Thursday, August 22, 2002

A quote from that TAP article: ...[Derrick] Crandall's contention that "it's very logical to recover more of the expenses from an individual who is enjoying special services than from the taxpaying public at large," is hardly absurd. [Crandall is the head of a lobbying outfit called the American Recreation Coalition, which represents mechanized recreational equipment (e.g. RVs, motorboats) manufacturers.]

Actually it is absurd, because it makes an assumption that is not at all true. When you use public land for recreation, that is not enjoying 'special services', which is the purview of private enterprise. You are using the land that you paid for, that your tax dollars are being used (underused, actually) to maintain. To institute fees for use of public land is to privatize the land.

Drawback to this argument: National parks already charge fees. However, that's for road maintenance and things that really are special services like lodging and developed (not primitive) camping areas. For instance, Mammoth Cave NP in Kentucky, they charge for their lodge, developed camping areas, and cave tours. They do not charge for their backwoods camping areas (which I've done there thankyewverymuch - get to HQ for a free permit early), trailhead parking, ferries that cross the Green River, or boat launches. They also do not charge an entrance fee to the park itself. With fee demo, there would be charges for most of those activities.

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