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  #21  
Old 10-07-2013, 04:00 PM
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The vandalism argument is something I hadn't considered. That's a valid point. The NPS budget was $3 billion last year, which represents 0.1% of the whole Federal government. But it's something that carries more impact than its budget would suggest. Of all the things to fight over, something that costs each taxpayer something like $20 annually. If it was up to me I'd spin it off, increase the price of our annual pass that $20 and run it quasi (or maybe even fully) independent of the Federal government. Maybe let the state park departments where the parks are located run them, they'd be closer in touch with local issues anyway.
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Old 10-07-2013, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveInDenver View Post
If it was up to me I'd spin it off, increase the price of our annual pass that $20 and run it quasi (or maybe even fully) independent of the Federal government. Maybe let the state park departments where the parks are located run them, they'd be closer in touch with local issues anyway.
^^^this
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  #23  
Old 10-07-2013, 04:08 PM
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Isaac, the USFS doesn't have funding, but does that mean the forests are closed?

I am not advocating that anything be vandalized and I certainly appreciate the pricelessness of these places, but it seems to me that we fund the NPS for maintenance of the parks and for manning visitor centers etc., not just for the privilege of accessing them. Maybe I don't understand (because I haven't read) the statute establishing national parks?
My understanding is, and this could be incorrect, (the website on this info was a .gov site and therefore is non-operational) that National Parks are a different classification of federal land than forests. Forests have all sorts of caveats: people can claim land on them (mining usually), you can cut wood, graze cattle, you can primitive camp, etc.... BLM has its own set of things. National Parks are the highest of the high for public access (obviously military installations would be even higher). Hence all of further restrictions.

I am, a little bit, playing devils advocate here. But only slightly. I agree with Jeremy that if we are paying staff to be there, at least SOME of the areas could be open, one would think. Obviously not visitors centers or any of the guided things, or camp grounds but you could drive through.

On the other hand, I think that things like the national parks closing helps drive home the fact that the federal system is not entirely bad. They do provide really great services, that perhaps we all take for granted. The reality is, we have a completely idiotic and dysfunctional congress. I think it is important to separate those dip****s from the millions of hardworking, dedicated individuals who work in the federal system, like Park Rangers.

Anyway, to summarize, I think the National Parks are closed while the USFS system is not because of the higher grade of protection that National Parks are required to have.
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  #24  
Old 10-07-2013, 04:11 PM
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And FWIW, a regular annual pass (the American The Beautiful pass) is $80 already, so $100 to have it separate from all this nonsense is fine by me. Roll it into one with our state parks pass, which is $50, and maybe the CoSARS card would be sweet. Just one thing to renew annually.

BTW, they went out of their way to shut off the website. Other shutdown units, like JPL, just put a note up on their site that says it won't be maintained during the shutdown but all the existing information was left.

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/

"Federal Government Shutdown
Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not being updated. We also cannot respond to comments/questions. We sincerely regret this inconvenience."
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Old 10-07-2013, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveInDenver View Post
The vandalism argument is something I hadn't considered. That's a valid point. The NPS budget was $3 billion last year, which represents 0.1% of the whole Federal government. But it's something that carries more impact than its budget would suggest. Of all the things to fight over, something that costs each taxpayer something like $20 annually. If it was up to me I'd spin it off, increase the price of our annual pass that $20 and run it quasi (or maybe even fully) independent of the Federal government. Maybe let the state park departments where the parks are located run them, they'd be closer in touch with local issues anyway.
Perhaps. But see my comment above. The parks are generally run pretty well.

I certainly don't want to see them go private, and I will give you a personal example of why.

My wife's grandfather is handicapped. We took him out to Point Loma in San Diego, which is an NPS run site. The place was pretty packed. Not terrible, but decently busy. There were two rangers on duty at the visitors center, and one that we saw up at the light house. One of the Rangers made a point to come over, and talk to her grandfather, and provided us with a wheel chair (he uses a walker but was having difficulty navigating the pathway's. He then gave us a pass to drive him up a restricted road so that he could visit the lighthouse without having to hike him up a steep hill. We saw the same treatment for other disabled folks. All for the 5 dollar entrance price and the 20 bucks per year we pay.

We then went to the Hotel del Corronado. Also a historical site, but privately owned. Addmission was 25 dollars, and then we had to go find, rent, and return with a wheel chair (another 25 bucks) and argue over our use of a handicapped space (despite our placard) with the parking attendant. All of the service was rude and in some cases, IMO, disrespectful (though I was pissed off so it may have been just rude).

I think there are many areas where privatizing gov't run programs makes at least some sense, but the parks are not one of them. (I realize you were not advocating this Dave, just putting the argument out there). Bringing them to State level, that is a different story, and perhaps a blending of the two might make some sense, not sure.

Sorry for the rants, but I REALLY like the National Parks
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  #26  
Old 10-07-2013, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveInDenver View Post
If it was up to me I'd spin it off, increase the price of our annual pass that $20 and run it quasi (or maybe even fully) independent of the Federal government. Maybe let the state park departments where the parks are located run them, they'd be closer in touch with local issues anyway.
You mean like Amtrak LOL
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Old 10-07-2013, 04:40 PM
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:10 PM
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Many of the lodges and concessions in the national parks are already contracted to private businesses but still closed. We were scheduled to visit Yosemite last week but had to change plans due to the shutdown.
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  #29  
Old 10-07-2013, 08:22 PM
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You mean like Amtrak LOL
And the Postal Service.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:51 AM
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Crossing the Dirty Devil. That's the road on the other side. 10' up the embankment.

Second photo is Ben and I stuck in knee deep quicksand. We crossed Muddy Creek with no real issue, but in our attempt to find the road at 7am we headed across what looked like a sandy wash.
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