Adventure Pass

Fishing opportunities in SoCal and up 395 to Mammoth
SpookedTrout
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Adventure Pass

Postby SpookedTrout » Thu Nov 25, 2004 4:39 pm

Here is something that may interest those that fish/hike in the different SoCal forests.

Article Published: Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 10:20:08 PM PST
Pasadena Star News
Forest Service Adventure Pass revised

By Sonya Geis Staff Writer

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST -- The Adventure Pass program, which has drawn the ire of national forest users for the past seven years, will be extended for 10 more years but without its least popular provision -- a $5 daily or $30 annual parking fee.
A rider on a massive budget bill Congress passed Saturday contains new rules on when money can be collected for public use of national lands. In the Angeles National Forest, fees can still be collected at picnic areas and campgrounds but not in undeveloped areas.

The law, which does not take effect until it is signed by President Bush, is getting a mixed review from activists.

"It is a definite improvement," said Robert Bartsch, a Pasadena resident who has advocated against the Adventure Pass since it was instituted in 1997. Bartsch won a victory in 1998 when a U.S. District Court decided he did not have to pay a fee when he went to the forest to protest the fees.

"In undeveloped areas you will be able to pull off the road and take a walk without paying. ... It's not a victory, but they certainly have watered the original legislation down."

The new law authorizes all national forests in the country to charge fees. The Forest Service can require payment for use of campgrounds, boat launches, electricity hookups and recreation areas with a parking lot, toilet, sign, trash can, picnic table and security services.

The revision in the Adventure Pass program was passed as part of the omnibus appropriations bill, a must-pass piece of legislation that Congress enacted Saturday before breaking for the holidays.

Ralph Regula, R-Ohio, who drew up the original law that created the Adventure Pass, also wrote the current bill. Since both laws were attached as riders, they have never been discussed on the floor of the House or Senate.

A more moderate competing bill passed unanimously by the Senate would have allowed the Adventure Pass program to completely expire. That bill is overridden by the new law.

Forest Service officials said Adventure Pass money has helped keep forests clean and well-maintained.

"Before 1997 we had a lot of litter, a lot of dirty bathrooms in campgrounds, trails falling down because of erosion," said Matt Mathes, spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service in California. "The Recreation Fee Demonstration program, of which the Adventure Pass is a part, has changed all that."

In fiscal year 2003, the Forest Service collected $2.8 million in Adventure Pass fees from the Angeles, Los Padres, Cleveland and San Bernardino national forests in Southern California.

"We weren't happy with the way the forests were looking, and the public wasn't happy, either. There's been a dramatic change since this program began," Mathes said.

Some worry that giving the Forest Service the authority to charge fees only in more-developed areas will encourage the cash-strapped agency to build in places that are now wild.

"They trash the resource to get the money," said Carl Forsgaard, chairman of the recreation issues committee for the Sierra Club. "They have to develop things in order to generate revenue. It's bad incentives."

However, environmentalists say, they do not begrudge the agency the money. But they say charging the public would not be necessary if Congress had not cut the Forest Service's budget in the mid-1990s.

"Obviously we don't object to clean toilets and clean forests," Alisdair Coyne, conservation director of a watershed protection group in Los Padres National Forest. "But we want to see that come from tax dollars."



Anthony

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adventure pass

Postby Joe » Thu Nov 25, 2004 11:52 pm

Anthony, thank you.
However, in all honesty, it doesn't matter. If you fly fish....you hike. Therefore, you park, then you hike and do not worry of any other issues. Adventure Pass? Please. Do the research, you are a smart young man.....Joe

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Postby danmcmartin » Fri Nov 26, 2004 11:04 am

Joe is right. It doesn't matter. They get you either way. Either your taxes pay for the services, in which case your taxes are raised or other services are cut (or maybe the deficit gets larger), or you pay fees at the point of service.

While I would hate to think that I have to pay to park on the side of a dirt road that I, as a citizen and tax payer, own, I prefer a fee to a tax. Let the people who use the facilities and require the service pay. Leave those of us that prefer solitude and a more primitive experience alone.

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pass

Postby Joe » Fri Nov 26, 2004 6:06 pm

Exactly. I usually do not buy a pass, heck, I own property very close to places I would park to hike/fish. I pay enough taxes. The "Adventure Pass" has never deterred my sudden willingness to venture about. It is a joke. Even the name is insulting to me. "Adventure!" Please. Fishing is deeply embedded into my psyche, it is much more than an adventure. Happy holidays and delightful adventures to all!......Joe

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Postby Guest » Fri Dec 10, 2004 3:51 am

"Before 1997 we had a lot of litter, a lot of dirty bathrooms in campgrounds, trails falling down because of erosion," said Matt Mathes, spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service in California. "The Recreation Fee Demonstration program, of which the Adventure Pass is a part, has changed all that."
I would like to see what Matt has to say on a monday on the East fork in July, when mountains of trash litter the streamside. Yeah, our money is hard at work.

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"Adventure Pass" is an oxymoron.

Postby JPShelton » Fri Dec 10, 2004 6:41 pm

Group:

Matt Mathes, the spokesman for the Forest Service cited in the original post, must not spend a whole lot of time on the desert slope of the San Bernardino National Forest.

I do, however, and have since I was 5 years old. My family owns 20 acres that borders the Forest Service Boundary on two sides at the junction of FS route 3N59 and 3N59A.

Over the years that I have been paying for these "Adventure Passes", I have seen the unimproved four-wheel drive routes that I relied upon to get my harvested deer back to camp without spoiling become closed to vehicle access. I have seen the "open plan" camping that I enjoyed become taboo right along with recreational target shooting on this part of the forest that I also enjoyed. I have seen a Coxey Pond that once provided fly fishing for bluegills and bass become shallow, silty, and fishless (something that closing the old Jeep trail over the pond dam that terminated near the summit of Shay Mountain was supposed to prevent). I have seen two devistating fires -the Devil's Hole Fire and the Willow Fire- that the Forest Service couldn't stop. These fires not only caused me personal loss when the family hunting cabin burned down, claiming a 1927 vintage Griffin and Howe Springfield rifle in the process, as well as a pair of WWII era Jeeps, but changed the character of Deep Creek for many years to come. I have seen Horse Springs Camground significantly reduced in size, too. How does reducing the size of a campground while simultaneously eliminating "open plan" camping help increase recreational opportunities?

What I have not seen is any improvement in the cleanliness of that campground. Before the "Adventure Pass" was initiated, I would go over there about four times a year and I'd have to work hard to find enough garbage to fill up a single trash bag. Most of the time, it went unfilled. Even though I camp on the family acreage nearby, rather than this campground, I do visit it to use the toilet on occasion when I'm out and about, and I like to see the place clean. Before the Adventure Pass, the campground was typically pretty clean, too, in spite of the fact that there wasn't a trash can anywhere around. It was a "pack out what you pack in" kind of place and most folks who used it did exactly that. Back in March of last year, my wife and I spent several hours cleaning up the place, filling up 10 "lawn and leaf" trash bags, which we hauled to the dump over by Baldwin Lake, after collecting more trash from the Big Pine Flat Target Shooting Area. On the way back, driving along the highway on the north side of Big Bear Lake, I got to see some of where my Adventure Pass money went, in the form of a "Discovery Center."

During the time that the Adventure Pass has been foisted upon me, I have wtinessed my own opportunites to engage in the kind of adventures that I enjoy become severely curtailed, largely eliminated, or eliminated entirely in a portion of the San Bernardino National Forest that I have known and loved since childhood.

It has seemed, in effect, to have resulted in less recreational opportunity for me, rather than more. I'd rather that my childern were able to discover the kind of adventures that I knew and enjoyed throughout most of my life on the San Bernardino National Forest than have a foo-foo building on the shores of Big Bear Lake or a paved road to Splinter's Cabin at Deep Creek.

In short, I don't mind paying my fair share. But if I do that , I expect to get something in return, and I expect to get treated fairly when management decisions are made that impact the kinds of recreational pursuits that I have traditionally enjoyed. I expect the principles of mulitple-use management to be adhered to, so that all user groups, including those that I am not a part of -rather than a select few- have an opportunity to enjoy their public lands.

If I have to pay an Adventure Pass fee to use my local National Forest, I have never understood why my cousins up in Siskiyou County don't have to pay one to use the Klamath or the Shasta-Trinity National Forests closest to their homes, or why I don't need an Adventure Pass to use them.

But I won't miss it when it's gone.

-JP
Last edited by JPShelton on Sat Dec 11, 2004 3:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I fish, therefore I am."

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Adventure Pass

Postby Guest » Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:12 pm

I 'm with Jerrold. I have lived in Big Bear for 26 years. This "Adventure Pass" is a bunch of crap. The "Discovery Center" just added a new wing, now where did that money came from. I have not seen ANY major improvement to trails or roads. Only road closures, fancy buildings and when you ask what has been done to improve the forest area away from the Discovery Center, you get a song & dance with no direct answer. I see fancy buildings, high paid management, lots of volunteers who work for free, reduced forestry law enforcement, and mismanaged tax dollars & Adventure Pass money. In my opinion the Adventure Pass was just like many tax bills that we get told the money will go for improvement and then when it passes, the money goes wherever they want, not what we were told. Services & improvements cost money..period. Until we hold these people responsible for OUR tax dollars,this will never end. I don't mind paying for something that I see the results of, & not get the B.S. story of why they need this money. .. Boy, that felt good...

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Postby KeithBigBear » Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:19 pm

The last post from "guest" was me, KeithBigBear.

Richard
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Postby Richard » Sat Dec 11, 2004 4:00 pm

I'd be very surprised if Adventure Pass revenue was used to finance the construction of the Discovery Center, given that Pass monies are supposed to be used for maintenance-type activities (as I understand from the initial post in this thread), which are typically budgeted differently than capital expenditures. Of course, this doesn't mean that fiscal hanky-panky hasn't occurred, but I'd want to inspect the district budget first before claiming malfeasance.

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danmcmartin
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Postby danmcmartin » Sat Dec 11, 2004 5:36 pm

I still live in an area, Nevada, that has pretty unlimited access to forest service land. Most roads are still open and no fees are charged. Even if a rule was instituted, there isn't really any enforecemnt to speak of. However, I can see the changes coming. As the residents of Carson City creep up into the Pinenut hills, they are trying to close the roads and eliminate OHV access. Even here in Smith Valley, the houses are creeping up into the canyons. Land I used to hunt as a boy is subdivided and covered with mini-ranches. I guess my point is that the world is changing. 50 years ago most people lived in rural communities and considered the land theirs. They cared for it and protected it. As the country turned urban, people forgot about the forests and mountains. Now, it is hip to be an "outdoorsman (person?)" and the urbanites flock to the wild and treat it like they treat there city. They expect someone to come by and provide trout to catch, a plcae to take a hot shower, and someone to pick up their mess. I can see charging to stay in a posh roadside campground, or use a fancy new marina, but the attitudes of many force us to pay for any use of public land. Unfortunatly, they can tolerate trash, but not the lack of hot showers and paved roads. Hence, we get kiosks to describe nature to them, posh toilets and showers, covered picnic tables, etc. Then after they urbanize the wilderness, they close off roads and trails to protect what is left from themsleves. :roll: They worst part is that they are begining to move back to the country and are bringing their urban sensibilities with them.

Of course, I am generalizing and I know many of you live in the city, but you came from the country. We go where the jobs are. I am lucky to still live in a rural area and my hour commute is probably less than many of yours. But we go on caring for the land, picking up their trash and being dissed by the government. I am guilty of inaction, as are many of us. I guess all this rambling is to make the point that we must make our voices heard over the shrill of the urbania. We must insist that our fees are used as promised and that congress and our legislatures pass laws and appropriate funding with specific direction. Our fishng and hunting taxes are a great example of a fee we pay that has a very specific purpose. Until then we will be overwhelmed by the weekend warriors and urban outdoorsmen.

That does feel good! :D

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Follow the Money..... If you can!

Postby JPShelton » Sat Dec 11, 2004 7:53 pm

Richard:

Your point is well taken as there may not be any malfeasance associated with the "Discovery Center."

But if anybody can find an instance of where this Adventure Pass money has gone to do some good, I'd like to know about it.

Because on the National Forest lands that I freqent where the "Adventure Pass" has been required, I haven't seen much evidence that any genuine good has come from it.

If the "Adventure Pass" were to continue, my plan was to not participate. Why pay for something if I don't think that I am getting full value for my money? I can drive a little farther and find a National Forest where the "Adventure Pass" isn't required.

I've been spending more time in the Sequoia National Forest, anyhow. I can fish the Kern River and its tributaries. I can still target shoot there. There is still good road access for game retrieval. "Open plan" camping is still allowed. The campgrounds that I've been to are clean and aren't covered with trash. And best of all, an "Adventure Pass" isn't required.

-JP
"I fish, therefore I am."

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Postby Richard » Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:45 am

Over the last 49 years I have lived in communities that range in population from 200 to more than 600,000. Yes, there can be differences in values, education and perspectives between those who reside in small towns (or "the country") and those who live in big cities. But I'm reluctant to say rural is superior to urban, or vice-versa. Each has its positives and negatives.

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Postby danmcmartin » Wed Dec 15, 2004 2:38 pm

I agree Richard and I don't want to suggest rural is superior (though I think it is :D ). I might have generalized too much. Bottom line, though, is many folks that are born and raised in an urban environment don't know how to act when in the "outdoors". They are loud, messy and generally show a disrespect for the other people and the environment. They end up soaking up a lot of funding for amenities that could be used to enhance the "wilderness" experience through preservation of exisitng facilities.

I guess I feel this way because I see it where I live. I see the retired californians moving here. They sell their homes there and by a mini ranch here for cash. They drive the value of property up beyond the reach of people that were born and raised here. Heck, I couldn't afford my house if I had to buy today. On top of that, and I realize they are only part of the problem, they want services, traffic signals, development. Their culture overruns ours. I feel the same way about the outdoors. The urban culture is taking over and we are in for kiosks and visitor centers instead of trash collection and trial maintance.

I guess I am just an ol' fashioned redneck that doesn't adapt to change well. :wink: My wife says I am cranky and I guess she is right.

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Postby Richard » Wed Dec 15, 2004 2:53 pm

Dan, you oughta run for county commissioner!

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You think you've got it rough, Dan......

Postby JPShelton » Wed Dec 15, 2004 3:08 pm

Dan,

As a former resident of Reno, I think I can feel your pain. I was born and raised in California, and it irked me when I lived in Reno to listen to fellow transplanted Urban Californians moan about how "this town really needs this," or "back home, we used to do that." I liked Reno just as it was, thank you very much -except for one small, trivial detail......

It's too danged far away from the ocean!

But hey, other than that, it had everything a guy could want. It had a fly shop and that guitar shop on Moana that I used to spend waaaay too much money at, and a couple of gun stores.....

I had to move back to Orange County when my job in Reno went kaput, and I can tell you that if you think living with transplanted Urban Californians is rough, you ought to try being surrounded by 18 million of 'em sometime!

And us Urban Californians aren't just driving up real estate prices in your little corner of God's earth, either.

My Grandma Katie's house in Weed, up in Siskiyou County, was worth about $65,000.00 not too many years ago. Now, houses like hers go for nearly three times that! And it isn't folks working in the local economy driving up those prices, that's for sure.

-JP
"I fish, therefore I am."


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