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Old 09-03-2014, 08:24 PM
 
Location: San Diego
32,823 posts, read 30,091,418 times
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All Access to Public Lands May Require a Fee - Freecampsites.net
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
10,967 posts, read 14,617,816 times
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We pay day use fees and camping fees on public land now all over Montana.

Just an FYI- the new vault toilets cost $12,000-$14,000 for a single, no frills model. Plus- when you have ranchers that don't pay their lease payments (like Bundy), then then you can't maintain the property. Noxious weed management, grazing management, cattle guards, fencing- all cost $$. When you add campsites to a BLM mix- you have roads, campsite improvements, fire rings, vault toilets.. All these things cost even more money. Their budgets have been diced by congress, lease income is a joke but people want something for nothing?

I'll GLADLY pay a fee to continue to enjoy BLM and USFS 'improved' land. Those vault toilets are a God send when I come off Canyon Ferry or Hauser Lake while ice fishing and have to take a dump. Worth every $3 in my pocket to get out of the wind and sit in a vault toilet!
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:47 PM
 
Location: San Diego
32,823 posts, read 30,091,418 times
Reputation: 17698
Quote:
Originally Posted by Threerun View Post
We pay day use fees and camping fees on public land now all over Montana.

Just an FYI- the new vault toilets cost $12,000-$14,000 for a single, no frills model. Plus- when you have ranchers that don't pay their lease payments (like Bundy), then then you can't maintain the property. Noxious weed management, grazing management, cattle guards, fencing- all cost $$. When you add campsites to a BLM mix- you have roads, campsite improvements, fire rings, vault toilets.. All these things cost even more money. Their budgets have been diced by congress, lease income is a joke but people want something for nothing?

I'll GLADLY pay a fee to continue to enjoy BLM and USFS 'improved' land. Those vault toilets are a God send when I come off Canyon Ferry or Hauser Lake while ice fishing and have to take a dump. Worth every $3 in my pocket to get out of the wind and sit in a vault toilet!
I was under the impression we already pay taxes for BLM land. How is that something for nothing? Where does the free come into play?
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
10,967 posts, read 14,617,816 times
Reputation: 11413
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1AngryTaxPayer View Post
I was under the impression we already pay taxes for BLM land. How is that something for nothing? Where does the free come into play?
Umm. Budgets cut, lease payments not being made.. That means revenue from 'us', the taxpayers, ain't enough to administer the property. Our tax dollars go somewhere else my friend.

I use BLM land A LOT. Our Scout troop and District uses it A LOT. We are more than happy to pay a fee for the improved areas. Now if ranchers would make sure to make their payments... maybe we wouldn't have to pay any fees- the cows could pay for us!

It's all fair use. Ranchers don't like general public access- they just want their cattle to graze. Campers want access because it's public land, hunters want access because it's public land.

Land managers have to satisfy everyone- ranchers, hunters, campers, hikers, environmental groups.. Then Congress cuts their budgets. The BLM tries to enforce collection on ranchers (like Bundy) and get push back from deadbeat supporters. Revenue squeezed but land expectations remain constant. Ranchers don't want to pay for vault toilets and improved campsites so they complain their money is being misspent.

What's not to understand? Our 'tax dollars' only go so far. It should be a user pay system of sorts, not just entirely funded by appropriations. In fact- we don't have enough appropriations to go around!
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:20 PM
 
Location: San Diego
32,823 posts, read 30,091,418 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threerun View Post
Umm. Budgets cut, lease payments not being made.. That means revenue from 'us', the taxpayers, ain't enough to administer the property. Our tax dollars go somewhere else my friend.

I use BLM land A LOT. Our Scout troop and District uses it A LOT. We are more than happy to pay a fee for the improved areas. Now if ranchers would make sure to make their payments... maybe we wouldn't have to pay any fees- the cows could pay for us!

It's all fair use. Ranchers don't like general public access- they just want their cattle to graze. Campers want access because it's public land, hunters want access because it's public land.

Land managers have to satisfy everyone- ranchers, hunters, campers, hikers, environmental groups.. Then Congress cuts their budgets. The BLM tries to enforce collection on ranchers (like Bundy) and get push back from deadbeat supporters. Revenue squeezed but land expectations remain constant. Ranchers don't want to pay for vault toilets and improved campsites so they complain their money is being misspent.

What's not to understand? Our 'tax dollars' only go so far. It should be a user pay system of sorts, not just entirely funded by appropriations. In fact- we don't have enough appropriations to go around!
I've seen this before, budget funds gets raided for other uses. I'm not ok with this outcome. How much "budget collection" is really the issue?

Not going against what you are saying, just wondering where it went South.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
10,967 posts, read 14,617,816 times
Reputation: 11413
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1AngryTaxPayer View Post
I've seen this before, budget funds gets raided for other uses. I'm not ok with this outcome. How much "budget collection" is really the issue?

Not going against what you are saying, just wondering where it went South.
It's not an easy answer, but I know (from Scouting) the guy that used to manage BLM land around Canyon Ferry. He said it is a constant battle to collect grazing fees, maintain campsites and get a budget from Congress.
It's really a shame, because these lands are gems for all of us. I don't mind cows at all. Hell I eat them!
But really we have to come to grips with fair use- and a user pay system that is fair and accommodates all of us is the best choice.

We already pay fees on USFS land for improved sites- and I'm okay with that. It's cheap- sites with electric and water are $6 a night. Unimproved are $3 a night, boondocking in the wilderness is still free (as is the case with BLM land). Hunters still pay no fees unless they camp.

I just see no reason why improved site users can't pay a fee. It just makes sense.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:37 PM
 
Location: San Diego
32,823 posts, read 30,091,418 times
Reputation: 17698
Quote:
Originally Posted by Threerun View Post
It's not an easy answer, but I know (from Scouting) the guy that used to manage BLM land around Canyon Ferry. He said it is a constant battle to collect grazing fees, maintain campsites and get a budget from Congress.
It's really a shame, because these lands are gems for all of us. I don't mind cows at all. Hell I eat them!
But really we have to come to grips with fair use- and a user pay system that is fair and accommodates all of us is the best choice.

We already pay fees on USFS land for improved sites- and I'm okay with that. It's cheap- sites with electric and water are $6 a night. Unimproved are $3 a night, boondocking in the wilderness is still free (as is the case with BLM land). Hunters still pay no fees unless they camp.

I just see no reason why improved site users can't pay a fee. It just makes sense.
Ok, that makes sense where you are. Here there is probably a whopping total of 3 within 200 miles of here. I hunt BLM and it's no man's land for hundreds of miles with no toilets or anything. I don't see tax payer funds doing anything besides the weekly trash collection of a primitive camp ground, all three of them. There are already three or four other Agencies patrolling the area for illegals, fires or poachers.

I will have in order a hassle by:

Cal Fire
Forest Service
Fish and Wildlife
Border Patrol
Sheriff
.....

etc on any given day... Why another layer?

Last edited by 1AngryTaxPayer; 09-03-2014 at 10:47 PM..
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
10,967 posts, read 14,617,816 times
Reputation: 11413
I've never been hassled on BLM land. I've never seen anyone, quite frankly.

But we have great vault toilets!

No seriously- BLM is supposed to manage grazing and public access, and that means getting rid of squatters. We had an issue at a place called Goose Creek that did not end so nicely. All in all people had to move and the land is for the public- not long term squatters.

If anything- you, me and everyone else should be hopping up and down looking to fund USFS and BLM land for public access and enforcement. The great thing here is that BLM campsites are a treasure, and worth the $3 price of admission.

You need to move to Montana!
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:13 AM
 
Location: San Diego
32,823 posts, read 30,091,418 times
Reputation: 17698
So where there is a toilet it could be called a Day Use Fee. Where there is not a toilet, it could be called a Permit Fee or "Access fee". The result is the same: there would not be any place where a fee is not allowed. And since the agencies would get to keep all the fee money directly, there would be not be anywhere that they wouldn’t have a strong incentive to charge a fee. I see nowhere that the money won't be kept in their general funds.


If there is a fee I want to see developed camp grounds not charging us to visit the last places we have something to do that isn't treated like Sea World. You know that won't happen.
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
10,967 posts, read 14,617,816 times
Reputation: 11413
Here's the policy-
Standard Amenity Fees

Quote:
Standard amenity fees are defined in the Recreation Enhancement Act (REA) and reflect a mix of societal and personal benefits, where it is appropriate for users to share in some of the costs.


Recreation Fee Policy
Free Sites & Services
Standard Amenity Fees
Expanded Amenity Fees

The decision on whether or not to charge a standard amenity fee meeting the following criteria is based on a business plan analysis, which includes local considerations. Fees for standard amenity recreation sites and services are typically collected on site or through a reservation system. (Note: holders of a valid “America the Beautiful – the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass” are exempt from the payment of standard amenity fees.)

According to REA, standard amenity fees may be charged for sites and services that meet one of the following criteria. The site or area is:

1. Designated as a National Conservation Area or National Volcanic Monument.

2. A destination visitor or interpretive center that provides a broad range of interpretive services, programs, and media.

3. A developed day-use area that provides significant opportunities for outdoor recreation, has substantial Federal investments, where fees can be efficiently collected, and contain all of the following 6 amenities:

Designated developed parking;
Permanent toilet facility;
Permanent trash receptacle;
Interpretive sign, exhibit, or kiosk;
Picnic tables; and
Security services.


Prohibitions: The BLM will not charge a standard amenity fee for 1) persons under 16 years of age; 2) outings conducted for noncommercial educational purposes by schools or bona fide academic institutions; and 3) any person engaged in a non-recreational activity authorized under a valid permit issued under any other Act, including a valid grazing permit.
Even though they charge a fee for #3, in a lot of places (around here) there are vault toilets but NOT the other items. This is especially true near fishing areas. They don't charge a fee there. There are also a lot of boat ramps around here, with vault toilets, most of which are no fee.

That's a pretty good deal cause boat ramps and docks are pricey!
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