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    Recovering Retro-grouch CRUM's Avatar
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    Another thread in here asks if Bikes should be required to be licensed and riders licensed. While I do not think this will ever happen, I do notice that user fees at many of the state parks in my area are popping up. Many of the trails I once rode for free now cost money. Personally, if a small user fee insures my access to trail networks for the long term, I am all for them. But many of my riding friends go out of their way to avoid the daily toll. They will park outside the park and simply ride an extra mile or so to ride for free. I think they suck. This issue has caused some hard feelings between us. What do you think?

    I hear all the arguments. "I pay taxes, I shouldn't have to pay them again". Or, "Screw em, I don't pay to ride." As someone who is an advocate of "pay as you go" in other aspects of my life, I am more than happy to dish out $3 for a day on great trails. I also notice that most of the people who take pride in not paying are also the ones who are conveniently elsewhere when trail work is on the agenda.
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    Senior Member mpop's Avatar
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    your taxes pays for federal/state/city parts I don't think you should have to pay an extra fee to pay for something you are already paying for, that is just more of a rip off, eather charge no usage fee and get money from the taxes, or get no money from taxes and charge only an usage fee, you can not have you cake and eat it too. this is just another example of the goverment raping people's wallets. What the goverment is doing is just double dipping into your wallet.

    During the 4th the city decided that they were going to charge for entry into the point state park, (one of the 2 better places to watch the fireworks and the one that is well known) so I did not go there I went accross the river to the north shore (the other of the 2 great places to watch the fireworks, but not as nearly as popular as the point, so some could argue better then the point) because I feel it is wrong for the city to inact an entry fee for a state park (does a local goverment have the right to control a state park? I am not even sure what they were doing was ligit in the first place)

    The problem with the double dipping is that it is more intrushan of the goverment into our lives, goverment should be limited.
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    I think I agree that reasonable user fees are a reasonable way to support facilities and activities that my not survive tough budget processes. That being said I think it is up to site managers to make sure that it is as easy as possible for users to pay their fees and that some effort is made to make sure everyone pays. Enforcement doesn't have to be 100%, but when a site manager turns a blind eye to alternaive access points that become as worn down as highways it just alienates the honest part of the public.

    I think it is also crucial that users get reasonable services for their fees. Nothing is worse than paying a user fee only to find that trail maintenance declines or that litter is picked up even less often. It is an area where the public needs to ask hard questions about plans for the user fee revenue and what they get for the $$.

    Finally I think it is very important for any user group paying the fees to make sure that the money is going where it is supposed to and not off to the general fund to pay for whatever. If you're paying a user fee you want that money to support that facility and personnel. Too often the fees are put in place or raised, but there is still no money to pay for necessary maintenance etc.
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    Recovering Retro-grouch CRUM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpop
    your taxes pays for federal/state/city parts I don't think you should have to pay an extra fee to pay for something you are already paying for, that is just more of a rip off, ........

    The problem with the double dipping is that it is more intrushan of the goverment into our lives, goverment should be limited.
    I do not know how taxes work in PA, but up here both New Hampshire & Maine spend 90% of the taxes collected on other things than the State Parks. Both states have a long history of user type fees to support their efforts outdoors. Since the user fees have been instituted, the parks I infrequently visit have made improvements that have made my experiences there more enjoyable. Better trail matinence, maps, camp sites and outhouses that are clean and pleasant to use. While I have no choice as to what the state spends my taxes on, I can help to ensure that the parts of the states I enjoy the most stay open and not sucking hind tit when state budgets are figured out..
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    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Almost 70% of state park users in SC are from out of state. Fees are collected to maintian the parks at a breakeven point, tax money is used for expansion and marketing.
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    Senior Member geeklpc1985's Avatar
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    If all this keeps up the bike path will turn into the ILL state highway and we all we need a IPASS for our bikes. It's sad somethings, it wouldn't be a big deal for me if the trails were open all year long. Here in Madison, its $4 a day or $15 a year, but the trails are covered with snow. Why should I pay to go away the trail for half of the year or go thought snow up to my axles.

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    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpop
    your taxes pays for federal/state/city parts I don't think you should have to pay an extra fee to pay for something you are already paying for, that is just more of a rip off, eather charge no usage fee and get money from the taxes, or get no money from taxes and charge only an usage fee, you can not have you cake and eat it too. this is just another example of the goverment raping people's wallets. What the goverment is doing is just double dipping into your wallet.
    The federal government does not fully fund the park system directly. A percentage of each parks operating budget comes from user fees. I suspect many state's park systems work similarly. It's not double dipping. It's just a way to shift a bit more of the operating cost to those who use the park. Just pay the fee and be happy to have parks. The fees are miniscule anyway.

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    Senior Member mpop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    Just pay the fee and be happy to have parks. The fees are miniscule anyway.
    I perfure not to use said parks and not pay the fees, and that is what I do, as I said before. So I will not be paying the fees. I belive in voting with ones wallet, just like I am not going to 2 local amusment park because of their anti-bike stance (they are owned by the same company and one of the 2 parks is blocking a rail to trail system because they are afread of the crime, so I will not spend my money I earned there) There are other companies I an not buy from at this time because of things they are supporting (Kraft and Nike)
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  9. #9
    Recovering Retro-grouch CRUM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpop
    I perfure not to use said parks and not pay the fees, and that is what I do, as I said before. So I will not be paying the fees. I belive in voting with ones wallet, just like I am not going to 2 local amusment park because of their anti-bike stance (they are owned by the same company and one of the 2 parks is blocking a rail to trail system because they are afread of the crime, so I will not spend my money I earned there) There are other companies I an not buy from at this time because of things they are supporting (Kraft and Nike)
    Not utilizing the parks based on some philosophical disagreement with user fees is fine. Whatever gets you through the day. But IMO, the user fee idea is a wonderful way to avoid sucking more money out your pocket or mine than we are comfortable with. By paying a small fee to use a public facility, I am seeing my money go directly to supporting something of interest to me. When I write that quarterly sales tax check to the state, I know all those 5% fees tacked onto the purchases in my shop are lost in the genrally mismanaged and bloated budget of the state I live in. User Fees give me a real chance to vote with my wallet, just as they do for you.
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    I don't like general admission fees since the whole idea for public parks is to provide a place for those of us who don't own 1000 acre estates to get away from it all, but I don't mind paying user fees for specific parts of a park such as the boat ramp, water slide, etc., that cost money to maintain and a minority of the park goers use. If cyclists are doing enough damage that extra resources are required to maintain the trails compared to the hikers who use them for free, they should pay for it. With today's knobby tires on muddy trails, the park is probably justified in charging.
    Last edited by Hal Hardy; 07-14-05 at 07:06 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CRUM
    They will park outside the park and simply ride an extra mile or so to ride for free. I think they suck. This issue has caused some hard feelings between us. What do you think?
    If the trail is free for bikes but the car parking is what has the toll, then I see no problem with parking somewhere else and riding in. That is, unless they're using a parking lot that is supposed to be for customers of a business or something like that. Maybe it's "cheap" but if that is the case it seems like the park needs its funding to make the park accessible by cars, not maintenance on trails from damage caused by bikes.

    mpop, are you boycotting Kraft because they're owned by Phillip Morris? If so, right on! Keep in mind that they're hiding their affiliation with other companies more these days so Nabisco, Breyers, etc should be boycotted if you can also.
    Steve

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    How do you cheapos who oppose fees propose that governments pay for parks? I am not aware of a magical free park fairy, so the choices seem to be fees, taxes, or some combination.

    You will gladly pay $8 for a 2 hour movie, or even $80 for a 3 hour concert, but you don't want to pay $4 to ride your bike all day in a beautiful setting? Maybe you are not such dedicated cyclists after all. Remember, besides providing cheap recreation, parks also preserve habitats and wilderness, even in or near urban areas. I think your priorities are all screwed up!

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    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRUM
    Another thread in here asks if Bikes should be required to be licensed and riders licensed. While I do not think this will ever happen, I do notice that user fees at many of the state parks in my area are popping up. Many of the trails I once rode for free now cost money. Personally, if a small user fee insures my access to trail networks for the long term, I am all for them. But many of my riding friends go out of their way to avoid the daily toll. They will park outside the park and simply ride an extra mile or so to ride for free. I think they suck. This issue has caused some hard feelings between us. What do you think?

    I hear all the arguments. "I pay taxes, I shouldn't have to pay them again". Or, "Screw em, I don't pay to ride." As someone who is an advocate of "pay as you go" in other aspects of my life, I am more than happy to dish out $3 for a day on great trails. I also notice that most of the people who take pride in not paying are also the ones who are conveniently elsewhere when trail work is on the agenda.

    I wouldn't mind it either, so long as they are not receiving tax revenue for it as well.

    Only reason for that is you can't have it both ways, getting money from each end is in essence paying twice. Why not either jack up entry fee and lose the tax, or do a .0001% tax hike to make up for it instead of doubling it up?

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    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    How do you cheapos who oppose fees propose that governments pay for parks? I am not aware of a magical free park fairy, so the choices seem to be fees, taxes, or some combination.

    You will gladly pay $8 for a 2 hour movie, or even $80 for a 3 hour concert, but you don't want to pay $4 to ride your bike all day in a beautiful setting? Maybe you are not such dedicated cyclists after all. Remember, besides providing cheap recreation, parks also preserve habitats and wilderness, even in or near urban areas. I think your priorities are all screwed up!

    It's not about being cheap, it's about making sense.

    In essence what they are doing is a conditional payment, which the cost of should have been eaten in form of tax, or the tax could be gutted and charge more for people going in.

    Subsidizing is nice in that it allows some things to exist at all (thank god!), but also bad in that it hides the true expenses of things, and also charges those who never use them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    ...You will gladly pay $8 for a 2 hour movie, or even $80 for a 3 hour concert, but you don't want to pay $4 to ride your bike all day in a beautiful setting?...
    I'll "enjoy" doing that when I'll have to pay $10 to drive on a street. Why is it that I should pay to see real nature, but not to see it from I-95 ?
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    Recovering Retro-grouch CRUM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hal Hardy
    I don't like general admission fees since the whole idea for public parks is to provide a place for those of us who don't own 1000 acre estates to get away from it all, but I don't mind paying user fees for specific parts of a park such as the boat ramp, water slide, etc., that cost money to maintain and a minority of the park goers use. If cyclists are doing enough damage that extra resources are required to maintain the trails compared to the hikers who use them for free, they should pay for it. With today's knobby tires on muddy trails, the park is probably justified in charging.
    The user fees utilized at the two parks I occaisionally go to (one is in NH and one in ME) are levied on all users. Bikers, Hikers, Bird Watchers, etc. They are both bonor system type set ups. We do not just go to these parks for the trails. I have great trails out my back door. We generally use the parks for the bigger group rides as central meeting points for people from many different areas to hook up. Having the facilities to change duds, burn grub on a grill and relax after a ride are also part of the draw.

    And as to your feeling that "public" parks somehow mean they should be free is a throwback to what used to be. That was then, this is now. With all the state budgets hard pressed to meet basic revenue spending requirements, when cuts are needed, the park systems are some of the first to get hit. All I know is that both parks have vastly improved in all areas since instituting the small user fee idea. I like it.


    Quote Originally Posted by sestivers
    If the trail is free for bikes but the car parking is what has the toll, then I see no problem with parking somewhere else and riding in. That is, unless they're using a parking lot that is supposed to be for customers of a business or something like that. Maybe it's "cheap" but if that is the case it seems like the park needs its funding to make the park accessible by cars, not maintenance on trails from damage caused by bikes.
    As far as I know, no new parking has been added or the old upgraded. Just general improvements overall. And what is even better, both parks have added several new trails to their networks in the last year or so.

    There is another small state Preserve/Park near to me in NH. Blue Job State Park is absolutely free. It gets little usuage, yet last week when my daughter and I went up there, we noticed a new parking lot, new trails, and better signage. It is one of our favorite places to go for climbing. From where we park, it is a 3 mile climb to the top. The reward is the 3 mile drop back to the cars. And if they ever put a bucket up for donations, I will gladly dip into my pocket to help out. Neither Maine or New Hampshire are intent on using the parks as revenue making enterprises. They just want to offer the best experience they can for visitors without adding more to the residential tax load.
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    The park the local velodrome is in is like $5 a day to go in, but you can get a yearly pass that works out much cheaper if you go there a lot. But, I think that fee is per CAR not per person so if you ride there (or some people park ouside the park and walk in) I think there's no fee.

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    I'm not clear if you're talking about an entrance fee or a seperate one to ride the trails. If your friends are avoiding the entrance fee by parking down the road and cycling in because cyclists aren't charged, it's kind of a gray area. I doubt there is a rule that says you have to ride all the way from your house. If it is a seperate fee for riding the trails that they aren't paying, then that's just plain dishonest.


    Quote Originally Posted by CRUM
    And as to your feeling that "public" parks somehow mean they should be free is a throwback to what used to be. That was then, this is now. With all the state budgets hard pressed to meet basic revenue spending requirements, when cuts are needed, the park systems are some of the first to get hit.
    I have a federal, state, and county park within 15 miles of me (doesn't everyone?). When I moved here, they were free, so yeah, I'm spoiled. The federal park started charging an entrance fee in the '80s due to budget cuts. No improvements have been made. The state park started charging to get in after paving the road and building a proper marina which they charge extra to launch a boat. Neither charge for pedestrians or cyclists to get in. The county park is the smallest, has the most recreational things to do (some are charged for), and it still doesn't charge to get in. It also has the smallest budget, which the county supervisers tried to cut one year. They were told to keep their mitts off it by the voters. I don't believe the budget cuts were necessary for the other parks, either.
    I realize that a $3/car entrance fee isn't going to break anybody's finances. That doesn't make it right. It's like charging to go through the door of a public library. The parks aren't built out of the goodness of the politicians' hearts. They are built because we want them and authorize the spending to build and maintain them.
    (OT) I dodged a storm while riding by waiting it out in a fire station. When I arrived, I asked permission of a firefighter to stay. He said OK. Later I thought, "Why did I ask to stay? I should have just announced myself . My taxes helped pay for the building and that guy is my employee." We've lost sight of that subtle distinction.(OT)
    Last edited by Hal Hardy; 07-15-05 at 01:36 PM.

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    Fudge 'em!

    I pay the taxes. I should be able to use my own land that I damn well paid for!!!

    Paying a fee in addition to paying for everything else is an obscenity.

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    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    Somebody has to pay for park maintainance. Somebody has to pay for the staff, and security, roads, water and power. With all the tax-cutting, budget-slashing, small-government, pay-as-you-go politicians who get elected, I'm surprised that they haven't sold off all the parks to their good buddies for private development.

    I don't mind paying reasonable, nominal fee if I really want to use the park. If I don't want to pay, I go somewhere else. Some of the regional parks around here have a per car fee unless your car has a sticker for one of the participating jurdictions. Same could be done for state parks. If you pay taxes to the jurisdiction, you get in free or at a discount.

    Special events are different. That can involve some real costs. Charging a nominal fee to attend makes sense.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Parks serve many purposes. Some purposes, such as habitat preservation and conservation, are a public good (i.e., good for society in general), and, therefore, should be paid for by the public, through taxes. Other uses, such as mountain biking trails, are an individual good (enjoyed by some, but not by all members of society), and should be paid for by the individuals who actually use them. I would not mind paying taxes to support bike trails, but many other taxpayers would mind. If you insist on government financing of your private hobby, you may lose out on any opportunity to mountain bike at all. Certainly, it is doubtful whether a majority of taxpayers would vote to support a hobby that is practiced by only a few people.

    To say that you should not have to pay for private use of public lands would mean that any individual could go to a park and freely use it for anything he/she wants--like hunting, grazing their cattle, or drilling for oil. And that really would be an "obscenity", bjs666.

    And to michaelgagnon--You say that you enjoy the view driving down the highway for free. Surely you realize that highways are one of the biggest expenditures of government, on federal, state and local levels? You certainly don't enjoy them for free! Roads are a perfect analogy for parks in this case. They are partially supported by taxes because they serve the public good--by transporting goods needed by industry and commerce, for example, and by supporting national defense through efficient military transport. Roads also serve individual needs (like people driving to the MTB trail) so they are partially paid for with user fees--tolls and gasoline and tire "taxes" (which are actually user fees).

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    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BJS666
    Fudge 'em!

    I pay the taxes. I should be able to use my own land that I damn well paid for!!!

    Paying a fee in addition to paying for everything else is an obscenity.
    Your beling silly. Why don't you go check the operating expenses of your local fee charging park and compare it to the budget allocated by the government. I think you will find that you (as in all the taxpayers) do not pay the full cost of operating the park from your collective tax revenues. The shortfall is made up by the user fees. You may not like this, but it's the same reason why you are required to put money in the fare box on the bus.

    It's also why you have to pay tuition at a state college even though your taxes support the institution.

    Try borrowing one of those Army Humvees that your tax money paid for.

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    Recovering Retro-grouch CRUM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hal Hardy
    I'm not clear if you're talking about an entrance fee or a seperate one to ride the trails. If your friends are avoiding the entrance fee by parking down the road and cycling in because cyclists aren't charged, it's kind of a gray area. I doubt there is a rule that says you have to ride all the way from your house. If it is a seperate fee for riding the trails that they aren't paying, then that's just plain dishonest.
    The two parks I am referring to charge an entrance fee per adult no matrter what they want to use the park for. Kids under a certain age are free.




    Quote Originally Posted by Hal Hardy
    I have a federal, state, and county park within 15 miles of me (doesn't everyone?). When I moved here, they were free, so yeah, I'm spoiled. The federal park started charging an entrance fee in the '80s due to budget cuts. No improvements have been made. The state park started charging to get in after paving the road and building a proper marina which they charge extra to launch a boat. Neither charge for pedestrians or cyclists to get in. The county park is the smallest, has the most recreational things to do (some are charged for), and it still doesn't charge to get in. It also has the smallest budget, which the county supervisers tried to cut one year. They were told to keep their mitts off it by the voters. I don't believe the budget cuts were necessary for the other parks, either.
    I realize that a $3/car entrance fee isn't going to break anybody's finances. That doesn't make it right. It's like charging to go through the door of a public library. The parks aren't built out of the goodness of the politicians' hearts. They are built because we want them and authorize the spending to build and maintain them.
    (OT) I dodged a storm while riding by waiting it out in a fire station. When I arrived, I asked permission of a firefighter to stay. He said OK. Later I thought, "Why did I ask to stay? I should have just announced myself . My taxes helped pay for the building and that guy is my employee." We've lost sight of that subtle distinction.(OT)
    I was spolied also. User fees are new up here for most of the parks. And being right or not has nothing to do with it. It is the reality we are all going to have to get used to. Either that or allow our general taxes to be raised to more appropriate levels. Personally, I like this trend to pay a little now and then rather than a general chunk taken out and spent on things I have no interest in.
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    Senior Member mpop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sestivers
    mpop, are you boycotting Kraft because they're owned by Phillip Morris? If so, right on! Keep in mind that they're hiding their affiliation with other companies more these days so Nabisco, Breyers, etc should be boycotted if you can also.
    No not because they are owned by Philip Morris, I will not talk about the main reason for the boycott here, that belongs in the religious section, but yes I know about the massive family tree of those companies, and also know how well they have the hand in almost all food companies. But I found a local store, that does not like Philip Morris (probably for different political reasons) It is called the East End Food Co-Op, they asked why I was joining and I told them I want to avoid Kraft and the member ship person there said not to worry nothing they carry will not profit Kraft or Philip Morris. I will let them do the research and I will profit from them. And Yes I did spend the money to join the Co-Op, if it is going to become my main food store I should join, maybe I should volunteer there too, since they ask for people to donate time.
    Michael P. O'Connor
    http://www.mikeoconnor.net

  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    NoVa
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRUM
    The two parks I am referring to charge an entrance fee per adult no matrter what they want to use the park for.
    You pay per person? Wow. And I'm whining because they charge by the car here. Shame on me.

    You're right. your friends should pay.

    Virginia has an interesting program. The Fish and Game Dept. acquires suitable chunks of land when it goes on the block that are designated as Wildllife Management Areas (WMA). The land is bought primarily for hunting habitat, but is open year round to the public. Since the F&G Dept. doesn't advertise them, the general public doesn't even know about them, and they are grossly underused, except during deer season.
    This isn't an eminent domain deal, they bid for the land just like everyone else, although quite a bit of it has been donated or willed to them. This is the kicker- when land is purchased, it is funded entirely by surplus funds from the fishing and hunting license fees. No tax money is used. The land is left as is except for cutting fire roads through it. The largest piece is Clinch Mountain WMA in southern Va. It was a family owned lumber operation and is the size of a small county.
    Last edited by Hal Hardy; 07-16-05 at 01:59 AM.

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