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 > Sad state of national parks and public lands.

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cptqueeg

Idaho

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Posted: 06/07/20 12:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

azdryheat wrote:

With millions of visitors to our national parks it's hard to believe we can't turn a profit. Actually it is very believable because our government bureaucrats only know how to spend, spend, spend. Make a buck? Forget it. Give the parks over to private management and watch them flourish. Maybe we could even get RV areas large enuf for big rigs.


Nobody said they weren't making a profit. As I explained the revenue goes to the general fund and then it's appropriated back or NOT to the USFS to run the NF system, the BLM for BLM lands, and NP Service for the Parks.

Yosemite Sam1

Under the pines.

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Posted: 06/07/20 12:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

cptqueeg wrote:

azdryheat wrote:

With millions of visitors to our national parks it's hard to believe we can't turn a profit. Actually it is very believable because our government bureaucrats only know how to spend, spend, spend. Make a buck? Forget it. Give the parks over to private management and watch them flourish. Maybe we could even get RV areas large enuf for big rigs.


Nobody said they weren't making a profit. As I explained the revenue goes to the general fund and then it's appropriated back or NOT to the USFS to run the NF system, the BLM for BLM lands, and NP Service for the Parks.


True dat!

And with the increased revenues out of public lands (except the Bundys of this country who refused to pay up for their grazing lands), the federal governments are squeezing them of fund through decreasing budget allocations.

That's killing the goose that lays the golden egg as visitors and tourists sees the unmaintained and dilapidated facilities.

Last year in Yosemite, one campground that I used to stay, has broken tables and unmaintained eroded roadway where several campsite cannot be used. This is another situation I saw in Olympic National Forest.

One of the programs that I am seeing less and less are those academic and scientist rangers giving visitors, specially the youth, presentations about the ecology, geology and rare wildlife of the specific parks.

dave54

Northeast CA.

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Posted: 06/07/20 02:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The National Parks do not show a profit from entrance fees. The total collected for FY2020 is projected to be $312 million. The total NPS budget for FY2020 is $3.5 billion. So the entrance fees reflect less than 10% of the budget.

Of the 419 units of the National Park System, only 109 charge entrance fees. 80% of the fees collected are retained by the individual Park (100% if the unit collects less than $500,000). The other 20% is pooled and distributed to the Parks that do not collect entrance fees. Under current law, none of the fees are returned to the Treasury. The fees can only be spent on capital improvements. It cannot go to salaries or routine operations.

However... this got no media ink. In 2019 the Trump Administration changed the accounting rules for the fund. Previously, the fees could not be spent on salaries under any circumstances. This is why in the last government budget shutdown the Parks were closed even though there were hundreds of millions of dollars available in the fund. The Trump administration changed changed the rule so in the even of a future budget impasse, the NPS may borrow against the fund to keep the Parks open, and repay the fund when the impasse ends and general funds are available. The old rule was part of Al Gore's 'Reforming Government' initiative in the 1990s.


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So many campsites, so little time...
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cptqueeg

Idaho

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Posted: 06/07/20 07:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dave54 wrote:

The National Parks do not show a profit from entrance fees. The total collected for FY2020 is projected to be $312 million. The total NPS budget for FY2020 is $3.5 billion. So the entrance fees reflect less than 10% of the budget.

Of the 419 units of the National Park System, only 109 charge entrance fees. 80% of the fees collected are retained by the individual Park (100% if the unit collects less than $500,000). The other 20% is pooled and distributed to the Parks that do not collect entrance fees. Under current law, none of the fees are returned to the Treasury. The fees can only be spent on capital improvements. It cannot go to salaries or routine operations.

However... this got no media ink. In 2019 the Trump Administration changed the accounting rules for the fund. Previously, the fees could not be spent on salaries under any circumstances. This is why in the last government budget shutdown the Parks were closed even though there were hundreds of millions of dollars available in the fund. The Trump administration changed changed the rule so in the even of a future budget impasse, the NPS may borrow against the fund to keep the Parks open, and repay the fund when the impasse ends and general funds are available. The old rule was part of Al Gore's 'Reforming Government' initiative in the 1990s.


Thanks for correcting me on NPS. The NPS also generates another billion from concessions as well. 80% stays in the Park that it's generated in and the other 20% goes to other parks.

ppine

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Posted: 06/08/20 08:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

National Parks have been chronically under funded for years. It has happened just like the rest of the infrastructure in the US. US Dept of the Interior.

Timber receipts go to the National Forest, part of the USFS and Dept of Agriculture. A portion of them stay on the Forest and the rest go to the National Treasury.

Logging has been greatly reduced in the last 30 years due to environmental law suits and complications with the National Environmental Policy Act. Less money has been available to Forests and local communities as a result.

Support logging and thinning to create fire resilience and help fund facilities on National Forests. Our forests suffer from neglect.

,

jesseannie

Roseburg, OR

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Posted: 06/08/20 09:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

cptqueeg wrote:

profdant139 wrote:

cptqueeg, it is interesting that you should say "enjoy it before it goes up in smoke." When we were in Idaho a couple of years ago, that is exactly what the ranger said to us -- the bark beetle was spreading, and the forests were on borrowed time.

Someday the forests will recover, long after I am gone.


The mtn pine bark beetle which attacks mainly lodgepole pines is now no longer limited by elevation because winter temps have moderated (both low temps and the length of time at low temps) so it's attacking limber pine in the alpine zone which is now a threatened species.

There are many other bugs out there working away on all the other species of trees as well. Limited moisture puts stress on trees and they are no longer able to repel attacks from bugs. The dying and dead trees then are prime fuel for fires.

When I was on fire crews here in central Idaho way back before the turn of century we called the forests the asbestos forest. That is no longer the case as virtually the entire region has been burned over in the last 20 years.

While some foresters wanted to start cutting way back when timid managers and an others kept that from happening. It surely would have looked different than it was, but folks couldn't accept the inevitable. Things are never going to remain the same and I doubt the forest in Central Idaho will ever be anything like what it once was.


Did you see Yellowstone Forever closed up could not naked financially. Too bad!

cptqueeg

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Posted: 06/08/20 09:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Update from Yellowstone Forever

June 6, 2020



Yellowstone Forever (YF), like many organizations around the country, has been severely impacted by the pandemic. We are restructuring YF in order to focus on our mission—supporting Yellowstone National Park through financial contributions—and to ensure the long-term viability of our nonprofit organization so that we can maintain the trust and support of our many supporters and donors.

As part of this restructuring, the board of directors and the acting president & CEO have decided to reduce the number of full-time employees and to suspend the work of the YF Institute. This decision was extremely difficult because it impacts dedicated and expert professionals who care deeply about Yellowstone National Park and who have been equally committed to YF and its mission.

We believe in the mission of the Institute, but current circumstances prevent us from opening this year and likely next year.

Without taking both of these steps, YF could not survive. YF will continue to take steps to reduce operational costs in order to maximize fundraising. With this new, leaner structure, YF will be focused on projects designed to raise money for direct contribution to the park.

Yellowstone National Park fully understands and supports this restructuring plan and believes that it will help make YF become a stronger partner moving forward.

Yosemite Sam1

Under the pines.

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Posted: 06/08/20 12:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nothing political, just data and info, the current administration cut National Park's budget by 13% where they are saying that they are already behind in repairs and maintenance -- something that obvious and we are seeing.

And of course, by logic, if you are behind in those areas, how can you even do improvements?

ppine

Northern Nevada

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Posted: 06/09/20 08:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is a lot of folklore and misinformation regarding forestry, especially in National Parks. Yellowstone was the first national park in the world, and has been protected since the 1870s. No logging, no hunting, no grazing and plenty of fire suppression. Lodgepole pine is the main species on the Plateau which is a fire adapted species. It readily reseeds after fires.

All of that protection and no logging has created overstocked dense stands of lodgepole pine ripe for fires. We saw it in 1988 when 2/3 of the Park burned and the NPS did little to stop it during the driest summer in a century. Overstocked stands of lodgepole are subject to insect outbreaks, especially during dry years. The insects readily spread from tree to tree, which have little defense in dry years with too many trees per acre. Slightly warming temperatures, 1.5 degrees C on average, have little to do with the spread of insects in a part of the coutnry that is -40 degrees F in the winter.

Problems with the forests in the Park are a direct result of fire suppression for over 100 years and the elimination of logging as a management tool. The NPS has done a poor job of wildfire management historically. Now they are starting to understand the role of fire in managing lodgepole pine.

cptqueeg

Idaho

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Posted: 06/09/20 09:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ggl Great America Outdoors Act.

In a effort to conserve the R senate majority this bill is likely to pass. Along w money to purchase land for preservation it also allocates $9.5B over 5 years for the backlog of work in the NPs.

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