Senior Park Pass cost is increasing

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ogriz
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Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:45 pm

Senior Park Pass cost is increasing

Post by ogriz » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:15 pm

For those who are 62 years or older, the Senior Park Pass cost is increasing on August 28th, 2017.


Congressionally Mandated Senior Pass Price Increase to Take Effect on August 28
WASHINGTON – In order to meet requirements set by legislation passed by Congress in December 2016, the price of the America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass will increase from $10 to $80. The change will take effect August 28, 2017. Pass holders are given lifetime access to more than 2,000 sites and parks. The fee increase will support critical investments in maintenance projects at national parks and federal recreational lands nationwide.

The Senior Pass has cost $10 since 1994. Until August 28, U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are 62 years or older can purchase the lifetime Senior Pass for $10. Previously purchased lifetime Golden Age or Senior Passes will be honored for the lifetime of the pass holder.

The Senior Pass can be used at sites managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Funds from passes are used to enhance the visitor experience and support priority projects and programs.

The pass can be purchased for $10 before August 28 at a national park or other Federal recreation area that charges an entrance or standard amenity (day use) fee. The pass can also be obtained by mail or on line, for $10 before August 28 but there will be an additional $10 charge for processing, for a total of $20. Due to expected high order volume, there could be delays with online and mail order processing of up to several months.

The legislation requires that the price of the lifetime Senior Pass be the same as the Interagency Annual Pass, which is currently $80. The legislation also introduces a new annual Senior Pass that can be purchased for $20. Seniors who purchase annual Senior Passes for four years can trade them in for a lifetime Senior Pass at no additional charge.

The Senior Pass covers all entrance fees and standard amenity (day use) fees and may provide senior discounts for things such as tours or campsites. The pass also waives the entrance fee for travelling companions. At per-vehicle fee sites, the pass admits the pass holder and all passengers in a noncommercial vehicle. At a per-person fee site, the pass admits the pass holder and three other adults. Children under 16 are always admitted free.


Read more at:

https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/senio ... hanges.htm

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ogriz



mdtrot
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:57 pm

Re: Senior Park Pass cost is increasing

Post by mdtrot » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:16 am

Yes, I got my Senior Pass last year, as soon as I could get it. At only $10 for lifetime entry to NPs and NMs, it is an incredible deal. In fairness, that is probably unreasonably cheap, and a higher price for lifetime admission is warranted. It costs a lot of money to maintain these parks, and seems reasonable for those who use the parks to contribute a bit more to the cost. BTW, when I got my pass, the info said that if you lose your pass, there's no provision to look up the fact that you bought it and you will have to purchase another one. At $10, that's no big deal, but at $80 it behooves a holder to keep a good hold on their pass!



yellvet
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:54 pm

Re: Senior Park Pass cost is increasing

Post by yellvet » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:49 pm

Seniors, like myself, who purchased senior passes many years ago have really saved a bundle over the years. Especially, with respect to entrance and camping fees. I always felt kind of guilty about the amount of money that I was saving. That's why I started buying MT custom Yellowstone license plates. A portion of the fee goes to the Yellowstone Foundation so the Park can buy and install new bear boxes at the campgrounds. To me, this seemed like a good way to help fund one of the most important things needed in the Park...more bear boxes at the campgrounds. But, after 39 years of camping in the Park, I was absolutely appalled this year when I saw one of the old, vintage bear boxes (with chains on the door) still at the handicap site at the Slough Creek campground. Why hadn't it been replaced? One would think that the handicap site would have the newest and the best bear box available. But, sadly, that wasn't the case. So, until such time that the Park installs a new EZ to-open bear box at the Slough Creek handicap site (Site #12), I'm going back to buying generic MT license plates. I'm tired of seeing folks struggling with that useless bear box in the handicap site. Reportedly, the Yellowstone Foundation spent an estimated $7K on the informational kiosk (wood sign) at Slough Creek. So it seems to me that if the Foundation can spend that kind of money on a wood poster board, then it can certainly afford to spend the money needed to accommodate a physically disabled camper.

As for the senior pass increase, the Park could certainly use the extra money. But $80 seems pretty hefty in light of the fact that most seniors are on fixed incomes and the old price was $10. As long as seniors would still be able to get a 50% discount on their camp site fees, then I guess I wouldn't object to the increase since it's still a bargain for most seniors. My biggest concern (and complaint) has more to do with how the Park spends the money that it has. When it takes 3 Park employees to place a stick-on, adhesive nameplate on a bear box or when it takes 3 workers to move a garbage container 5', not only is there something wrong with this but it also represents a huge waste of an employee's time and the taxpayer's money. My sincerest hope is that Secretary Zinke (former Rep. from MT) will make Yellowstone accountable for the existing funding that it has before he requests more funding from Congress or makes seniors pick up the tab for the Park's management shortcomings.



MGoBlue
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:52 pm

Re: Senior Park Pass cost is increasing

Post by MGoBlue » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:02 am

Yellvet, I agree wholeheartedly about the importance of bear boxes and you certainly seem to have identified a genuine need: replacing the "vintage" one at the Slough Creek handicap site, but I have to ask, had you previously tired to locate the person responsible for deciding what ones to replace and where to put new ones? Have you done so now?

If all you're doing about it is to buy a generic license plate, I don't think they will get the message.... OTOH, If you've already communicated your suggestion to the proper decision maker, maybe you could let the rest of us know who that is so that we can support your idea! I for one would be happy to send a letter or email.

Best regards,

MGoBlue



yellvet
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:54 pm

Re: Senior Park Pass cost is increasing

Post by yellvet » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:35 pm

MGB, thought I'd provide a little background for those who aren't familiar with the bear box project originated by the Yellowstone Foundation. Since a good sturdy bear box is expensive, the Foundation partnered with the state of MT so Yellowstone advocates from MT could buy custom Yellowstone license plates. I bought my first custom Yellowstone plate in 2011 and have renewed the plate every year since. According to the Yellowstone Foundation, part of the money received from the purchase/renewal of a custom Yellowstone plate is donated to the Yellowstone Foundation to help fund various projects, ie: adding new bear boxes at the Yellowstone campgrounds as well as replacing the old, vintage ones.

I've been camping at Slough Creek every year since 1978. I would have thought that, by now, the Foundation would have taken the initiative to see to it that all the handicap campsites in Yellowstone would have an EZ to open bear box, especially, since the MT/Yellowstone custom license plate program has been in place since at least 2011. Since then, I have voiced my concerns numerous times about the poor condition of the bear box at the SC handicap site not only to the local Tower rangers but also to the Yellowstone campground supervisor, the SC campground host(s) and to the campground maintenance workers. Since physically disabled campers at Slough Creek are still expected to use a vintage bear box, my husband and I plan to submit our concerns directly to the Park Super. on the feedback form that we were asked to fill out, at the end of our visit this summer. If that doesn't work, then I plan to share my concerns with DOI Sec. Zinke. It's beyond me as to why the vast majority of the SC camp sites have the new bear boxes, while the very campers who need a functional, easy-to-open bear box the most (the physically disabled), are still expected to use a bear box that's falling apart or won't open, without the help of another person. That's shameful!! A few years ago, when the rangers were putting on the adhesive, donator nameplate sticker on the bear box at our site, I asked them why the handicap site (located next to us) didn't have one of the new bear boxes. They couldn't give me an answer. So until such time that a new bear box is installed at the SC handicap site (Site #12 in 2017), I'm going back to buying a generic MT license plate next year. Hopefully, someone in Park management will see this post and will remedy this situation before the 2018 Park visitor season begins. To see any disabled camper have to struggle with one of the old, hard-to-open bear boxes, breaks my heart. The one in the SC handicap site should have been replaced years ago. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to identify which bear boxes need to be replaced. They're the ones that have a big heavy chain bolted to each end of the door, with HD steel fasteners bolted to the bear box.

On a positive note, I'd like to mention that the new bear boxes are absolutely wonderful!!! The interior storage space is more than adequate and you don't have the strength of Hercules to get the doors open. So many thanks to all the people who were involved in choosing the design and vendor for the new bear boxes. They're GREAT!!!



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