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News Zion Fees Proposed To Increase Across The Board

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dNally, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. dNally

    dNally

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  2. Jolly Green

    Jolly Green

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    I just read an article about the gvmt's inability to control all the illegal controlled substance sales of online pharmacies. The gvmts solution was to levy massive fines against FedEx for delivering the packages from these illegal operations. My point- if there's a way to cash in on something, they'll take it. Honestly, this is probably overdue, if it's been since 2007. Maybe it'll be easier to get a Mystery permit now.;)
  3. Deagol

    Deagol too many hobbies

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    camping fees are the big increase....
  4. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    Of course if the increase rates for one thing they'll do it for all, but I don't see them making that much money on the increased backcountry rates. Most of the revenue is gonna come from camping and the entry to the park.
  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Let's make this a little easier:

    Zion National Park Accepting Comments on Proposed Increase in Recreational Fees


    Subscribe [​IMG] | Aly Baltrus, 435-772-0161


    Springdale, UT – Zion National Park and other National Park Service
    (NPS) units that collect entrance fees and recreation fees from park
    visitors are beginning public engagement to seek comments on
    possible changes in park fees. Zion is proposing an increase to its
    camping, entrance, and wilderness permit fees.The last time entrance
    fees were increased at Zion was in 2007. The current camping fees
    date back to 2004 and wilderness permit fees to 2005.

    Under the authority of Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act,
    Zion retains 80% of the recreation fees it collects. Fee revenue from
    Zion National Park entrance stations and campgrounds has provided
    funding for over 24 major projects since 2010. All of the projects
    focused on improvements to visitor services, facilities, and visitor safety.

    "The fee revenue is critical to the park," said Jeff Bradybaugh,
    Superintendent of Zion National Park. "Funds from entrance, camping
    and other fees are used to improve and maintain our facilities and
    provide valuable visitor services."

    More than 70% of the entrance fees are used to operate the shuttle bus system in the park and the Town of Springdale, UT. The bus system improves park operations and visitor experience by decreasing vehicle congestion in Zion Canyon, improving air quality, and providing visitors safe and easy access to popular park features. The shuttle buses are 15 years old and maintenance costs are increasing. The increase in entrance fees would help maintain shuttle facilities, as well as the aging buses and help to begin the replacement of the fleet. Below is a comparison of current and proposed entrance fees.

    zionfees1.

    Increased campground revenue will be used to maintain and rehabilitate the park's three campgrounds. Projects could include rehabilitating and upgrading restrooms and other facilities to Americans with Disabilities Act standards. In addition, revenue has not kept pace with rising electric power costs and campsites with electric service have been operating at a deficit. Below is a comparison of current and proposed fees for campgrounds.
    Watchman and South Campgrounds (single sites)

    zionfees2.

    Group camp fees are also proposed to be changed from a per person fee ($3 per person) to a flat rate per group size. Below is the proposed fee structure per group size.

    zionfees3.

    A fee increase for wilderness permits is proposed to ensure wilderness resources and experience are protected for those visiting today and in the future. Wilderness permit fees are used to answer public inquiries on wilderness activities and permit requirements by visitors in person, on line and by telephone; provide preventative search and rescue patrols; monitor wilderness resource condition; and maintain wilderness campsites and trails.

    zionfees4.

    National Park entrance fees are not charged for persons under 16 years of age. Costs for passes covered under the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Program will not be changed at this time. These passes include: Interagency Annual, Interagency Senior, Interagency Military, Interagency Access, and Volunteer. Additional information on each pass can be found at http://www.nps.gov. These passes can be purchased at any National Park site.

    The public comment period is open for 45 days from December 9, 2014 through January 23, 2015. Please access the National Park Service planning website to comment at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/zion. A public open house for the proposed fee increases for Zion National Park and its sister parks, Cedar Breaks National Monument and Bryce Canyon National Park, will be held on Thursday, January 8, 2015 at the Cedar City- Brian Head Tourism Office from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The office is located at 581 North Main Street, Cedar City, UT 84721.

    Last year, more than 2,800,000 park visitors visited Zion National Park, contributing $147,051,900 to the local economy and supporting 1,763 jobs related to the local tourism industry. For further information about Zion National Park, visit www.nps.gov/zion, and for further information about the 2013 National Park Visitor Spending Effects, visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
    Mountaineer likes this.
  6. Terry LeBlanc

    Terry LeBlanc

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    If it will mean installing an emergency call box next to the water station at the Temple at the end of the road to reach the rangers/lodge after the last shuttle, I'm all for it.<g> I'd settle for cell phone signal at that location. Current fees seem reasonable, increases don't appear excessive. We only visit once a year, with annual pass, so impact of increases to us will be minimal.
  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    It won't.

    Reasonable? What is the reason for the fees? I am a skeptic. The fees and the permit system seems to serve the bureaucracy of the Park, without serving the general public (much). If I go solo Pine Creek, what do I get for my 15$???

    Tom
    Hikster11, Bootboy and Deagol like this.
  8. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    A management of the canyon that provides you only a maximum of 49 other folks to contend with in the canyon (with added bonus of those folks being aware of the regulations for such).

    Whoo hoo!

    I wish we'd fund the parks to the point that they were free for everyone...seems like folks need to be encouraged to visit, rather than not.
    hank moon likes this.
  9. Deagol

    Deagol too many hobbies

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    The increase in camping fees when applied to a whole week would probably be enough to keep me away in the future... maybe that's what they want?
  10. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Transparency might help.

    I may be a simpleton when it comes to cost breakdown, but this is what I derive from their numbers:
    If there were 2.8 million visitors last year and the average car has 5 occupants, that equals 560,000 25$ entrance fees collected. Or 14 million dollars. If 70% of that is going to maintain the shuttle system, then $9.8 million dollars was allocated for shuttle operations.
    Dag-gum, those must be some expensive buses or either I need to become a ZNP bus driver!
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  11. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    "and the average car has 5 occupants,"

    Where you from lad? This is 'Merica! When I say car pool, that means we each drive our own truck, but together!

    T
  12. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Well, I was trying to be conservative...cuz I knew you would prefer it that way. :)
  13. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Okay, you're right, professor. Let's use the avg family size (2.55) from US statistics for 2013.

    That translates to $19.2 million for shuttles...
    Is a park bus driver required to have a CDL? Where's my coat, I'm going to get one now.
  14. Terry LeBlanc

    Terry LeBlanc

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    Fees = control. There is "budget" involved, but when you're running at a $13 trillion deficit, and you're printing your own money, the budget isn't really meaningful. Ostensibly, your $15 limits traffic to the canyon and lets them know you'll be there. That's about it. As a "visitor" who doesn't live there, it doesn't affect me as much...I don't live with it, I just experience it briefly.

    Government serving the public...now that's a novel concept. Nice buildings. I used to have a CDL... Bureaucracy always serves itself...anything else is accidental and unintended.
  15. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    Perhaps an annual backcountry/canyoneering permit just like there is an annual park pass. Simply register with your card number for each canyon trip, and quota is still enforced without fees each time.
    ScottM, Canyonero and Ram like this.
  16. Scott Chandler

    Scott Chandler Wildness is a necessity-John Muir

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    For those that visit the parks often, the interagency pass will still be $80 if I remember right. Folks that disagree with the entrance fee increases should buy that. If more people have those it will also aid in the payment station congestion that comes from people paying their way in.

    As far as the other fees, if congress would adequately fund land managers they wouldn't raise the fees. Special fees are the only funds in the system that can stay with the park they come from, aka are not appropriated from a general fund. When congress doesn't give enough money to pay for the staff that keep special programs going, the experience will start to suffer one way or another, unless special fees go up. What will happen to campgrounds if no one cleans up the toilets or keeps the peace? What will happen to the backcountry without that person at the desk reminding you three times of the regulations (that are also the best practices), or that ranger out there keeping a watchful eye? What will happen to that injured person in Orderville Canyon without a good S&R system? It all costs money that the parks just don't have.

    The cool thing is, those that want a less managed system can choose from a great many other options that are elsewhere. I'll gladly visit Zion while they go away. :happy:

    The parks can do what they want to survive and I won't complain until they start seriously limiting access. Personally, I'd rather comment at our congressmen to invest in our public lands over our massive military, corporate buyouts, national healthcare, etc.
    Deagol and ratagonia like this.
  17. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    :twothumbs:
  18. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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    <bump>

    Whew. They don't encourage these public comments much, do they?

    To get to the pot of gold (the actual comment form), i took the following path

    - click on the link found in the park press release (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=55661)
    - read through the document to find the text url (see pic 1 below) which is not a "hotlink" (old web word, that)
    - copy and paste the URL
    - find and click on a semi-obvious link in the sidebar of the page accessed ("Open for Comment" - see pic 2 below)
    - click on another, more obvious link (see pic 3)
    - click another link (pic 4)
    - Which lands you on the actual comment form, along with a LOST-bunker style countdown:


    Screenshot 2015-01-15 10.00.32.


    Good luck and please comment!

    EDIT: just found a short cut to the process I followed the first time. After clicking on the park press release link, there is a link "Open for Comment (1)" in the left sidebar which shortens the process.

    Or just click HERE to go directly to the comment form.



    hank

    -----


    Pic 1

    Screenshot 2015-01-15 09.45.30.

    Pic 2

    Screenshot 2015-01-15 09.50.18.


    Pic 3


    Screenshot 2015-01-15 09.53.39.



    Pic 4


    Screenshot 2015-01-15 09.57.13.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
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  19. Mike Zampino

    Mike Zampino Canyon season never ends.

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    Tom, I'm guessing there are many sheep in your flock that would pay your $15 for a chance to follow you though promised land. :moses:
  20. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    (blush)
    Mike Zampino likes this.
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