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  1. #1
    Slacker ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
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    CA DFG To Charge $4/day to ride Newport Back Bay?

    Article in OC Register:

    Three weeks ago, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife posted a notice of its intent to charge a $4.32 daily fee for visitors of the 752-acre Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve. Called a Lands Pass, the permit is required to access Fish and Wildlife-managed areas where non-hunting, recreational purposes are utilized.
    In my view, a pretty cheeky move by the DFG. I'd say the state gets enough tax revenue from me as it is, and I would like to know where I can queue up to tell them to go pound sand.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    The effect of such a regulation would hurt a lot of people who use that trail, not just riders. How are they going to regulate this?

  3. #3
    Slacker ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
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    I would imagine they will cite people when the opportunity presents itself. I have no idea what sort of violation they would cite a rider for, but the DFG citation costs start on page 118 of this document. The document dates from 2010, so I wouldn't be surprised to learn the amounts have increased. Unlike other remote wildlife areas, Back Bay is heavily trafficked, so this could be quite a revenue source.

  4. #4
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Do you know if that refers to the roads around Back Bay as opposed to the hiking trails and other use areas? I would suspect DFG is not responsible for or manages the road... (on either side). It would mean of course that gates are placed at a number of entrance spots and that they need to be monitored. I can't imagine the state has resources to monitor the area so its not something I would worry about.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    Government overreach rear its ugly head again. Personally, I think the state won't rest until they start taxing us for the air we breath. Government as racket.They can't afford all the ridiculous pension and public employee contract giveaways anymore!
    Regards,

    Jed

  6. #6
    Slacker ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
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    Because they had such a good experience with the OC toll roads.

  8. #8
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    so I guess I can just continue to ride the north side of Back Bay (which I usually do anyway to avoid the joggers, strollers and goobers)...or Eastbluff... no worries! Again they will have to put gates up at all access points of Back Bay Drive (and there are quite a few) in order to collect a fee... good luck with that!
    Last edited by Pamestique; 06-26-13 at 03:34 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jed19 View Post
    Government overreach rear its ugly head again. Personally, I think the state won't rest until they start taxing us for the air we breath. Government as racket.They can't afford all the ridiculous pension and public employee contract giveaways anymore!
    Carbon tax is coming, by executive order I believe. Don't call the prez cause he is on a multi-million dollar vacation. It's good to be King.

  10. #10
    Slacker ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
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    Usually when I ride BB I take the "Bayview Trail" (per Google Maps) which they want to charge access on and cut to the road in order to get to the bluffs (Castaway Park & the USMC memorial). I can do effectively the same on local roads, but this is just a "charge what the traffic will bear" kind of move, and I'll guarantee not a d@mned thing will change-- the trail surface won't be nicer, or wider, or safer, or anything-- it will just cost money, or risk being cited.

    Yet more evidence of how this state is circling the bowl, in my view.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyThePinhead View Post
    Usually when I ride BB I take the "Bayview Trail" (per Google Maps) which they want to charge access on and cut to the road in order to get to the bluffs (Castaway Park & the USMC memorial). I can do effectively the same on local roads, but this is just a "charge what the traffic will bear" kind of move, and I'll guarantee not a d@mned thing will change-- the trail surface won't be nicer, or wider, or safer, or anything-- it will just cost money, or risk being cited.

    Yet more evidence of how this state is circling the bowl, in my view.
    You got that right!

    And the worst is yet to come. The state's elected officials and some local governments are not gonna relent in their search for more revenue. And they are very aware that certain tax increases (eg vehicle licence fees) can cost a governor or other elected official his/her job (see Gray Davis), so that leaves what I call death by a thousand cuts, revenue increase by taxes such as the Back Bay tax, that only affects local people.

    The darn state is just slouching towards irrelevance, as far as I am concerned.
    Last edited by Jed19; 06-26-13 at 10:20 PM.
    Regards,

    Jed

  12. #12
    Despite all my rage, I am rooftest's Avatar
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    Thanks for that map, Zippy. Since Newport Beach owns the road - it looks like people will be able to continue driving/walking/riding on it. That fee will last about 2 weeks. Once CA sees that nobody is willing to pay to visit that tiny park, they'll give up. (Plenty of nice free options nearby.)

  13. #13
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    This kindof reminds me of two place where the State has bit off its nose to spite its face... the first is El Moro. I think parking is $10 or $15. I suppose for hikers and picnikers wanting to explore the area they are willing to pay the price but for us mountain bikers (and long distance hikers) we park up on Ridgepark (Newport Coast), at a beautiful FREE city park and ride into the area from the north end. Or one can buy a county pass for $55 ($35 if a senior) and ride in from Laguna Coast Widerness Park or the Nix Center. State loses.

    Another place is the Chino Hills Discovery Center. Now its a nice facility with great bathrooms but it charges $5 a day to park. And parking does not open until 8am. It's right next to Carbon Canyon County Park. I rather use my $35 pass and then ride over to the State bathroom and through Chino Hills...plus I like to start rides at 7a not 8a... Plus Chino is open Friday, Sat, Sunday and Monday only... yet everyone rides there during the week... I have run into the rangers on a Wednesday, they have said hi and that's it.

    State really needs to think things through (boy is that easier said then done). Now if they put up one decent Bathroom in Back Bay, I would consider paying a charge now and again to park and hike there. I will still just ride around the area versus stopping to pay. NOW charge the cars to drive through... I would love that. Might limit car traffic which for cyclists is a good thing!
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  14. #14
    Junior Member CrustyMcLovin's Avatar
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    The fee to use the Back Bay is totally ridiculous, I'll ride there free of charge as long as I can until they put gates up or something. Do they really intend to charge all those dog-walkers $4 for the privilege too?!

    The $15 parking fee at El Moro is lame too but doesn't seem to bother too many since the lot is often full on weekends. I typically park for free in North Laguna anyway and make a big loop out of it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Here's what I found as far as contact. I tried to contact the region and left a message.

    South Coast Region
    Main Office
    3883 Ruffin Road
    San Diego, CA 92123
    (858) 467-4201
    FAX: (858) 467-4299

    EMAIL the South Coast Region

    Regional Manager: Ed Pert

    http://www.dfg.ca.gov/regions/5/

  16. #16
    Slacker ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
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    I'm in favor of squawking about this, but from a different angle, the DFG's own statistics-- if I am reading them correctly-- suggest that being cited for wildlife area violations is relatively uncommon.

    However, I'm not a lawyer, so maybe cycling through a wildlife area without a permit is some other kind of violation. Whatever sort of violation it is, there are many anecdotes out there regarding disproportionately expensive DFG citations for violations that seem to me to be pretty minor. I found the 2013 bail amounts for OC, and all of the DFG stuff (starts on page 129) is big dollars. Some of it is jaw-dropping: use the wrong ammo, $2,120 total fine. Fishing without a license, $485 total fine.

    I rode Back Bay last Friday (6/21/2013) and saw a couple of game wardens/CDFW officers there, right over by Irvine & University. I was unaware of this issue at the time, so I didn't look real close as I rode past.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Genaro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAriverRat View Post
    Carbon tax is coming, by executive order I believe. Don't call the prez cause he is on a multi-million dollar vacation. It's good to be King.
    Time to buy an aluminum bike then

  18. #18
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    I called the City of Newport Beach and the City Council met this Tuesday and asked the Mayor to write a letter to the State on this.

    Here's the Daily Pilot article

    http://articles.dailypilot.com/2013-...an-tony-petros

    Sounds like there is a lot of "behind the scenes" activity going on to resolve this issue.

  19. #19
    Bicycle Rights MattCycle's Avatar
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    I'd honestly pay $20 a year IF it was used to improve the trail but I doubt that is what they are intending to do. In all likelihood they see it as a high trafficked area that they can use to subsidize somewhere else - as if paying to live in Newport Beach with trails like Back Bay isn't enough.

  20. #20
    Slacker ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
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    I called the DFG on Friday, mainly to ask what section it would be a violation of to ride there without a Lands Pass. But they have not called me back.

  21. #21
    Slacker ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
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    I got tired of waiting for the local DFG/CDFW to call me back, so I called their main enforcement division number in Sacramento.

    The warden I spoke with could not tell me what the violation would be, exactly, and I'm no lawyer or expert on CA code sections either. He explained that it's hard to know what the violation would be without knowing precisely who was responsible for the region of Back Bay in question: county or state. He reckoned it was a county thing, but was not sure. In any case, if it really is a violation at the state level, it is an infraction, probably of section 550 (b) of the CCR:

    (b) Area Regulations:
    [...]Permit Requirements. No person shall enter any State wildlife area or portion thereof where the department has limited public entry without a valid entry permit in their immediate possession. [See subsections 551(f), (g), and (h) for regulations regarding general requirements and costs for individual entry permits.[...]
    There is no bail listed for this in the OC Bail & Penalties Schedule that I could find, but according to this:

    (b)Notwithstanding subdivision (a), any person who violates any of the following statutes or regulations is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100), or more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or of a misdemeanor:[...]
    (9)Sections 505, 507 to 510, inclusive, and 550 to 553, inclusive, of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations.

    Now, using the Uniform Bail and Penalties schedule as a guide, infractions with a base fine of $100, like fishing without a license, have (in the 2013 schedule) a total bail of $485. There are other infractions which have higher base fines, but the total bail is not quite proportional. I found at least one example with a base fine of $250, which gets you a total bail in excess of $1100, but the vast majority of infractions listed have a total bail of $485. So my guess would be that getting caught riding the CDFW-administered portion of Back Bay without a pass or appropriate license would prolly get you a $485 citation.

  22. #22
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    have they started charging the fee to ride there?

  23. #23
    Slacker ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
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    It is apparently a requirement already. They posted signs around the area, which I did not see, that announce this requirement. I gather from the various media accounts that they can begin citing folks any time they want, though they have been requested by the NPB City Council to *not* enforce.

    The local DFG did call me back and stated that not having the lands pass is a violation of Fish & Game Code section 7145 (a), which is the same section they cite you for violating when you fish without a license. The total cost of the citation would be $485, according to the Bail & Penalties Schedule (page 134).

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    Ironically, you can bike, hike, run, etc. in state parks for free (you just have to pay for parking). However, if you want to do any of that in the Back Bay you would have to pay!!??

    I like the WI model...charge a reasonable yearly amount for state park passes and trail passes, then set up rangers at strategic points on the trail to ticket people without a pass. 9/10 times you'll get someone out of state on a $4K bike not wanting to cough up $5 for a trail pass (and the money went directly to trail maintenance).

    This state would be better off overhauling it's pension system and screwed up property tax system...

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    It's gotta be impossible to police that with all the trails and entrances around the Back Bay. My hunting license is usually good at DFG/DFW properties, I'll have to carry it when running or biking out there.
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