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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got this email yesterday about a one time meeting on March 1st. to hear from the public about the Red Rock Pass issue. A good show of public (that's us) participation would be a good thing. So if you are not doing anything on next Tuesday, come on up. For fun, I'd offer to play trail host for a ride on some great trails. Right now, trails are in excellent form, as witnessed on today's ride. Weather permitting, lets go riding from noon to four. Ride from the high school. Then attend the meeting listed below.

RED ROCK PASS BULLETIN!

In October 2010, the Coconino National Forest's Red Rock Pass was found by a federal judge to have exceeded its legal authority because it requires a fee for parking and access to trails in a 160,000 acre area of federal public land.

You can learn about the case and read the actual court documents at the US vs Smith page on our website.

The Forest's tepid response so far has been to stop enforcing parking fees at trails accessed by dirt roads, but continue to enforce at trails with paved access. This response does not conform with the judge's ruling, which clearly states that no one can be charged a fee just for parking or for access to trails.

This "interim" response was to be followed by several public meetings.

THE FIRST (MAYBE ONLY) PUBLIC MEETING HAS JUST BEEN ANNOUNCED IN THIS ARTICLE FROM THE ARIZONA DAILY SUN:
Forester to seek out Red Rock Pass ideas

Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 5:00 am
The public is asked to comment March 1 on the Red Rock Pass required by the Coconino National Forest in Sedona.
Flagstaff's U.S. magistrate judge found the Red Rock Ranger District's requirement of a fee to use some backcountry areas illegal under federal law last year, and now the Forest Service is attempting to decide what to do as a result.
It has suspended the requirement of a Red Rock Pass in some areas.
Red Rock District Ranger Heather Provencio will take comments on March 1, beginning at 4 p.m., at Red Rock High School, 995 Upper Red Rock Loop Road (West Sedona).
The Forest Service is also accepting comments by e-mail, at www.redrockcountry.org, by following the link under "Red Rock Pass Changes."
-- Sun staff report

According to this page at the website, the meeting will be on

Tuesday, March 1st beginning at 4 PM

In one place on their website the Forest says the meeting is expected to last "several hours." In another place it says the meeting will run from 4 to 6 pm. We do not know which schedule is accurate. If you can attend in person, please try to arrive as close to 4 pm as you can and stay as long as you are able.

If you cannot attend in person, please send comments by email to
[email protected]

THIS IS THE FIRST TIME, ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY, THAT THE PUBLIC HAS BEEN ASKED FOR THEIR OPINION ABOUT SO-CALLED "HIGH IMPACT RECREATION AREAS" OR HIRAs. PLEASE SEIZE THIS OPPORTUNITY!

Although public opinion cannot overrule a federal judge, it is crucial that the Coconino National Forest hears what the public has to say. They have posted six "scenarios" for discussion.

ONLY TWO OF THEIR "SCENARIOS" WOULD COMPLY WITH FEDERAL LAW AND THE JUDGE'S RULING:

SCENARIO 2 NO FEES FOR DAY USE ANYWHERE, AND
SCENARIO 3 FEES ONLY AT SPECIFIC SITES THAT COMPLY WITH FEDERAL LAW.

The Forest's early announcements promised multiple meetings, but it looks like this may be the only one. Great local turnout is essential, but so is email input from all over the country.

If you are unable to be in Sedona on March 1st, please send an email to
[email protected]

In your message, say that ONLY Scenario 2 or Scenario 3 would bring the Forest into compliance with the judge's ruling. All of the others would result in the Coconino National Forest continuing to be in violation of federal law.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Option 3 seems to be the only reasonable choice. I'd say you are smoking crack on Uranus if you think option 2 is a viable choice. Public stuff doesn't run on hopes and dreams.
 

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Thanks Chalkpaw for posting, this is kind of a big deal, hopefully lots of folks show up to express their feelings. I agree with Jayem on this, option 2 I can't imagine is going to happen but 3 sounds pretty good. Right now there are some grey areas where the Pine Police are still ticketing. BA is one and there aren't any restrooms and the parking lot is dirt as is the short access road into it. According to the Judges ruling this is not a legit spot to require a pass.
 

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I went to the Red Rock Pass (Recreation Pass) meeting last night and there was a lot of different ideas floating around plus some lively discussion about what the law is regarding the enforcement of the pass. Currently there is a moratorium on giving parking tickets in areas that don't have a restroom facility at the trailhead.

The FS is really struggling with how to generate revenue necessary to protect the Sedona FS land. There are supposedly around 4,000,000 visitors each year that bring their food, snacks and beverages to potentially leave on Forest Service property. Also if there are no restroom facilities there is the potential for leaving human waste products near the trailheads and trails. Along with the human waste and litter problem the mass of tourists cause some vandalisim and the need for ongoing maintenance on some of the heavily trafficked areas.

With the cutbacks in the Federal budget looming the need for revenue to fill the void will only become bigger as the Tea Party members force the government to become more fiscally responsible.

The locals seem to want a deep discount on the pass (if at all) and they want the tourists to pay their share to have restrooms, haul out all the garbage they either leave in trash cans or on the ground, and do maintenance caused by their heavy usage or vandalism.

Curious if others who attended the meeting got something else out of it.

TD
 

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caninus xerophilous
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traildoc said:
The FS is really struggling with how to generate revenue necessary to protect the Sedona FS land. There are supposedly around 4,000,000 visitors each year that bring their food, snacks and beverages to potentially leave on Forest Service property. Also if there are no restroom facilities there is the potential for leaving human waste products near the trailheads and trails. Along with the human waste and litter problem the mass of tourists cause some vandalisim and the need for ongoing maintenance on some of the heavily trafficked areas.

With the cutbacks in the Federal budget looming the need for revenue to fill the void will only become bigger as the Tea Party members force the government to become more fiscally responsible.

The locals seem to want a deep discount on the pass (if at all) and they want the tourists to pay their share to have restrooms, haul out all the garbage they either leave in trash cans or on the ground, and do maintenance caused by their heavy usage or vandalism.
TD
Damn TD, 4 million turons a year, you have been far too sucessful as the Sedona's Self Appointed Ambassador!!!!:thumbsup:

That said, as a turon, I don't mind paying for day use if it keeps the area clean and provides turon facilities, and most importantly keeps the trails sweet and accessable for all.

Do they not offer a seasonal/annual pass for residents and frequent flyers?
 

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SunDog said:
Damn TD, 4 million turons a year, you have been far too sucessful as the Sedona's Self Appointed Ambassador!!!!:thumbsup:

That said, as a turon, I don't mind paying for day use if it keeps the area clean and provides turon facilities, and most importantly keeps the trails sweet and accessable for all.

Do they not offer a seasonal/annual pass for residents and frequent flyers?
20 bucks a year for anyone. Personally I have no problem with the passes. If they were not there, parking would be horrible at all the trail heads.
 

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sd & pwt:

I think the FS will value your responses. For those that have hit the big 62, you can use the $10 lifetime National Park Pass to park at the Recreational Pass (previously Red Rock Pass) locations.
 

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If the money was put into re-routing many of the poorly laid out trails and into adopting many of the more popular social trails I would think the biking folks would be on board to pay for fees but I think that in the past the heavy anti bike attitude expressed by former FS management and many Sedona residents has created some resentment toward the FS and the pass program, especially when the money from the pass fees goes toward the destruction of bike trails. I'm pretty sure I have sensed this from a few riders in that area. As TD stated, 4 million tourist is a whole lot and the impacts are hard to keep up with. Unfortunately some kind of pass is probably necessary.
 

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The underlying complaint is not so much the FS using the funds to destroy bootleg trails. Rather, it is considered by many to be double taxation. And not just by mtn bikers. A federal agency is charging a fee to access public lands. Granted, the USFS is under funded and likely to be even more so in the future, so the burden is passed on. That is the real issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Last night's meeting was interesting and frustrating at the same time. Interesting that the Forest Service is realizing that their program is breaking the law. Frustrating in that while they are asking for the public involvement, there is a long history of back room deals in every form of government operation. BUT, I gotta try and participate in Democracy.
I ended up drawing on one of the big maps. I worked on scenario #3. In this, there would be 19 stand alone sites which would require a fee. I marked 10 sites as pay the fee, park, and there would be all 6 amenities as defined by law. The other 10 sites would be payment on the honor system, but no tickets, since looking at how remote they are, they would be a money loser until more people started showing up. All other access points into the trail systems would be keep fee free.
So the 9 sites I chose: Bell Rock one and two, Little Horse, Cathedral Rock, Midgley Bridge, Airport Mesa Vortex, Devils Bridge, Boynton Canyon, and Red Rock Crossing on the Verde side, and Honanki. Basically, the tourist sites. The volunteer pay the fee sites would be all day use areas in the Canyon, Jordan, Thunder Mountain, Long Canyon, Fay Canyon, Palaki, Huckaby, Broken Arrow. Other trailhead, no signage, make them not advertised.
Then, what was not discussed, was how to involve the community in educating the masses. Bikers, hikers, spirituals, ohv, etc. This would mean that in the MTB world, she who wants to go on the great trails with a guide would be able to. Money that you pay to play would go back into maintaining the resources. But that would be a future meeting with the FS. A very different business model than what currently exists.
 

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Chalkpaw said:
Last night's meeting was interesting and frustrating at the same time. Interesting that the Forest Service is realizing that their program is breaking the law. Frustrating in that while they are asking for the public involvement, there is a long history of back room deals in every form of government operation. BUT, I gotta try and participate in Democracy.
I ended up drawing on one of the big maps. I worked on scenario #3. In this, there would be 19 stand alone sites which would require a fee. I marked 10 sites as pay the fee, park, and there would be all 6 amenities as defined by law. The other 10 sites would be payment on the honor system, but no tickets, since looking at how remote they are, they would be a money loser until more people started showing up. All other access points into the trail systems would be keep fee free.
So the 9 sites I chose: Bell Rock one and two, Little Horse, Cathedral Rock, Midgley Bridge, Airport Mesa Vortex, Devils Bridge, Boynton Canyon, and Red Rock Crossing on the Verde side, and Honanki. Basically, the tourist sites. The volunteer pay the fee sites would be all day use areas in the Canyon, Jordan, Thunder Mountain, Long Canyon, Fay Canyon, Palaki, Huckaby, Broken Arrow. Other trailhead, no signage, make them not advertised.
Then, what was not discussed, was how to involve the community in educating the masses. Bikers, hikers, spirituals, ohv, etc. This would mean that in the MTB world, she who wants to go on the great trails with a guide would be able to. Money that you pay to play would go back into maintaining the resources. But that would be a future meeting with the FS. A very different business model than what currently exists.
CP:

Even though I was at the meeting to the end, I missed the part you just summarized. I was making trail improvements to the FS map that was given to each table. When I looked at the map I couldn't help but note the trails that were not presented correctly (i.e. Cockscomb/Dawa, Ramshead, etc.).

When I pointed out the corrections to a FS representative she asked me to note all the corrections since the map is going to printing very very soon, maybe so soon none of the changes will be made. I was so into making all the map corrections before the end of the meeting it sounds like I missed the potential future senerios.

When I read your summary I didn't understand what this part was about "Other trailhead, no signage, make them not advertised." please explain for my pee brain.

TD
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The other trailhead, no signage, no advertising, would mean those current trailheads that have parking for one or two cars or are located way out west. Examples would be AZ Cypress/Dawa on Boynton Canyon Rd, top of Andante, Sugarloaf, Carrol Canyon, High School, Turkey Creek, and Vultee Arch.
 
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