Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-18-2009, 06:44 PM   #1
2006 F350 V10 Ext. Cab LB
 
Driver1's Avatar
 
1998 30' Excella 1000
Sherwood , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 129
Images: 12
GoldenAge Pass aka America The Beautiful-The National Parks & Federal Rec Lands Pass

Hi,

The 'Golden Age Passport' has changed it's name to 'America The Beautiful-The National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Pass - Senior Pass' and I'm not sure if what it does has changed. I also can't see a reason to change the name (Too short?). The old ones are still good.

General info about them is (From the Park Service Web Site):
America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass – Senior Pass
This is a lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over. The pass provides access to, and use of, Federal recreation sites that charge an Entrance or Standard Amenity. The pass admits the pass holder and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas and pass holder + 3 adults, not to exceed 4 adults, at per person fee areas (children under 16 are admitted free). The pass can only be obtained in person at the park. The Senior Pass provides a 50 percent discount on some Expanded Amenity Fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services. In some cases where Expanded Amenity Fees are charged, only the pass holder will be given the 50 percent price reduction. The pass is non-transferable and generally does NOT cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessionaires.

I have the still usable:
Golden Age Passport
This pass has been discontinued and replaced by the America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass– Senior Pass

The statement about where you can obtain the pass is not quite right. I got my pass at a Forest Service office on the road up to Mt. Hood. Forest Service, BLM, National Wildlife, and other offices also sell them. The $10 price is once a lifetime.

If you want one, I found the attached listing for offices nationally (Sorted by State) that sell them (Last updated in March).

Walt
Attached Files
File Type: pdf GoldenAgePassIssuanceLocations_National.pdf (126.8 KB, 343 views)
__________________

Driver1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2009, 07:08 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
purman's Avatar
 
1968 28' Ambassador
Cedaredge , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,542
MY GOD, the horrible thing about that is someone got paid (probably for a year) to come up with the new pointless name when the old one was just fine...

YEP Government at work.....
__________________

__________________
Jason

May you have at least one sunny day, and a soft chair to sit in..

2008 5.7 L V8 Sequoia
AIR # 31243
WBCCI # 6987
FOUR CORNERS UNIT
purman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2009, 07:22 PM   #3
Obsessed with Moonunit
 
COArgosy78's Avatar
 
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
Love It Here , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 957
Images: 55
My husband got his about 2 weeks ago at the Greeley, Colorado Rangers office. We will probably try to use it when we next go camping, BUT that statement printed above referencing CONCESSIONAIRS may end up not letting us use it for the 50% off camping that we were led to believe. At least here in Colorado, many of the camp grounds are run, and hosted by concessionaire companies. I would be very interested if someone could fill us in on that??? Has anyone camping in Colorado,using their Golden Age (or like kind) pass gotten a 50% reduction in camp fee?
__________________
Leigh (IB Aluminated)

"When a great ship is in harbour and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for." by Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, author of ‘Women Who Run With the Wolves’
COArgosy78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2009, 07:49 PM   #4
3 Rivet Member
 
snake's Avatar
 
1994 21' Sovereign
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 175
We stayed at the Columbine campground near Questa, New Mexico, earlier this month, which is managed by Scenic Canyons Inc., a private concessionaire, and the 50% discount was available.

It was a basic National Forest campground, no out of the ordinary services. The fee per night was $15 without the discount!

It might be worth checking with the NFS, BLM, or NPS office that oversees the campground concessionaire.
snake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2009, 08:29 PM   #5
Master of Universe
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 11,553
The rules around this passport or whatever it's name is are difficult to understand. We have gone to national monuments where entry was free for everyone, but to get into a building cost money and the passport was useless. At Mt. Rushmore, entry to the park is free, but a concessionaire runs the parking and it cost $8, no discount, and there are a few free spaces downhill. It's still a good deal, but hit and miss on what you have to pay and how much. Sometimes we both get a discount, sometimes only I do.

There are numerous "fee areas" on public lands where you have to pay to enter—these are not national parks or monuments, but just national forests or BLM lands or part of them. I have never been able to figure out whether the passport gives free entry there. I once sent an e-mail to the feds asking what was free or not with this passport, and the answer was such uninformative gibberish that I had no idea if an answer was embedded in it somewhere.

Gene
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2009, 11:30 PM   #6
2006 F350 V10 Ext. Cab LB
 
Driver1's Avatar
 
1998 30' Excella 1000
Sherwood , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 129
Images: 12
Oregon Experience

Hi COArgosy78,

We've mostly used ours in Oregon. Typically, the campground fees are about $12/night in the National Forest campgrounds and we pay $6/night (These are mostly managed by concessionaire companies). If the concessionaire builds something or provides something extra beyond the basics in services (Like power, water to the site, or even sewer hookups), those don't get the 50% discount. Entry fees like the one to the Newberry Crater National Monument are waived.

My card has paid for itself many times over in 3 years.

Walt
Driver1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2009, 12:56 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
ROBERTSUNRUS's Avatar

 
2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,846
Images: 18
Blog Entries: 55
I got mine this year.

Hi, I just got my Senior Pass this year. For the $10.00 it cost me we were able to drive in and out of the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone national parks several times for free. Finally some advantage for being old. This is the only experience we have had so far.
__________________
Bob

2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
YAMAHA 2400 / AIR #12144
ROBERTSUNRUS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2009, 06:06 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
rseagle's Avatar
 
2004 22' International CCD
Spotsylvania , Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 663
Images: 33
I got a Golden Access card about 3 years ago (disabled vet). It has been a blessing. I've been able to get into all the National Parks for free and NP/NF campgrounds in my state (Virginia) for 50% discount. Electric is extra, where they have it.
__________________
Bob
---------------
"THE BAUXITE BUNGALOW"
2004 22' CCD
1997 F-150
TAC VA-12
AIR# 4749
ex WBCCI# 1430
rseagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2009, 07:38 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
myoung's Avatar
 
Nipomo , California
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 629
Images: 24
Pass should work for everyone in your party...

We just got back from visiting 7 National Parks with our granddaughter who is 10 years old. One pass was sufficient. My wife was never asked to show her pass and the Rangers charged for our granddaughter. The Pass is supposed to cover everyone in the vehicle.

Yes, the one exception was Mt Rushmore where you need to park and it is run by a concessionaire. I complained but still had to pay $10 to get thru towing the Airstream.
__________________
Mike Young & Rosemary Nelson

Bowlus Road Chief "Endymion"
BMW X3 xDrive 28D
myoung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2009, 07:49 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Denis4x4's Avatar
 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
Currently Looking...
Durango , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,112
As a volunteer in a BLM/USFS office, I can vouch for the fact that there is some confusion regarding discounts on things other than park admission and camping fees. Some concessionaires are better than others when it comes to explaining the use of the card. FYI, the $10.00 fee stays in the area in which the pass was purchased and does not go into the black hole called DC.
Denis4x4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2009, 09:13 PM   #11
Obsessed with Moonunit
 
COArgosy78's Avatar
 
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
Love It Here , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 957
Images: 55
Well, thanks to all who added to this post. Your answers give me some hope that this won't be just another jumbled (gov't) mess We will try it out here in Colorado later this fall and see what is what. I know when we camped up by Mt. Evans last Spring, the ranger asked my Hubby if he had a pass. Would have gotten us up to the top of Evans if we had. I just had heard that some concessionaires did not give the 50% on camping, but sounds more promising now Thanks.

PS if anyone has experienced a campground that would NOT honor the pass, I would love to have it posted here. Maybe if they start getting some complaints and questioning why them and not others, that will change.
__________________
Leigh (IB Aluminated)

"When a great ship is in harbour and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for." by Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, author of ‘Women Who Run With the Wolves’
COArgosy78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2009, 09:49 PM   #12
3 Rivet Member
 
2005 31' Classic
Gretna , Nebraska
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 151
"Concessionaire"

If the concessionaire is selling hot dogs - no discount. If he is running a Fed Facility - discount. I think. In one case he is running a federal facility for the govt. In the other he is running his own operation under a lease from the federal govt.

Dwight
(retired fed)
16595 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2009, 09:18 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Ahab's Avatar
 
2008 22' Safari
Oracle , Arizona
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,174
Haven't been refused yet.
Ahab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2009, 11:38 AM   #14
Master of Universe
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 11,553
For decades the road to the top of Mt. Evans was a free state highway. At the top are spectacular views of the Front Range from more than 14,000 feet. Around the early '90's, the FS put up a kiosk and started charging $6 to use a state highway to the top. After many years I have heard they stopped charging if you said you would stay on the highway. If you stepped off the pavement, you were in trouble. Then I heard that after 6 pm, the ranger left and people could go up for free. It's as high as Pike's Peak and costs less than that highway if you pay the fee. I haven't been up there since they started charging. I used to see Mt. Evans from where I lived and thought of it as my mountain. I felt the FS couldn't charge me to visit it, so I haven't been there since they put up the kiosk.

This all started as part of the "fee demo" program where fees are charged for use of public lands—FS and BLM mostly—that had been free for generations. Towns nearby hate it because it reduces tourism. Locals hate it because they have to pay to go places they have always gone. The program, which they claim is used to maintain and improve the fee area, was mismanaged for years. The FS, the prime beneficiary of this, could not tell anyone where the money actually went. The result is the program has been expanded and made permanent so far as I know. There are many wonderful places on the public lands without fees and that's where we go. If the Golden Age Passport with another name waives these fees, great. If it doesn't, not so great.

Gene
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2009, 08:45 AM   #15
Rivet Master
 
Denis4x4's Avatar
 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
Currently Looking...
Durango , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,112
Crawford Gene said, "This all started as part of the "fee demo" program where fees are charged for use of public lands—FS and BLM mostly—that had been free for generations. Towns nearby hate it because it reduces tourism. Locals hate it because they have to pay to go places they have always gone. The program, which they claim is used to maintain and improve the fee area, was mismanaged for years. The FS, the prime beneficiary of this, could not tell anyone where the money actually went. The result is the program has been expanded and made permanent so far as I know. There are many wonderful places on the public lands without fees and that's where we go. If the Golden Age Passport with another name waives these fees, great. If it doesn't, not so great."

A quick call to the combined BLM/USFS office in Montrose would have told you that 90% of the money collected for the "Fee Demo" plan stayed with in the district, along with a list of improvements like new vault toilets. The program was dropped when congress changed hands in '06. However, the same congress that eliminated the "fee demo" plan also cut the USFS/BLM budget to the point that the campground work backlog is as much as 10 years in some of the more popular parks.

As a side note, I was surprised to see the different pricing structures for camp grounds around the country. It's $16 per night in the SJNF plus utilities when available. There are a lot more calls regarding no charge camp sites this year.
Denis4x4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2009, 09:38 AM   #16
Master of Universe
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 11,553
Denis, I think the entire public lands policy of the last 15 years is involved. I didn't call the Montrose office and I would expect them to tell me they did everything right.

About 15 years ago, Congress started to change long standing policy. Recreation users were to be charged new or higher fees (how fees differ from taxes could be an interesting debate, but I'll avoid that one). Public lands budgets tended to be frozen or only increased with inflation. Maintenance was deferred over and over. I think there was a belief that fees could make up for shortfalls. Thus was born the "fee demo" program. I think it started with authorizing 100 places for the FS and maybe BLM where fees could be charged for places that always had been free.

I think the thing that upset a lot of people was that these are public lands. We pay taxes to support them and to then pay a fee to access our property felt unfair. The fee demo program's biggest Congressional supporter was Ralph Regula, an Ohio congressman. He retired not long ago. For years no one could find out what the FS did with the money. It was supposed to go to local improvements, but it was hard to find out if it did.

Eventually it was decided to raise admission fees to Park Service sites—national parks, national historic parks, national monuments. In recent years fees have more than doubled at a lot of them. This money, like the fee demo money, is supposed to go to the park for deferred maintenance. My nearest NP, Black Canyon, used to be a NM, but because locals and politicians thought making it a NP would increase tourism, it was made a NP. There was no increase in its budget though. Nice place to see, but not anywhere near the class of a Yellowstone ($25) or Yosemite ($20). Now it costs $15 per vehicle, even on the primitive north rim. I think it goes up again next year. Visits to NP's are down since fees have gone up. The big destination parks seem to be doing fairly well, so it must be the Black Canyons that are down. After all, a family on a road trip isn't going to go to a lot of NP's, NM's, and other fee areas. How could they afford all those fees?

The Golden Age Pass used to be free when you first got it. When I was eligible, all too many years ago, it cost $10. Another fee. It hasn't increased since. It's still a great deal, but I can't figure it all out when it comes to the former fee demo areas. I haven't looked into it, but I wonder what proportion of Park Service area visitors are seniors with the pass and if they are a very large proportion of total visitors. Those numbers could show very few paying customers visit a lot of NP's and NM's.

My impression is that the Park Service has figured out that it costs more to collect entrance fees at some places than to charge fees for certain things inside the site. Thus if you visit Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, free to enter, fees to go in the lighthouse. If you go to Great Basin NP, free to enter, but Lehman Cave has a fee. Seniors enter the cave at 1/2 price, but companions pay full price.

Meanwhile, a rash of fires drained FS budgets, so more maintenance was deferred. A move to privatize recreational facilities was started and that caused fees to increase too because now there were profits built in for the concessionaires. Some FS employees were "privatized" and costs, part of the FS budget, went up for the same reasons. In the NF's nearest me (Gunnison, Grand Mesa and Uncompadre, all administered as one), they started closing campgrounds a year or two ago because they had no money to maintain them. This was done very quietly until a local newspaper figured it out. The publicity stopped or slowed the process. Public lands agencies have come to rely on volunteers like Denis because they have no money to fill staff positions.

While all this was going on, extractive industries were promoted. Oil and gas exploration was made the No. 1 priority of FS and BLM land use. A large number of personnel were diverted to approving leases as fast as possible. Once approved, no matter how bad the lease from conservation or other viewpoints, it is a property right and difficult to reverse. There are so many leases now, it will take decades to drill them all. Other mining leases were also promoted. Timber leases added to the development. The irony is that fees for these leases are low, very low, and sometimes the FS and BLM lose money on them. Grazing fees have also been kept low, well below market value on the private market.

The result has been recreational users pay larger and larger proportions of the budget for the various public lands agencies. These agencies have been starved for maintenance funds for years. If it were thought that recreational uses would solve the budget gap, it hasn't. Fire fighting and management has further sapped budgets. Visits to Park Service sites are down. Meanwhile, much environmental damage has been done to some public lands by oil and gas, grazing, and other development. Efforts in the past to get those who have done the damage to pay for it has been largely fruitless (the Superfund tax, for ex., was allowed to expire years ago, so now we all pay for cleanup) and every one of us will eventually pay for remediation.

The fee demo law was changed a couple of years ago. Better controls over budget were finally enacted. The demonstration project was largely made permanent as I undertand it. No doubt pit toilets have been built. No significant money was appropriated for the maintenance backlog—I agree with Dennis. The public lands policies from the mid '90's forward did not change that much. The Stimulus bill did provide more money for maintenance, but not enough. A lot of public lands infrastructure was built for stimulus programs in the 1930's and is now falling apart.

So, if you want to camp on public lands, there are fewer places to go, and the ones that are there cost a lot more. The Interagency Senior Pass (once the Golden Age Passport and now having several different names on NP websites—they don't know the name either) seems to have been subject to loopholes to collect more fees. Individual recreational users are expected to pay for maintenance, but fewer users mean fewer revenues collected. Lots of fees irritate people and turn them against the government. Destination parks get a greater proportion of visitors than they used to. Industry still gets lots of revenue and concessionaires seem to be doing quite well. If this is our land, it doesn't feel that way.

Whether public lands recreation policy changes in the next few years is impossible to predict. It often gets lost among all the other things that need doing. I think the government has done a poor job for a long time administering public lands. Some things the gov't does well, this is not one of them. There have been a lot of dedicated employees for the Parks, NF and BLM, but a lot have quit in recent years because they became so discouraged.

End of public lands treatise.

Gene
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2009, 11:00 AM   #17
4 Rivet Member
 
dstalzer's Avatar
 
2005 25' Classic
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 384
I got my pass 2 years ago and have used it for myself and my wife for entry into National parks including Yosemite, and Sequoia with no entry charged. We have gone to National Military sites with no charge and have camped at several Corps of Engineer parks where the cost is 1/2 the normal fee. This is a great savings as long as it lasts.

Dennis
__________________

dstalzer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
E-ZPass Question dudebb On The Road... 11 09-18-2007 04:40 PM
EZ Pass Acceptance PARKS1963 On The Road... 1 08-23-2006 05:08 PM
Sonora Pass anyone??? oxblood On The Road... 1 06-15-2006 09:29 PM
I say there 'ol chap, could you pass the... krowsea Cabinets, Counter Tops & Furnishings 7 10-22-2004 08:54 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.