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Life on California's beautiful Central Coast

Thoughts about the Forest Service

The last few nights it has really become apparently that our National Forest Service needs to develop a uniform policy about pricing and pass usage.
This is something we were already aware of before we came on this trip, having dealt with the somewhat arbitrary fee decisions made down at the end of Paradise Road back home by the fee concessionaires responsible for that area.
We ran into a similar situation south of Durango last night. Although we already knew that the Pagosa Ranger District honored our National Parks Access Pass/federal lands pass for free camping in all of its campgrounds, the concessionaire responsible for collecting the fees argued with us when we attempted to share with them that the pass allows for 50 percent discounts on all federal camping and usage fees. We won the argument by showing them the brochure that states the policy very clearly.
Here’s the thing: if they were offering any services, I wouldn’t mind paying to camp on top of the pass purchase. But the National Forest campgrounds are the most run-down, poorly serviced, awfully kept campgrounds that we’ve been in.
In Colorado, you can park in the National Forest for free as long as you are 100 feet off the road. We’re going for this approach from here on out, but the real solution would be for a uniform, nationwide policy on this to be established. Also, some of the economic stimulus funds should be used to perk up and improve our nation’s campgrounds.
End rant. (Thanks for listening.)

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