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Fee status at Rose Canyon Lake
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By Zonie
Jun 10, 2012

Background: The fee used to be $5.00 some years ago, but the fee was waived if you had a Federal Interagency Pass ($80/yr, but well worth the price if you visit a lot of areas).

The Coronado Annual Forest website states the parking fee is $8.00, but reduced to $4.00 if you have an Interagency pass.

As of today (10 June 2012), the concessionaire is charging $9.00, and spits in your face if you pull out your pass. I turned around in disgust.

So: apparently, the Feds are turning over the management of public lands to private companies, who in-turn are allowed to charge any fees they choose. Does this strike anyone else as messed-up? Anything we can do about this?


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By Robbie Mackley
From Tucson, AZ
Jun 11, 2012
Me and Holden at the "Matterhorn"

Park off of willow canyon road and hike 3-5 min longer. Pay nothing.


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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Jun 11, 2012
Bucky

Zonie wrote:
So: apparently, the Feds are turning over the management of public lands to private companies, who in-turn are allowed to charge any fees they choose. Does this strike anyone else as messed-up? Anything we can do about this?


Vote to pay taxes so that parks can be funded and don't vote for people that want to privatize everything. Or better yet, call your local Senator and Congressman/woman and let them know how you feel and why.


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By Charles Vernon
From Tucson, AZ
Jun 11, 2012

Is there any reason why the recent federal appeals court decision striking down the fee on Mt. Lemmon highway wouldn't apply here? Parking at Rose Canyon Lake and not using any of the facilities, but merely hiking the climber's trail to the climbing area seems to fall precisely within the activities for which a fee cannot be charges. Just don't use the bathroom.

On the other hand, the USFS presently seems pretty-hands off about all these unofficial climbers' trails and bolted cliffs. Maybe it's better not to antagonize them, even if they don't have a legal right to enforce this fee.


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By Zonie
Jun 12, 2012

Robbie: The willow canyon access is a good workaround, I'm just frosted by the ridiculous fees.

J. A.: I'm frosted because I pay taxes AND paid additional for an interagency pass, which is apparently good for nothing.

Charles: The decision appears to be very narrowly worded, so I'm not sure how this applies. Good question.

All: I sent an e-mail to Coronado National Forest asking for their comments on this. I'll keep you posted.


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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Jun 12, 2012
Bucky

Zonie wrote:
Robbie: The willow canyon access is a good workaround, I'm just frosted by the ridiculous fees. J. A.: I'm frosted because I pay taxes AND paid additional for an interagency pass, which is apparently good for nothing. Charles: The decision appears to be very narrowly worded, so I'm not sure how this applies. Good question. All: I sent an e-mail to Coronado National Forest asking for their comments on this. I'll keep you posted.


I understand where you're coming from Zonie (after all, you do have the inter-agency pass); however, everything from fire departments to parks are under intense pressure to cut back because of the current economic climate combined with pressures to cut taxes. I just get frustrated because people complain about not getting services, while screaming for tax cuts (I'm not saying you are one of these people). The truth is that roads and parks cost money, and if you want to keep them, you have to pay for them. It really is that simple. Emailing the Coronado National Forest people probably won't help either. My guess is that they are doing the best they can within the context of the current budget climate (how much do you want to bet that they are either not hiring, laying off people, and/or cutting back fire prevention and other programs?) That is why I said that you need to express your concerns to your elected representatives and tell them that you want "x,y, and z" funded. Otherwise, all they hear is "Cut taxes!!!" and well, then something has to be cut. Parks and recreation are often some of the first things to go. At least you don't live in Colorado Springs where they are shutting off street lights....


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By Christian
From Casa do Cacete
Jun 12, 2012
Ooops...

Probably 90% of the people that drive down and park are "using a facility", a lake stocked with fish. It would be impractical to make an exception for climbers, just like it would be impractical to monitor people's use of the bathrooms up and down the mountains, which are also "facilities".



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By Charles Vernon
From Tucson, AZ
Jun 12, 2012

Christian: I think you're largely right, but taking that approach (charge everyone 'cause it's too difficult to figure out who's who) would render the decision meaningless. It definitely puts the USFS in a difficult spot. It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out along the highway.

I wonder what the Rose Canyon Lake concessionare would do if you told them "I am here only to park and not to use any facilities" and waived the decision in their faces.


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By Christian
From Casa do Cacete
Jun 12, 2012
Ooops...

Lol, good luck. I don't mind a friendly conversation w the sheriff but I'd rather not lose climbing time. A court decision that has enforcement problems, I'm shocked I tell ya :-)

Apparently they consider all of the Rose Canyon developed area, including parking spaces not attached to camping spots, a "facility".
Or there's some other loophole.

I haven't read the decision for technical details that might support or counter their ability to charge for entrance.


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By kBobby
From Spokane, WA
Jun 12, 2012

Christian wrote:
Probably 90% of the people that drive down and park are "using a facility", a lake stocked with fish. It would be impractical to make an exception for climbers, just like it would be impractical to monitor people's use of the bathrooms up and down the mountains, which are also "facilities".

Not so.

At the Storm Mountain picnic area in Big Cottonwood Canyon, just outside of Salt Lake City, the local climbers were able to successfully negotiate with the USFS a complete waiver of use fees for climbers who were in the area only to climb not picnic. The caveat is that climbers must park outside the picnic area (across the street) and walk in. It has worked for many years now.

The only time I had any issue was once when I was there soloing and had to convince the host that it is possible to climb rock without a rope, helmet, etc., because the rangers told them that they could easily identify climbers eligible for the waiver by the ropes and packs they would be carrying.


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By Christian
From Casa do Cacete
Jun 12, 2012
Ooops...

kBobby wrote:
Not so. At the Storm Mountain picnic area in Big Cottonwood Canyon, just outside of Salt Lake City, the local climbers were able to successfully negotiate with the USFS a complete waiver of use fees for climbers who were in the area only to climb not picnic. The caveat is that climbers must park outside the picnic area (across the street) and walk in. It has worked for many years now. The only time I had any issue was once when I was there soloing and had to convince the host that it is possible to climb rock without a rope, helmet, etc., because the rangers told them that they could easily identify climbers eligible for the waiver by the ropes and packs they would be carrying.


I guess it can be done then, but I just can't see it happening in this specific situation. The parking down by the lake is VERY limited and in this case, the free "outside the picnic area" paved parking means out by the highway a mile from the trailhead.

Plus, since there's already free parking on the dirt road 100-150 yards away from the trailhead (though it's an extra uphill slog on the way out), I can't see any climbers being that motivated to organize and seek this exception.


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By Zonie
Jun 13, 2012

To complete the story, I just received the following response from the Forest service:

Hello John,

I'm very sorry for any inconvenience you may have encountered with the fees at the Rose Canyon parking area. The website has had some trouble in updating information, rest assure that this typo is being dealt with promptly. As for the discount, none of the interagency passes have discounts towards parking.

You can refer to pass benefits on this site here: www.fs.fed.us/passespermits/50-percent-off-situations.shtml


If you follow that link, you find out that regarding concessionaire fees: "Discounts may or may not apply depending on how their permits or contracts are written." I'm not sure how often these contracts come up, but it could be possible to advocate for free access for climbers/others who do not use the facilities (thanks, kBobby)

Happy climbing.


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By Christian
From Casa do Cacete
Jun 13, 2012
Ooops...

I finished reading the decision and the REA and I don't see any reason why just driving and parking at Rose Canyon doesn't fall under the Sec. 6802 (d)(1)(A) exception.

www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2012/02/09/10-16711.>>>


www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/16/6802

Good luck getting in for free though.

I don't approve of heavy -handed tactics the Forest Service used at Sabino Canyon to try to continue to collect these fees.
azstarnet.com/news/local/fee-collecting-rangers-are-called-i>>>


At the same time, I think the chance that you will climb on Mt Lemmon for a year and NEVER use one of the bathrooms is pretty much ZERO. So I guess each person will have to do whatever sits OK with their conscience. I kind of considered making a $20 donation every year to the FS until I read the above article.


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By Charles Vernon
From Tucson, AZ
Jun 13, 2012

I agree, although I think the FS could make an argument by saying that "designated developed parking" [6802(f)(4)(D)(i)] is, as the statute describes it, an "amenity" and thus differs from merely "parking" as described in 6802(d)(1). Is mere "parking" to be interpreted to exclude "designated developed parking"? Can you park at Rose Canyon Lake without using the "designated developed parking"? I can't remember. What if there was valet parking? How many angels can you fit on the head of a pin?

I foresee coin-operated toilets on Mt. Lemmon in the near future.


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By Christian
From Casa do Cacete
Jun 13, 2012
Ooops...

That depends on what the meaning of "is" is..Sorry I was watching the Clinton documentary lol

Gonna start stockpiling quarters pronto :-)


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By Christian
From Casa do Cacete
Jun 13, 2012
Ooops...

Charles Vernon wrote:
I agree, although I think the FS could make an argument by saying that "designated developed parking" [6802(f)(4)(D)(i)] is, as the statute describes it, an "amenity" and thus differs from merely "parking" as described in 6802(d)(1). Is mere "parking" to be interpreted to exclude "designated developed parking"? Can you park at Rose Canyon Lake without using the "designated developed parking"? I can't remember. What if there was valet parking? How many angels can you fit on the head of a pin? I foresee coin-operated toilets on Mt. Lemmon in the near future.


The exception to the exception could also be under 6802 (g)(1) because the lake is probably under the jurisdiction of the USFW. That would cover the entrance fee and right to parking near the lake and (g)(2) covers the additional fee for using a campground. Perhaps parking in a spot is not considered the parking "along" the road mentioned in subsection (d)(1)(A)

(d) Limitations on recreation fees
(1) Prohibition on fees for certain activities or services
The Secretary shall not charge any standard amenity recreation
fee or expanded amenity recreation fee for Federal recreational
lands and waters administered by the Bureau of Land Management,
the Forest Service, or the Bureau of Reclamation under this
chapter for any of the following:
(A) Solely for parking, undesignated parking, or picnicking
along roads or trailsides.


...

(g) Expanded amenity recreation fee
(1) NPS and USFWS authority
Except as limited by subsection (d), the Secretary of the
Interior may charge an expanded amenity recreation fee, either in
addition to an entrance fee or by itself, at Federal recreational
lands and waters under the jurisdiction of the National Park
Service or the United States Fish and Wildlife Service when the
Secretary of the Interior determines that the visitor uses a
specific or specialized facility, equipment, or service.
(2) Other Federal land management agencies
Except as limited by subsection (d), the Secretary may charge
an expanded amenity recreation fee, either in addition to a
standard amenity fee or by itself, at Federal recreational lands
and waters under the jurisdiction of the Forest Service, the
Bureau of Land Management, or the Bureau of Reclamation, but only
for the following facilities or services:
(A) Use of developed campgrounds that provide at least a
majority of the following:
(i) Tent or trailer spaces.
(ii) Picnic tables.
(iii) Drinking water.
(iv) Access roads.
(v) The collection of the fee by an employee or agent of
the Federal land management agency.
(vi) Reasonable visitor protection.
(vii) Refuse containers.
(viii) Toilet facilities.
(ix) Simple devices for containing a campfire.


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By Steve Pulver
From Tucson, AZ
Jun 16, 2012

I like (v), fee collection is considered a campground amenity


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