Friday, December 04, 2009

Forest Service Trying to Reduce Senior/Access Pass Holder Discounts

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 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 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?


Blogger Suzi Dow said...

Sorry to see no comments have been left - yet. FYI_concessionaires have been pushing this idea for years. BTW, the REA language, which is being used to justify the 50% to 10% reduction, exempts the Park Service from a lot of the "stuff" the other public land agencies are required to apply. Did you read what is part of the justification for reduction discount? It's because there are too many seniors camping!!!! And that is why the concessionaires are changing $24 and more for campsites - to make up for the loss revenue! OMG is that greed or what!!! Enough ranting. We must be calm and logical when engaging idiots.

Monday, December 07, 2009  
Blogger Earl and Linda said...

Thank you for your comments, Suzi.

For those of you who don't know, Suzi and her husband, Fred, have an excellent website on USFS campgrounds, . Their website includes not only information on our National Forests and campgrounds, but also information on national grasslands.

Monday, December 07, 2009  
Blogger Dennis said...

Earl & Linda, Hello. I have followed your comments on the LWALD web-site as well as Escapee's from time to time. First time I have been to your blog.
Just a question regarding the LD website and it's moderators. I posted several comments about the concessionaires fee hikes at FS campgrounds. They were there, and now they are not. Pretty sure my comments are not the only ones which were deleted. Strange that the comments that agreed with Andy and Bumper were not deleted. My comments were political but not overtly so, I don't believe. Is this typical, in your experience that comments that the moderators don't agree with are deleted?
By the way, I am a 61 yr old disabled person, and I am really upset about the fee hikes! I've had my access pass for a little over a year now. Was looking forward to using it in the future. I've already sent e-mails to USFS In protest besides my comments on LWALD. Appreciate your views on this. Dennis

Saturday, December 12, 2009  
Blogger Earl and Linda said...

Dennis, I think Andy answered your question as to why all of the posts on this subject were deleted.

Saturday, December 12, 2009  

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