee would affect many other DCNR programs, but the Tourism and Enforcement issues are most critical, affecting our economy and our stewardship of our public lands.
What to do ? Write to your State Senator today. Tell him or her why cutting $19 million from DCNR is “penny wise and pound foolish”. Use the talking points below and add your own experiences.
Contact information may be found at
Please cc :
Appropriations Chairman Jake Corman at email@example.com
Talking Points :
Hikers and backpackers rely on State Parks for trailheads for their adventures. Safe parking and convenient restrooms are expected.
Closure of State Parks will disrupt the vacation plans for many families.
Funding for State Parks has already been reduced by $12 million since 2003.
The recent Marcellus Gas leases on DCNR land has increased the need for funding and staff for DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry.
A Severance Tax on Marcellus Formation natural gas production should be dedicated to DCNR for conservation, recreation and State Park / State Forest operations. A recent poll has shown overwhelming public support for such a tax.
Our full and part-time Rangers are essential to the safety and well-being of park and forest users.
DCNR has increased the number of State Parks from 44 (in 1955) to the present 117. That agency’s 54 year record of accomplishment should not be put in jeopardy by arbitrary budget cuts.
Closing parks or reducing operations will exacerbate, not help the revenue situation. About $18 million of the state parks budget relies on revenue from fees and charges.
State parks have an obligation to all those who have reservations for cabin and campground lodging or who have planned to use State Parks on their vacations.
State Parks and forests provide employment to seasonal workers from the local areas. These workers pay taxes and contribute to the local economy. These seasonal workers are extremely important to the proper operation of our state parks and forests.
Many local grocery stores, boat stores, bait and tackle shops, ice cream parlors, motels, and gas stations depend on State Parks as a source of their customers.
These businesses will suffer severely from closures.
Closing parks and forest roads will reduce the opportunity for kids and families to enjoy the outdoors. Environmental and interpretive programs offered in the State Parks provide considerable educational benefits.
Closing or reducing operations in State Parks and Forests will frustrate many volunteer organizations which provide thousand of volunteer hours maintaining trails in our parks and Forests.
The State Budget should provide $65 million from the General Fund for State Parks for 2009-2010.
BOF timber sales are down. That $10 million shortfall should be either made up from the General Fund or the Oil and Gas Fund. The BOF needs at least $26 million from the General Fund for 2009-2010.
Please do your good deed for our State Parks and Forests today.
A CC of the response from your State Senator would be appreciated.
Yours in conservation,
R. Martin . . . . . . . . . www.PaForestCoalition.org The Pennsylvania Forest Coalition is a unique alliance of hunters, hikers, anglers, landowners, wildlife-watchers, paddlers, bikers, churches and conservation groups who are united in our concern for the stewardship of our public lands. . . Caring for what God has created. The Pennsylvania Forest Coalition is a unique alliance of hunters, hikers, anglers, landowners, wildlife-watchers, paddlers, bikers, churches and conservation groups who are united in our concern for the stewardship of our public lands. . . Caring for what God has created. . . . . . . . . . www.PaForestCoalition.org The Pennsylvania Forest Coalition is a unique alliance of hunters, hikers, anglers, landowners, wildlife-watchers, paddlers, bikers, churches and conservation groups who are united in our concern for the stewardship of our public lands. . . Caring for what God has created. The Pennsylvania Forest Coalition is a unique alliance of hunters, hikers, anglers, landowners, wildlife-watchers, paddlers, bikers, churches and conservation groups who are united in our concern for the stewardship of our public lands. . . Caring for what God has created.
The Pennsylvania Forest Coalition is a unique alliance of hunters, hikers, anglers, landowners, wildlife-watchers, paddlers, bikers, churches and conservation groups who are united in our concern for the stewardship of our public lands. . . Caring for what God has created. The Pennsylvania Forest Coalition is a unique alliance of hunters, hikers, anglers, landowners, wildlife-watchers, paddlers, bikers, churches and conservation groups who are united in our concern for the stewardship of our public lands. . . Caring for what God has created.”
one state reversing the trend
“if they charged entry to Ricketts Glen and Ohiopyle alone they could probably fund the rest of the state parks in PA. It doesn't matter what time it is, Ricketts Glen is always crowded.”
“Yeah, in VA its a few bucks to park, and about $20 to camp... Its worth it...
“It's ridiculous that they don't charge for the smokies. It's the busiest park in the country and the only one that is free and it's the one that is the most broke. It goes back to the founding of the park, they made some agreement that they wouldn't charge, but all those people are dead and we need to preserve the smokies. I was hiking on the Boulevard Trail once, near Mt. Kephart and there was trash all over.. seems like you see litter almost all the way to the BUnion too. I bet there'd be a lot less litter if they charged to enter the park. put a booth on 441, I say. I have no problem paying to get into that beautiful place and keeping it beautiful.”
“one state reversing the trend
i agree that this is the worst possible time to be closing parks.
PA doesn't charge to enter a SP? I know WV doesn't either.. everywhere else i have been one has to pony up.. they are cash cows. they sure aren't closing any here.. and believe you me, nature is definitely the last in priority around these here parts.”
“We were hiking the Allegheny Trail in WV over memorial day weekend..
I don't have the maps, and I can't remember where it was, but there was a state park with gorgeous sites along a river... The place was packed... RV tents you name it...
It was free... There was one of those cement posts with a little slot marked 'Donations'.. Yeah like THAT's gonna happen..
As we went through a patrol car want through..
If they are patrolling the area anyway, is it going to cost any more to collect a few bucks...
Crap even $5 a site would have been something...
“california has always charged, and yet they still are closing them.”
“Sometimes I think the quality of a state's state parks is inversely proportional to the charge to get in. ;)
Seems the case for NY vs. PA anyway. NY charges to get in most places and times in the summer and the bathrooms don't work.”
“Here's the DCNR response to the idea of charging entrance fees.
"The senator also asked about the parks charging fees as a way to generate revenue and help prevent closings. In its reply, DCNR said the state parks have always offered free access to the public for day use activities.
"However, in response to past inquiries, DCNR has evaluated the fee concept on a number of occasions and has come to the same conclusion: Our parks are ill designed to collect fees.
"Although the implementation of entrance fees could generate revenue at a few locations, the amount of revenue generated after the associated costs are deducted would be minimal at best."”
“I'm glad their closing many forest roads, wish more were closed permanently.
I think a state park pass is a good idea.
Presque Isle get 4 million visitors a year, it has some of the nicest beaches I've ever been too.”
“they should charge parking at the more busy parks and people could buy parks pass sticker and out it on their cars and not have to pay the fee, should they be frequent visitors to the parks.
There's gotta be a way to save the parks. In Tennessee, they have a lot groups that support and raise money for the parks.”
“Her's the reason there no fees to enter the GSMNP, to help EarthNskyy's ignorance.
the original charter was that there would never be an admission charge and that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park would always be protected for the enjoyment of all the people for generations to come.”
“I'm sorry my typing was so ignorant on that post. I just got up from a nap. ;-)”
“Entrance fees require an infrastructure which does not exist at most State Parks in PA. That's one of the problems to instituting a day use fee system.”
On my e-mail
“From Curt Ashenfelter, Executive Director, Keystone Trails Association:
Keystone Trails Association is writing to you today to urge you to ask your members to contact their state senator and state representative concerning the 2009-2010 state budget.
As you may know Governor Rendell proposed a state budget earlier in the year that reduced expenditures for our 117 State Parks and 2.1 million acres of State Forest land by $7 million.
More recently the State Senate passed Senate Bill 850. Senate Bill 850 dramatically reduces the expenditures for our State Parks and State Forests by an additional $19 million.
According to DCNR Secretary Quigley Senate Bill 850 will result in:
1. The closure of 35 to 40 State Parks
2. 3 million fewer state park visitors and the loss of $57 million in reduced visitor spending to local communities
3. The closure of over 1,000 miles of state forest roads
4. The reduction of rangers and law enforcement with a corresponding increase in vandalism and illegal ATV activity (see attached letter from Secretary Quigley to State Senator White for additional details).
Talking points for your members might include:
· Funding for State Parks has already been reduced by $12 million since 2003, while general fund spending has increased by over 60% in the same time period.
· Our State Parks and State Forest deserve better, especially in light of the $192 million dollars in new revenue that has been generated for the Oil and Gas Lease Fund from the lease of State Forest land for natural gas extraction. State Parks and Forest revenues exceed their expenditures.
· Monies diverted from the Oil and Gas Lease Fund to the General Fund should be treated as loans. Monies borrowed from the Oil and Gas Lease Fund in 2009-2010 should be repaid when the economy recovers from its current difficulties to be spent on conservation projects as legislated since 1955.
The politicking for state revenues will reach a fever pitch in the weeks leading up to July 1. If we are to protect and preserve our hiking trails we must contact our state legislators and voice our concerns. The lack of significant numbers of hikers conducting meaningful advocacy for our hiking trails will result in their demise. Keystone Trails Association urges you and your organization's members to contact their state legislature by letter, email or phone often between now and July 1.
“I'll start making calls and sending letters and emails. I will threaten not to vote for them and assist the resistance.”
“I'll start making calls and sending letters and emails. I will threaten not to vote for them and assist the resistance.”
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