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News Wonderful News: even more Americans are enjoying our National Parks

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ratagonia, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    In the last couple of years, there has been an amazing surge of people enjoying our National Parks. That's great. Many of these people are not outdoorsy types, and are not closely attuned to the Leave No Trace ethics most of us subscribe to, but ... If you want to see a bunch of new National Park Enjoyers in action, I suggest Angels Landing or the first mile of The Narrows in Zion.

    The do seem to bunch up into a few places, which is fine with me. 99.9% of Zion is still amazingly uncrowded. The lines for doing Corral Hollow and Spearhead Canyon remain short.

    Alas, the NPS responds as best it can to the increased usage, but budget and resource restrictions make managing the situation difficult. Let's try to all be supportive.

    Tom
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  2. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    Methinks that reallocating the funds used on marketing and advertising and using them instead for infrastructure and maintenance is the most effective thing they could do to improve the visitor experience.
  3. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    You mean, the State of Utah should take the STATE funds it has allocated for advertising the National Parks, and actually give it to the FEDERAL National Parks for infrastructure? Not gonna happen...

    Tom
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  4. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    Yeah, it’s like the state markets and sells the product (the park), pockets most of the revenue (tourist dollars pumped into the state economy), and assumes no financial liability for the maintenance of the park. Seems legit.

    I need to work out a similar business model.
  5. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    That's exactly what is happening.
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  6. gajslk

    gajslk

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    The government business space is already pretty crowded ... In a rational world, the NPS would just modulate the entry fee to reach a certain visitation, and to heck with the state.
  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    You mean in a purely Capitalist world.

    In a rational world, the NPS would be well-funded to the point of being responsive. The entry fee would be zero dollars zero cents. There would be twice as many easy, tourist-appropriate trails in the main canyon and on the east side, there would be more parking and more buses. And the backcountry would stay exactly the way it is, except that permits would cost 1$.

    Tom
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  8. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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    It's all coming soon with AI, SkyNet®, etc. Once machines take over, policies will be implemented to maximize sustainability and enjoyment of the environment. Yes, machines can take pleasure from butterfly-scanning and leaf-caressing. Tough luck, meatbags! Anchors away!
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  9. gajslk

    gajslk

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    Money is merely an efficient tool for allocating scarce resources. It's not good or evil, any more than a hammer is good or evil. I would argue that your world is not rational, but idealistic ... but it is a rational thing to wish for. :)
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  10. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    "Money is merely an efficient tool for allocating scarce resources." - True, it is neither good nor evil. It is, however, amoral. Our decisions about allocating resources should not be made without moral considerations. As an example, the cost of Insulin has gone up 7X in 20 years (even accounting for inflation). This creates greater profits for the Insulin makers, but results in quite a few people dying. Pure capitalism is not a good system for EVERYTHING, and I include access to the National Parks in the things it is NOT good for. And I think the owners of the National Parks agree with me.

    Tom
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  11. gajslk

    gajslk

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    Technically true, but the loaded term certainly gets your opinion across. :)

    Pure capitalism isn't a good system for ANYTHING. The purpose of government is to manage externalities. When big pharma manipulates the patent system and buys Congressmen in wholesale lots, that isn't happening. The voting public isn't doing their job properly and is allowing the foxes to run the henhouse. Unfortunately, socialism works less well, with even more corruption and less efficiency.

    Since the national parks are an unlimited resource, there's no need to control access at all. We should just tear down the toll booths and stand back. Get rid of all permit systems and fire the law enforcement rangers. Correct? If it isn't correct, then all we're arguing about is who's unfair system is the least unfair and who gets screwed how. Most of the owners of the national parks certainly agree with you. But many of them think that everything should be free. All free means is that it's something that someone else has to pay for and that you then have to fight over unless there's an unlimited supply. Air and sunlight come to mind as being unlimited(in practice). Paving Zion and Yosemite from cliff to cliff makes the parking lot bigger, but it's still limited in size. What do you do when it starts overflowing?
  12. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Wow. My apologies for winding you up.

    Tom
  13. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    Important issues here!
    Starting with the management and use/exploitation of the national parks
    and zooming out a to questions of economics, morality, and the looming specter of SUPER AI...
    I did not expect the fate of humanity (and nature as we have known it) to be decided in our life-times, but here we are.
    The entire World ecosystem has turned out to be a limited resource, just like our national parks.
    To add to Tom's point, ALL decisions about allocation of resources should be based on MORAL considerations first. Without 'moral
    compasses' to guide us, self-interest(s) will continue to exploit every resource to the ultimate detriment of us all.
    If you ain't feeling queasy, you ain't payin attention.
    Hank-
    The best in depth on AI I have seen so far:
    waitbutwhy.com
    go to The AI Revolution: the road to super intelligence
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  14. gajslk

    gajslk

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    Morals are a human invention. They are arbitrary. Wars have been fought over which set of morals is best ...
  15. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    Gajslk
    You are right, of course...
    But 'everyone for themselves' is not working...so...
    Any ideas?
  16. gajslk

    gajslk

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    I did suggest one. Tom pissed all over it. :) Casual contempt for Capitalism has become fashionable. Typically by those who haven't bothered to learn when and why it works, when and why it doesn't, what the alternatives are, and what the strengths and weaknesses of those alternatives are. I should be used to it by now, but it still annoys me. With reasonable restrictions, it's incredibly efficient because it harnesses self-interest for the common good and because it allocates scarce resources well. The national parks are a limited resource. Raising the entry fee to limit numbers ensures that the people who value entry the most will enter and those who don't, won't. Is it unfair? Of course. It's unfair to the very poor who really want to visit the park. Is that a problem? Dunno. What percentage of very poor people visit the parks? What percentage of park visitors are truly poor? Any system for limiting entry is unfair to someone. If the system changes, I'd like to see something efficient, but that's the engineer in me.

    Arguably the system fairest to all is a no-cost, no-restriction, free-for-all. That closely approximates what we have today, with park entry costing a fraction of the amount it costs to feed the family at one of the fast food joints crowding up against most parks or to buy a tank of gas. First come, first served, show up late, get turned back at the gate. You really can't get more fair than that. As soon as you decide to change the system to anything else, you're going to be picking winners and losers, so you might as well be efficient and raise needed revenue, hence my remark. If the NPS does make a change, my prediction is that we'll get a reservation system and lottery which will be costly to manage and will lower gate revenue at the same time. But it will be a PITA for visitors. :) I'd rather see the current system stay in place. Crowding, traffic jams, and long lines everywhere will do much to discourage visitation. People who want it the most will get in, but instead of spending money, they'll spend time. But wait! Money and time can be exchanged for each other ... so ... don't get me started again. LOL
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  17. Flatiron

    Flatiron

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    Well a good start would be
    A) increase annual funding - a realistic
    Yes. A good start would be funding the parks so they can function and service the visitors - no matter how many visitors. Congress needs to fund the damn system adequately where user fees would not be necessary but a luxury. Or cancelled. And adjust every year UP for inflation so we never accumulate a backlog.
    And fund the damn $12B backlog. Then give them another $12B just to improve and expand services.
    This is absolutely nuts to not repair and refurbish - especially at such a cheap cost - less than 2% of our military budget - and literally zip out of a $4.4 Trillion annual budget. Good grief !!
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  18. AW~

    AW~

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    Well, the recent imposition of environmental justice settles it right?
    I posted in another forum the new demand of settling who has claim to a land.

    Isnt it as easy as erasing me from history? History is and always was....per the gurus.
    Fresh dispatch from the nanny state: "I am not native Hawaiian, but {am against TMT/development}"
    My initial reaction was WOW!!!...even if you are born somewhere and lived there except for 2 years(person is MLB pitcher), you arent allowed to have an equal standing opinion. And of course the explanation is this is Aloha and always has been....so say the gurus.

    And of course the law in California is that environmental justice is the top value for some land. Once the landgrabbers chime in on a lawsuit, only then can the public opine as a secondary subservient outlet.

    Tom thinks recreation should be the top value of a land...well he is not all that woke.
  19. Dave Melton

    Dave Melton

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    AW-
    As usual, I have no idea what you’re talking about...
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  20. AW~

    AW~

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