Forest Adventure Pass
Posted June 20, 2002 - 06:35 AM
First of all, let me say that I can afford $5.00. Its not the money, its the principal. We already pay taxes to support the Forest Service. They have a job to do and we fund them quite well.
I have been involved with fighting this fee since it started, and have collected 23 Notice of Non-Compliance tickets over the last few years. I have been hassled like you would not believe by the Forest Service because I choose not to comply. They try to scare you into paying by telling you it is a $150 fine. That is a bold face lie. I can personally attest that the fine for non-compliance is exactly $0.00. Nothing happens to you whatsoever.
When you buy a Forest Adventure Pass, you are encouraging more of this kind of thing because it shows them that they can get away with it. What do I mean by that? Take a look at this summary of a report that will be going to Congress:
In a nutshell, if you remove the spin from the report, if you purchase a pass you support the fee. Congress will do their thing and make it law, then we all have a new tax to pay.
The tactics the Forest Service uses to scare people into submission is what I have a problem with. This report reads like the people love this new fee. It supposedly pays for trash and graffiti removal, replacing damaged signs, and setting up new information kiosks. Other than the kiosks, is this not what we are already paying for?
This whole program is labeled a "demonstration program", and is NOT enforceable by law. All it demonstrates to me is that people act like sheep when someone in a uniform tells you that you have to pay. Remember, you already do pay. Its the principle.
Okay, off of my soapbox.
ps: Read all about the program at http://www.freeourforests.org
Posted June 20, 2002 - 07:37 AM
Posted June 20, 2002 - 08:24 AM
I absolutely agree with you on the absurdity of paying an additional $5 to park to use public lands. You say that the rangers hassel you to no end. Do you mean they hassel you on the spot or via mail or something? I am curious because i would really enjoy parking and not paying and not getting arrested or confronted by an intimidating ranger with a gun.
Posted June 20, 2002 - 10:16 AM
I have always been hassled on the spot whenever they were around. Usually I would find a ticket on my truck upon returning from a long ride, with no rangers in sight. But on the occasions when I was at my truck and the ranger came around, things got ugly.
Ranger: "Where is your adventure pass?"
Me: "I don't have one."
Ranger: "Let me see the registration for the truck and that bike. Does it have a spark
arrestor? Proof of insurance (for the truck I assume)? Where did you just ride?" (Once I was even asked what was in my cooler)
At this point I would loose it. Me: "I don't have a pass, so write me one of those phony tickets. In fact, I was here last weekend without a pass, so write me a ticket for last weekend too!"
This is followed by the ranger walking to the back of my truck, writing down my license plate number, and going back to his truck and getting on the radio. I don't recommend you do this if you have outstanding warrants. By now I am ignoring the guy and proceeding to load up the bikes and gear, acting normal, doing my thing. Ten minutes or so would go by and he would resume the hassling. Checking everyone's registration and spark arrestors, looking at trash on the ground (someone else's trash) and ordering us to pick it up, just looking for anything he can find. Once they even blocked me in so I could not "escape" while they ran my plate.
When it is all said and done, I get handed a ticket and told that I have 24 hours to pay $5 (buy a pass) or it turns into a $150 fine. That is BS. I have never received anything in the mail regarding these things and have been collecting them for over three years. Its all a scare tactic. Rangers with attitudes and guns, issuing meaningless tickets that have no teeth, trying to get a measly five bucks.
Most of the time I have no problem with these guys whatsoever. I have stopped and chatted with them many times and they are always friendly and helpful. But when they go into enforcement mode and try to scare five buck off of me and I don't comply, things get weird. I do not normally mouth off, but when I am made to feel like a criminal for doing nothing wrong (in my mind), and when they start with the attitude and questions, I cant help it.
[ June 20, 2002: Message edited by: Ron in SoCal ]
Posted June 20, 2002 - 12:31 PM
Am I getting outspoken in my old age?
Posted June 20, 2002 - 07:33 PM
Posted June 20, 2002 - 09:55 PM
Posted June 21, 2002 - 11:00 AM
If you have ever read into our wonderful green, errr red, sticker program it is suppose to pump money back into the sport. However, that money works against us by helping finance studies which eventually close our areas.
Sorry to rant and rave so much. The entire subject enfuriates me!
Posted June 21, 2002 - 11:57 AM
Please take the time to read about the ins and outs of the fee at http://www.freeourforests.org and feel free to write letters urging the death of the fee. The Free Our Forests website has many links to representatives e-mail and offices, and does a great job explaining what is going on here.
Their motto is "CAN'T SEE THE FOREST FOR THE FEES". Ya gotta love it!
Posted June 21, 2002 - 03:53 PM
The Colorado locals are as pissed as us folks here in Calf. Their method to deal with this is to wave back at the ranger as if to 'say hi' and keep on driving.
If you really want to stike back at the forest nazi's inform the hasseling ranger you are aware of your rights under the 'Federal Privacy Act of 1974' and will not give any information until he completes the paperwork.
If you really want to piss the guy off download the form from the 'Americans for Forest Access' web site and carry a copy with you. Unless the federal employee completes the form in ink he cannot legally ask for your personal information.
Sorry I don't have the web site link memorized.
Posted June 22, 2002 - 05:11 PM
The pay-for-play idea allegedly came from the American Recreation Coalition, including the AMA, American Council of Snowmobile Associations, Suzuki Motor Corp, Motorcycle Industry Council, and many others. In other words, all the people we support when we beat the enviro-geeks over the head are encouraging our Feds to charge us to use our own land.
Now, there's a dillemma for ya!!!! I hate the concept of the Forest Adventure Pass, I think, more than I hate supporting these guys' idea of how to take more of my money for recreation. But I think they still need to know how we feel about this.
Posted June 22, 2002 - 05:18 PM
Posted June 22, 2002 - 07:43 PM
I am still waiting for my dividend check from the national forest service for selling my share of publicly owned resources. How shameful to then cry we need more money from the public. which will fund more enforcement to gather more fines/taxes from the public, into a self inflating and repeating cycle
Boycott the forest pass, it is a scam to generate more revenue, and I firmly believe this is an illegal attempt to tax the public twice.
Let your elected officials know your feelings or the idiots we elected will look at a balance sheet that says, look more another source or revenue we can use screw the public with.
Posted June 23, 2002 - 07:46 PM
I am into the fight to keep public land open for all off road motorcyclists up to my neck right now. I am spending many hours of my personal time sending letters, emailing legislators and the White House, and trying to get more motorcyclists to get off their duffs and do the same.
I have just learned that the AMA, American Suzuki Motor Corp, the Motorcycle Industry Council, and others, through the ARC, are supporting the Federal Government in charging fees for American Citizens to use their own land (our National Parks). If this is true, I am appalled.
Isn’t one of our strongest arguments that we, as American Citizens, have the RIGHT to use our public lands for motorized recreation? Your support for the Forest Adventure Pass program and others in the U.S. definitely undermines that argument. It threatens to change our RIGHTS INTO PRIVILEGES. If we have ever learned anything from the NRA in their fight to preserve firearms ownership rights in the U.S., it is that conceding rights in favor of privileges can sink the whole ship!
I urge you to rethink your support of this misdirected program, lest we all go down with said ship.
This pretty accurately represents my position.
Posted June 25, 2002 - 01:17 PM