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Idaho State Parks to raise rates for non-residents at selected parks


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This will be interesting. We were Interpretive Hosts at Farragut for two summers, and that park was packed from July thru mid-September.  Many (most?) of the visitors were from nearby Washington state (Spokane was an hour away) or from Canada, which led to great frustration from area residents. While this move will undoubtedly open up access to residents of Idaho, I will be interested to hear how it impacts their overall numbers.  

To be honest I wouldn't mind seeing our Texas State Parks do something similar, as it is very difficult to get into them and, especially during the winter, it is not unusual to see large numbers of out-of-state plates. We've certainly paid our share of higher "out-of-state" state campground fees in our travels over the years. What's good for the goose...

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I suspect doubling the fees for out of staters will definitely open up sites for residents. NY added a $5 non-resident fee to their campground rates a few years ago, but I haven't noticed a big drop off in out of state license tags. COVID cut way down on Canadian tags of course, but that probably won't last much longer. Doubling the fees would be a different story I'm sure...

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It may also boost the business for the private park campgrounds.  I find a number of commercial parks in the price range or even below that of the popular state parks.  In Island Park area, very close to Henry's Lake (one of the 4 designated parks) I found 3 private commercial campgrounds with prices between the $48 & $64 prices for Henry's Lake state park campground. 

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Nevada state parks also just raised their rates for out of staters for day use and maybe camping fees as well.  I do have their free entry pass for disabled vets and their camping fees are only $15.00 with no hook ups at some of their parks I frequently use.  This is offset by the free or discounted camping rates I receive at NF/BLM campgrounds in NV, Calif, and Oregon and some SPs in Calif.  Happy Camper here. 

 Check out NV SP website.  It is free and easy to do. This is a PSA for your info only.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1735404620095049&type=3

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The beginning was bad and the ending will

 

Edited by NamMedevac 70
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What I'd like to see is reciprocal charges. Example: If Idaho charges out of state residents $10.00 a night, then an Idahoan lands in a Pennsylvania State Park, that entrant would be charged a extra 10 bucks. 

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21 minutes ago, bobsallyh said:

What I'd like to see is reciprocal charges. Example: If Idaho charges out of state residents $10.00 a night, then an Idahoan lands in a Pennsylvania State Park, that entrant would be charged a extra 10 bucks. 

I can see where that would be a nightmare for a state park to implement (dozens of different rates and having to check drivers licenses, license plates, etc.), but I can certainly understand state parks adding a surcharge for out-of-state guests as a way to give preference to their own residents. As demand continues to grow for camping spots I can foresee some changes to fee structures.  

I my area of the Texas Hill Country is is common for the local parks to have a relatively low entrance fee for residents and a higher fee for non-residents. Our local city park (day use only) charges $10 per person if you are from out of the county, $5 if you live in the county but not in the city limits, and is free for city residents. They offer other discounts for over 65, veterans, active military, first responders, etc. Complex fee structure for sure!

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We gave up on state parks shortly after we started full timing when we noticed that most states charged extra PER DAY for cars pulled by motorhomes, but not for trucks pulling a trailer UNLESS you purchased an annual pass.   Since we weren't in the states long enough to make an annual pass make sense, we just stayed with membership parks when possible, COE in the midwest, etc.   

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While I can't speak to all states in this matter I will only speak about our local state parks.  Arkansas has some of the finest facilities we've come across in State Parks.  We've seen this first hand and I've spoken to a friend who is a ranger at a nearby state park.  A number out-of-state visitors seem to have little respect for the rules and property during their stay.  Signs posted closing a trail due to needed repairs, trash left everywhere, graffiti on the walls of restrooms and bathhouse, and someone taking a dump along an open trail, all committed by out of state visitors is on the rise.  In the cases mentioned there have been fines and even one arrest for someone getting aggressive when told to turn around on a closed trail and the guest said he paid for his visit and no sign was going to tell him where he could or couldn't go.  Bad behavior is everywhere, just look at the problems faced by flight attendants across the country.  Personally, we have no issue with paying higher prices at state parks when we travel, as long as we receive what we paid for.  A clean, well-maintained campground that enforces the rules they set for all campers.

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TTB SSAT.  Well then if someone tows a truck behind a motorhome then it must be a car according to them  otherwise they think a truck is not a car and a car is not a truck.  When I last noticed a long time ago an extra car was  $5.00 or sometimes $10.00 a day but may now be a lot more with recent inflation.  

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1734375066864671&type=3

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Edited by NamMedevac 70
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4 hours ago, Mr. Camper said:

 A number out-of-state visitors seem to have little respect for the rules and property during their stay.  Signs posted closing a trail due to needed repairs, trash left everywhere, graffiti on the walls of restrooms and bathhouse, and someone taking a dump along an open trail, all committed by out of state visitors is on the rise.  

How would you know that every instance was done by out-of-state visitors?  That's a BIG accusation!

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4 hours ago, Mr. Camper said:

A number out-of-state visitors seem to have little respect for the rules and property during their stay. 

Having been a host at several state parks in several different states, I suspect that the vast majority of such problems are caused by local people and only rarely by visitors from other states.

 

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6 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

We gave up on state parks shortly after we started full timing when we noticed that most states charged extra PER DAY for cars pulled by motorhomes, but not for trucks pulling a trailer UNLESS you purchased an annual pass.   Since we weren't in the states long enough to make an annual pass make sense, we just stayed with membership parks when possible, COE in the midwest, etc.   

I don't know what most states do, but Florida, Georgia, and New York state parks at least, do not charge a fee for toads.

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1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

Having been a host at several state parks in several different states, I suspect that the vast majority of such problems are caused by local people and only rarely by visitors from other states.

 

I have to agree,  as host we saw the most disrespect for the park from the locals, especially the younger locals.

Ken 

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I see the same types of people trashing up campgrounds and day use areas in every state I have been in and that is many.  Some people call them heathens but that is cruel and unusual punishment to the pathetic woke crowd.  Most seem to have local plates of that particular state.  Just saying.  Happy Trails to most but not all.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1734375066864671&type=3

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11 hours ago, Kirk W said:

Having been a host at several state parks in several different states, I suspect that the vast majority of such problems are caused by local people and only rarely by visitors from other states.

 

Perhaps you didn't finish reading my post but the incidents sited where from the ranger and personal observation and in each case the perps were ticketed and fined or in the one case arrested.

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3 hours ago, Mr. Camper said:

Perhaps you didn't finish reading my post

I read it all. I have hosted in 7 different states(11 different times) and my experience/opinion remains the same. In the parks we have stayed in for a month or longer, the number of visitors from within the state has always far exceeded the number of visitors from all other states combined, which I am sure plays a part in my observations. 

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We see the same with the city parks and the BLM land that we’ve been in the last couple weeks Nebraska,Wyoming and Idaho. Most are in state plates and the locals are the ones that don’t obey dog rules or picking up there trash, from my observation. We have picked up trash from more than one place as we walk. It is not all the locals that act like this but it doesn’t take many to make a park look trashy. 

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5 hours ago, Danandfreda said:

It is not all the locals that act like this but it doesn’t take many to make a park look trashy. 

I suspect that it is mostly a matter of how many of each are there. As a boy I was taught that when in the outdoors you always leave the place nicer/cleaner than you found it. When our boys were growing up we always took a family trash walk as part of every camping stop. As a Scoutmaster I did the same with my troop. 

Of the places we have been campground hosts, the cleanest campers we have observed would be at Salt Creek Park, a county park about 100 miles to the west of Seattle, WA. We hosted there 2 times for a total of 5 months and litter pickup was one of our Monday duties. With 92 campsites, there was never a time that we filled a Walmart bag with trash. 

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That is impressive Kirk, about how clean it was. Yesterday here in Idaho it was free fishing day ( no license needed). It was very crowded at the hatchery where they let you fish. I took a walk Over there this afternoon and filled a plastic bag with trash in about a 600 ft bank fishing area. I had just did that Thursday when we got here and didn’t pick up much. Almost all locals yesterday. Can’t understand why anybody would want to trash up an area so beautiful. 

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On 6/11/2021 at 2:16 PM, bobsallyh said:

What I'd like to see is reciprocal charges. Example: If Idaho charges out of state residents $10.00 a night, then an Idahoan lands in a Pennsylvania State Park, that entrant would be charged a extra 10 bucks. 

 

CA freeways are "free" to everyone - yet CA residents pay for the roads & maint.  In many other states the "Through Ways / Express Ways" or whatever are toll roads.  Make all CA freeways toll roads - with fees adjusted for residents and non-residents.

Might even improve traffic congestion!

(Yeah - mission impossible.)

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2 minutes ago, Pappy Yokum said:

 

CA freeways are "free" to everyone - yet CA residents pay for the roads & maint.  In many other states the "Through Ways / Express Ways" or whatever are toll roads.  Make all CA freeways toll roads - with fees adjusted for residents and non-residents.

Might even improve traffic congestion!

(Yeah - mission impossible.)

CA gets highway funding from the Federal-aid Highway Program:

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/federal-aidessentials/federalaid.cfm

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1 hour ago, Pappy Yokum said:

CA freeways are "free" to everyone - yet CA residents pay for the roads & maint.

Quote
Sep 14, 2020 — California has a reputation for maximizing its federal funding and ... Caltrans received roughly $312 million of the $493 million, and local ... with state funding from Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. 
Quote

 The 2,102 miles of toll roads in the Interstate System will not affect their status as toll roads. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 permits this, although no Federal-aid funds may be used for their improvement.    https://www.fhwa.dot.gov

 

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On 6/12/2021 at 2:08 PM, Kirk W said:

Having been a host at several state parks in several different states, I suspect that the vast majority of such problems are caused by local people and only rarely by visitors from other states.

 

We had the same issue on the National Forest in eastern Washington.

When I compared citations written to a statistical survey of our visitors I found that the percentages were pretty much a perfect match. 

That is both locals and western Washington residents got citations in almost the exact same proportions as their use!!!

People are people.  That doesn't change by location.

Visitors from other states, farther away, might be  "better" stewards.  They are wealthier and seek out faraway places.

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10 hours ago, Vladimir said:

People are people.  That doesn't change by location.

We may just have to disagree on this one. We have spent a lot of time in state, county, and federal parks in many parts of the country and I assure you that states where the environmental movement is strong have far less littering than do states with little environmental awareness. You can see the same thing along the highways as you move from state to state. The vast majority of people who leave litter behind and never cited, while volunteer hosts walk the park to pick up what is left behind.

I believe that the amount of enforcement effort also plays a significant part in the amount of litter left behind. That effort varies widely from one state to the next and even from one federal park to the next. I suspect that as a paid employee you saw things from a very different point of view than do those of us who volunteer and live in the park 24/7.

Edited by Kirk W
correct typo
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