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Author Topic: Proposed Fee Increases  (Read 421 times)

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wsp_scott

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Proposed Fee Increases
« on: June 05, 2019, 11:07:29 AM »

It looks like DBNF is considering increasing fees all over the forest including RRG.

Koomer Ridge camping going up to $15/night
Backcountry camping moving to a per person fee of $5 for 1 night and $10 for 2 - 5 nights (kids free). Again, this is per person. I wonder how that will be enforced since it would be impossible to tell how many people get out of a car.

More details here https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/dbnf/home/?cid=fseprd612125
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd631177.pdf

Hopefully this would help pay for more ranger visits on the trails. I've only seen 1 official person on the trails in all the times I have been to the gorge.

what do you all think?
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shaman

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Re: Proposed Fee Increases
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2019, 06:59:53 PM »

It looks like DBNF is considering increasing fees all over the forest including RRG.

Koomer Ridge camping going up to $15/night
Backcountry camping moving to a per person fee of $5 for 1 night and $10 for 2 - 5 nights (kids free). Again, this is per person. I wonder how that will be enforced since it would be impossible to tell how many people get out of a car.

More details here https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/dbnf/home/?cid=fseprd612125
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd631177.pdf

Hopefully this would help pay for more ranger visits on the trails. I've only seen 1 official person on the trails in all the times I have been to the gorge.

what do you all think?

I would hope it would put more rangers on the trail, and do more to fund enforcement (trash, mangling trees, graffiti, illegal campFIRES!) In the 44 years I have been hiking and camping in the Gorge, I have seen only one ranger. Actually saw him a few times, out on the trails. Mr. Don Fig. In his service in the Gorge during the 70's and 80's he searched for and rescued over 1,400 people and animals in the area. This was long before cell phones and the admirable Powell County SAR (PoCoSAR).
He has even written a book: "Tales of the Red River Gorge"
The only rangers I have seen in the Gorge recently have been indoors working the sales counter and information desk at the Gladie Visitor Center. Not that there's anything wrong with that... but it appears to be an "insulated" style of rangering. (I tend to get some weird looks with my hair all matted, me smelling like sweat with my muddy boots and legs and arms covered with bug bites, whenever I step inside that climate controlled building)
The whole scenario seems to be more in line with selling and making a profit than actually protecting the forest. But who am I to say what's good for the National Forests that WE own and fund through taxes? All I do is hike, pick up others' trash and take pictures. And thank the forest just for being.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2019, 11:53:49 AM by shaman »
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genes

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Re: Proposed Fee Increases
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2019, 08:21:53 PM »

Amen, brother.
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Gene

wsp_scott

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Re: Proposed Fee Increases
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2019, 09:39:22 PM »

"All I do is hike, pick up others' trash and take pictures. And thank the forest just for being."

I haven't been hiking as long as you have, but this pretty much describes my average day in the gorge :)

Speaking of weird looks, I hiked the road between Bison Way trailhead and where the Osborne Bend Trail hits 715, I stopped into to Gladie to report some downed trees on the Sheltowee Trace and got really weird looks from the young guy at the desk. I don't think he was used to hikers or that he had spent much time on the trails. But, he pulled out a map and I showed him where to send a crew and he wrote it down, haven't been back to see if it got cleared :)
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Mark W

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Re: Proposed Fee Increases
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2019, 02:20:32 PM »

I think is a great move. "Backcountry" camping in the RRG has such an enormous impact and I welcome any steps taken to manage its impacts (in this case, I'm assuming the fees will be used to rehabilitate campsites, enforce regulations, etc.).

I also expect that perhaps this increased fee will discourage the more "casual" campers (who often have the most impact -- I'm thinking the people who trash the campsites along Chimney Top Road, Indian Creek, etc.) from their current mode of "drag everything from the car barely 300 feet off trail" and have them go to established campgrounds instead, which is really the type of camping they are wanting to do. Why the RRG has only a single campground when here is so much demand for camping is beyond me. It would make so much sense for there to be actual campgrounds along Chimney Top Road and Tunnel Ridge to concentrate the use and impact and give people more options.

I am hoping that eventually there will be a limited number of permits issued and that backcountry camping in the RRG can finally be brought under control. I think designated campsites is the way to go, unfortunately. Can you imagine how nice it would be to hike for a few miles in the RRG and not see a fire ring and trashed campsites? I don't think I was ever able to go more than 2 miles in the RRG without bumping into that. I became numb to it after a while, but once I hiked and backpacked other places I realized just how bad the situation was in the RRG.
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Bazinga

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Re: Proposed Fee Increases
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2012, 05:41:46 AM »

The last few visits we were exploring below Chimney Top road.  Halfway up the hill there was an abandoned campsite complete with a flattened tent, leaking coolers & broken chairs.   >:(
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ShifuCareaga

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Re: Proposed Fee Increases
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2019, 02:01:56 AM »

outside of RRG, I don't see how this will ever be enforced. There are like no rangers in the DBNF on any trip I have ever been on.
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shaman

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Re: Proposed Fee Increases
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2019, 11:51:31 AM »

outside of RRG, I don't see how this will ever be enforced. There are like no rangers in the DBNF on any trip I have ever been on.

I agree.
Like I mentioned in my post above, I saw Don Fig on quite a few occasions back in the early 80's (on the trails or driving the back roads) and at the time he was the only ranger posted in this part of DBNF. I even saw him at Fitchburg Furnace in Estill County not far from where I now live. He didn't spend all day in a building, selling stuff. I assume he mostly worked out of his truck and possibly sometimes at the headquarters in Winchester when he had to do paperwork. He enjoyed getting outside. Which would be the main reason to become a forest ranger... in my warped way of thinking.

The visitor center at Gladie is nice, but it seems to appeal to the more touristy types, not real hikers or backpackers. I do purchase maps there, and love to pick up their mountain dulcimers and play Amazing Grace. 8)

« Last Edit: June 07, 2019, 11:55:36 AM by shaman »
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Smoovoperator

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Re: Proposed Fee Increases
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2019, 10:27:47 PM »

As others have said, I do not entirely mind the increases. But, I hope the funds are used to put more rangers on trail, and for trail maintenance and clean up. We all know how much trash is all over the place, and how overused the backcountry sites are used.
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