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Old 08-18-2016, 03:37 PM   #1
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The $10 lifetime senior pass needs to end

Saw this news article today (link below). The author sure has a strong opinion. Not sure it pertains to anybody on this forum.

The $10 lifetime senior pass needs to end
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Old 08-18-2016, 05:38 PM   #2
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And the premise is wrong. The pass does not get you everything for free. While I have no experience in national parks, in national forests it got me a discount on entry and nothing on camping fees. In a facility operated by a concessionaire, the concessionaire is free to set their own policy relative to discounts for the senior pass.

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Old 08-18-2016, 06:19 PM   #3
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One must remember— or be told if one doesn't remember— that the National Park Srvice is one of the few Federal agencies that actually turns a profit each year.

The profits are taken by Congress and rolled into the General Fund rather than staying in the NPS, but still, the $10 Senior Passes as well as the $0 Access Passes for handicapped of all ages, do not detract significantly from the NPS revenue stream.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:22 PM   #4
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I sure wish that I, as a Canadian, could get that NPS senior pass! I get 10% of camping at Ontario Provincial Parks.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:40 PM   #5
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I believe the article was written by a woman...but it really doesn't make any difference. It would be so easy to "violate" every bit of decorum this forum offers by a real expression of what one thinks of the idea much less the proposal! With that said I'll say nothing more.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
One must remember— or be told if one doesn't remember— that the National Park Srvice is one of the few Federal agencies that actually turns a profit each year.
I thought the IRS was the only agency that turned a profit!😁

Regardless, all you posters age 62 and over, you got your pass so this doesn't affect you. So relax. The proposal affects me (age 56) and other younger working folks. Yet $80 for life seems still seems like a bargain.
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:41 PM   #7
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The concept is bad. Encouraging folks to use resources is good policy. If old folks have more money, they will spend it. The cost to experience Yellowstone was over $50 a night for the worst campground we stayed at on our trip. We purchased items at the park store as well as fuel and LPG. The local economy was not hurt by a free entry.

Enjoy the parks. Pat
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:03 PM   #8
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I know I'm going to get it for this(phrasing): If you get this simply for being old then every veteran who honorably served this country and swore to protect and defend this country with their life, should get into every National Park for free.
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:06 PM   #9
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I know I'm going to get it for this(phrasing): If you get this simply for being old then every veteran who honorably served this country and swore to protect and defend this country with their life, should get into every National Park for free.
I agree, totally.

Thank you for you service.
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:31 PM   #10
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I'm wondering what "turning a profit" for the Park Service might mean. The most current issue of High Country News (August 22), devoted to the Park Service's centennial celebration this year (August 25 is the 100th anniversary of the legislation that created the Park Service), has a good article on funding, and, citing federal sources, suggests that Yellowstone alone has a maintenance backlog of more than 600 million dollars. And, in 2013 it was estimated that the annual growth in the system-wide deferred maintenance bucket was $256 million.

I have a senior pass, which I use many times annually. The article in question in the Salt Lake Tribune is just silly. Oddly, there is no author listed--only "Tribune Reporters." One can tell from the included email contact who the author might be, but it seems rather fainthearted to hide behind the facade of a "group article."

The danger, as High Country News points out, is that with continued non-funding (yes, by the Congress) of the parks, there is pressure to engage in "corporate sponsorship" arrangements, and we know where that will end.

Mission 66, the decade-long funding program that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Park Service, poured over one billion dollars (what would that be in today's money?) into park maintenance and infrastructure. What a shame that for the 100th anniversary we couldn't find it in ourselves to do even that much for the parks.

Perhaps the best way to celebrate the anniversary would be to thank the park rangers for the superb job they do day in and day out.
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:49 PM   #11
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The national park fees and library overdue fines are the only things I don't mind paying. Just saying. Really grateful for having national parks and libraries.

This year the get every kids in national parks program will get us free entry to all national parks. Happy with that. But happy to pay too
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:57 PM   #12
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I'm wondering what "turning a profit" for the Park Service might mean.
Remember that I said the NPS doesn't get to keep its revenues; they are put into the General Fund, and some part of those revenues is doled back out to the NPS while the rest goes to other agencies.

"Turning a profit" in this case simply means that the dollars collected in revenue exceed the dollars allocated to the NPS budget by Congress. The fact that hundreds of millions of dollars worth of deferred maintenance never get funded is a symptom of Congress placing a lower priority on the work than they probably should compared to other agencies that are clamoring for money from the same general fund, and is not reflected in the balance sheet.

But since NPS is a Government agency, it doesn't have to turn a profit to stay in business; it could conceivably operate at a loss every year as long as Congress keeps funding it. And in fact, some individual parks do operate at a loss every year, while others operate at enough of a profit to keep the agency as a whole in the black.

NPS has an annual budget of almost 3 billion dollars. By comparison, Health and Human Services has a budget totaling just over 1 trillion dollars. The entire NPS budget for a year would fund HHS for less than a day.
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:21 PM   #13
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Hi, I'm sure glad to hear that all of the old people are wealthy. They didn't mention how much we old people paid to get into these parks before we turned 62, did they?
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:54 AM   #14
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And yet if I post on here that the states should take control of whatever parks are in there territory, I get blasted.
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