You are here: home   Issues   The New Water Czars   Abolish user fees

Abolish user fees

Document Actions
Recreationists hate fees for all the right reasons (HCN, 1/19/04: A moment of truth for user fees). Fees will inexorably lead down the slippery slope to privatization and commercialization of our public lands. Fees are undemocratic, exclusionary, a regressive double tax and flat-out wrong.

The Forest Service fee program takes in approximately $37 million a year (gross) and the BLM $6 million. Remember, from gross you must subtract what it costs to administer fees. It costs the Sawtooth National Forest in Idaho 75 cents for salaries, signs, gas for the pickups that check trailheads, paperwork, "warning notices," etc., to collect $1 in fees.

The solution to chronic underfunding of recreation infrastructure, national monument management, and Forest Service recreation management is for Congress to step up to the plate and redeem its crystal-clear responsibility to adequately fund the public lands. On Jan. 22, Congress sent to the president a $328.5 billion spending bill. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., estimates there was $11 billion in pure pork in the bill. $165 billion has already been spent in Iraq. There must be a meager few billion spent on recreation on public lands.

Scott Phillips
Hailey, Idaho

The writer is a retired Forest Service professional in outdoor recreation management.

Filed under:

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. A graceful gazelle becomes a pest | Inrroducing an African gazelle called the oryx for...
  3. What's killing the Yukon's salmon? | An ecological mystery in Alaska has scientists and...
  4. Plains sense | Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first pro...
  5. Salmon go down the tubes – literally | Washington biologists test pressurized tubes to tr...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
Related Keywords
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone