What do you think? It sounds like this isn’t the first time this has been considered, and the park has seen a big increase in visitors but not an increase in funding for operations. How much would you pay to mountain bike at Dupont?
I like the idea of offering yearly passes for in state residents and charging per visit for out of state visitors. I think most regular users of Dupont would be willing to pay $40-50/year for access, and out of state visitors would be willing to pay $5/visit. An entry fee might slightly decrease the number of times per year I visit Dupont, but not significantly.
I can’t speak to the Dupont trails, since I’m in NH and have never visited them. But I can say I am more than happy to pay for the trails I use and do so by buying a NH State Parks pass, being a dues-paying member of NEMBA, and utilizing the self-pay kiosks at trail systems that have them and aren’t part of NH SPs (for example, MA State Parks).
I think if you can afford a mountain bike and all the gear that inevitably goes with it, surely you can kick in a few dollars here and there to maintain the trails we all love to ride.
Seems unreasonable that out of state residents couldn’t buy a season pass also. I understand if it’s at a higher non-resident rate. But I live in South Carolina, just as close to DuPont as Asheville, and would want a season pass if only for the convenience of not having to pay each trip. Depending on how they handle collection of the day use payments this could easily tip the scales of just heading 10 mins up the road to Brevard for every ride.
Pay to use public lands?! Parks should be free for all. Parks are among the very best of all our government services. Free parks provide freedom to enjoy to all. Though I am not a billionaire, nor millionaire, I can enjoy vast beautiful lands—beyond the affordability of even wealthiest, and so can the least among us. Sure I can afford to pay any typical fee, now; but that has not always been so. The twenty dollar fee to enter Grand Canyon National Park kept me from taking my family on one particular vacation, though we just a few miles from the gates. Five dollars to go to the park? Just a few minutes work for some. But a half hour at minimum wage (gross). And how long to have five dollars left over after food, rent, school clothes for the kids, and so on? Sure I can afford $5 now with now no more than a miserly remembrance of when I couldn’t afford it. But I do not want to make it any harder for those who haven’t reached the comfort yet. If the parks need more money (and I am sure they could use more), let’s wring the funds out of the government waste and fraud. Further, let’s fund the services through charitable and volunteer organizations. And let’s lobby for suitable allocation of tax revenue (even if it means increase) to pay for our parks (which we value so highly) for all to enjoy.
If the parks need more money (and I am sure they could use more), let’s wring the funds out of the government waste and fraud. Further, let’s fund the services through charitable and volunteer organizations. And let’s lobby for suitable allocation of tax revenue (even if it means increase) to pay for our parks (which we value so highly) for all to enjoy.
Paying for stuff by reallocating all the waste and fraud is a great idea that everyone can get on board with…until they start discussing what those things actually are. No one agrees on what waste and fraud is and these days, that’s probably an insurmountable mountain to climb.
I think public lands need to be funded in multiple ways, part of which comes from taxation and part of which comes from user fees. I think a model like that works best and is the most fair. While having public space benefits us all in some way, either directly or indirectly, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to have a small day-use fee for those who are directly benefiting, actively using the trails and land, and possibly causing damage that needs to be addressed later.
I think it’s pretty common for a state park to charge an entry fee. Even if you’re “just” going there to mountain bike. In Texas, there is an entry fee to state parks regardless of why you’re visiting it. Many of those parks have well maintained mountain bike trails. Me personally, I’ve never though twice about paying the fee. After all, nothing is really “free”. Sure, there are public lands that are free to enter for hiking, hunting, etc. But they are no means free to manage and maintain. While we may not pay an entry fee, there are still millions, if not billions, of tax dollars allotted to those lands that we do, indeed, pay for. As far as I’m concerned, if I have to pay taxes or entry fees to anything, doing so for access to park lands is at the top of my list.