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I largely agree with you, Denis. Except for the part about gladly paying when grazing, logging, and mining subsidies are eliminated.

Public lands like the National Forests and BLM-managed lands should never institute fees (although free, limited permits are, in my opinion, an acceptable way to limit traffic to sensitive areas) for non-profit, ie, recreational, users. National Forests are like public schools. Not every one goes to them, but everyone has the right to do so without being charged. That's what taxes are for.

Any fee-based model is income discriminatory. Many people dismiss this with a laugh and say the fees are such that everyone can afford them, but this is not true. The lower your income the more it costs (in terms of percentage of your assets) to visit public land. Another example: as the law currently exists, one can purchase annual passes. These may be cost-effective for frequent users, but the initial fee may be too much for low income people, so they are limited to the 1-use "ticket," meaning that they end up paying more in the long run or visiting the forests less. Not only are fees double-taxation, they're _regressive_ double taxation

On Dec 20, 2007 9:47 AM, Denis Bogan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Thanks, Ben.  I oppose the fee demo program.  I'll gladly pay to use National Forests and wilderness areas when they charge for grazing on BLM land and eliminate logging and mining subsidys.  Those perks were established to open up the west 150 years ago and have long outlived their usefulness.  Today they are just pork.  Westerners who say they want the government to get the lleh out of their lives actually do not mean that, they mean, "give us our free grazing on BLM land, and our logging and mining subsidys and then get the lleh out of our lives."
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