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NEWS ON ILLEGAL FEE SITUATION

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NEWS ON ILLEGAL FEE SITUATION

Postby Aaron Johnson » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:55 pm

Great news on the "fee front," for those of you opposed to fees and the illegal fee system the Forest Service, BLM and private concessionaires have been conspiring with. An important victory has been won, which should propell the battle forward. The offending organizations are starting to scramble and lawsuits against them are multiplying.

Here at SP I had a number of detractors and naysayers saying it couldn't be done, that going up against the government was a waste of time and money. I would suggest in reply that the government is wasting taxpayer money losing court battles over illegal fee schemes. The money could be spent taking better care of our public lands, or, more importantly, our disabled vets, for heaven's sake.

A particular battle I was involved in was the illegal fee being charged at Mount Evans near Denver. Mount Lemon, near Tuscon, was embroiled in a similar situation. The district court in Denver had narrowly sided with the forest service, which had us more determined than ever. The Mt. Lemon case was totally ruled in the favor of the people, which resulted in the freeing of Mount Evans from under the insidious fee system being imposed there. So I say to the naysayers-it CAN be done, and don't give up the fight. Exercise your rights as Americans, do your research and do not pay any illegal fee. I fear we might not be able to do much more exercising of our rights in the future, so act while you are able to before you're ordered to cease and desist. California, Oregon, Washington and a number of other states are now seeing more action in this area and will be the next battlefronts in this ongoing struggle.

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You can read about the many recently breaking events (and there's a lot going on) at the Western Slope No-Fee Coalition's website.
WESTERN SLOPE NO-FEE COALITION This post was made primarily to keep SP folks informed on the continuing fee debacle.
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Re: NEWS ON ILLEGAL FEE SITUATION

Postby Tonka » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:15 pm

Nice job Aaron!
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Re: NEWS ON ILLEGAL FEE SITUATION

Postby Bill Reed » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:03 pm

Thanks for all your efforts Aaron!!
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Re: NEWS ON ILLEGAL FEE SITUATION

Postby markhyams » Fri May 10, 2013 12:35 am

I used to live in Boulder and was always annoyed by the fees charged at Brainard Lake. Has that changed at all over the years? I seem to remember hearing something about court rulings saying that you can't be charged a fee just to park your car and hike, even if there are amenities there that you chose not to use. That would apply to the Brainard Lake area. Thanks for the update.

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Re: NEWS ON ILLEGAL FEE SITUATION

Postby Aaron Johnson » Mon May 13, 2013 3:28 am

Mark-

You are indeed correct. However, the Brainard Lake operation has been enrtrenched for years, even before the FLREA, so you'll get more resistance to this train of thought from the concessionaire there. If you are accosted for not paying the fee, simply accept the ticket, wish them well and go on about your business and simply do not pay the fee. It's more trouble than it's worth to chase after you for the fee, so they won't.

A side note-Several years back I paid the fee at the Cordova Pass trailhead for West Spanish Peak, then sent in a form letter citing FLREA regulations and demanding my fee be refunded. Guess what? They REFUNDED MY FEE. What does this imply? They KNOW they are wrong!

With the Mt. Evans matter clearly defined, Brainard Lake is now in the crosshairs of anti-fee activists and actions and events are supposedly taking place throughout the summer. As I am made aware, I'll post them here at SP.

EDIT-Another side note-MAN-it is DEAD quiet around here.
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Re: NEWS ON ILLEGAL FEE SITUATION

Postby markhyams » Mon May 13, 2013 3:21 pm

Aaron, thanks for the info. So the private concessionaire is still operating up at Brainard Lake? I looked on the Forest Service site, and at least they are accepting annual passes now. I remember back in the day when they wouldn't accept anything save for their own private passes.

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Re: NEWS ON ILLEGAL FEE SITUATION

Postby Aaron Johnson » Sun May 26, 2013 1:21 am

Plans are in the making for a good old fashioned protest against the NEW concessionaire at Brainard Lake in July. No date or mode of operation established yet. I will post the info as soon as I am informed. Apparently this new "owner" isn't honoring passes, so the protest will be on two fronts: the fee itself and the concessionaire's refusal to honor passes.

The Mt. Evans celebration was successful. Some of our cake, supplied bythe Echo Lake Lodge (a huge supporter in our cause), was given to the forest rangers manning the fee booth. Talk about irony! I might have a video compiled in a few weeks.
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