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Old 04-16-2015, 08:10 AM   #15
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How hard must that be on low-income folks.

That is a bit shocking to me......and I live in Illinois.


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It is discussed regularly but nothing is done about it. Seems wrong to tax something that everyone needs in order to survive.
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:21 AM   #16
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Seems wrong to tax something that everyone needs in order to survive.
Bailing from this thread now before moderators shut it down. We're veering far from the topic of State Park closures and into politics.
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:46 AM   #17
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Unfortunately that is what it is about. Political posturing.
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:49 AM   #18
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Bailing from this thread now before moderators shut it down. We're veering far from the topic of State Park closures and into politics.
Just answering a question. If the mods want to close this thread down, I am not afraid.
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Old 04-16-2015, 10:31 AM   #19
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State Park Closures

As the originator of this thread my intention was to raise awareness in the Airstream community of a very real threat to the existence of state parks. Alabama may shut some down. The North Carolina governor is proposing a 24% reduction in the state park budget. Other states have similar problems.

Most of us enjoy using the parks for camping and other recreational activities. It would be a shame to lose parks or see them suffer greatly from neglect (i.e. lack of maintenance). Hopefully some readers of this thread will be motivated to call or write their elected state representatives encouraging them to fund the park systems.

Unfortunately this is a political issue as funding for most park budgets comes from the state legislature. It seems to me we can have a healthy discussion regarding advocacy for the parks without being "political" in a way that shuts down the discussion. Defaming politicians or political parties by name would seem to fall into the realm of conversation that would cause the moderators to shut down the thread. Discussing how much money parks need, where the funding should come from (i.e. fees vs tax money), how much a state should spend on parks, and other policy issues would seem to be relevant to the topic and if addressed in a positive way, not too political to cause the dialog to be terminated.

I hope a healthy dialog will continue and good ideas will spring from the conversation. I would like to see those of us who love the lifestyle become forceful advocates for preserving and improving the parks we enjoy today. Parks are one of the few government expenditures that can benefit every citizen - rich or poor, young or old, agnostic or religious. They are open to people of every background, gender, sexual orientation, and political party. They are a place where we can be united in our enjoyment of nature instead of divided by beliefs, prejudices, or other baggage.

I hope the moderators will permit some constructive conversation about how we might lobby our elected representatives to support camping on public lands as well as the preservation of those public lands. Ideas for alternative sources of funding are welcome as well.
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:16 AM   #20
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Sorry for the hijack.

I try to be well-behaved, don't always succeed.



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Old 04-16-2015, 12:04 PM   #21
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Sorry for the hijack.



I try to be well-behaved, don't always succeed.







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Sounds like the perfect title for my never to be written life story. ;-).
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:13 PM   #22
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Sorry for the hijack.

I try to be well-behaved, don't always succeed.



Maggie
Seems like I may have been misunderstood in post #19. I don't feel you hijacked anything Maggie. I'm all about open dialog and free speech. Some of the threads I enjoy most are those that go off in various directions. To me those threads are like sitting around the table listening to dinner conversation with a big family. Even when there is significant disagreement there is generally lots of love in the room. My epistle in post #19 was merely a suggestion we be mindful of the words we use to engage in dialog about this "political" topic so the mods won't shut it down.

Take it anywhere you want. I for one am listening.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:34 PM   #23
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I don't see how privatization of parks (or anything else for that matter) benefits the public good. If a necessary or beneficial service paid for by taxes
becomes bankrupt.... then how can allowing a private business to skim off a portion of the operating budget for profit... provide the same level of service?

The Arkansas model is an excellent one.
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Old 04-16-2015, 01:18 PM   #24
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Generally, the company running the park for the state would pay for the privilege. The parks that are being considered for closure are underperforming and are a drag on the system taking funds from other areas just to keep them open and operating. If a private concern can do it on a lease basis, pay the state for the privilege and turn a profit, I am all for that.
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Old 04-16-2015, 01:34 PM   #25
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We have similar budgetary problems in Arizona. Sometimes it is merely a division like county park services having their budget cut for the next years operating expenses. They then use a myriad of methods to determine which parks to close. Some of those cities or counties where the park are located have stepped up and volunteered to help with the management of the park to allow it to stay open. Not sure of the answers but I think most would agree on a couple of things:

We want to keep parks open
We want to add more parks
We want to preserve them
We don't need over regulation
Privatization often
leads to developnent

Where is the middle ground, we can't continue to do more with less.
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Old 04-16-2015, 04:02 PM   #26
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I don't see how privatization of parks (or anything else for that matter) benefits the public good. If a necessary or beneficial service paid for by taxes
becomes bankrupt.... then how can allowing a private business to skim off a portion of the operating budget for profit... provide the same level of service?

The Arkansas model is an excellent one.
Private business works on a profit margin. Anything run by government is dependant on the taxpayer supplied trough. Sal
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Old 04-16-2015, 04:05 PM   #27
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Also go to ANY grocery store on the Alabama border and see how many Al. tags you see. Sal
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:13 PM   #28
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We have similar budgetary problems in Arizona. Sometimes it is merely a division like county park services having their budget cut for the next years operating expenses. They then use a myriad of methods to determine which parks to close. Some of those cities or counties where the park are located have stepped up and volunteered to help with the management of the park to allow it to stay open. Not sure of the answers but I think most would agree on a couple of things:

We want to keep parks open
We want to add more parks
We want to preserve them
We don't need over regulation
Privatization often
leads to developnent

Where is the middle ground, we can't continue to do more with less.

I have a thought. There is much public debate about income inequality. For all of their faults the robber baron millionaires of the early 20th century were great philanthropists. John D. Rockefeller bought the land in Wyoming that became Grand Teton National Park as well as the land in Maine that became Acadia National Park. He also restored most of Colonial Williamsburg. Andrew Carnegie put his fortune to work building badly needed public libraries across the nation.

Perhaps some of the muti-billionaires of today, who claim to be concerned about the environment, could become engaged in philanthropy directed at preserving and enhancing state parks and other public lands instead of spending tens of millions buying politicians. The two candidates in the last presidential campaign spent nearly a billion dollars apiece and news stories are already floating that one single candidate will have a war chest of $2 billion in 2016. If I had a few extra billion in the bank, I'd rather leave a legacy of endowing a few dozen state parks so they have the funds to be self sustaining for generations to come, than be the forgotten tycoon who got invited to the White House for a few nice dinners.
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