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Posted: September 2, 2014, 5:57 am
Can't say that I'm surprised about the access fee. Last year in May, we brought my 91-year old mother-in-law up to our local campground for a drive along the river. It's about 6 miles from our house at the foot of the Beartooth Mtns. The NFS campground has over 70 sites and is run by a contract concessionaire based out of Bozeman. Less than 10 people were at the CG that day (it was mid-week) so we stopped at a picnic table for lunch. I had packed a sandwich and a pop for each of us. We were at the table less than 10 minutes when a real scruffy-looking character in work overalls confronted us and told us that we had to leave or he was going to charge us a NFS "day use" fee. Apparently, he was the CG host but he never identified himself. I told him that we were locals and that we had no intentions of hanging around or hiking the trails with our elderly 91-yr old parent (duh...) We just wanted to eat our sandwiches. He gave us 5 minutes to leave the CG or he was going to charge us the fee. I couldn't believe it. I was so mad that, when we got back home ten minutes later, I immediately called the local ranger station. How dare the NFS or any of their representatives treat or scare anyone that way, let alone someone who is 91 years old. What was the guy and the NFS going to do if we refused to leave or exceeded our 5-minute limit? Throw us all in the slammer? Give us a hefty citation? I was so mad I couldn't see straight. I told the ranger that the CG host's treatment of three local senior citizens was absolutely appalling, especially, when there were over 60 open sites at the CG.

After my conversation with the NFS ranger, I sent an email to the owner of the concessionaire business (in Bozeman) recounting the treatment that we had received from their employee that day at the campground. I never got an apology from anyone, including the owner of the concessionaire business. But I did notice that there was a new CG host this year. To charge any taxpayer a day use fee for sitting at a picnic table in a NF stinks in my book. After all, the national forests and national parks belong to the people and not to the Dept. of Agriculture, the NFS, the NPS or their employees. They work for us and we pay their salaries. But for some reason, they keep forgetting that. Obviously, they need a reminder...and the sooner the better and before the government's fiscal year comes to an end. They also could use a few basic courses in communication on how to talk to and deal with members of the public who, after all, are their employer and not their subservient lemmings. It seems as if the very government agencies, that have been entrusted to protect and preserve our national parks, national forests and wildlife on behalf of the US citizens are working against their very own mission statements. Judging by the questionable actions of the NFS and the NPS in recent years, it seems like the Code of Ethical Conduct for Federal Employees has gone right out the window along with their agency mission statements. Is that what we want? If outdoor enthusiasts won't take a stand or do something to correct the situation, then all of us will pay for their complacency in the future, with higher entrance, access and day use fees/charges for the property that we already own under the law. It's up to you, folks. Call or write your senator and let your voice be heard! If you don't, then you have no right to complain when you get charged an entrance or access fee to use public land.

Statistics: Posted by yellvet — Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:57 pm

Posted: August 31, 2014, 6:39 pm
dcerdeiras wrote:
This is just ridiculous! It's Public land for pete's sake! What, are they going to charge for enterence to city parks next? Being charged to go on a picnic!? What is our government coming too?

I was really surprised when a Washington Dept of Game officer pulled up and asked for my permit, I asked him, what permit, it has been 20 years since lived in Washington and was taking a couple of pictures while my wife was picking a few hucks, he was nice and didn't give me a ticket, but I had to show my Montana DL, My Montana Conservation Lic and he said if I didn't stay long he would wave the citation, I guess I just got a warning. What was really amazing, he ran my wants and warrants report, felt like a criminal! Fortunately, I didn't have a gun with me on this trip, all I had was a few antique fly rods I picked up at a garage sale!

Statistics: Posted by Dave Parker — Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:39 am

Posted: August 31, 2014, 5:40 pm
It's a bit humorous that the people who run message boards get so obsessed with "keeping the peace" via getting rid of anyone who stirs up controversy. I've been on internet message forums since the 90s and I've seen it happen time after time. It almost never ends well for the forums in question, but no one ever seems to learn from that.

Statistics: Posted by RikWriter — Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:40 am

Posted: August 31, 2014, 5:37 pm
This is just ridiculous! It's Public land for pete's sake! What, are they going to charge for enterence to city parks next? Being charged to go on a picnic!? What is our government coming too?

Statistics: Posted by dcerdeiras — Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:37 am

Posted: August 30, 2014, 10:13 pm
It will not stop until the people stand up against the money hungry, crooked, lack of money managing knowledge, politicians and their minions.
When we have lost all things that we as a nation have fought for from the beginning, then maybe people will get off their tail and stand up against all this nonsense and throw out all the politicians and bureaucrats. :roll:

Statistics: Posted by Deep Woods — Sat Aug 30, 2014 3:13 pm

Posted: August 30, 2014, 8:49 pm
This is nothing new, I just returned from Washington and Oregon and if the Fed's don't get you, the states will, they have fee's on everything there now, at the least you have to buy a parking permit to stop on forest roads now a days.

Statistics: Posted by Dave Parker — Sat Aug 30, 2014 1:49 pm

Posted: August 30, 2014, 7:57 pm
I know there was a lot of hand-wringing on the thread originally about the drone incident at Grand Prismatic.
It's nice to see that this was handled correctly and followed up on, even if it took a while.

There need to be more citations issued for rule breaking instead of an emphasis on being "nice" all the time and providing "teachable moments".

Statistics: Posted by DanS — Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:57 pm

Posted: August 30, 2014, 7:26 pm
All Access to Public Lands Will Require a Fee if a newly introduced bill passes...

found this here

HR 5204 is written as an amendment to the current law, in the form of line-by-line additions, deletions, and substitutions, which makes it very difficult for the public to understand. (Probably this was the intention.) A detailed analysis of the major provisions of HR 5204 can been seen at this link.

August 24, 2014



Action is urgently needed to stop a bill introduced in the House, and already rammed through Committee and ready for a floor vote. HR 5204 would authorize the Forest Service and BLM to charge fees for all public lands, for any activity, by any person, any time. Details follow. Please TAKE ACTION NOW!
Kitty Benzar

ImageWelcome to the future.
Pay ahead.


Just before the House adjourned for their August recess, HR 5204 The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Modernization Act of 2014, was introduced by U.S. Representative Rob Bishop (R-UT) and rammed through the House Resources Committee, without a hearing, by its Chairman, U.S. Representative Doc Hastings (R-WA)........................READ MORE HERE

Statistics: Posted by Deep Woods — Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:26 pm

Posted: August 30, 2014, 1:36 am
I don't get why people have to get banned. It's just as easy to ignore folks that you don't agree with / who go against the status quo as it is to encourage them. I liked reading most of PhotoDude's posts, but when it got too monotonous or over the top, I did what everyone else could also do and just clicked off. It's a shame he got banned. It's a shame Elk got banned. I do wish PhotoDude posted more of his photo's - they were some of the best I've seen ..............

Statistics: Posted by NJMike — Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:36 pm

Posted: August 30, 2014, 1:24 am
Looks like Theodorus Van Vliet of the Netherlands has a reason to avoid coming back to the US for awhile.

Glad they didn't use this as a teaching moment.

Statistics: Posted by Hoggie — Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:24 pm

Posted: August 30, 2014, 1:22 am
Not all of us liked his methods but he did bring up a lot of valid points. I will miss his rants but luckily I had the chance to get to know Steve in person thanks to this forum. See you around "our" (being the peoples) park Steve.

Statistics: Posted by Hoggie — Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:22 pm

Posted: August 29, 2014, 10:19 pm
Katie wrote:
Very glad to hear it. Rules are pointless if not enforced.



Statistics: Posted by Straight Arrow — Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:19 pm

Posted: August 29, 2014, 7:46 pm
Excellent news! I am SO glad to see this news!

Statistics: Posted by MGoBlue — Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:46 pm

Posted: August 29, 2014, 7:35 pm
I actually met Steve a year ago. I was with Deby Dixon and another friend, Tracy, and we had jumped into one car and Tracy and I had not brought our coats thinking we weren't going far. Well the wind picked up and it got really cold. Deby knew Steve and stopped to talk to him at Pelican Creek/Trail pullout. He told us there was a carcass out there and he was waiting to see if anything came up on it. So we decided to set up our gear and stay awhile. As we stood there chatting with him, our teeth began to chatter we were so cold. Without saying a word, Steve went to his van and returned with two sleeping bags for us to wrap up in. I think his love for the park was tainted by the whole Lamar Valley bunch and he channelled all that anger into finding a way to catch the park doing something wrong. It's really a shame. He is on facebook if anyone is interested in connecting with him there. Although I have never seen him rant there.

Statistics: Posted by eilishp — Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:35 pm

Posted: August 29, 2014, 4:50 pm
NPS press release on this as well

Statistics: Posted by Steve — Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:50 am

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