SFR - Between a Rock and Hard Place

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by chief, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. That money wasn't "lost". The funds generated by the state parks was appropriated for the general fund to pass out for social programs. Now we have to pay for a discover pass to make up for the shortfall.

    I see Washington becoming the welfare state of the west.

  2. Realistically, this is already the case. You only need two passes to cover all public access in Washington: One state and one federal.

    Washington's Discover Pass covers all State Parks, DNR and WDFW lands for day use. $30 annually.

    Federal America the Beautiful covers all USFS, National Park Service, BLM and National Wildlife Refuge day-use NATION WIDE. $80 the Beautiful Pass Series.html

    Note that anyone aged 62 or older can get this pass for $10 and its good for the rest of their lives.
  3. Several comments......having run a fee program for a major federal agency for ten years prior to retirement.

    1) One pass. Forget it. We did spend time with all the Federal, state, and some local agencies trying to come up with one pass. Revenue sharing is the problem. Lots of effort for little gain. There were some passes that crossed lines, but they have disappeared over time. Vote with your checkbook. If you want the money to go the Forest Service, buy your pass there. The BLM, National Park Service, etc. That's my issue with the Discovery Pass I want MY MONEY to go to DNR not state parks.

    2) The public lands were never set up to make money or even be self-supporting on the recreation program. In my Forest Economics classes we determined the marginal log (the part of the tree that you left in the woods) since it wouldn't pay for its way out of the timber sale. For recreation, it was how much money do you want to lose??

    This is the elephant in the room nobody talks about. Recreation programs will never pay their own way!! They were not designed to do is a social good. Now we can make them pay their own way....see KOA's, etc. Is that what you want your public lands to look like??

    State Parks is going to go through round 3 soon.

    3) Government employees are bad businessmen. They let political pressures trump economics everytime. My viewpoint was that 40% of the campgrounds and probably over half the trail system needed to be closed. Not public access, just the facilities since they were little used. I retired rather than fight that battle.....the decision was made to close .01% of facilities. Nobody in the agency wanted to fight that battle with the public. So we end up with lots of bad, little used recreation sites instead of providing quality facilities that we could maintain.

    4) Eyeman and government costs. The issue is not tax revenues. It is tax breaks for large corporations in Washington state and health care and other social service costs. Yeah, I know corporations do NOT pay taxes only collect them, but in the case of Washington state it meant people like the Sultan of Brunai paid Washington state taxes. Large corporations are also very efficient at collecting taxes. Right now in Washington, the tax burden is on consumers and small business. Even with that tax revenues are at record highs.

    Health care and other social service costs. A friend that follows the state budget says that health care is where all the state money is going. Social service costs are difficult to we cut higher education, state parks and those type of programs instead. Have a discussion with YOUR legislator about YOUR priorities.

    5) Government regulation. Yes, the government regulates itself and spends lots of money on paperwork in the process. I had secured funding for a no-brainer move of a campground to protect fisheries. The studies and NEPA documents when completed took the ENTIRE campground construction money!! I ended up shifting funds just to get it built, since the permit would expire in about five years or so.

    Public land funding levels have not really changed that much over 40 years....but the money now is spend on studies instead of "real stuff".

    The good news is as the baby boom generation ages and dies, health care costs will fall. The bad news is that demand for public lands will also fall given current demographics. In 20 years, the issue will be keeping public lands in public ownership since very few people will care about them.

    Recreation is just one benefit of public lands. We really need to maintain public access to ALL public lands and keep them in public ownership.

    In the short run, it will be about fees. Soon the discussion will shift to "should we have public lands" since we cannot afford them. Get ready for that fight.
    Brett Angel likes this.
  4. Very true. I don't care if you are democrats or republicans, corporations should NOT be people and have outsized influence compared to the citizenry. Most of "our" corporations aren't even Americans in truth, that's why they are called MULTI-national. They avoid taxes by stashing money all over the globe, most recent example Apple, and some wiggle out of paying a dime in taxes, e.g. GE. Oh, and they collaborate with the government and snope on you too!

    As long as they get their way, by lobbying and most recently buying elections via super PACs and a million other loopholes, we the people will have to deal with less everything to balance priorities.
  5. This is really pretty damned simple to understand. Don't make it more complicated than it needs to be. And BTW *Note - If you are a disabled Vet receiving any benefits from the federal government for your service connected disability, you can get a free Federal lifetime access pass regardless of your age.

  6. Any person with a disability can get a Federal lifetime access pass.......and that includes children. As long as your kid is in the car with you!!!

    Great deal, for camping and visiting to very expensive National Parks.

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