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Old 11-19-2012, 01:53 PM   #1
redhawk
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Permit system for paddling?

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Originally Posted by Pumpkin QAAD View Post
Makes sense to me. Since paddling will be a commercial activity perhaps the State and the APA should regulate it and ensure that the folks doing the commerce are aware of conservation principles and pay their fair share for the regulation of the commercial activity and the park. Boat registration for commercial vessels is probably in order as well.

Just seems to me that this isn't a commercial activity and paddling is being molded into something that it's not in order to conform to archaic laws because it makes sense financially and practically to allow access. How about legislature writes a law that clearly states certain recreational activites will be allowed on waterways where the state has retained a historical easement for commerce.
Once you get to the "legislators" then it becomes politics.

Seems to me that "taxing" the activity isn't the answer either. We all know that taxes never get used for the purposes they are supposedly intended for anyway.

I would certainly be in favor of a permit system for paddling, as well as backpacking with those funds being used for the maintainance, repair and clean up (where necessary) of the trails and streams. If you have followed my posts ever since I have been here (and I know that you have), then you know that I have always been an advocate of a permit system for recreational activities. Not just to raise revenues, but to also be able to have some control over when and where and how many people use what resources.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:25 PM   #2
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RedHawk, I can agree, and have supported in the past a permit system. To my way of thinking it should be similar to a hunting of fishing license. Hay, you could even charge us out of staters more just like the sporting licenses. A yearly permit or a 3 day or 7 day permit could be available. This would give the holder access to all state lands and DEC supported trails, facilities, trail head parking etc. and any other lands that have public access, conservation easement lands etc.
But I could only support such a system if the monies raised went specifically to outdoor uses and not to the state general fund.

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Old 11-19-2012, 07:37 PM   #3
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The permit system idea seems to get a lot more favorable play over here as opposed to the Foundation forums. Over there the idea is met with a lot of resistance and a million and one ways are put forth as to how it could never work anyhow. Its interesting though that its something that folks in both communities have been batting around.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:34 PM   #4
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Permit system sounds like a reasonable solution until someone brings up the issue of enforcement (unless you're talking about voluntary permit - supporter system).
DEC (boots on the ground) personnel is already stretched very thin and has to set priorities when trying to cover their territory (some things they just never get to).

Has anyone come up with the numbers to show exactly what a permit system would look like (revenues, expenditures, economic impacts, liabilities, minimum facility maintenance standards).

Sorry for the thread drift.

Legislature will write laws favorable to the strongest lobbying group.
Courts are slightly more independent but not by much.

There's a historical article posted on the almanac today, some here might find it interesting.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:32 AM   #5
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I always hear that a permit system could not be enforced. If this is the case, then what is the sense of having hunting and fishing licenses? Isn't the enforcement there by the same agencies that would enforce permits?
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:15 AM   #6
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I always hear that a permit system could not be enforced. If this is the case, then what is the sense of having hunting and fishing licenses? Isn't the enforcement there by the same agencies that would enforce permits?
The possession of a gun or fishing tackle, be it within a populated village (for fishing), or in rural farm country, or in a wilderness area is evidence enough that you are participating in the sport and require a license. I suppose you could extend the same "proof of intent" to wearing hiking boots/shoes and carrying a water bottle as evidence you are hiking without a permit? I just want to know how that would work.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:47 AM   #7
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It's definately possible but very unpopular.

At every trail head you insert a permit into the machine that releases a disposable ankle tracking device. If you camp too close to the water it explodes and sends out a beacon for the Forest Ranger to hump in and give you a summons.

Seriously though it definately is doable with even a spot check style enforcement at the trail head. The fear of a summons would be a sufficient deterrent to free-loaders that don't purchase their usage permit. Esssentially keeping the honest people honest, which in a way is what the hunting and fishing permits do because it is relatively easy to poach or bend the hunting rules (tag sharing, fishing out of season for other species..etc.)

I would imagine some would bushwack in but I don't think a large majority would.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:55 PM   #8
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It's definately possible but very unpopular.

At every trail head you insert a permit into the machine that releases a disposable ankle tracking device. Seriously though it definately is doable with even a spot check style enforcement at the trail head.
And therein lies one of the problems. Define "trail head". For that matter, define "hiking". For the vast majority of public land in NY, you do not need to access the land via a trail head or designated access point. You don't need to even be on a trail at all. I don't want to see that sort of thing mandated as the rule, like it is in some other states where you must only enter and remain on a trail at all times.

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I would imagine some would bushwack in but I don't think a large majority would.
That would be me, and many of my hiking partners as well. I more often than not enter the woods far away from any "trail head" and associated crowded trails, and it is perfectly legal (for now).

Just for the record on such things, I have purchased a combination big/small game and fishing license each and every year for the past 40+ years, whether I have actively gone hunting or fishing during the year or not. I continue to do so mostly out of tradition, as maybe I'll take a rod to drown a few worms at some time or another. Maybe my fishing license would also count as my hiking license if I had to walk any distance to the water?

But I look at simply stepping onto public lands much differently than the obvious activities of hunting or fishing, which take something from the land. I wouldn't want to think about whether I, or an out of state traveler with me, have our hiking licenses if all I wanted to do is to take a 50 yard (or half mile) trail-headless stroll into the woods to visit a nearby waterfall or rock formation.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:59 PM   #9
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Bushwackers would be harder for them to catch but even in that sample folks would generally follow the rules if told to buy a permit, I know I would. And I imagine the permit couldn't differentiate hikers from bird watchers or other folks on public lands (Unless you did it specifically say for just the high peaks) anmd would be more like an "access" permit.

That being said remember many fisherman are catch and release and do not take the fish but still pay for a license just the same.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:35 PM   #10
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All is not as simple as it would appear. Allocation of Funds are still controlled by the NYS Division of Budget and even if monies are appropriated it does not necassarily mean they can be spent.
Here is the 2010-2011 Conservation Advisory Board report
Logic and Rational is rarely congruent within the Legislature.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:23 PM   #11
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Check out what the regs are in Canada for entering their public land, "Crown Land," if you are a Canadian Citizen versus if you are not. Last I checked it was free and $10 per day respectively. When in Canada I've never found a place to pay, asked to pay, or seen a sign informing me to pay.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:44 PM   #12
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My point on enforcement was actually more on the fiscal/economical issues:
How much of the generated permit revenue will be spent on instituting the permit system, the upkeep of said system, personnel, enforcement and patrols.

If a permit system is used, the closest thing to what can be done is probably the NYC DEP watershed access permit system (though that's a free access system aimed at preventing unauthorized/illegal dumping/pollution, motors, fires, camping, etc)

Hunting and fishing licensing is a means of controlling 'pressure' on the limited resource and a way to generate some revenue for the protection and improvement.. The enforcement model is mainly based on 'honest' sportsmen/women who will turn in poachers and other violators while keeping stocking and habitat improvement programs afloat. The licenses are available in lifetime, yearly, and short term (week, few days). It's nearly unheard of that a fisherman would be asked to show their license unless an officer suspects foul play (other than perhaps at tournaments, large gatherings or controlled waters [reservoirs])

NYS DEC attempted to institute a saltwater fishing license program ($10 per calendar year) but this was quickly abandoned in favor of a free 'registration' system - there was/is no way of patrolling and enforcing the licenses. The system is again mainly meant to protect migratory fish from poaching/overfishing not generate revenue.
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:35 AM   #13
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Permit

IF a paddling fee for the ADKs could be POSITIVLY dedicated for launch improvments,carry trails,water acess campsites ect.,I would favor A general yearly permit. It could be checked for at launches campsites ect. It should not be a boat sticker like PA,but a personal permit. I think spot checking would create 95% compliance.As a sportsman,I pay fees for hunting and fishing every year,why not paddling? Also ,as a sportsman,I know we have to be ever vigilant to keep our fund from being robbed. I would be very much against however,and date and route specific permit such as you need to paddle Algonquin Park in Canada.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:06 AM   #14
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A fee for paddling would be simple. Require all boats motorized or not canoes kayaka etc to be registered. Hiking would be harder but would probably be enforcable. If I were hiking and had to get a permit and new someone else was hiking with no permit I wouldn't hesitate to turn them in. The big issue here is not so much the permit but keeping the money where it is supposed to be.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:33 AM   #15
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A fee for paddling would be simple. Require all boats motorized or not canoes kayaka etc to be registered. Hiking would be harder but would probably be enforcable. If I were hiking and had to get a permit and new someone else was hiking with no permit I wouldn't hesitate to turn them in. The big issue here is not so much the permit but keeping the money where it is supposed to be.
That's all well and good, but once again, no one is answering the basic question, so I'll ask it again... please define "hiking". It is clear when someone is hunting or fishing or boating. But if someone stops the car to walk the dog, when does that activity turn into an activity requiring a permit? If someone walks a hundred feet to have a sandwich by a waterfall, would you turn them in? I'm not arguing "catching" someone trying to evade the regulation, I simply want to know how to define the difference between setting a foot on public land versus the definition of "hiking" and where the line is drawn for staying in compliance with the permitting system.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:56 AM   #16
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That's all well and good, but once again, no one is answering the basic question, so I'll ask it again... please define "hiking". It is clear when someone is hunting or fishing or boating. But if someone stops the car to walk the dog, when does that activity turn into an activity requiring a permit? If someone walks a hundred feet to have a sandwich by a waterfall, would you turn them in? I'm not arguing "catching" someone trying to evade the regulation, I simply want to know how to define the difference between setting a foot on public land versus the definition of "hiking" and where the line is drawn for staying in compliance with the permitting system.
Maybe one of the 'costs' associated with a permit system in wilderness locations would be that there is no line. So 'setting a foot' in any form would be considered hiking. Putting any kind of vessel in the water would be considered paddling. Just like you don't have to be driving down the road to be "operating a motor vehicle", you wouldn't have to be actually on some trail moving in some direction to be "hiking".

Honestly though, intent is pretty much there once you park your car and walk away from it towards the woods.
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:29 AM   #17
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The possession of a gun or fishing tackle, be it within a populated village (for fishing), or in rural farm country, or in a wilderness area is evidence enough that you are participating in the sport and require a license. I suppose you could extend the same "proof of intent" to wearing hiking boots/shoes and carrying a water bottle as evidence you are hiking without a permit? I just want to know how that would work.
k
Hmm. Lets see. What would be proof of hiking?

Possibly being on a hiking trail?

A backpack?
I suppose either of the two might be a clue.

I suppose instead of a hiking permit or a paddling permit you could just issue a "park permit" or a backcountry permit(Yep someone is sure to say how do you define backcounty. Simple, any place within the Park that is designated wilderness, or wild forest, that isn't paved.).
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:35 AM   #18
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Will I have to show proof of sales tax before I register my canoe?

How about a dedicated tax on hiking/camping/paddling equipment, similar to what they have on firearms/ammo?

Or just put parking meters at all of the trail heads/water access points, and' No Parking Signs' for miles near those trail heads.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:08 AM   #19
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k
Hmm. Lets see. What would be proof of hiking?

Possibly being on a hiking trail?

A backpack?
I suppose either of the two might be a clue.
Lots of folks hike off trail. Lots of folks hike with no backpack at all. Lacking those "clues"... are they exempt?

Lots of folks park on the shoulder to take in the view, maybe walk a few feet on or off a trail to get a better angle for a photo. If they go "too far" are they hiking? How far constitutes "proof" of hiking? Hey, now there's a new idea for increasing revenue.... maybe everyone should need a permit to take any photograph at all? Just as if you had a gun or fishing tackle or a canoe in your posession, just having a camera constitutes proof of photography... "Excuse me sir, is that a camera in your car? Have you paid for your permit to take photos of our mountains?"

Lots of folks are just passing through the region, but the dog has to take a break. Maybe there's a nice view. Step off the highway and the hiking permit police jump out and say "gotcha". Maybe we should just put up a high chain link fence on the shoulder of every road except at designated pay trailheads. We could pay for the fence with all the money we get from permits on every hiker.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:32 AM   #20
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I suppose instead of a hiking permit or a paddling permit you could just issue a "park permit" or a backcountry permit(Yep someone is sure to say how do you define backcounty. Simple, any place within the Park that is designated wilderness, or wild forest, that isn't paved.).
This is what you would experience in Banff National Park. When you drive into the Park you pay according to how long you will be in the park. (if just driving through you get a free pass) Then, if you camp out you have to purchase an additional wilderness (or backcountry, I forget how they call it) pass at a fixed rate per person per night. There doesn't seem to be any difficulty in interpretation with this system. However, there are only a few road access points into and out of the park.

Personally, I'm glad there is no fee or permit system for hiking or paddling in the Adirondacks. Even though I recognize the need for a bureaucracy I prefer to contribute to organizations that put the money directly into the park. For example, (cough, cough) I just donated a chunk of change to the ADKHighpeaks Foundation, probably a lot more than an annual permit or park pass would cost me.

It's an endless debate as to whether a permit, or user-pay, system would make money for the government and hopefully the park or whether it would decrease other forms of revenues (ie. taxes) by acting as a disincentive to use the park.
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