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Greetings to you all and happy spring!!

You may have heard that the Moab BLM is proposing to increase the special area fee in Westwater Canyon in 2013. The fee would be raised from $7 per person to $10 per person for both private and commercial boaters. The last time this special area fee was increased was in 1998. As you can imagine most things (including staff labor, gas, gear and facility maintenance) have increased in price since 1998.

The fortunate reality is that 100% of the fee does stay right here with the Moab BLM for use on the river program. The fees that you pay when you acquire a Westwater permit actually do pay the ranger's salary as well as the person that you speak to in order to get the river permit. The special area fees are also used to maintain the potable water system, ranger facility, campground and toilets at both Westwater and Cisco.

There is a business plan posted at the address below and I encourage you to share your comments prior to March 22nd. Thank you!!

Colorado River Business Plan
 

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Will the 1$ road fee be on top of that or did that get shut down.

The reality is that managing these places cost money. I think its smart that they up it by $3 as opposed to $1 like the post office model where they up the cost of a stamp a penny every so often instead of a nickel less often.

The post office is in the red; I'd prefer the river rangers had the money to manage the river appropriately. three more dollars added to a Westy permit is entirely irrelevant to the trip cost.
 

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Personally the $10 per person fee seems pretty reasonable (assuming you are on an overnight trip). It sure beats the $200 flat rate of Dinosaur floats... which completely discourages smaller groups.
 

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Makes Sense

I get it.
Those of you responding so negatively, I do have to wonder at the disconnect with reality shown by that sort of immediate dismissal. I know that there were good old days with no or lower fees and that (hopefully) the frustrations are coming from old timers who remember the river in a different time.

Unfortunately those times are changing (have changed). The exponential increase in private and commercial white water activity in Utah over the last two decades requires regulation.
It would be nice if it didn't.
It would be nice if everyone could share and take turns and clean up after themselves like the teacher taught in kindergarten (gold star and ladybug stickers for everyone!), but the reality is that those lessons do not seem to 'take' in a lot of people. Rangers have taken over for kindergarten teachers to be sure that grown-ups do all of the above (On a side note to rangers- I would really appreciate getting some shiny stickers every once in a while. Maybe a 'leave no trace' award on our receipt? Possibly scratch and sniff?).

To those of you being so harsh:
Do you realize people have to be paid to do that?
(shocking, I know, that we all don't just volunteer for daily drunk douchebag duty)
Do you realize those people need somewhere to work out of?
Do you realize that a building comes with maintenance and utility costs?
Have you noticed expenses going up (just a skoach) in the last few years?

I am just confused, I guess, at the tone of the posts above. And I hope that some of you could take a little more time to consider an alternate opinion, or see the other side of the argument, rather then just starting a moan fest (and not the good kind) and immediately crucifying the messenger.
 

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'Tis the season. Everyone starts getting extra snarky online as winter ends. We are all ready to start boating, but the season has not really started yet.
 

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I get it.
Those of you responding so negatively, I do have to wonder at the disconnect with reality shown by that sort of immediate dismissal. I know that there were good old days with no or lower fees and that (hopefully) the frustrations are coming from old timers who remember the river in a different time.

Unfortunately those times are changing (have changed). The exponential increase in private and commercial white water activity in Utah over the last two decades requires regulation.
It would be nice if it didn't.
It would be nice if everyone could share and take turns and clean up after themselves like the teacher taught in kindergarten (gold star and ladybug stickers for everyone!), but the reality is that those lessons do not seem to 'take' in a lot of people. Rangers have taken over for kindergarten teachers to be sure that grown-ups do all of the above (On a side note to rangers- I would really appreciate getting some shiny stickers every once in a while. Maybe a 'leave no trace' award on our receipt? Possibly scratch and sniff?).

To those of you being so harsh:
Do you realize people have to be paid to do that?
(shocking, I know, that we all don't just volunteer for daily drunk douchebag duty)
Do you realize those people need somewhere to work out of?
Do you realize that a building comes with maintenance and utility costs?
Have you noticed expenses going up (just a skoach) in the last few years?

I am just confused, I guess, at the tone of the posts above. And I hope that some of you could take a little more time to consider an alternate opinion, or see the other side of the argument, rather then just starting a moan fest (and not the good kind) and immediately crucifying the messenger.

Good post- surely there is some merit in what you say- as well as the way you say it. I also realize that these are Federal employees and the largest check I write each year is to Uncle Sam. I don't have kids. I pay gas tax every time I fill up....Is my entire tax check going toward national defense? I don't really see much else that comes my way as a result when I get hit with additional fees all the time. Why is this localized fee system just accepted and allowed to grow? It's another layer of taxation- and it precludes a citizen of this country from enjoying the very nicest things this nation has to offer without paying additional taxes for the pleasure of enjoying their own land. I'm sorry- but the slippery slope of lost Liberty in our country needs more attention from all of us. I'll pay the fee- but I'll speak out against crappy government like this as a result. Ever notice that the National Park facilities in Washington DC are free? Ever wonder why that is?.....
 

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Is my entire tax check going toward national defense? I don't really see much else that comes my way as a result when I get hit with additional fees all the time.

....the slippery slope of lost Liberty in our country ......
Osseus,

I'm not a big fan of having to shell out a few bucks more for the permit fees either, however, your federal taxes were cut under the Bush administration while our nation went on a massive spending binge. Currently folks are complaining about the possibility of increasing taxes at a time when US citizens ask just as much as ever for our government. As a result, we've entered the "user fee" era when, instead all public land activities being heavily subsidized by the government, users are asked to pay fees to help offset costs for the facilities and land management we enjoy. At Westwater, these are things like concrete boatramps, tamarisk eradication and cottonwood reintroduction, and staff to enforce regulations that keep places like Westwater from being literal shitshows like Ruby-HT is now, and so forth.

So how do you propose to pay for what you get? On your income tax return with higher taxes? Maybe you'd like the BLM just adopt a libertarian approach and contract with the Six Flags corporation to manage the place? Maybe the BLM could just sell off the rights to the highest bidder who could shut off public access and cater solely to the ultra wealthy? I bet you'd find out real quick just how much it really costs to manage the place then. Or do you want to go back to the days when there were trash, charred embers, and shit-filled catholes at every camp? Or how about a modest $10/person user fee for a very fine whitewater and on-river camping experience?

Your reference to this fee increase being an assault on "Liberty" is hogwash and sounds a lot like the adolescent rebellion of someone who's been hoodwinked into believing you really can get something for nothing. It's also demeaning to confuse the concept of our real liberties with having to pay a few bucks to enjoy a beautiful natural resource.

Frankly, I've always looked at what you get for the price of a Westwater permit as a pretty good deal and it hasn't gone up in 12 years. I'll bet you a sixpack they still won't bring in nearly enough in permit fees to actually pay for the operations there after the increase.

-AH
 

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The fees were implemented long before the "Bush tax cuts"- now owned and endorsed by Obama, btw. That label is entirely partisan when both parties and two administrations have implemented the same "cuts". After 10 years, I've got new for you- it's the tax rate. Despite what the scheisters in DC have sold you, they passed outlandish spending increases with full knowledge of the tax rates and the revenue they would generate. You simply attach that to the party of your choice and quietly shake your head in disbelief? Your argument doesn't really hold water when it ignores the facts in favor of your chosen ideology.

I don't want "something for nothing", I want something for the largest bill I pay every year- my federal taxes. They labeled this land as "public" yet our federal taxes aren't enough to properly manage it? That's where the real hogwash lies, the utter failure in management our tax dollars are saddled with. That's what federal taxes are for- federal programs.... like the parks program? They'll let us use the pretty parts- as long as we pay extra? If you're not offended by that, you have lost some of your liberty without even knowing it. FYI- You're supposed to be pissed off at stuff like that-
 

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With so many people using limited resources, regulations are a necessity. In fact, I very much appreciate the majority of the regulations (so long as they are enforced). I especially appreciate regulations that are intended to govern behaviors that have the potential to negatively affect other users’ experience, i.e., quiet hours, dogs, etc. Dinosaur National Monument is bad ass in this regard. When you are able to draw a DNP permit you get a very pristine river experience. I was happy to pay $7 at Westwater and I will happily pay $10. $3 more to get dogs banned - hot damn it’s a bargain! Now if they can just ban motors, stereos, and cats, I’d probably be willing to pay $15.
 

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Politics aside, I just think it is awesome the local BLM office uses the buzz to let us all know about the increase. It sure beats reading it in a sign or flier at the put in! I think they do a great job and am psyche to see them post here.
 

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The fees were implemented long before the "Bush tax cuts"- now owned and endorsed by Obama, btw. That label is entirely partisan when both parties and two administrations have implemented the same "cuts". After 10 years, I've got new for you- it's the tax rate. Despite what the scheisters in DC have sold you, they passed outlandish spending increases with full knowledge of the tax rates and the revenue they would generate. You simply attach that to the party of your choice and quietly shake your head in disbelief? Your argument doesn't really hold water when it ignores the facts in favor of your chosen ideology.

I don't want "something for nothing", I want something for the largest bill I pay every year- my federal taxes. They labeled this land as "public" yet our federal taxes aren't enough to properly manage it? That's where the real hogwash lies, the utter failure in management our tax dollars are saddled with. That's what federal taxes are for- federal programs.... like the parks program? They'll let us use the pretty parts- as long as we pay extra? If you're not offended by that, you have lost some of your liberty without even knowing it. FYI- You're supposed to be pissed off at stuff like that-

very true
 

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I don't have kids.
I'm just curious what this has to do with anything. My mind is running wild with speculation and I don't want to imply anything that is not your intention.
 

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Nothing sinister- just that any federal money (or state for that matter- since there are plenty of state fees as well) that goes toward education does not come back as a direct benefit for my family. Certainly there are benefits for the greater good. I'm not anti tax- I'm anti federal waste and anti double dip taxes for people who've already paid their "fair share" (love that class warfare canard).
 
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