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Gunks MUA camping ticket - help?
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By Happiegrrrl
From Gunks
Nov 13, 2012

Kevin Heckeler wrote:
That's hippygirl's point - it's a system of back scratching and monopolized pay scales. Justification isn't in the vocabulary of those "in power". We should be jailed for even suggesting they're overpaid. It begs the question - what the hell do they actually DO to earn that much more than the other salaried employees? Do they breath fire? Perform miracles?



Kevin - I am ashamed to call you a friend at this point. Not because you voice an opinion which differs from mine, but that you don't seem to be able to do so in a manner which is respectful. Hippygirl, really? It's a standard passive-aggressive tactic to switch up a person's name, or in person to switch the pronunciation or mispronounce, in an effort to minimize that person in some way.

As for salary - I believe our rangers should be paid well. It is also NOT my place to suggest what that amount ought to be. And as for the suggestion that an amount which has been posted in this thread, for an executive of a not-for-profit, this website page discusses the subject, with sourcing from a well-regarded site. smallbusiness.chron.com/executive-pay-practices-notforprofit>>>


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 13, 2012
Rumney

oldfattradguuy wrote:
Those of you who are whining about having to pay to climb on preserve land: You are fools and do not realize what the area would be like if it were developed or owned by someone not friendly to climbers. It is gem.



How so? Saying that doesn't support it. Explain...


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 13, 2012
Rumney

Happiegrrrl wrote:
Kevin - I am ashamed to call you a friend at this point. Not because you voice an opinion which differs from mine, but that you don't seem to be able to do so in a manner which is respectful. Hippygirl, really? It's a standard passive-aggressive tactic to switch up a person's name, or in person to switch the pronunciation or mispronounce, in an effort to minimize that person in some way.



You ARE a hippy, and female. Hardly a slant.

Let's be realistic, are we really CLOSE friends? Perhaps elevated acquaintences? Let's be real now. That doesn't change whether your head is firmly planted up your butt. Perhaps we're even for your prior transgressions in the thread.


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By Latro
Nov 13, 2012

Matt Davis wrote:
I I'd love to see input from other private land preserves around the state and nation


See www.charitynavigator.org/__asset__/studies/2012_CEO_Compensa>>>

for charity CEO wages in 2010.

Northeast:
Med - Large (>$1M/yr) $157K
1-3.5M/yr $114K
Mohonk Preserve - 2.8M/yr - $135K (2012 numbers)
3.5-13$M /yr $170K

Looks like he is paid pretty much at the median.

People's ire would be better vented at nearby public land which is almost entirely closed to climbing, and charges an access fee well above the Preserve's, considering the small bit that is available.

The Preserve was founded before climbing was popular. Having discovered a 'gold mine' on their property, how much can you blame them for mining it? In furtherance of their mission? And is it really extortionate to charge the going rate in a climbing gym?


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By Matt Davis
Nov 13, 2012

I think the rangers should be paid well too. But they aren't. Just the exec director and his management minions are paid well. With everything and everyone else ED Hoagland is avaricious.


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By Matt Davis
Nov 13, 2012

Latro wrote:
The Preserve was founded before climbing was popular. Having discovered a 'gold mine' on their property, how much can you blame them for mining it? In furtherance of their mission? And is it really extortionate to charge the going rate in a climbing gym?


I'm not saying climbing at the Preserve isn't worth the money. To me it is an extraordinary bargain. What I'm saying is that a bloated staff of 50-60 people and a $1.8M payroll, a $135k a year ED, and a multi-million dollar visitor center are all unnecessary to fulfill their mission. And it adds insult to injury for Skytop banned climbers to give the Smileys, via the Mohonk Preserve, millions of dollars for foothill land already protected.

I'm also saying that there is a long history of free camping on state owned land next to the preserve. For the preserve to collaborate with the anti-climbing PIPC to build a new for-pay campground while simultaneously using their influence with the state to get the free state owned campground shut down is bullshit.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 13, 2012
Rumney

It does appear the salary is in line with others, which I've already called into question whether that value is artificially set anyways (what's their actual worth to the organization? skillset = compensation? what do they actually do then?).

Fundamental question is whether the organization is in financial trouble, which would be the only cause I can see for raising rates on members/visitors. But they don't appear to be, even with expanding their footprint through land acquisitions they are ahead of the game monetarily. So those who argue that the increased fees we are asked to absorb are justified need to work more with the math. That's been the point to this discussion.

I also do't personally argue whether the year pass is a deal for people like me who climb there 10-20 times /year. However, people who live further away and who visit less frequently are, IMHO, being raped. Punished even. The going rate for an indoor gym with lights and infrastructure to pay for cannot be equated to a dirt road. Nature did 98% of the work that went into climbing at the Gunks. 1% by the volunteers and staff building better access to the cliff from the carriage road, and 1% the carriage road/parking. The upkeep is NOT expensive for CLIMBERS. The visitors center is not intended for the climbing community. I didn't even set foot in it for like 3 years. Haven't even been back in 2. It's for tourons.


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Nov 13, 2012
Stoked...

I swear your login name was HippieGrrrl... u sure you didn't just change it to crack one at Kevin here?


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 13, 2012
Rumney

CaptainMo wrote:
I swear your login name was HippieGrrrl... u sure you didn't just change it to crack one at Kevin here?


She plays a good martyr. She's the biggest hippy I know.


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By oldfattradguuy
Nov 13, 2012

Kevin Heckeler wrote:
How so? Saying that doesn't support it. Explain...


Let's see:

Limited/No climbing;
Houses;
Condos;
Hotels;
ATVs screaming along the carriage roads.

Do you need more?


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By Latro
Nov 13, 2012

Matt Davis wrote:
For the preserve to collaborate with the anti-climbing PIPC to build a new for-pay campground while simultaneously using their influence with the state to get the free state owned campground shut down is bullshit.


Matt

I'm not trying to be argumentative. Why do you say (how do you know) the above? I (naively??)thought that it didn't matter much to the Preserve, whether or not the MUA stayed open, and that the state was under a good bit of pressure from neighbors and from their 'internal standards' to close it.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 13, 2012
Rumney

oldfattradguuy wrote:
Let's see: Limited/No climbing; Houses; Condos; Hotels; ATVs screaming along the carriage roads. Do you need more?


How so? Most land like the type of unique lands in the preserve are being sucked up by the State nowadays. Most of the time the land gets sold to the State for a low cost by the prior owners (or donated as part of an estate/foundation) to be 'protected'. I have a half dozen such places 30 minutes from my home east of Albany, and they're not nearly as unique as the Shawangunks. I said this elsewhere before - the State would jump at the opportunity to take over management of the lands the preserve currently owns. I choose not to live in fear of an invisible specter of development that exists only in theory. The preserve would be doing intentional harm should they ever let the land fall into developer's hands. There's several other public avenues that can be taken.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 13, 2012
Rumney

Latro wrote:
...the state was under a good bit of pressure from neighbors and from their 'internal standards' to close it.


That was my impression as well. The State has long had issues managing those camping areas. They would either need to expand the existing areas, or Plan B - have someone else deal with it. They seem to be opting for Plan B. The MUA isn't large enough to accomodate all possible overnight camping without sacrificing many of the standards they have for protecting/managing the environment. I'm definitely not against them finding a better solutuion, but I'm against the manner in which they're executing it.


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By Steve Knowlton
Nov 13, 2012
Steve K waiting to top out on Betty at the Trapps

Solution is simple: don't think you should contribute, don't climb. There's plenty of free stone w/in a few hours of the Gunks, north or south. Have at it.


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Nov 13, 2012
Stoked...

Steve Knowlton wrote:
Solution is simple: don't think you should contribute, don't climb. There's plenty of free stone w/in a few hours of the Gunks, north or south. Have at it.


That is the approach I have opted for...


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By SethG
Nov 13, 2012

Kevin Heckeler wrote:
How so? Most land like the type of unique lands in the preserve are being sucked up by the State nowadays. Most of the time the land gets sold to the State for a low cost by the prior owners (or donated as part of an estate/foundation) to be 'protected'. I have a half dozen such places 30 minutes from my home east of Albany, and they're not nearly as unique as the Shawangunks. I said this elsewhere before - the State would jump at the opportunity to take over management of the lands the preserve currently owns. I choose not to live in fear of an invisible specter of development that exists only in theory. The preserve would be doing intentional harm should they ever let the land fall into developer's hands. There's several other public avenues that can be taken.


Can you climb at the state park next door to the Preserve? Oh, yes, at one limited area (Peterskill), for $15 a day. In the rest of the park it is illegal.

State ownership is not something I would want at the Gunks-- this isn't based on some theory. It is based on the reality at the park just up the road.

And all this hate directed at the Smileys, I don't get it. We all get to climb at the Gunks because of the Smileys. Get a clue people. They deserve our thanks. They preserved a treasure for us and let us keep it.

The fees are high at the Gunks. I get that. It is totally legitimate to think so. It is kind of a bummer, though, that every thread about the Gunks gets destroyed by the same few people complaining about the fees. Give it a rest already.


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By GMBurns
Nov 13, 2012
Climbing at Morro Anhangava in Southern Brasil. <br /> <br />(photo by Isa Vellozo)

Matt Davis wrote:
Most non-profit land entities have all volunteer staff.


source?


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 14, 2012
Rumney

SethG wrote:
It is kind of a bummer, though, that every thread about the Gunks gets destroyed by the same few people complaining about the fees. Give it a rest already.


I've engaged in one thread on Gunks.com and this one here. If I am of the few, then there are several "few" voicing the same concerns since one person posting in two threads would hardly be cause to label something as epidemic.

I also don't think discussing these issues DESTROYS anything. That statement only indicates how intolerant you are of differing opinions. Last I checked - forums are for discussing. If you're informing me of a rule that discussing this is off limits, please enlighten me.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 14, 2012
Rumney

SethG wrote:
Can you climb at the state park next door to the Preserve?


Not familiar with the neighboring State land use limitations/history. I was thinking more along the lines of the 6 million acres call the Adirondacks, or the million (?) or so called the Catskills (great ice when there is). I suspect the neighboring lands near Peterskill are not wilderness, or somehow intertwined with other agencies (not simply the DEC managing them). Also, each area has its own land management plan. This essentially means the decisions made regarding those plans go through several filters before they are codified, and have rules for modifying them later (but they can be, and often are modified... though it takes a few years for those changes to be made). This is to say - how one parcel of land, even directly adjacent, is managed does not guarantee the other parcel will be managed in the same way. Case by case.

Whomever would end up managing the Gunks as we know it would likely still have some type of permit system, but the overhead would be significantly lighter. Let's not live in denial like so many others who don't climb but who are involved with the MP. Rock climbing is a majority reason the preserve still exists. The new managing entity would fully understand this, and restricting access to the land for that purpose would be shooting themselves in the foot in every possible way. The DEC is even seriously considering paid permits for High Peaks hiking/access in the Adirondacks. I don't think anyone expects free (it's nice when it is), the objections are over the reasonableness of the current fees and justifications used in defense of the past couple fee increases. Even at half the current fee schedule, this can/would be a cash cow. Additionally, at a lower rate you will likely see more people going and fewer people trying to 'sneak in', and likely more season passes since the cost of them would also be lower. A big part of the costs of the preserve is because they have to be an island. With State agencies, a lot of the infrastructure for managing the lands is in place. It's a bigger fish eating a little fish, so to speak. Banks and other companies do this every day.

RE: volunteers, I find it bitterly ironic the Mohonk Preserve has volunteers doing hard labor work. Although I'm not an expert at how other private preserves operate regarding their staffing, it would seem that the hardest labor would be reserved for people being paid versus having volunteers do it. Trash pickup, painting, and other menial forms of labor would IMO seem more appropriate to ask of the free help.


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By SethG
Nov 14, 2012

It's easy to maintain your opinion when you just ignore evidence that goes against your argument.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 14, 2012
Rumney

What evidence?


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By SethG
Nov 14, 2012

You talk on and on and on about how a hypothetical state entity would operate but you are "not familiar" with and thus dismiss the existing state park that directly abuts the Preserve.

I have no intention of arguing with you further, too much work to do. Go ahead, have at it.


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By Matt Davis
Nov 14, 2012

GMBurns wrote:
source?


My comment was based on my personal limited experience with other land preserves. So it's of course fair to say my anecdotal experience may not be representative.

It would be interesting to see some kind of report on what other land preserves do, including how big their staffs are, how many are volunteers, how many get paid, and how much. If such a report exists I can't find it. In searching though I found The Wildlands Conservancy. At 93,000 acres it's more than ten times the size of the Mohonk Preserve. They appear to have a professional executive director, and a board, and other professional management staff. Interestingly, access is free, as are all educational programs.

Land preserves don't need to squeeze every dime out of every visitor and member to be successful. When they do it changes the character of the place, and not for the better.




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By Happiegrrrl
From Gunks
Nov 14, 2012

"Rock climbing is a majority reason the preserve still exists."

You really - really - don't know what you are talking about.

"Although I'm not an expert at how other private preserves operate regarding their staffing, it would seem that the hardest labor would be reserved for people being paid versus having volunteers do it."

And now you are suggesting that people who step up to the plate and freely offer their services be told "Thanks, but we'd rather pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for the work you are donating."

Labor is a STANDARD In-Kind donation for organizations to accept. Experts in various fields OFTEN donate in-kind labor and other services. Yosemite National Park (not a non-porofit, of course) relies HEAVILY on Facelift volunteers to do work they simply can't afford or manage. Work like hauling TONNAGE of concrete slap, defunct electric and phone cables, and other extremely heavy materials.

I know that on the MP, there is some heavy labor involved in the trailwork crew I am on. I also know some people take on a section of a trail to maintain(though they would not be expected to do heavy work). We do this because we WANT to, not because the preserve has put out some call about "without you doing this for free..." It may also surprise some that the tools needed to do this work are paid of - gasp - from a portion of member fees.

The carriage roads which are being rehabbed and which involves heavy manual labor - preserve workers doing the job.


You are not an expert, Kevin. In any way, shape or form. As I have said before, your opinion is your right, but you have continuously spouted utter crap in this thread which is off the mark.

At this point you are making yourself look like a Caped Crusader wannabe. That person firmly believe the manure they have stunk places up with too. But it doesn't make their conclusions forgone.
"What evidence?" ....well one I can think of off the bat is "jaw-dropping, sticker shock inducing" salary which (if accurately stated) turns out to have been completely within the middle range of the standard....



Also, there is one point I would like to include, about how preserve uses funds. When you see many of the community events, newspapers and magazines in the region, you will notice that the preserve is a sponsor. The conspiracy-theorist would suggest this is done to enrich their coffers, of course. They would ignore the fact that the preserve plays a very important part in supporting entities like the Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway, local newspapers, magazines and events.

Does one think the preserve need take out ads in the quarterly local arts paper - that there may be people living in New Paltz which are unaware they exist? That they expect people to run, not walk, to the Visitor Center and sign on the day after attending the New Paltz Climbing Film Festival? Of course - one could insist that, yes, this is the case. But the truth is that the preserve supports it's local communities(it does have lands in 5 separate municipalities) - including the "other side of the ridge" ones which struggle mightily.


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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Nov 14, 2012
tanuki

Just let it go, Happie. You are wasting your time arguing with someone who does not know what they are talking about and just wants to argue. You have done a great job presenting your position and your work here is done.

Kevin, if you are so concerned about this issue, do something about it. Do some research and get your facts straight. Spewing incorrect information on the internet and arguing with Happie just makes you look like an ignorant and rude individual.


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