Forest Service fee boost

Comments

Gary Vaplon 1 year, 8 months ago

It is interesting that the Tonto forest service wants to increase user fees to cover an expected shortfall in a single line item of their budget. I would like to see their whole budget but have not been able to see it on line. Should it be a public record? The USDA forest budget is on line and includes justification for the total 2013 forest service budget and several prior years. One would think that increased revenue from ATV users, grazing fees, timber sales, mining fees, etc. could be used to off set the need for increasing camp ground fees.

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 8 months ago

"I would like to see their whole budget but have not been able to see it on line."

Exactly! So would everyone else.

Until we get to see those numbers there's no reason to agree with any increases. What is there to hide? If the need is real, and figures for the money coming in--and going out--can be shown to prove it, why not show them?

Wouldn't that make it easy to gather support?

So why aren't we seeing numbers?

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Gary Vaplon 1 year, 8 months ago

The USDA oversees 170 million acres and puts their budget on line and presents to congress. I would think that the Tonto forest service management could at least share their buget for 3 million acres.

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 8 months ago

Amen, Gary.

Want us to support you? Be open and honest. Otherwise forget it.

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Tom Garrett 1 year, 8 months ago

I had originally intended to put up a string on this subject, but since we already have one here's what it was going to say.

137 What's left out of this discussion?

I'll quote 3 paragraphs from the article about forest service fees:

"The meeting in Payson stems from the rising recreation program deficit on the Tonto Forest. That deficit arose mostly from a decline in the amount of money the Forest Service spends on operating campgrounds and other facilities."

"For instance, in 2011 the Tonto National Forest invested about $2.8 million in operating its vast network of campgrounds and other facilities and collected about $2.5 million in fees. That produced a roughly $90,000 surplus in the recreation program."

"However, in 2013 the budget projects the Forest Service will spend $2.1 million in “allocated” funds and collect another $2.4 million in fees. That will produce a projected $920,000 deficit in the program — a roughly 20 percent shortfall."

Not a single word covered the actual numbers. We were just told that usage is up and costs along with it, but we were not told how much is going out, where it is going, and who's getting it.

How can the Forest Service expect us to support them unless they lay the numbers on the table?

Is that unreasonable?

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