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Old 06-24-2015, 04:05 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Boxite View Post
You guys who are anxious to spend more for your park fees... there's a simple answer for you.... quit buying the discounted fees and quit buying only ONE pass for your vehicle/family. Buy one for EACH adult in your group!

Leave me out of your plans for higher fees...I've been paying my taxes for a half-century without complaint because (unlike the richest 1%)... I don't mind paying taxes when I make income.... and now that I'm retired I'm ready to enjoy the pleasures I've been supporting all those years.

Well said!🇺🇸

I will happily take any saving and discount I can get.
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Old 06-24-2015, 05:24 PM   #16
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Well said!

Larry


Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxite View Post
You guys who are anxious to spend more for your park fees... there's a simple answer for you.... quit buying the discounted fees and quit buying only ONE pass for your vehicle/family. Buy one for EACH adult in your group!

Leave me out of your plans for higher fees...I've been paying my taxes for a half-century without complaint because (unlike the richest 1%)... I don't mind paying taxes when I make income.... and now that I'm retired I'm ready to enjoy the pleasures I've been supporting all those years.
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Old 06-24-2015, 05:48 PM   #17
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Seriously guys??? Park entrance fees seem like the least expensive factor of camping in an Airstream. Just saying I don't mind supporting our amazing and underfunded national parks. Guess I'll just have to make my support anonymously to avoid criticism on this forum.

Sta... I mean... anonymous.
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Old 06-24-2015, 06:50 PM   #18
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Yeah, we pay taxes, too, and what happens to National Park funding? Cut, cut ,cut year after year. The passes and entry fees at least go directly to the Parks. I'm 70 and would gladly pay $10 (or $20) per year for my Senior Pass.
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Old 06-24-2015, 07:08 PM   #19
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I am sure that the park service would gladly take overpayments and donations. They also have a very active volunteer program. Talk is cheap, actions are what matters.
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Old 06-24-2015, 08:51 PM   #20
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We have an old person's pass. Still, we never complain about supporting our wonderful park systems, city, state, regional, national. It 's the least we can do.
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:37 PM   #21
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Ty!

Thank you Silver Otter and everyone else that has contributed more than your fair share, or are willing to do so at the drop of a hat. From one who has not reached the age of the ten buck pass, I thank you ALL. I would certainly follow in your footsteps and offer the same. God Bless all of you. This is the greatest country in the world, thanks to good folks like you.
Wally is smiling on all of you right now, BIG time!
Sea y'all down the road.
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Old 06-24-2015, 11:55 PM   #22
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Something else we do is to join one of the national park's Natural History Associations every year. (The folks who run the park book & gift store, more than likely.) Most of these non-profit associations have reciprocity with other parks, and the membership includes a small discount on purchases. Their revenues help to support worthwhile projects in the park.
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Old 06-25-2015, 05:07 AM   #23
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I too have paid taxes for a LONG time, and Medicare tax etc. In fact I recall when the tax rate was 79% for high income earners. I did complain about my taxes as the people we elect squander much of what we pay and then also over spend. That aside, the NP Senior Lifetime pass is a bargain beyond belief. We were in Acadia the year we hit 62 and a very nice talkative Park Ranger asked if we did not want to buy a Senior Lifetime pass, so after a seconds thought we each bought one. Best money we ever spent.
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Old 06-26-2015, 07:04 AM   #24
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I had totally forgotten that I paid only $10 for my lifetime pass, not $65. What a deal that is!!

While I agree that the National Parks need more funding, and I contribute to a couple of non-profit groups, such as the Great Smoky Mountains Association, that help support specific parks, I'm not going to volunteer to pay more to visit parks if I don't have to.

i do think that of all the ways the government spends our money, the national parks (and also the state parks) give back much, much more than they take.
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Old 06-26-2015, 08:34 AM   #25
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I hope this doesn't come across as commercial, but there's an app and website called ID.me that offers some pretty good discounts to military veterans and a couple of other groups, like teachers and students, to PRIVATE theme parks and attractions, as opposed to public parks, along with other types of discounts. (I have no relationship to the company except as a member.)

I think it started as a discount program for active military and then expanded to anybody who has served honorably in the military (you have to email them a scanned copy of your DD214 to qualify) and also to teachers and students, if I remember correctly.

A lot of the discounts and deals are similar to what you can get through other online discount programs or AAA, AARP, etc. but some seem unique and some are only for military veterans. Joining is free. I joined because I love baseball, and ID.me offered the biggest discount I'd ever seen on an annual subscription to MLB.com, which broadcasts most out-of-home-market Major League games on TV (thru Roku), computer, mobile devices, etc.

Don't know if they have any deals on RV campgrounds or anything directly related to Airstreams.

I noticed they have a lot of discounts to big theme parks for veterans and
active military. I'm not necessarily recommending it, but I find it saves me some and costs nothing. The only downside I see is that you have to provide some personal info such as the DD214, but they claim they are one of only two or three private companies that qualify with the U.S. government to review federal data like the DD214, and I think they claim they then destroy the copy of the form.

You can check it out for yourself by Googling ID.me
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Old 06-26-2015, 08:56 AM   #26
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The passes and entry fees at least go directly to the Parks.
Actually, no. Fees collected at National Parks go to the General Fund, not to the Park Service. The Park Service is then funded by Congressional appropriations (from the General Fund) just like any other Federal agency.

Which is a pity, because for many years, the Park Service has been the only Federal agency— other than the IRS— to actually show a profit. If the Park service was allowed to keep all of its receipts instead of turning them over to the General Fund, they'd be able to improve services without raising their rates!
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:28 AM   #27
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Well, actually, not quite accurate. An individual park, say Yellowstone, retains 80% of its fee and concession income. The rest goes to NPS headquarters where it is used to fund the parks that have no fee collection (such as Smokey Mountains and BIscayne). Congress does provide a supplement to the NPS via the Department of the Interior to make up any shortfall. Over the past decade or so, this supplement has been pretty consistently reduced or sequestered so the individual parks are getting squeezed quite a bit. Lots and lots of deferred maintenance, fewer personnel... But, our people can do more with less than any group I've ever seen, especially the maintenance folks.

Historically, it has always been this way -- when times are good, the Parks are adequately (sometimes even generously) funded and when times are not so good, they are the first to face budget cuts.

We're still open for business! Come on out and inspect your property!

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Old 06-26-2015, 10:57 AM   #28
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I have only gotten in free at one site out of four

My experience is somewhat different than most have shown here. I have visited several national forests and COE sites that I understood to have free admission under the senior pass. The fine print seems to say that is only true when the facility is staffed by NPS employees. When run by a concessionaire, the concessionaire is free to set what ever rates they choose for Senior Pass entrance. My experience has been 3:1 a 50% discount on entrance fees v. free.

Cape Canaveral National Seashore - Free
Ocala National Forest (twice at different areas) - 50%
Kerr Scott Reservoir - 50%


I e-mailed the NPS on their contact us form about the issue to get clarification but never received an answer.

I'm not, and wasn't complaining, it's still a great value, but the reality doesn't seem to match the policy.

Al
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