The COURTS have ruled Adventure Pass is discretionary (not mandatory) The court was ambiguous as to whether the rest of the recreation fee demonstration program being discretionary. Let's whet your kids' appetite for spectator sports in the national forest. Click here to see what smokeybear.com coloring book wants your kids to think are good forest activities. =A0 US Forest Service Adventure Pass The US Forest Service in Southern California tells volunteers You gave, NOW GIVE MORE! They falsely announce to the world that volunteers are exempt from the Adventure Pass and then tell them they must buy a pass if they use the forest when off duty.=A0 Many volunteers are just scraping by financially such as students, under employed, etc., and would have to borrow the money for a pass, but the bureaucrats can not see that problem because they sit behind a desk and draw a full time government pay check.=A0=A0 All they can see is the potential income from adventure pass sales to volunteers and every one else.=A0 It is another example of BIG Government greed and a slap in the face of people who freely give their time and personal resources to maintain the National Forest and try to make it a nice place for everyone to visit.=A0 Perhaps being that this is just one of many test programs, they are testing volunteers to see how much they will take before it hurts the rate of volunteering.=A0=A0 If volunteer programs fall flat where they pull this trick then they will know this particular program will not work. Did you know that many projects are done mainly by volunteer labor but the signs are set to make one believe that the labor is paid for by adventure pass money. Services that have been performed for decades now have signs on them claiming the service is paid for by adventure pass money.=A0=A0 For example: there is a trash dumpster at Therman Flats Picnic area that has been there since the early 1970's that got an Adventure Pass Funding sign.=A0=A0 (That sign has been removed to prove this page untrue.) One of the Forest Service web pages claims "The number of repeat violators of the Adventure Pass program is very low.=A0=A0 Of 47,000 Notices of Non-compliance issued during the past year, about 30 individuals, or 0.07% are considered repeat offenders.=A0=A0 These individuals have three or more Notices of Non- compliance and have made no attempt to remedy the situation through payment of fees."=A0=A0 However they refuse to ticket me in my area because they know I will not pay.=A0=A0 In other words if they think you will not pay they will not ticket.=A0=A0 This makes compliance appear to be higher than it really is.=A0=A0 I have seen a FS person giving out tickets and pass my vehicle (He had heard me tell someone about the discretionary nature of the pass and commented about it to them).=A0=A0 I got no ticket and therefore no statistic either.=A0=A0 I know other people that do not get tickets anymore either.=A0=A0 It seems that they have a list of do not ticket vehicles. Most of the money collected goes to collections and enforcement.=A0=A0 20% goes to the treasury.=A0=A0 Each year the treasury gets 4% more of the take.=A0=A0 So is the second year the treasury gets 28%.=A0=A0 That leaves about 12% of the fees to go to projects.=A0=A0 The next year only about 8% will go to projects.=A0=A0 This is a very bad deal for the Forest Service and us tax payers.=A0=A0 Now Congress has cut from the FS budget the amount they collected from the demonstration fee.=A0=A0 So they are no further ahead than if there never was a fee.=A0=A0 They can make it appear that they have more money and can give "new" services because they cut back on waste somewhere else. Since Congress has been cutting VERY DEEPLY into the Forest Service Budget especially since 1994 the Forest Service has been strapped for funds to the point of greatly increasing the danger of disastrous fires.=A0=A0 They are caught in the middle on this one.=A0=A0 Is the answer to increase the cost of volunteering? Democrats George Miller (CA) and Earl Blumenauer (OR) are leading the charge to divert more of your taxes from the Forest Service and charging you to go on your land.=A0=A0 Another sneaky way to increase taxes so that BIG government can get BIGGER to control you more. Should you have to pay to inspect how your trustee is caring for your land? Do you take care of your National Forest as if you were going to invite guests over? It is my opinion that they would do better to charge market value or at least charge actual costs for mining claims, grazing, and wood cutting and logging permits instead of almost giving these away.=A0 (Oh yes, these funds go into a black hole and never return to this Forest or any National Forest.) These fees are set by congress and the agency has no say in how much they will charge.=A0=A0 Perhaps a better way would be to have a minimum fee set by congress and give the agency the option to charge as much more as their costs require. We need to get congress to reinstate the Forest Service share in the budget so that they can hire people instead of giving these people welfare and not letting them work.=A0 Congress should mandate that all use and entrance fees stay in the government service that generated the fee. I think that if a volunteer gives 10 to 20 hours or more of non court ordered civil service volunteer time the Forest Service should then grant=A0=A0=A0=A0 that volunteer an unrestricted (usable during off time) administrative pass or an adventure pass good for one year.=A0 Some other worthy volunteers are search and rescue, sheriff citizen patrol, fire fighters etc.=A0=A0 Many of these volunteers have to buy most of their own equipment and training.=A0=A0 Is it fair to expect them to give more than they already are giving? The president of a local search and rescue organization (All volunteers) informs me that they have to pay the fee while training or searching for someone in the National Forest.=A0=A0 The Forest Service tells me through my congressman that they do not.=A0=A0 Who do you believe? Other search and rescue volunteers have told me "I'm with the Sheriff's Search and Rescue team and am also irked at having to pay to hike in my call-out area.=A0=A0 On searches and trainings we're not supposed to have to have an Adventure Pass for the forest service to waive tickets.=A0=A0 But, we have to call them ahead and let them know so they won't do it (like they own the forest???) "However, a lot of us like to do personal trail familiarization hikes in our call-out area and adjoining call-out areas.=A0=A0 For those we have to have the almighty Pass." Do you want search and rescue to be familiar with the area when your child is lost? Most of time I have gone in to get an administrative pass to prepare for a program or class field trip, it has taken 30 to 40+ minutes to get the pass even though I called ahead.=A0=A0 I still had to arrange to go in to the office during office hours.=A0=A0 (April 1999 was a very fast one it only took about 5 minutes in the office.) What can you do about it?=A0=A0 Write e-mail to the Forest Service and your congressman is a good start.=A0=A0 You can print out and display protest art.=A0=A0 The Forest Service claims to Congress that we the people enjoy paying these new TAXES.=A0=A0 Have you told your congress representative the level of your GREAT joy in paying for this tax diversion? (I do not necessarily agree with the opinions of any link.) Tucson Weekly Said the fees are a toothless tiger. DoI Report to Congress Forest Service Report to Congress New Forest Fee is Double Billing editorial by California Assemblyman BRETT GRANLUND Parking on state highways in National Forests Parking on state highways in National Forests Legislative Counsel opinion "Adventure" Pass a Violation of California's Constitution? HR786 Sponsored by Rep. Bono 106 congress bill will eliminate the fees in national forests HR2295 Sponsored by Rep. Capps 106 congress bill will eliminate the fees in national forests and allocate funds to the recreation budget. =A0 E-mail links: US Forest Service US Congress members Congressional E-mail addresses E-mail=A0=A0=A0=A0 House Committee on=A0 Agriculture Congressman Jerry Lewis 40 CA Other user fee (double tax) sites : Fees for the Angeles National Forest Free Our Forests Free Our Parks & Forests Wild Wilderness Who owns the land of the National Forest? This form does not send an e-mail message to me. Tell The US Forest Service what you think about: Recreation Fee Demonstration Your name:=A0 Your e-mail address:=A0 Comments:=A0 =A0=A0=A0 Matt's Script Archive Privacy Act Notice: Your name and email address are requested only so that the Forest Service can respond to your comments.=A0=A0 Providing this information is voluntary. If you think that I am all wet in my protest in this experimental Adventure Pass issue, drop me John Goude a line. When E-mailing do not remove the anti spam * from the subject line. I have gladly served with the Forest Service as a Volunteer Interpretive Specialist for 5 summers mainly leading nature walks for the general public and have given school programs during the rest of the year.=A0 This means that at times I need to go into the National Forest when not giving a program to prepare.=A0 Technically I am not on duty and need a pass.=A0 Very often things I use in a program happen when I am in the National Forest not planning a program.=A0 As experienced outdoors people know, one can not plan most of these types of encounters with nature.=A0 In my thinking they make or break an interpretive presentation. For example:=A0 One time I was backpacking on the Sugarloaf mountain in the San Bernardino mountains.=A0 During the evening we were watching the stars and a very bright meteor went streaking across the sky.=A0=A0 It suddenly exploded and filled the moon less dark night sky with bright light!=A0 Can such a story add to a star watch when there are meteors streaking across the sky?=A0 Can you plan such an encounter with nature? In the ceremony on 10/26/97 where they acknowledged the other volunteers including many of the ones planning on not being present, the Forest Service decided to single me out and refused to publicly acknowledge any of my volunteer time, of about 100 hours.=A0 After the ceremony I was told it was because of my non public protest of volunteers having to buy Adventure Passes.=A0 Up to that time I had kept my protest to be within the organization.=A0=A0 I have now gone public with this page because of this move on their part. As the bumper sticker a fellow volunteer gave me says: Can't see the forest for the fees I invite you to check out the rest of my internet site for Dining on the Wilds. Copyright =A9 1997, 1998, 1999 John Goude When E-mailing do not remove the anti spam * from the subject line.