Some background...I know most of our readers are well aware of the following, but for those of you who aren't:
There are currently two discount passes available from the government for federal recreation areas: 1)The Senior Pass
(the old Golden Age Passport) and 2) the Access Pass
(the old Golden Access Passport).
The Senior Pass is available for all U.S. citizens who are age 62 and older; the Access Pass is available to all U.S. citizens who are permanently disabled. These two passes allow free entrance to federal recreation areas that have an entrance fee (such as National Parks) and allows half-price on some Expanded Amenity Fees such as camping.
As an example, if a Pass holder were to visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, they could get in free instead of paying the $25 entrance fee, and at the non-concessionaire campgrounds, Mather and Desert View, instead of the full campground fee of $18 for Mather and $12 for Desert View, they would pay $9 and $6. (Trailer Village is a full service RV park run by a concessionaire, and they don't honor these two passes for half-price camping.)
The same is true at other federal recreation areas: If there's an entrance fee, pass holders don't pay it, and can camp for half-price.
Well, now the Forest Service has proposed that this 50% discount be reduced to 10% for all concessionaire-run campgrounds (and many, if not the majority, of USFS campgrounds are run by concessionaires). The entire proposal can be read at the above website.
You can see, I'm sure, where this is headed...if the USFS gets away with reducing camping fees (and other Extended Amenity Fees) from 50% to 10%, can the other federal agencies be far behind?
What's next...is the National Park Service going to quit honoring the passes for free entrance to their parks?
At the above website, there is a link to the Regulations.gov website where people can leave a comment...the direct link to the comment site for this proposed legislation can be found here
I hope everyone will take the time to leave a comment at this site and write, telephone, or email your U.S. Senators and Representatives to put a halt to these regulations!
I don't know who's idea this was, but I can say that they can't see the forest for the trees. If this proposal is passed, we...and many other campers...will not stay at these campgrounds. So, instead of receiving 50% of the camping fee, they will receive ZERO percent from us! Now, how is that a good thing?