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  1. #1
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    The Governator gives MTB riders the finger

    http://www.bikeradar.com/news/articl...te-parks-22808

    when we did a ride a few weeks ago, tone capone and I were talking about how public access to recreation is being limited all around America. I was focused more on the Fed Govt's action... but here's an example at the state level.

    nice idea, Aaaaahhhhhhnold. really nice.

  2. #2
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    Well, that would suck. I'm planning a trip the last two weeks of September to the Bay area and north up the coast, and was hoping to ride at Annadel and China Camp, which I believe are state parks with great riding... I wonder if you could still ride the trails if the parks were "closed"?
    Buy the ticket...take the ride.

  3. #3
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    The next step, to the mind of someone who thinks like Schwarzenegger, is to "privatize" these public lands -- sell them off to "developers" who will either extract natural resources, or plant houses and other buildings... or maybe do both.

    The excuse of lacking the funds to manage the lands, that's bullshit. Every public rec area I know of, there are trail users who would happily take over stewardship and trail maintenance... thereby eliminating that cost.

    It's a long-term plan to give away public lands for cheap $$$.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncle crud View Post
    The next step, to the mind of someone who thinks like Schwarzenegger, is to "privatize" these public lands -- sell them off to "developers" who will either extract natural resources, or plant houses and other buildings... or maybe do both.

    The excuse of lacking the funds to manage the lands, that's bullshit. Every public rec area I know of, there are trail users who would happily take over stewardship and trail maintenance... thereby eliminating that cost.

    It's a long-term plan to give away public lands for cheap $$$.
    So you'd be able to reliably provide someone to sit at the gate, collect fees, etc. etc if needed? That's what I see as the problem: continued volunteering and dedication to running a park with full coverage and responsibility around all the park operations.
    We're running into the early stages of the same thing in NH, as they've currently "tiered" the state parks based on their uniqueness, quality, use etc. so they can "trim the fat" in terms of the parks. They aren't outright saying it'll go directly to private developers, but they have said eventually they may move to a place where they'd get sold or leased for other uses.
    To be fair, in Cali this is happening this year because of the budget issues, though it isn't a problem that will go away any time soon.

  5. #5
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    Old news within the state.

    Funny thing is EVERY state park around here closes in the winter. Still a great time to ski and bike through them.

    They can't pay someone to clean toilets and check campground registration.......big deal. Closing the property for day use is silly.
    Besides the comet that killed the dinosaurs nothing has destroyed a species faster than entitled white people.-ajp

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by schuss View Post
    So you'd be able to reliably provide someone to sit at the gate, collect fees, etc. etc if needed? That's what I see as the problem: continued volunteering and dedication to running a park with full coverage and responsibility around all the park operations.
    We're running into the early stages of the same thing in NH, as they've currently "tiered" the state parks based on their uniqueness, quality, use etc. so they can "trim the fat" in terms of the parks. They aren't outright saying it'll go directly to private developers, but they have said eventually they may move to a place where they'd get sold or leased for other uses.
    To be fair, in Cali this is happening this year because of the budget issues, though it isn't a problem that will go away any time soon.
    You have some flawed assumptions there. For example, you're assuming the fee-based admission is necessary. I don't see where it is necessary. What does the fee cover?

    Fees are another way to reduce user frequency. Think about it.

    I don't see fee collection as being a necessary for a park. Maybe I'm missing something, but I can envision doing without the fees. My experience is that people respect things when they feel "ownership" (not legal ownership, but a sense of something "belonging" to them) of those things, and disrespect them when the things seem like they belong to someone else. I suppose there are people who defy that general rule, but I think they're exceptions.

    I believe it would be entirely possible to turn parks over to the citizens. The only reason they're managed by the govt is for economic reasons -- so that the govt can make money on them. Research the history of the USFS and what Gifford Pinchot was up to when he created the USFS. Note that it was made part of the Dept of Agriculture, not Dept of Interior. Hmmm.

    As to CA having budget shortfalls -- I guarantee that Gov Schwarzenegger has authorized expenditures in other areas, and has done so despite a budget "shortfall." What this is about is politics, not accounting. The accounting is used as the excuse, but it's not the real reason. The real reason is how spending is prioritized... and why some things get high priority (continue to spend the $$) while other things get no priority (close the parks).

  7. #7
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    Yes, Schwarzenegger has demonstrated a willingness to play brinksmanship games with state parks and other state groups.

    Let's recognize the initial article as what it is, a motivational piece to get a user group activated to protect their interests. It is not a news piece and is very lean on details (like are parks that have much MTB usage actually threatened). I haven't seen a list of parks to be closed that I'd place much trust in. A lot of speculation and fear mongering, yes, but not an authoritative list.

    And California is fucked. The current budget's "balance" is through accounting tricks and some cuts, it isn't "real." The governor and legislature don't have direct control over some fairly large portions of the budget as a result of "ballot box budgeting" that has tied their hands, and various court decisions at both state and federal levels.

    Edit: Fees are a necessary component of funding for the maintenance of parks. Yes, they may reduce usage some, but if funding isn't coming from the general fund, I feel that it is better to chose the conservative approach and have the costs for maintenance be born by the users.

    There has been very little discussion of the privatization of any major portions of the state parks system. Privatization has been primarily oriented towards some office buildings, maintenance yards, and some isolated sections of agriculture and timber land.
    "if the city is visibly one of humankind's greatest achievements, its uncontrolled evolution also can lead to desecration of both nature and the human spirit."
    -- Melvin G. Marcus 1979

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncle crud View Post
    You have some flawed assumptions there. For example, you're assuming the fee-based admission is necessary. I don't see where it is necessary. What does the fee cover?

    Fees are another way to reduce user frequency. Think about it.

    I don't see fee collection as being a necessary for a park. Maybe I'm missing something, but I can envision doing without the fees. My experience is that people respect things when they feel "ownership" (not legal ownership, but a sense of something "belonging" to them) of those things, and disrespect them when the things seem like they belong to someone else. I suppose there are people who defy that general rule, but I think they're exceptions.

    I believe it would be entirely possible to turn parks over to the citizens. The only reason they're managed by the govt is for economic reasons -- so that the govt can make money on them. Research the history of the USFS and what Gifford Pinchot was up to when he created the USFS. Note that it was made part of the Dept of Agriculture, not Dept of Interior. Hmmm.

    As to CA having budget shortfalls -- I guarantee that Gov Schwarzenegger has authorized expenditures in other areas, and has done so despite a budget "shortfall." What this is about is politics, not accounting. The accounting is used as the excuse, but it's not the real reason. The real reason is how spending is prioritized... and why some things get high priority (continue to spend the $$) while other things get no priority (close the parks).
    Fee basis isn't necessary if you have firm commitments from groups that will be accountable for maintenance. I assumed fees of some sort would be involved due to the fact most parks have at least 1 person kicking around answering questions at the parking lot (for bigger ones) and require general maintenance which includes a need for non-permanent items like shovels, rakes, trashbags etc.
    The reason they're managed by the government is because very few people want to take out the trash and do the not-fun work at a park. Getting a motivated group together to maintain the park is great, but what if its not a popular park? What if you all get sick of it? Who will be there in 5-10 years if you get hit by a bus? What's the long-term plan?
    I'm not saying it can't be done, I'm just saying it's more the exception than the rule. How many people really show up to all the trail maintenance days? Imagine having to do that every weekend, or even more often.
    I have no doubts about your claim (via reading between the lines) that USFS was created as a steward of land to maintain it until it was ready for reharvesting.

    As for the CA problem - parks are a continuing maintenance item that doesn't hurt anything politically, that's why they're the first to go. They're still "preserves", so greenies are happy, it's only the recreators that get screwed, and very few people vote on recreation lines as opposed to the other line-items in the budget.
    What CA riders need to do pronto is offer to take over maintenance of a park they enjoy, just to prove they can do it, then petition for others in exchange for the ability to cut trails.

  9. #9
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    “Wraahhpping your bike helmet in tinfoil will not protect you, little Montaahhna girly-mahn.
    My infrahred vision can detect the heat signature of your wet paahhnties.”
    And the days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations
    Well, I have really good days - Ray Wylie Hubbard

  10. #10
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    What are they gonna do, gate and chain them?

    I don't live there, but I say fine, let the parks go back to nature. That's what they're supposed to be IMO. Concerned parties can band together for trail maintenance and such but who needs bathrooms, interpretive signs, pavement, concrete, and fees.

    I realize this may be a short sighted stance on my part but I'm very opposed to fees used to create unneeded infrastructure to cater to fat urbanites.

    What do you really need to go for a walk in the woods?

    Grassroots mountainbike groups do a fine job creating and maintaining trail systems all over.

    Now if the governement's gonna sell the parks off to the highest bidding industry, that's something to take up arms for.

    /$.02
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Telenater View Post
    Edit: Fees are a necessary component of funding for the maintenance of parks. Yes, they may reduce usage some, but if funding isn't coming from the general fund, I feel that it is better to chose the conservative approach and have the costs for maintenance be born by the users.
    Yeah, but the fees from specific areas go into the general fund, not the other way around.

    At least that is the major complaint about USFS recreation fees around here.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaterdit View Post
    What are they gonna do, gate and chain them?

    I don't live there, but I say fine, let the parks go back to nature. That's what they're supposed to be IMO. Concerned parties can band together for trail maintenance and such but who needs bathrooms, interpretive signs, pavement, concrete, and fees.

    I realize this may be a short sighted stance on my part but I'm very opposed to fees used to create unneeded infrastructure to cater to fat urbanites.
    If they were to just leave it as unmaintained nature, then that could be great for mt bikers. But I think the concern is that if they're not state parks, the land will be turned into some other non-nature use from which the state can make money.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier View Post
    Yeah, but the fees from specific areas go into the general fund, not the other way around.

    At least that is the major complaint about USFS recreation fees around here.
    Fees collected by California Parks go into the California State Parks coffers . They aren't required to spend the fees at the park where they were collected.
    "if the city is visibly one of humankind's greatest achievements, its uncontrolled evolution also can lead to desecration of both nature and the human spirit."
    -- Melvin G. Marcus 1979

  14. #14
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    Usage fees do not necessarily reduce usage. In Texas we have a lot of land, but the parks are precious and too few. Some of the best single track in North Texas was on Corp. of Engineer land who transferred it to the City of Grapevine. What used to be a free park now costs $5.00 a visit (Drive in - walk in - ride in - all the same) and a big trailer house for the fee collecter. Trail head was virtually empty before, and now full of jack asses that believe they paid $5.00 so someone else has to pick up their empties.

    I don't care what they cost, but if you increase usage in parks you have teach people to be outside or they will ruin it. Free areas are commonly more pristine because they don't have services like water, tables, play grounds, etc... that encourage usage from folks that don't know. Education should be mandatory for access.

    Just my 2 cents. If California removes the services from those parks that cost money the land will be just fine because there will be fewer people on it. Unfortunately, politicians see that as fewer voters and will inevitably convert it for use from some other entitiy like a special interest group interested in harvesting minerals, timber, oil & gas.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CountryFunk View Post
    “Wraahhpping your bike helmet in tinfoil will not protect you, little Montaahhna girly-mahn.
    My infrahred vision can detect the heat signature of your wet paahhnties.”
    I laughed. But I wonder, are you apathetic, uninformed, or just having a laugh. I hope it's the 3d choice. I'll laugh along with you. If it's the 1st or 2d choice, I laugh at you. Not that I find the difference problematic -- I'm laughing either way.

  16. #16
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    The third choice Unc, definitley the third. Glad it made you laugh.

    Not that the issues are unimportant or anything, but it seems like things can a little too serious around here for a bunch of skier/biker goofballs ...

    Throughout whatever, I try not to forget that I'm living the dream baby.

    Ok, fuck, I'll be serious for a second. First, the CA situation is an interesting contrast to our situation here in MT. As I'm sure you know, but most others reading this probably don't, as a resident you don't have to pay a dime to use any State park in MT - yeah there's a fee tacked on to your vehicle registration but you can opt out of it if you so choose. Most people don't, so they either can't figure out what's going on or they value the parks and are willing to cough up a little dough to manage and maintain them. This was a pretty inovative solution for park funding and generated a lot more money than user fees. No, I do not work for FW&P.

    Secondly, I've got to disagree with your statement that people don't generally disrespect public lands. You didn't actually say public lands, you said "when they feel "ownership" (not legal ownership, but a sense of something "belonging" to them)", but isn't that or shouldn't that be the case with all public lands? In the case of a small "neighborhood" park that doesn't see many non-local visitors that might work, but other than that I don't see it. Think about some of the shit you've seen on FS, State, or BLM lands - why would all the mouthbreathers who feel free to fucking thrash these areas in the name of recreation feel any different about a public park? Because the local mountain bikers and bird watchers work so hard keep the trails in such good shape? Unc, come on now ... they may be the exception, but the actions of the dumbshits carry a disproportionate impact.

    Somebody has got to pay to provide the infrastructure to allow the majority of people to do the right thing (ie - toilets, access roads, parking areas, fire pits) and to mitigate the actions of the the few who fuck things up.

    My $.02.
    And the days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations
    Well, I have really good days - Ray Wylie Hubbard

  17. #17
    LittleYellowFriend Guest
    This is good news actually. California is already so restrictive and anti-MTB, closing the parks means, no enforcement, which means finally places for people to go without fear of getting a ticket.

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