Posted by Matt on April 04, 2003 at 10:51:59:
In Reply to: Re: permission posted by Nomad on April 03, 2003 at 23:06:32:
Some interesting discussion by some folks with very passionate views! I agree with Bodie, that fees do restrict access. I remember when the City of Detroit proposed fees for entering Belle Isle Park, and that was shot down for the same reason, that fees might keep some people from being able to enjoy a public park. I think the parks should be free for all to enjoy as well, and I wish our congress would allocate enough money for the parks to operate. Congress decided to shift a large part of the burden to users, as opposed to just providing public tax dollars. I think that is unfortunate, but that decision lies with your congressmen/women, not the NPS. And I also think that a park such as DV is different than a city park that someone might casually visit. Someone with a fancy SUV or truck who must make a significant effort to reach the park, can probably afford the $10 fee.
I don't agree with everything the NPS does, but I still pay my fee, just as I pay my taxes even though I don't agree with everything my government does. I just personally feel it is the right thing to do. DV does not have entrance stations, so it is easy to avoid paying if you choose not to. Indeed, you may visit and spend a great deal of time in the park, and never come anywhere near where you can pay the fee.
As for the rangers, there are unpleasant people in all walks of life (see previous posts) but I can honestly say I have never felt mistreated or abused by any one of them. For the most part, I have found them to be courteous, helpful people. I read the way some posters here attack the rangers, and wonder if it isn't the individual themselves causing the negative encounter. I would certainly not want to have to deal with "Only Losers" in the backcountry, or anywhere else, for that matter. When treated with respect and consideration, most people react in kind. If you read the NPS morning report, you can see the type of trouble they have to deal with on a regular basis. It seems like a tough job to me.
It costs over $20 for a family of four to go see a movie. $10 to spend some time in a National Park just doesn't seem to tough to swallow, to me.