This is a general "around the campfire" forum where you can view or post any comments related to hiking or backpacking.
The National Forest Service charges access fees at some parking areas and trailheads in the wilderness. The fee is usually nominal ($2-5) paid in advance via a self-service envelope deposited to a metal canister. I suppose I'm alright with it as long as the fee stays small and the funds are used locally - although I'm always rooting through my change drawer to come up with the cash (which I rarely carry to a trailhead.)
Isn't that the truth? There i was driving 2 hrs to get to the trailhead and suddenly I realize the "trail boss" has used my wallet as the ATM once again. Grrrr, now all I have is a 20. Looks like the NPS gets a fat tip today. Seems like I could get credited for more visits, but alas, I really don't mind, it's for a great cause.
Tree Top Flyer
I pay city, state, federal, inheritance, short-long term capital gains tax, property tax (on my car, boat and house). Plus I pay hidden taxes when I buy smokes and gasoline. Enough already. Our efforts need to go into diverting some of these funds to the backcountry, not to giving "the man" another way to tax us. When city, state and federal governments start having lay-offs like corporate America to become more efficient, then I'll THINK about ponying up for some more tax money. Until then, I have no interest in feeding the government tax machine.
I doubt that I like "taxes" any more than the next person but a fee for using a facility or service is not a tax. I do think that everyone should pay a bit of tax to support things such as our state and national parks but I also have no problem with paying a "usage" fee when I use one of these valuable resouces. I would have to pay quite a bit more if the parks were owned and run by private firms - a fact I know well because I visit national, state, and private park facilities - and the private ones are much smaller and not as nice as the state/federal ones.
Although I am skeptical of where and what this money is actually going to, if the profit from these raised fees does, in deed, go to the park, then I can't think of a better place for my money to go. However, if they see the need for raising the entry fees for these parks, then I would like to see the preservation of such places also increasing. Let's use that money to spread the word out about such things like preservation and conservation that would ultimately help ALL parks!