Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Sad state of national parks and forests - II
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 > Sad state of national parks and forests - II

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Yosemite Sam1

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Posted: 06/17/21 09:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've less than 2 years ago reported here the sad state of our national parks and national forests after family camping in Yosemite, Redwood, Raiinier, Lassen Volcanic, Lake Tahoe... which I posit with a link of reduced budgets for our national parks.

Then with my ongoing coastal California sojourn, I can't help but compare this states' (state, country and city) immaculate toilet facilities and well maintained surroundings of their campgrounds -- even for a county that just recently declared bankruptcy and granting that these campgrounds must be getting a slice of the state's $74 billion surplus.

Politics aside as this will benefit us RVers, I just hope that the administration, since he said he will model FDR who build our public/national park system, restore and even increase to cover previous chronic shortfalls on the budget for these recreational resources in the infrastructure plans. As a Keynesian, I think this will also redound to a return to a booming economy as what happened under FDR.

* This post was edited 06/17/21 09:28am by Yosemite Sam1 *

rexlion

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Posted: 06/17/21 09:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Are you saying that, suddenly, the campgrounds are in far better shape than they were at your last report? Or am I misinterpreting?


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Yosemite Sam1

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Posted: 06/17/21 09:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't know where you got that (mis)intepretations, but I'm comparing national parks (still rundown) with CA campgrounds that both suffered budget reductions since the Great Recession.

valhalla360

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Posted: 06/17/21 11:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yosemite Sam1 wrote:

As a Keynesian, I think this will also redound to a return to a booming economy as what happened under FDR.


What booming economy are you speaking of? WWII turbo charged things but it was limping in a sad state before that. Not saying some of the projects weren't beneficial but they certainly didn't create a boom.

That said, I do hope we are on the verge of a boom and that funding of parks is set up more logically for long term maintenance.

Honestly, $80 for an annual pass (far less for old folks) is really too cheap for what you get. Bump that up a bit and mandate the dollars go right back into the parks and I bet you see a lot of improvements.

As I recall from this past winter, California state parks were pretty pricey, so not surprising if they could afford more maintenance.

Also, many of the depression era projects weren't set up for long term sustainability.


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Yosemite Sam1

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Posted: 06/17/21 12:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:


What booming economy are you speaking of? WWII turbo charged things but it was limping in a sad state before that. Not saying some of the projects weren't beneficial but they certainly didn't create a boom.

As I recall from this past winter, California state parks were pretty pricey, so not surprising if they could afford more maintenance.



I agree with you mostly except for these two:

This chart, and from non-partisan UK, shows chart indicating recovery from Economic Depression starting in the 2nd year of the FDR. WWII certainly helped.

The Great Depression

Keynesian pump priming, as the term already implies, is to pump-prime to spark economic activity and it's supposed to start a virtuos and vigorous economic cycle..

And yes, CA parks are pricey and we RVers should pay our pay share as I would assume that inspite of the pricey camping fees, the entire states' public park system is not making enough money to survive on it's fee alone (only 6 of the 279 parks in the state are making enough).

pnichols

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Posted: 06/17/21 12:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One thing that the CA state parks don't offer, in contrast to their good upkeep resulting from maybe access to more state money and higher campsite rates, is ... spontaneous camping ... so we don't have to (almost always) "reserve sites" everytime we want to go camping in them!!

FWIW, we just spent 10 spectacular days drycamping in a National Forest pine-forested campground in CA on a lake (with water and fish in it, BTW) in campsites that didn't require reservations. The sites, restrooms, and showers were clean and well maintained. Most sites were black-topped, had firepits and picnic tables, and were spaced well apart so we could even run generators without bothering the neighbors. How did/does the National Forest System pull this off?


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rexlion

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Posted: 06/17/21 12:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yosemite Sam1 wrote:

I don't know where you got that (mis)intepretations, but I'm comparing national parks (still rundown) with CA campgrounds that both suffered budget reductions since the Great Recession.
Thanks for clarifying. Here's the part that cofused me: "I can't help but compare this states' (state, country and city) immaculate toilet facilities and well maintained surroundings of their campgrounds..." The word "country" implied "national" to me, as in "national parks".

DrewE

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Posted: 06/17/21 01:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rexlion wrote:

Yosemite Sam1 wrote:

I don't know where you got that (mis)intepretations, but I'm comparing national parks (still rundown) with CA campgrounds that both suffered budget reductions since the Great Recession.
Thanks for clarifying. Here's the part that cofused me: "I can't help but compare this states' (state, country and city) immaculate toilet facilities and well maintained surroundings of their campgrounds..." The word "country" implied "national" to me, as in "national parks".

I'm going to go out on a limb and suspect that "country" was simply a typo for "county," which makes more sense in the context.





toedtoes

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Posted: 06/17/21 01:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

California State Parks gets no funding from counties, so a county filing bankruptcy has no bearing on the state of the facilities.

The coastal regions of California State Parks are the most financially secure of all properties. The income generated from these beaches and parks far exceed all other parks.

California State Parks field staff are extremely dedicated and will buy toilet paper out of pocket and clean up off the clock to make sure visitors are happy, regardless of funding. That has nothing to do with the Parks' administrative staff or their capabilities.

National Parks is subject to far more political budget interference than California State Parks. California's budget has remained stable for quite a few years. National Park's budget has been flip flopped on a regular basis.

National forest campgrounds tend to be very basic and federal staffing is extremely limited. Most maintenance work (eg, bathroom cleaning) is done by volunteer camphosts or on a much more limited basis by forest staff. California State Park campgrounds have paid maintenance staff to do this work.

California State Parks campground fees are more expensive than the federal counterparts.

While I agree we need to better fund our National Parks and Forests, I don't think it's fair to compare them to the state systems.


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toedtoes

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Posted: 06/17/21 01:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:


Honestly, $80 for an annual pass (far less for old folks) is really too cheap for what you get. Bump that up a bit and mandate the dollars go right back into the parks and I bet you see a lot of improvements.


The annual pass and the "old folks" pass are not the same.

The standard annual pass does not include discounts for camping fees, etc. All you get is the free entrance. Unless you can/will visit national parks multiple times in a year, it is not cost effective to spend the $80. A 7-day entrance fee for Death Valley is $30. Unless you are staying longer than 14 days, or visiting another national park during the calendar year, it isn't cost effective to buy the annual pass.

In comparison: a standard site at Furnace Creek is $22 per night. With the senior pass, it's $11. For 14 nights, that's a savings of $154 in camping fees as well as the $60 in entrance fees. Making it extremely worth the one-time price of the pass.

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