On Tue, 28 Oct 2003 14:12:38 -0500, Skip King
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:(with some snippage)

>>In the case of objection 2, either you or your buddy overlooks the fact
>that ski areas (and other users) DO pay fees if they lease forest service
>land.  How much is a function of how much Forest Service land is used - at
>many ski areas, some of the land is private and some FS - but IIRC, a ski
>area like Loon, which is almost entirely on FS land, the payment is
>something on the order of a buck or two for every lift ticket

About 12 years ago I did a feasibility study for a possible outdoor guide
service in UT.  IIRC, the land use fee was 10% of gross receipts.

>And while I don't know much about the economics of logging, I suspect that
>if the fees charged to logging companies for the rights to log on FS land
>are "artificially low,"

I don't have the numbers handy(if pressed for it, I'll look it up), but I
do know that we taxpayers subsidize the loggers.  The reason for this is
that the govt. pays the cost of building the forest roads that are needed
to haul the trees out.  The cost of these roads is not included in the
income/expense reports of lumber deals, so the deals look profitable when
the really aren't.  The Government Accounting Office reported this problem
close to a decade ago, but Western Pols are very closely tied to the lumber
industry, so nothing changes.

>as many critics charge, the public benefits in that
>wood prices are thus held lower (which considering that people need places
>to live ain't necessarily a bad thing, although I'm generally opposed to

Since we're subsidizing the industry, the price isn't really held lower;
we're all paying up front through taxes so that those who feel the need to
build new homes can have lower lumber costs.
As for people needing places to live, I agree, but not the 4000 sq. ft.
places that I see going up all over the countries subarbs.

>But these forests were NOT
>established to be the sole province of anyone - be that a logger who wants
>to cut large swathes of trees or a hiker who wants to see nothing cut
>whatsoever.  The "upkeep" issue understates the costs, because the true
>costs also include law enforcement in these areas, wildlife protection,
>fire fighting and so forth.

Don't forget laying down more asphalt for new RV camping areas.

> From a fundamental issue of fairness, I have to say that I'm more aligned
>with FS guy #2 than I am with FS guy #1 (and you).  No one wants to pay
>fees, of course, but if the fee structure exists, you have the right to
>determine if you want to use that land for your own purposes; you can use
>it or not and pay the fee or not.

We can also use the land and say we already payed the fee with our taxes
that subsidized the industries that are getting off dirt-cheap(Go ahead and
look up the cost of mining on federal land to see what I mean.)

>  It's  our choice.  You're countering that with a proposal that *I*
>should pay for your use of that
>land, either in the form of taxes or higher lift ticket costs, whether I
>personally want to or not.  In other words, you're asking the government to
>take money from ME to support YOUR interests. See the difference?

The govt is already taking money from you to support the logging, ranching
& mining interests.  A lot more of your tax$ is spent supporting these
interests than any recreational interest.

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