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Geezer Pass proposed changes?


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#1 smlobx

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 03:10 PM

I know that many of us take advantage of the Senior Pass and these proposed changes don’t make me very happy...

 

https://www.rvtravel...-pass-proposal/

 


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#2 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 03:12 PM

This geezer doesn’t like that proposal.


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#3 ntsqd

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 03:53 PM

So it costs $80 to get a 50% campsite fee reduction, but only on "base" sites? I presume that to mean sites without hook-ups. I'll guess that the vast portion of the buyers of those passes are looking for sites with hook-ups. I'm left to wonder why not just abolish the program? Is it only about the optics of abolishing the program vs. being able to eventually say "No one uses this program any more, we should quietly stop offering it?"


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#4 rando

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 04:40 PM

The other part of this 'report' that worries me more (selfishly as I am still a ways from geezerdom) is the push to further privatize the services within the national parks.   I have several concerns about this:

 

1. Private companies are in business to make a profit, and the current parks with private concessionaires (think Xanterra Parks & Resorts/Delaware North/Aramark) tend to have many more money make concessions - think lodges, snack bars, boat rentals, restaurants, tours etc.  To me this in not what the parks are about - they are an escape from consumerism and industrial tourism.  There seems to be a real risk of increased privatization -> increased profit making activities -> increased consumerism and commercialization within the parks.  

 

2. I have definitely thought that once I reach geezerdom, I would consider volunteering in the parks.   It seems that many of the park or non-profit run services (information desks,  campgrounds,  bookstores) are staffed by volunteers, and often these folks are super knowledgable about the parks that they love.  The book stores run by the  Canyonlands Natural History Association are a great example.   I certainly have no interest in volunteering at Xanterra/Aramark/etc run facility where the primary outcome would be my free labor enriching a private company.   I can imagine this would be a widely held belief and would lead to reduced volunteerism in the parks, which would drive up costs even further. 

 

Finally, I am not sure how skimming off a layer of profit will in any way improve the current budget shortfalls in the parks?


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#5 Kolockum

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 05:37 PM

Below is the text right out of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act. There must be some new modifying legislation because it specifically states that the Golden Age pass is $10.

 

I also would like to point out that in 1966 the National Parks bicentennial was a huge deal and the government spent millions to upgrade the infrastructure before the big day. In fact a lot of the existing infrastructure still being used to this day came from that spending package. There wasn't any push by the government for the centennial...

 

 

16 U.S.C 460l–6a (4)(.a.)

 

(.b.) RECREATION USE FEES.—Each Federal agency developing, administering, providing or furnishing at Federal expense, specialized outdoor recreation sites, facilities, equipment, or services shall, in accordance with this subsection and subsection (d) of this section, provide for the collection of daily recreation use fees at the place of use or any reasonably convenient location: Provided, That in no event shall there be a charge by any such agency for the use, either singly or in any combination, of drinking water, wayside exhibits, roads, overlook sites, visitors’ centers, scenic drives, or toilet facilities, nor shall there be any such charge solely for the use of picnic tables: Provided, That in no event shall there be a charge for the use of any campground not having a majority of the following: tent or trailer spaces, picnic tables, drinking water, access road, refuse containers, toilet facilities, personal collection of the fee by an employee or agent of the Federal agency operating the facility, reasonable visitor protection, and simple devices for containing a campfire (where campfires are permitted). For the purposes of this subsection, the term ‘‘specialized outdoor recreation sites’’ includes, but is not limited to, campgrounds, swimming sites, boat launch facilities, and managed parking lots. Any Golden Age Passport permittee, or permittee under paragraph (5) of subsection (a) of this section, shall be entitled upon presentation of such permit to utilize such special recreation facilities at a rate of 50 per centum of the established use fee


Edited by Kolockum, 20 October 2019 - 05:39 PM.

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#6 takesiteasy

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 06:12 PM

Below is the text right out of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act. There must be some new modifying legislation because it specifically states that the Golden Age pass is $10.

 

I also would like to point out that in 1966 the National Parks bicentennial was a huge deal and the government spent millions to upgrade the infrastructure before the big day. In fact a lot of the existing infrastructure still being used to this day came from that spending package. There wasn't any push by the government for the centennial...

 

...

 

Here's some info on the fee change which happened in 2017: https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/senior-pass-changes.htm

 

I'm also not in favor of privatizing the parks. I am in favor of providing sufficient operating funding to maintain the parks properly. There is plenty of money in the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to do it, except Congress keeps stealing the money for other purposes. Here is some information about LWCF if you are interested: https://www.lwcfcoal....com/about-lwcf


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#7 RicoV

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 09:44 PM

I'm reminded of a fave tune of mine from way back:  'Young Man Blues' by Mose Allison, made famous by The Who in the mid '60s . . .

 

" But you know, nowadays, it's the old man, he's got all the money
And a young man ain't got nothin' in the world these days, I say, ain't got nothin', got sweet nothin' "

 

It seems there could be several perspectives to consider . . .

 

Rico.


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#8 PaulT

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 10:21 PM

+1 even though I certainly appreciate the discount. If one has planned wisely for retirement, one should have larger resources as a  seasoned citizen than in earlier stages of life.

 

And on principle, I want the user of government services to bear the cost of government services.

Charitable organizations should be free to spend their money as they see fit, but money taken from citizens by force should be to the benefit of all citizens.

 

Like rando, I don't want to see crony capitalists control park usage, management, and development. I have no problem with selected functions being provided by for-profit entities as they can often do so at lower cost and better service.

 

Paul


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#9 rando

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 01:48 PM

Unfortunately (but maybe unsurprisingly) this is the definition of crony capitalism.     Below are the members of the 'Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee' that suggested these changes.   Notice that the committee is entirely made up representatives from the industries that serve to benefit from increased privatization of the parks, and who stand to profit less from Geezers using the parks.   The outcome of this 'study' was entirely predetermined, which was the norm during the ZInke era at DOI.

 

Source: https://www.nps.gov/...america-rac.htm

 

Attached File  Screen Shot 2019-10-21 at 7.47.18 AM.png   666.43K   15 downloads


Edited by rando, 21 October 2019 - 01:50 PM.

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#10 Missing Link

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 03:44 PM

I know that what I am going to say is anecdotal and not particularly insightful but the day I turned 62, I drove to the front gate at Sequoia NP to purchase my "geezer pass."  I paid my $10.00 and commented about what a good deal it was.  The park employee that I was dealing with said, "Sir, you've paid taxes all of your life and you've earned this privilege . . . . . congratulations."  Again, I realize that there is a whole lot more to it than that, but it sure made me feel good!


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