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GSMNP proposal for all BC sites to be re served
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“Frankly, I hope all of you upset about this quit going to GSMNP. Just leaves more room for the rest of us.”
“Not allowing dogs is what has kept me from going there. And now that my dog is a senior she is affecting my hiking everywhere because she can't do the 10+ mile days.”
“Desolation Wilderness, one of the most gorgeous and heavily used backcountry wildernesses in the country, has had use fees in place for over a decade. It also has a quota system with the wilderness carved up into zones, allowing only so many campers as they deem appropriate, per zone. Guess I'm just used to Tue process. There's plenty of non-pay national forest forest around it, but again, heavy use areas need more funds be it for personnel to manage the use, maintenance, what have you. $4 ain't nuthin.”
““bet stealth camping goes up”
I bet the cars at the trailheads will lead to the lawbreakers getting Citations to appear in Federal Court.”
“I can't speak for anyone else, but trying to save $4 by breaking a rule that will put me before a Federal Magistrate is pretty f*in stupid.”
“I bet the cars at the trailheads will lead to the lawbreakers getting Citations to appear in Federal Court.”
based on what?? how are they going to prove a car belongs to someone backpacking? Plus you can always park at places other than the trail head.
stealth camping is already going on and it will continue maybe even grow.
last edited: 3/08/12 9:21:52 AM”
“We tried stealth camping one time off of Tioga Road by Tenaya Lake as a jumping off point for a hike up to Skelton Lake(made up name for secret off trail lake) and White Mtn. We didn't get caught but I didn't sleep either. Just not worth it.”
“A ranger pulls up to School House Gap and there are 6 cars there and no permits for the area. How long to you think it will take them to find bright yellow tents in the woods?
Stealth camping is going on and it is already costing us. Believe it or not, Parks have mangement rules for reasons other than "just having rules". When I was hiking the park about every week, I saw all sorts of stupid #&%!$ going on and it didn't bother me a bit when I saw people getting $225 citations.”
“Not everyone who breaks the law gets caught. In fact, most of the violators thing it is "fun" until they get busted, then they just take the opinion the Rangers are a** holes. Not much different than a drug dealer if you think about it.”
“the $4.00 charge per person per night isn't going to put rangers in the backcountry. They have more pressing things to do with all the traffic and visitors in the park.
Charge $ 1.00 a car to drive to Cades Cove..that is where the money is.
backpacking in the park is down and it will go down even more once this fee is put in place. If you expect improvements in the park with this fee you are fooing yourself”
“Buy $1000 worth of gear and complain about a $4 fee?”
“the only sites that get abused are the shelters on the AT, Mt LeConte and a few others.
basically backpackers who camp in non-reservation sites will have to start paying a fee so the rangers can patrol and take care of the problem sites.
Put a fee on the sites that get abused but that won't happen”
“Stealth campers aren't leaving litter and using a yellow tent isn't stealth camping, lol. You don't get busted while camping anyway, you get busted walking out with no permit.”
“If you expect improvements in the park with this fee you are fooing yourselfâ€ť Ewker
Yep, they already said where 100% of the money will go..no improvements. Ewker is right, you're fooing yourself, enjoy.”
“The answer to Cades Cove isn't in charging the 600,000 cars that go through there, it is eliminating them and starting a shuttle service.
The $4 bucks will go somewhere in the park. I don't expect it to make a big impact. However, is $4 really the deal breaker? LOL.
I spent 40 nights in the park in 2005. So, using the trail system would have cost me $15 a month or about $160 a year.
How often does the average person go? A half dozen or $24 bucks worth. I predict two things:
There will not be this big fall off of backpackers in the park. The numbers have gone up and down, but I don't see any big trend happening over this.
People who are going to break the law with no fee will continue to do it with a fee. People who respect the law won't become criminals over $4.
Like I said, if it's a big deal, don't go.”
“It's not the $4, its the loss of freedom. In the early proposals there was a $10 or $15 per person for each permit. I would rather see that.
If I plan to take four members of my family for four days, I book in advance and pay. Then, as the date approaches weather dictates I wait a couple of days. I end up losing the time I already paid and have the hassle of changing the plan at the last minute hoping I can add two days. Just a pain and an unnecessary loss of flexiblity.
And the $4 won't "go to the park", we've been thru this, they said where it will go.
You are right about one thing, this will be analogous to drug laws. The feds are great at passing laws and lousy at enforcing them. Hey go ahead, keep fooing yourself, lol.”
“...if this is what they are going to do they should limit the number of established campsites. Go to a zone system and outlaw fires in the backcountry. The partyers would use the groupsites so they could have fires and zones be limited to a certain number. It would serve a zillion more people that way and disperse the impact.
Also, it would take fewer Rangers to police and concentrate the area of litter.”
“Count me out!”
“e-CFR Data is current as of March 7, 2012
Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property PART 71â€”RECREATION FEES
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Â§ 71.13 Exceptions, exclusions, and exemptions.
In the application of the provisions of this part, the following exceptions, exclusions, and exemptions shall apply:
(f) No entrance fee shall be charged at any entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park unless such fees are charged at main highway and thoroughfare entrances.
Is a right of way an entrance way? I say it is.
Also the $225 fine? Not so.
Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property PART 71â€”RECREATION FEES
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Â§ 71.12 Enforcement.
Persons authorized by the heads of the appropriate bureaus to enforce these regulations may arrest any person who violates these rules and regulations within areas under the administration or authority of such bureau head with a warrant or, if the offense is committed in his presence, without a warrant. Any violations of the rules and regulations issued in this part, except those in Â§71.15, shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $100.
(g) No entrance fees shall be charged for persons who have not reached their 16th birthday.
If I'm camping with kids I'm better off paying the fine.”
“Dont forget the court costs on top of the "fine"
Crack open a beer at the "Y" in Townsend and it is a $225 beer if you get caught.”
“I've paid the fine for camping with no permit in SNP, $75. No court cost.
Alcohol laws and littering laws are of course different.
Seems to me the law on the books I quoted above would have to be changed for the $4 fee to be consistent. Sooner or later somebody will actually go to court.”
“Sooner or later it's bound to happen.
Look, I am not advocating the $4 fee is a good idea or necessary.
What I am pointing out is that it isn't the end of the world and in the grand scheme of things as far as cost go, it is a pretty small price of what it takes to backpack.
Overall, I don't think the number of people, nor the number of lawbreakers will change much.”
“...and I'm not saying the park doesn't need more money or that I'm unwilling to pay for use.
I'm saying this $4 fee won't go to improvements or maintenance and isn't consistent with the current law.
Imo, they should have a $1000 madatory minimum fine for littering...including cigarette butts. Let the rangers keep 10% of the fines they collect. That would fix a lot.
It would be good to channel some of that gung ho attitude so many of them seem to have in a positive direction that would be beneficial to all and encourage respect for our property.”
“In the grand scheme, I think that when the NPS moved Rangers from a "service" function to more of a "police" function, it was not a good move. I realize it was problably out of necessity.
Thirty years ago, the NPS recruited Park and Mangement and Biology majors out of college. From what I understand, you pretty much have to be a criminal science major or have law enforcement experience now.
There are interpretive Rangers and "Biology" Rangers, but the front line is mostly a Police force.
I agree on the fine for littering. Should be applied to graffiti as well.
Every time I have been up to Abrams falls, I carry out a bag of litter. I never could understand how someone could carry a full can of soda up there and couln't manage to lug out the empty can.”
“The litter situation is no better in national forest areas adjacent to SNP here in VA. The park is pretty clean, but just outside, someplaces (where car campers camp) are horrible. It's really disgraceful.
I can sympathize with the need for rangers with a police background. There is a lot of genuine criminal activity happening in the parks. However there needs to be some incentive for rangers to actually walk around in the backcountry. I've never seen a ranger more than 100 yards away from their vehicle and I don't have any confidence this fee will change that.
A bounty on litterbugs would reward rangers and get them out there looking for the people causing trouble.
They really should abolish about half of the established campsites in the backcountry, that's where most of the problem lies. Focus on bear education for backpackers, maybe require cannisters for all backcountry travel. My 2 cents.
This new fee will improve nothing and the money will be used to implement and collect the fee. That is not addressing the issues.”
“"Like I said, if it's a big deal, don't go.”
It is a big deal and I'm through going to GSMNT.”
“I hate to hear that but people tend to drive through the National Forests that essentially surround the GSMNP to get there. IMHO, there is some great hiking south of GSMNP in the Cherokee and Nanatahala NF. I don't think you would be disappointed with anything along there.”
“Oh ok, Ewker. I forgot about this one. I stand by everything I said, lol.”
“chili - My car is gone. I recently flew it into a drainage ditch.”
“Will our old age cards still work for a 50% discount on camping in the backcountry? $2 is better than $4.”
“It is suppose to get you 50% off”
“Tax the Kayakers”
“FAQ - http://www.nps.gov/grsm/parkmgmt/bc-reservation-permit-faq.htm
I have not been able to find the place where it specifically says that the Senior Access pass gives one a 50% discount on the backcountry camping fees in GRSM - it probably does but I wish they had addressed that point in the FAQ”
“I think in the future I will just make a nice donation to GSMNP designated to support elk re-introduction and camp where ever I please.”
“Feb 13th is the day this goes into effect
“the reservation site is up and running.
“well the Thru-hikers are sure to #&%!$ about paying their $20 and needing an email address and access from email to a printer but other than that the thru-hiker permits are not much different than prior years - ie not tied to a particular shelter on a particular night”
“guess they will need to register at home 30 days before they leave on their thru-hike. they should make it there by then”
“In '09 Fontana Village Resort Lodge had a computer with a printer - not a bad place to spend the night as I recall”
“So what happens if they catch you without a permit? Do you really think anybody will be checking? I'm envisioning thrus blowing this off en masse.”
“well if a LE Ranger catches you its a ticket with a fine - maybe $200 but I don't know - on the other hand LE rangers are ahhh uncommon in the backcountry - the Ridge Runner could give you grief about it but can not write a ticket - they can however report via radio call for an LE ranger.”
“What is a LE Ranger? Could it be a back-country Ranger?”
“LE ranger - a law enforcement ranger - yes it could be a backcountry ranger”
“Goodness that's a pisser, I'd be shocked if anyone actually wrote tickets to thru's for not messing with the advance notice bit. I would certainly not bother with it.
But if a helluva lotta green backpackers claims they're thru's then I'd guess a crackdown might hatta be doled out at some point.”
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