Park fee increases
- As many of you know state has been trying to juggle the funding for many services this year - schools, transportation, etc and state parks came in pretty close to the bottom of the priority list when it comes to operation funding. For this reason all of the parks have had to raise their fees for all users and services. Unfortunately, the individuals who advise DCR on horse related affairs did not see the new fee list in time to provide comment or contest the fees. We have done that now and are working through the headquarters in Richmond to try to reduce the just implemented fee structure that applies to day parking for horsetrailers.A number of folks have expressed their concern over the doubling of the fees for horsetrailers (to $5 - $7). What has become apparent during our discussions with the Richmond office is that they were under the impression that we were already paying a trailer fee (like the boaters). We were supposed to have been paying the fee all along as far as they are concerned. What they have learned is that in practice we have not been paying the it. My experience has been that the gate attendants have not asked for it so we have always paid a standard admissions fee.I do have concerns that we are being compared to the boaters who in most cases have access to more areas of a facility than we do. In some facilities we are not allowed in certain areas or on certain trails because they are in sensitive or public areas. A boater can leave his boat parked and going hiking anywhere he/she wishes. Basically, they have full access. If we were to do that, we would have to leave our horses unattended, which we know is not safe in public areas.
We (members of the VHC Trails Committee) have officially asked that the fee structure be re-examined and adjusted where possible. While these fees may be comparable to other state park systems and private camps around Virginia they are quite a jump for us. If these are the fees that they have to charge because parks would otherwise have to close (or close trails) then we’ll have to live with it. In the meantime I would encourage everyone who finds these fees a burden to get out your clippers and start earning your volunteer hours. All it takes is 50 hours to earn a yearly pass to the park that you volunteer with. 100 hours will earn you annual pass to all parks plus a free week of camping. The more hours you volunteer the better the perks get.I will let you know if we are able to work out a different fee schedule.Sally AungierChair, VHC Trails Committee
- ----- Original Message -----To: saungier@...Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2002 10:03 AMSubject: Re: [Vahorsetrails] Park fee increasesMy take on this is lets not be too quick to protest. Inflation hits everywhere. We all know that all parks are hard up for funds yet we all want what more funds would provide. We all manage to keep horses and the necessary vehicles to haul them around, not to mention the tack etc. We are a minority that the parks would not really miss if we all went away - which, as we know, many places wish we would. These are not big sums of money we are discussing, especially when one considers the cost of gas for going anywhere with a horse. I think we should graciously accept the fee increases and let them know how happy we are to be able to come. It's fine with me to post this note to the group. Thanks.Sincerely, Fay