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tgtaylor
25-Nov-2017, 12:59
From a trip I made a couple of months back, big changes are in the works for Yosemite. For starters the Camp 4 parking area has been repaved with asphalt and the rutted front area filled in with a rock surface eliminating all the ruts that have been there for years. Yosemite Village food court is closed for remodeling with a temporary food court set-up in the conference center. It doesn't have the selection of the former and the prices are higher (for example the bowl of Chile was $6.95 IIRC) but at least you can get your morning coffee. A new and much larger curb along Northside Drive is being installed. I exited the park the day before they were to pave the Camp 4 parking area so it, and probably the Northside Drive curb are completed.

Thomas

xkaes
25-Nov-2017, 13:21
Enjoy what they offer while you can. The current proposal is to raise the DAILY admission fee from $20 to $70. That should solve all the problems you have mentioned -- because you won't be able to afford to go there!

Leigh
25-Nov-2017, 13:34
They're doing that to dramatically reduce the visitor population.

Then they'll declare the parks no longer of interest.

That will justify selling large pieces of them to developers.

- Leigh

xkaes
25-Nov-2017, 13:49
A better -- and cheaper -- way to protect our National Parks would be to simply build a wall around each of them. That would have the added benefit of protecting the wildlife inside of them -- WIN-WIN!!!

John Kasaian
25-Nov-2017, 15:29
From a trip I made a couple of months back, big changes are in the works for Yosemite. For starters the Camp 4 parking area has been repaved with asphalt and the rutted front area filled in with a rock surface eliminating all the ruts that have been there for years. Yosemite Village food court is closed for remodeling with a temporary food court set-up in the conference center. It doesn't have the selection of the former and the prices are higher (for example the bowl of Chile was $6.95 IIRC) but at least you can get your morning coffee. A new and much larger curb along Northside Drive is being installed. I exited the park the day before they were to pave the Camp 4 parking area so it, and probably the Northside Drive curb are completed.

Thomas

What conference center?

tgtaylor
25-Nov-2017, 17:29
The rooms back of the Food Court (same side) before you get to the Mountain House. I saw them used in the past as meeting rooms reserved for different groups so assumed it was a "conference Center."

Just a reminder:

The National Park Service is proposing an entrance fee hike for 17 parks beginning in 2018 and are inviting public comments on their website until 22 December: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/documen...cumentID=83652 The Annual and Senior passes are not affected holders of the Senior Pass will still get 50% off campgrounds. However camping fees may also rise.

Thomas

John Kasaian
25-Nov-2017, 22:01
How much does the NPS plan to charge to access the Golden Gate National Recreation Area?

Michael Kadillak
26-Nov-2017, 18:44
Enjoy what they offer while you can. The current proposal is to raise the DAILY admission fee from $20 to $70. That should solve all the problems you have mentioned -- because you won't be able to afford to go there!

I absolutely agree it should fix the problem, but why stop there? Take it to $125 or use your annual parks pass. It is time the realities of park maintenance should be properly addressed. It will similarly fix the problem in Rocky Mountain National Park as well as many other parks around the country. It is time the people in attendance own a stake in preservation of the outdoor experience. If they cannot get on the bus then they are not deserving of entry. I am tired of the riff raft in parks that do not appreciate the responsibility of individual stewardship credos that are posted but rarely observed and what it takes to properly maintain these facilities.

Willie
26-Nov-2017, 19:27
I absolutely agree it should fix the problem, but why stop there? Take it to $125 or use your annual parks pass. It is time the realities of park maintenance should be properly addressed. It will similarly fix the problem in Rocky Mountain National Park as well as many other parks around the country. It is time the people in attendance own a stake in preservation of the outdoor experience. If they cannot get on the bus then they are not deserving of entry. I am tired of the riff raft in parks that do not appreciate the responsibility of individual stewardship credos that are posted but rarely observed and what it takes to properly maintain these facilities.

If they can't get on the bus they aren't deserving of entry?

The Parks are a US Treasure and many who visit are not able to afford $70, much less $125.

As for Park Maintenance when I worked as a Park Ranger years ago most of the fellow workers of any kind would never, ever stop and do anything that was not their personal job description. Small things were 'call maintenance' when a few minutes cleaning up rockfall, signs pushed over and the like would have taken care of the problem before it got bigger. Instead they would ignore it and let it get bigger.

I do not believe there should be any entrance fee for any US National Park nor for any State Parks. Taxpayers are already paying for them.

Michael Kadillak
26-Nov-2017, 20:27
If they can't get on the bus they aren't deserving of entry?

The Parks are a US Treasure and many who visit are not able to afford $70, much less $125.

As for Park Maintenance when I worked as a Park Ranger years ago most of the fellow workers of any kind would never, ever stop and do anything that was not their personal job description. Small things were 'call maintenance' when a few minutes cleaning up rockfall, signs pushed over and the like would have taken care of the problem before it got bigger. Instead they would ignore it and let it get bigger.

I do not believe there should be any entrance fee for any US National Park nor for any State Parks. Taxpayers are already paying for them.

Getting on the bus is a metaphor for respecting the treasures in the National Park System. The mentality of "we deserve entry" because we are a tax payer is an extension of the mentality of friggin entitlement where nobody feels a need to treat these parks with respect including the Park Rangers. It would take a country minute to weed these wannabes out of there. The increase in entry fees is the best way to solve the problem. The issues of congestion would quickly be resolved in short order. When you really want to go you figure a way to make it work. I think they should also level heavy fines for vandalism and violating the rules of the park as well.

Jim Fitzgerald
26-Nov-2017, 20:35
Yosemite to me is a very special place. I took some family members there for a day trip as this was all the time we had. I have a senior pass so the rates will not affect me. I donate regularly to the parks especially Yosemite. The entry fees must go up I agree. I encourage everyone to donate to the park system because their budget will be cut drastically. So when you go get coffee or spend money on things you really don't need consider how important the park system is. Send some money there way if you can.

Vaughn
26-Nov-2017, 21:07
The entrance fee for Redwood National Park is going up by a factor of 5. Fortunately the present fee is $0. Pretty amazing.

No reasonable increase in fees will take care of the maintenance backlog. That, and adequate stafting, is something that needs to be addressed in the US budget. The current entry fees are reasonable

Paul Kinzer
27-Nov-2017, 01:01
I agree that the Parks need to be funded, but as someone who does his best but does not have much income, and who has done as much as he can already to give to the Parks even when not there, I do not agree that large increases in entrance fees are the answer. These lands do belong to all of us, and all of us should pay for them, even if we never go to them. They will only be there for us if we ever do decide to visit them if we take care of them. If we never do go to them, our children or great-great grandchildren might. And if we don't have or want kids, we still owe it to the future to take care of them. The billions of dollars in backlogged maintenance costs are our responsibility. I live not too far above the poverty line, but would be willing to pay an extra $10-$25 per year in taxes to solve this problem. I'd find a way to get along without it. If everyone paid a fraction of that rate, based on their income, the Parks and other lands would not need fees, and I believe they shouldn't have them.

I also agree that people should be held accountable for any destruction they intentionally cause, or cause through wanton disregard for regulations. I work with kids, and I tell them that a one million dollar fine for littering would be okay with me. Littering is an act, and it can be avoided. I feel even more strongly about vandalism.

Willie
27-Nov-2017, 05:14
I agree that the Parks need to be funded, but as someone who does his best but does not have much income, and who has done as much as he can already to give to the Parks even when not there, I do not agree that large increases in entrance fees are the answer. These lands do belong to all of us, and all of us should pay for them, even if we never go to them. They will only be there for us if we ever do decide to visit them if we take care of them. If we never do go to them, our children or great-great grandchildren might. And if we don't have or want kids, we still owe it to the future to take care of them. The billions of dollars in backlogged maintenance costs are our responsibility. I live not too far above the poverty line, but would be willing to pay an extra $10-$25 per year in taxes to solve this problem. I'd find a way to get along without it. If everyone paid a fraction of that rate, based on their income, the Parks and other lands would not need fees, and I believe they shouldn't have them.

I also agree that people should be held accountable for any destruction they intentionally cause, or cause through wanton disregard for regulations. I work with kids, and I tell them that a one million dollar fine for littering would be okay with me. Littering is an act, and it can be avoided. I feel even more strongly about vandalism.

Sounds just fine - IF you start with cigarette butts.

Randy Moe
27-Nov-2017, 05:45
Perhaps we need to change. Visitors to Parks can easily make them better.

1980 I arrived in Eugene Oregon by motorbike with little money. I was sick with fever. Had been on the road for months in winter. My friends took me in and cooked me a fantastic Vegan meal. I was far from being Vegan and still am not. I slept but was awakened by them hours before dawn. We drove for an hour or so then hiked into a deep woods. They said nothing. Before the hike, they insisted I and they stuff garbage bags in our pockets. At predawn in mist we found a hot spring and a cold spring with a log mixing pool. Not a tourist site but obviously well known. It was covered with beer cans and cigarette butts. First we got naked and soaked in the glorious pool. Then cleaned the area spotless. We needed those bags. Many bags.

When done we lingered. Then a family approached our naked asses. We dressed, gathered our loot and left the site to them.

No fees. No Rangers. No fences. Barely a path. No flash lites.

My fever had broken and I was well.

I sold my Triumph to them, found a ride to San Diego on a piece of paper in a shop and left. Then the story got better.

xkaes
27-Nov-2017, 07:45
Nearly every city and large town in America has at least one park. My little town of Sheridan has half a dozen. They are free for everyone to use -- but only the taxpaying residents of Sheridan pay for their upkeep. Sure, a few jerks misuse them sometimes, but I'm sure I'll never hear anyone suggest we try to charge a fee. It comes out of our City taxes -- 100%.

If we believe our National Parks are treasures, we should fully fund them through taxes, including enough funds to conserve and protect them. Many places inside and outside of National Parks limit access to areas -- in various ways -- to preserve them, but charging admission restricts people who have already paid taxes for the Parks, and then have to pay more!

Thad Gerheim
27-Nov-2017, 09:08
Riff raff? Its those 30 foot motorhomes chugging along at 15 miles an hour in the middle of the road at 4 miles to the gallon of gas. And then the people sit inside at the campgrounds with their generators running. Maybe, they should charge by a persons carbon footprint! I think the problem lies more with the park administration like with the forest service- too many chiefs and specialists and not enough boots on the ground.

xkaes
27-Nov-2017, 10:40
not enough boots on the ground.

If the FED adequately funded the Parks and Forests, etc. there would be more "boots on the ground". When I'm 20 miles from the nearest trailhead and find a landfill full of empty beer cans and lawn chairs hauled in on horseback, how can a management deal with it? How can they even find it? I once turned in a group of hunters years ago at Bandalier National Monument where hunting is illegal -- and CLEARLY posted. My friend and I saw them kill a herd of 20 wild burros. Hunters? Not really. Murderers. We were many miles from the nearest Ranger Station -- and unarmed. Get real. Quadrupling entrance fees won't come close to paying for the needs of the Parks, Monuments, Forests, Refuges, etc.

FYI, the bastards copped a plea deal in Albuquerque Federal Court.

Drew Wiley
27-Nov-2017, 21:53
The State of California is suing the NPS to prevent fees so high they effectively exclude people from lower incomes (who also pay taxes). Besides, for just ten bucks more ($80), they can buy an annual pass to the whole NPS system. I have a lifetime Geezer pass. I spent two weeks in Yos high country a year ago and never saw anyone else (other than my backpacking companion) for an entire week of it. In fact, for a significant part of the trip, no sign of a trail or fire pit or even route marking blaze or "duck". No signs of human presence at all except chips of obsidian from ancient bighorn sheep hunters. There are a lot of places like that in the Sierra, and can be even more stunning than Yos Valley itself. No, you can't drive to those kinds of places. But the simple fact is that Yos Valley is one of the main cash cows for the entire Park system - hence it's a smoggy smokey theme park in summer. I don't see that changing.

Paul Kinzer
27-Nov-2017, 21:54
It's encouraging to see that others feel passionate about this. I don't know that that will solve the problem, but I appreciate reading folks' thoughts on this. To me, this is another example of a problem where we know the solution, and it's sound and not particularly difficult. It just doesn't happen because not enough people care enough to implement it.

John Kasaian
28-Nov-2017, 07:35
Yosemite Valley at it's worse is on those stupid free admission days. Gridlock City. Garbage everywhere. Mobs of guests crowding the "Ahwannee" of public latrines at the base of Yosemite Falls. No room on the trams and no parking spaces, gridlock even on the pedestrian foot paths so if you thought you were been smart by taking YARTS up, it's still a pita---even worse than a typical July or August week end. If it weren't a free admission day when the public demands enterance, the rangers would have likely closed the gates by 10:00AM.
Get out of the Valley of course, and all's well.

That said, the parks are ours and I agree that we shouldn't be charged for using our own property--in many National Parks like Golden Gate, Redwood, Olympic etc...we aren't.
I must end this because I'll waddle into politics, which isn't allowed.

Big changes coming in Yosemite? Read up on the History of Yosemite Valley and you'll see big changes have been coming (and going) with regularity for the past 150 years!

Some of my fondest memories are from the 1950's Yosemite Valley, a very different Yosemite Valley than today's and a Yosemite Valley which as been illegal for the past half century. But the domes and falls and meadows and cliffs and Merced remain constants.

My advice for anyone wanting to enjoy Yosemite Valley is go off season---Spring, Winter or Autumn. Yes it gets cold in the Winter, the mosquitoes are especially hungry in the Spring, and most of the concessions close for the season in Autumn but IMHO that's a small price to pay for all that grandeur.

Vaughn
28-Nov-2017, 12:10
I was in Yosemite during the Veterans Weekend free days (camping in Upper Pines) this month. Absolutely no problems...but then I spent each day at the Ansel Adams Gallery taking an incredible workshop on gum-over-platinum from Kerik Kouklis...no one around in the early mornings and it was getting dark by the time we were through each day. I would show the results, but we used digital (inkjet) negatives and mine were sourced from a digital camera...a first for me! And while not the last, it will be rare!

Mid to late February! Short days but a great time/light -- as is the week before Memorial Day Weekend. I was in the Park one Memorial Day Weekend many years ago. They were turning people away at the enterances, but because the Glacier Point road was still closed, I backpacked (w/ 4x5 and a Rollie, and a friend) from the Wawona Tunnel to Glacier Point over 4 days. We saw a few people the first and last days -- but looking down into the Valley, it was bumper-to-bumper!

Took this image (16x20 print from 4x5 TMax100) when we camped to top of Sentinel Dome (how's this for one of the busiest weekends of the year for the Park?)

xkaes
28-Nov-2017, 13:14
Hanging Lake and Conundrum Hot Springs are two great examples from Colorado. No, neither are in National Parks, and no fees are charged to see them. But the National Forest Service has simply limited access so that they won't get trashed out -- actually, they already are. The solution is to allow free, but limited, access to our "high use" public lands (there are many ways to do that), and provide adequate funding to protect them.

It already common in many areas. Want a permit in the popular areas of Grand Canyon or Canyonlands? Expect to wait five years! No fee. They can and should do the same sort of thing all around.

Vaughn
28-Nov-2017, 17:19
I am glad I took many week to 11-day solo backpack trips in the Grand Canyon when I did --starting in 1977. Seeing people the first and then on the last day -- up to 9 days without seeing anyone in between...sweet. The trick back then was to plan on a couple dry camps when you got your permit -- only so many people were allowed to be in any one zone per day, each zone often associated with a watershed(s) -- with or without surface water. Being willing to carry enough and wisely use water to have a dry camp gave me a wider selections of areas to camp...99+% of the other hikers will not willingly have a dry camp. But usually water was available within a half-day's hike.

And I have to admit, being a seasonal wilderness ranger at the time (in CA) did help me get on-the-spot permits at the Park. It's been too many years now (25+ years)...don't think it would have much weight now...but it always gets me out of the lectures on wilderness ethics, bears, etc. when one signs the permit. Inside the Grand Canyon can be a garden mid-April and the hike got me in shape for my wilderness (May - Oct) Carried a 4x5 most the trips (Rollie on the first couple), but no images I am drawn to do anything with...a tough place to photograph beyond the obvious splendor.

I heard rumors that they (Grand Canyon) did not, or for awhile did not, allow backpackers to go solo...that would be a massive bummer for me. Almost as much as knowing I don't have the legs to do that kind of trip anymore!

Paul Kinzer
28-Nov-2017, 17:30
Hanging Lake and Conundrum Hot Springs are two great examples from Colorado. No, neither are in National Parks, and no fees are charged to see them. But the National Forest Service has simply limited access so that they won't get trashed out -- actually, they already are. The solution is to allow free, but limited, access to our "high use" public lands (there are many ways to do that), and provide adequate funding to protect them.

It already common in many areas. Want a permit in the popular areas of Grand Canyon or Canyonlands? Expect to wait five years! No fee. They can and should do the same sort of thing all around.

I agree with all of this, except maybe this bit: 'They can and should....' They should, but I don't know that they can. Do they have the the authority to do it, yet?

I also think that, if there were a limitation on visitors, lots of folks would not bother getting on the list, being impatient, so maybe the wait wouldn't be quite that long for those of us who'd be on it.

Places around the world are being loved to death, as the population grows -- and even more important, the population of people with the means to travel grows, too. With proper funding for crowd control and regulation enforcement, I know that some of these places can handle an amazing number of visitors each year, but lots of other places are too delicate to risk. But we haven't reached the point where we value these places enough to protect them.

Two23
28-Nov-2017, 18:18
Enjoy what they offer while you can. The current proposal is to raise the DAILY admission fee from $20 to $70. That should solve all the problems you have mentioned -- because you won't be able to afford to go there!


Well, let's think that through. Haven't been to Yosemite in about five years, but regularly go to Yellowstone. (Was in Mt Rainier & Olympic a few months ago.) I see a lot of $3,000 cameras with $5,000 lenses in these places. Travel to Yosemite for my wife & I would cost somewhere around $2,000 (plane & rental car). Hotels are what, another $150+ per night? Meals in NP lodges are running us about $30+ each. Wife & I each have ~$200 boots, and probably $150 in outdoor clothing, plus nice Osprey back packs. Most of the others we see at the NP are dressed about the same. I don't have a $3,000 camera or $5,000 lens, but the Nikon stuff I do have is not cheap either. What I'm getting at here is the park entrance fee is in the end about the cheapest part of the trip. I wonder if there could be some sort of alternative to an entrance fee though, such as maybe some hours of service to the park? I honestly wouldn't mind running a chain saw or Bobcat along a trail to help out.


Kent in SD

John Kasaian
28-Nov-2017, 20:35
Well, let's think that through. Haven't been to Yosemite in about five years, but regularly go to Yellowstone. (Was in Mt Rainier & Olympic a few months ago.) I see a lot of $3,000 cameras with $5,000 lenses in these places. Travel to Yosemite for my wife & I would cost somewhere around $2,000 (plane & rental car). Hotels are what, another $150+ per night? Meals in NP lodges are running us about $30+ each. Wife & I each have ~$200 boots, and probably $150 in outdoor clothing, plus nice Osprey back packs. Most of the others we see at the NP are dressed about the same. I don't have a $3,000 camera or $5,000 lens, but the Nikon stuff I do have is not cheap either. What I'm getting at here is the park entrance fee is in the end about the cheapest part of the trip. I wonder if there could be some sort of alternative to an entrance fee though, such as maybe some hours of service to the park? I honestly wouldn't mind running a chain saw or Bobcat along a trail to help out.


Kent in SD

There is! My Scouts did that several times but private parties are also welcome---entrance and campground fees are waived for participation in projects.
In past years several groups would join forces and descend on Tuolumne Meadows to pick up litter on a designated day.
Actually as crowded as Tuolumne Meadows gets, that's a sweet deal just to score a campsite!
Just send whatever park you want to visit an email and request a POC who can send you a calendar listing available projects.

Paul Kinzer
28-Nov-2017, 22:13
There is! My Scouts did that several times but private parties are also welcome---entrance and campground fees are waived for participation in projects.
In past years several groups would join forces and descend on Tuolumne Meadows to pick up litter on a designated day.
Actually as crowded as Tuolumne Meadows gets, that's a sweet deal just to score a campsite!
Just send whatever park you want to visit an email and request a POC who can send you a calendar listing available projects.

Cool!

Vaughn
28-Nov-2017, 22:51
Different crowd in the campgrounds. An interesting mix, to be sure! Huge RVs and trailers, lots of rental Rvs, a couple other VW camper vans, tents galore, christmas lights, solo campers and huge groups in 4 or 5 connected sites, large Sprinter vans driven by people in their late 20s/early 30s (possible DIY conversions), all night laughter from the old travel trailer, a Smart Car, white vans your mother warned you about, vintage teardrop trailers, and a bunch of people of various races, cultures and nationalities who had no clue about this thing called camping, but had a great time. My four nights were $52 total(1/2 price w/ Geezer Pass).

A Yosemite Valley motel room is $300+ a night.

xkaes
29-Nov-2017, 06:34
I agree with all of this, except maybe this bit: 'They can and should....' They should, but I don't know that they can. Do they have the the authority to do it, yet.

They have the authority. There #1 job is to protect the environment, and they know too well if they don't, they will be sued. I was Volunteer Coordinator for the State of Colorado for the Sierra Club for over a decade, and the Club -- there are many other similar groups -- has LOTS of young (and some old) Pro Bono attorneys who would love to get their name in the paper for protecting the Wilderness.

But the Parks, Forests, etc. can't do it unilaterally. They have to hold public hearing, produce studies on the costs/benefits, etc. before they do anything. The current public review period for raising National Parks fees was just extended by an extra month because of so much public input, for example. And here in Colorado, the Forest Service held many public hearings about the Hanging Lake and Conundrum Hots Springs problems. In those two instances, the areas are in such bad condition, most of the public is in strong support of the changes. Many businesses strongly oppose increased fees and/or limited access to Parks, Monuments, etc. because their livelihood depends on tourism, which obviously complicates the matter, but still, the #1 job is to protect the environment.

xkaes
29-Nov-2017, 06:44
What I'm getting at here is the park entrance fee is in the end about the cheapest part of the trip.

While not everyone drives a $100,000 RV and uses $5,000 cameras and stays at five star hotels, the current Admin has a new idea. The President is going to visit Bear Ears and Golden Stair Case/Escalante National Monuments today(?) in order to recommend making them substantially smaller. No public input allowed, but the Sierra Club already has plans to sue. That will take years, so there is still time for anyone to visit them. Both are incredible -- and there is no entrance fee or limited access!

Thad Gerheim
29-Nov-2017, 08:31
I wonder if there could be some sort of alternative to an entrance fee though, such as maybe some hours of service to the park? I honestly wouldn't mind running a chain saw or Bobcat along a trail to help out. Kent in SD

There are some great wilderness areas out there that are free and are doing a decent job on the limited budget they have. Thanks to volunteer groups like this one http://www.selwaybitterroot.org/getinvolved/ . I volunteered with them for a month to caretake a wilderness ranger station that is located 25 miles in from the trailhead. You wouldn't be running a chainsaw or Bobcat though, it's crosscut saws, shovels, and pulaskis.

I bumped into this guy at the gas station in Stanley Idaho awhile back, he is shooting film and has taken on a big project- https://www.publiclandsproject.com/index

xkaes
29-Nov-2017, 08:40
I bumped into this guy at the gas station in Stanley Idaho awhile back, he is shooting film and has taken on a big project- https://www.publiclandsproject.com/index

Great shots!!! Coincidentally enough, his first picture is of a waterfall in the Escalante!

stawastawa
29-Nov-2017, 17:41
... I honestly wouldn't mind running a chain saw or Bobcat along a trail to help out.
Kent in SD

I almost wonder if doing some helping out should be required in order to visit.

Helping out takes a lot of logistics and full staff though too. There are many things in the US that could use better staffing.

I agree there should be more federal/state taxes going into the parks.
I don't think admission should be raised.
I would be OK with a permit system, but would hope some areas could remain drop in. (I am not a huge fan of the online Permit system, but I guess it is somewhat better than the mail). ( I also don't like that it implies having staff in a call center miles away from the park to help make the system work).
I think fines for littering should be more strictly enforced. I would be all for counting all possessions of visitors and charging a fine if something doesn't make it out (done in some parks in Asia I believe?)

Free days should be no car days. a few shuttle buses and lots of bike chaos =)

~nicholas

John Kasaian
29-Nov-2017, 18:01
This thread is degenerating into elitist cacophony. The NPS mission statement encompasses far more than just protecting the environment and the park system has been expanded, rightly or wrongly, into other areas of interest. The personnel and resources required to take care of expansion is seldom realistically been taken into account when a new addition or new park is legislated into existence. I think this puts a terrible strain on the rest of the system when national park status is bestowed on public lands as some kind of reward.
When resources cannot be protected the NPS tends make it off limits so it becomes a park with no visitors, which is contrary to the NPS' mission statement.
The biggest losers, I feel, are the Native Americans. Much of the land rightfully belongs to them and was instrumental to their culture. Now chunks of it is an amusement park for Winnebagos and Prius (what is the plural of Prius anyway?)

I know of a military reservation South of Drew that is loaded with archeological treasures. There was serious talk among the higher ups of making that part of it a National Monument. Of course there was no money to do that and being on a live fire range would have required serious environmental clean up and infrastructure. Wiser minds prevailed and the sight is buried behind a security perimeter. If would be robbers are willing to dodge both live fire, unexploded artillery, and tanks, and the MPs, well that's what it would take to earn their ill gotten booty.

Ooops, I'm getting OT. Sorry 'bout that!

Randy Moe
29-Nov-2017, 18:01
Dome the cities. Ban all vehicles. Elon Musk can build high-speed tunnels and let people go in the middle of nowhere. Mandatory one month vacation until allowed back in the dome. Walk home.

Has anybody read, Divergent by VERONICA ROTH? I read the series, then found my grandchildern beat me to it. At least we could chat. Such good boys and almost old enough for the war.

xkaes
29-Nov-2017, 18:35
Ooops, I'm getting OT. Sorry 'bout that!

Not at all. You are just "degenerating into elitist cacophony".

There are lots of public lands loaded with unexploded ordinance. What in the world makes you think they could even try to do any "clean-up"? I know. You want a back country permit in the White Sands National Monument -- surrounded by the White Sands Missile Range? How about the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge (about the size of Connecticut) -- surrounded by the Goldwater Air Force Range. I could go on. The permits are free with no limits -- oh, except you have to sign a waiver saying you won't sue Uncle Sam if you happen to get blown to bits. But I can guarantee that you will be the only one to get the pictures!

Hey, now that's a novel way to drop public land use -- just drop in several thousand unexploded bombs! That's got to be cheaper than hiring more rangers!

Nodda Duma
29-Nov-2017, 20:18
This thread is degenerating into elitist cacophony. The NPS mission statement encompasses far more than just protecting the environment and the park system has been expanded, rightly or wrongly, into other areas of interest. The personnel and resources required to take care of expansion is seldom realistically been taken into account when a new addition or new park is legislated into existence. I think this puts a terrible strain on the rest of the system when national park status is bestowed on public lands as some kind of reward.
When resources cannot be protected the NPS tends make it off limits so it becomes a park with no visitors, which is contrary to the NPS' mission statement.
The biggest losers, I feel, are the Native Americans. Much of the land rightfully belongs to them and was instrumental to their culture. Now chunks of it is an amusement park for Winnebagos and Prius (what is the plural of Prius anyway?)

I know of a military reservation South of Drew that is loaded with archeological treasures. There was serious talk among the higher ups of making that part of it a National Monument. Of course there was no money to do that and being on a live fire range would have required serious environmental clean up and infrastructure. Wiser minds prevailed and the sight is buried behind a security perimeter. If would be robbers are willing to dodge both live fire, unexploded artillery, and tanks, and the MPs, well that's what it would take to earn their ill gotten booty.

Ooops, I'm getting OT. Sorry 'bout that!

I've seen some of those archaeological treasures, having worked at said test range. Being on a government test range with controlled access *and* (as long as I've known) having long been under the auspices of people who personally take Native American heritage seriously, those archaeological sites are as well-protected as any National Park.

And yes, the cleanup costs of that test range will ensure it stays that way for a long time.

John Kasaian
30-Nov-2017, 08:36
From a trip I made a couple of months back, big changes are in the works for Yosemite. For starters the Camp 4 parking area has been repaved with asphalt and the rutted front area filled in with a rock surface eliminating all the ruts that have been there for years. Yosemite Village food court is closed for remodeling with a temporary food court set-up in the conference center. It doesn't have the selection of the former and the prices are higher (for example the bowl of Chile was $6.95 IIRC) but at least you can get your morning coffee. A new and much larger curb along Northside Drive is being installed. I exited the park the day before they were to pave the Camp 4 parking area so it, and probably the Northside Drive curb are completed.

Thomas

Back on topic. Roads and parking are big issues in the Valley as this infrastructure as much to do with visitors being able to enjoy the park. I haven't been to the Valley in the past few months and the biggest disappointment I saw was that of the two one way lanes, only one was open to private vehicles,the second was restricted to trams and park vehicles. This doubled the traffic congestion. The past couple of visits our plan was to park the car and rely on trams, and make like infantry. We long ago gave up on bikes since the only times we've observed road ...uhhh... bike rage was in Yosemite Valley and it was ugly. The trams didn't run on schedule, any schedule (imagine the mortification of the German tourists?) And when a tram did appear, most times it was fully packed. Anyway, we spent what seemed to be most of the morning just hunting down a parking space. Even so, I totally agree that far too much land in the valley is consumed by parking. Hoofing it around the Valley is pleasant enough if you know where your going (we obviously did) It take awhile longer but I don't think one should be in a hurry in Yosemite unless a bear is chasing you.

Food too expensive? Bring a picnic or if you're camping anywhere other than Curry (or whatever it's called) cook your own. There are bear boxes, grills, and Colemans since campfires are often restricted. Even if you go to the restaurants, the food (and beer) is still cheaper than at a Giants game or the Fresno District Fair.

The big stinker is raising admission. I've got a geezer pass so while I'm not personally put out by it, it is troubling that it lessens the opportunity for many to visit the National Parks that do charge admission, while elitists could care less
"Give 'em a free admission day and let the unwashed petrify in their carbon fueled traffic jams" I can imagine someone saying over their martinis at the Awahnee bar.

Cutting down on vehicle traffic in the Summer season would go a long way towards providing a better experience for park visitors and likely lessen maintenance concerns to some extent as well. I recommend YARTs http://yarts.com/ if you must go to Yosemite Valley in the Summer.

Randy Moe
30-Nov-2017, 08:45
I like that Yarts plan. I will use it.

John Kasaian
30-Nov-2017, 09:04
I've seen some of those archaeological treasures, having worked at said test range. Being on a government test range with controlled access *and* (as long as I've known) having long been under the auspices of people who personally take Native American heritage seriously, those archaeological sites are as well-protected as any National Park.

And yes, the cleanup costs of that test range will ensure it stays that way for a long time.
One, maybe only advantage, to being adjunct faculty at a University is the possibility of gaining access, albeit guided access, to those sites for the purpose of photographic documentation.

Drew Wiley
30-Nov-2017, 18:12
I say, reintroduce grizzly bears, but first habituate them to picnic box snacks. That should help with the overcrowding.

Vaughn
30-Nov-2017, 21:15
I say, reintroduce grizzly bears, but first habituate them to picnic box snacks. That should help with the overcrowding.
Trained to love the smell of pepper...

Drew Wiley
1-Dec-2017, 09:30
And trained to consider a Winnebago as a mini-mart.

Kirk Gittings
1-Dec-2017, 12:05
They're doing that to dramatically reduce the visitor population.

Then they'll declare the parks no longer of interest.

That will justify selling large pieces of them to developers.

- Leigh

In our dystopian future, golf courses will be the "outdoors".

John Kasaian
1-Dec-2017, 14:43
FWIW, the Ahwahnee used to have a golf course. Been gone for quite a few decades IIRC.
That talus behind what used to be Camp Curry? That was another popular resort back in it's day.
Mother Nature was not amused and took it back--there are a few relics of the place if you know where to look, but the last time I was there the area was blocked off because of a rock fall so maybe those relics are buried.

xkaes
1-Dec-2017, 15:01
In our dystopian future, golf courses will be the "outdoors".

Sorry. You can dream about it. The Fitzsimon Military Golf Course in Denver, where Ike played -- as the Western White House -- will be bull-dozed next month. Why? More apartments. It's due to all the growth (AKA, more people). Several community groups oppose the plan, as they are currently doing for the Denver City Park Golf course, that is going to be bulldozed and turned into a water catchment pond so that more apartments can be built.

You want me to go on?

Golf courses won't be "outdoors", they will be "no more".

Jerry Bodine
1-Dec-2017, 16:04
Come to think of it, I haven't seen a miniature golf site in ages; maybe they're already gone. But I've not been looking for them either. And what about driving ranges?

John Kasaian
1-Dec-2017, 16:39
Come to think of it, I haven't seen a miniature golf site in ages; maybe they're already gone. But I've not been looking for them either. And what about driving ranges?

There is still one in Fresno. Lots of fun, too. We go a couple of times a year at night. It's more fun when the lights are on!

Jerry Bodine
1-Dec-2017, 16:55
..It's more fun when the lights are on!

I once met a man who was totally blind from an accident early in life. He said he had a significant advantage when playing with his buddies at night.

Drew Wiley
1-Dec-2017, 18:30
We're going to Mars anyway. Apparently, ruining just one planet is not enough. It will be expensive shipping all that Astroturf; but with the lower gravity, a golf ball will go further. I can think of certain developers I'd like to send to Mars (one-way tickets, of course).

stawastawa
1-Dec-2017, 19:20
Encouraging to hear that trams are were crowded, Maybe it will encourge haveing more trams... I wonder if you could drive a 15 passenger lyft around the valley... or short bus even... ^.^ might be worth it on just tips alone!

John Kasaian
2-Dec-2017, 07:57
I don't think a bowl of chili has ever been cheap in Yosemite Valley. But eating beans at altitude is never a good idea:rolleyes:

John Kasaian
2-Dec-2017, 11:02
Completely OT, but maybe photographs of surviving miniature golf courses would make an interesting subject for a portfolio?

tgtaylor
2-Dec-2017, 11:31
I don't think a bowl of chili has ever been cheap in Yosemite Valley. But eating beans at altitude is never a good idea:rolleyes:

When ARA took over concessions, the price dropped slightly to $4.50 per bowl and shot up to $6.50/6.95 during the remodeling. I hope it returns to the lower price when the main restaurant reopens. I didn't see the oatmeal bowl when I was there but I wasn't looking - just cruising through to take a quick look. I believe the oatmeal was priced the same as the chili and piled with raisins make for a nutritious and filling hot breakfast. It came with a small carton of milk too.

Thomas

Vaughn
2-Dec-2017, 11:32
California is still filled with them. Most are part of a larger corporate entertainment facility, but a new privately owned and designed mini-golf course just got built near Eureka (much from recycled mini-golf courses). Hayward still has its old one. There is one in the middle of Washington at Sun Lakes (Dry Falls State Park), but then there is a golf course, too. I am more interested in this part of the park (8x10 platinum print below).

When I gave workshops in Yosemite Valley I sometimes had my 3 boys with me. They used the shuttles to get around...quite nice. One or two of them would head over to the Ahwahnee in the early morning and would sneak juice, snacks, and coffee that was set out for the guests. Like little rats...glad I found out after the fact. Cheap breakfast, but I can just imagine getting kicked out of the Park in the middle of giving a workshop!

John Kasaian
2-Dec-2017, 14:19
A couple of Winters past I was at the Food Court at the Lodge and a bear ambled it and immediately approached one of the Chefs.
In perfect English the bear said:
"I would like a bowl.........................................................................of chili, please."
The trembling Chef asked "Why the huge pause?"
"Because I'm a bear." The bear replied.

Drew Wiley
2-Dec-2017, 19:40
Nobody can bear your jokes, John.

John Kasaian
3-Dec-2017, 07:57
Nobody can bear your jokes, John.

Unbearable, eh?

Vaughn
3-Dec-2017, 13:28
Strange things a bruin.

bloodhoundbob
3-Dec-2017, 14:50
Strange things a bruin.

John gives us pause.

Kirk Gittings
4-Dec-2017, 11:38
Sorry. You can dream about it. The Fitzsimon Military Golf Course in Denver, where Ike played -- as the Western White House -- will be bull-dozed next month. Why? More apartments. It's due to all the growth (AKA, more people). Several community groups oppose the plan, as they are currently doing for the Denver City Park Golf course, that is going to be bulldozed and turned into a water catchment pond so that more apartments can be built.

You want me to go on?

Golf courses won't be "outdoors", they will be "no more".

My too subtle attempt at presidential political humor missed you.