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Everglades National Park fee increases

Good morning all,

I first want to apologize for being mia in the forum this summer and to now. It's been a whirlwind of a year, and I'm finally starting to catch my breath. Look forward to getting some reports back on and seeing reports from others.

Last night I attended an ENP meeting in key largo concerning proposed fee increases for visitors to the park. I went for two reasons, first off as an officer in the FGA to find out how this would affect our guide members and the cost of the increases. (Gents I be getting an email out on that later today), and second what were the details for my many recreational angler friends. Here's the breakdown

Park has not had an increase in fees since 1997. There are many items that are in dire need of repair due to lack of funding. 80%of fees collected at the ENP stay in the ENP, the remaining 20% is available to other parks for projects they may have. All fees collected must go to user and visitor items like boardwalks, repair of campsites, etc etc and cannot go to things like admin buildings and permanent employees.

Ok now to the cost, for those of you who enter the park on the flamingo side, they are proposing a 50 dollar annual fee to get your vehicle in the gate. Also a proposed 25 dollar 7 day entrance fee permit proposed as well. This gets you in the gate.

Then EVERY boat that enters the park from anywhere, flamingo, Everglades city, key west etc etc will be required one of two options, a 75 dollar annual boating permit or a 25 dollar 7 day pass. To get this permit, completion of an online boater education class will be required.

What you get for your fee is sort of unfortunate, in that while the park is one paradise, it's two different planets from flamingo to Everglades city IMO. The flamingo side will have use of the boat ramp included with their boat permit, the buildings over there will get the attention they need, there will be increased pumping of the ports lets, 3 additional rangers, one for each area of the park will be added. I asked if the docks at some of the backcountry campsites would be repaired and was told yes.....pending the small tooth survey that is ongoing.

I asked and suggested a few times having a meeting for the west side and they seemed receptive of this. But all this must be completed by 1/30/15. Somewhere on the forum is a link from a discussion that was going about this that would have the links and the address to mail public comment should anyone have a desire.

For any that are interested if I find out about a meeting planned for our area I will are sure to post the date and location. They did say this is a little ways out as they have found several gaps in the armor that must be fixed, but it was coming, so stand by.
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Y'all take care out there
Charlie


Fishing the Everglades hopefishing.com
http://hopefishing.comFishing the Florida Everglades National Park with Hope Fishing Adventures.

Replies

  • BobberBobber Posts: 943 Officer
    1. Thank you for attending the meeting and reporting.
    2. This is gonna be a real kick in the nutz for EVC/Choko - good for POI and Goodland tho.Its gonna get real crowded north of West Pass.
    3. Duly noted the elimination of any fees for paddlecraft - the Agenda rolls on.
    4. Anyone who fishes the 10K needs to immediately scream loud and long to their representatives in DC. We can be sure that the NPS's target date to implement this is before Jan 2017.
    5. Cute how they are hoisting us by our own petard by adding in the on-line education course while we pay this new tax.
  • Flatwater witchFlatwater witch Posts: 606 Officer
    Thank you Captain Charlie for posting this in the 10K section.
    Here is an e-mail link to make comments:

    Written comments may be mailed to: Proposed Fee Increase, Superintendent, Everglades and Dry
    Tortugas National Parks, 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, FL 33034-6733. Comments may also be emailed to: [email protected]. Comments must be received by close of business January 15, 2015.

    E-mail Debbie Lane w/ comments.

    This notice came from the Park dated 12/5 and they have already held their public notice meetings.
    Yes, they are shoving it down our throats. That isn't reasonable notice.

    Here is discussion in South section:
    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?173678-New-Flamingo-Rules

    I am concerned about the cost to a one time/infrequent visitor to the Park.
    $25 to drive in and $25 to launch a boat.....$50 to visit a National Park.

    I know the Park needs maintenance money.
    Staff someone early morning to collect fees.
    Increase RV rental
    Bump the annual entrance and annual boat permit up.
    Collect more from concessions.
    Figure out a way to provide overnight stay in Flamingo other than camping/RV.
    I know the marina must make money in Flamingo with the prices they charge----ouch............


    Bobber, that Boater Safety Course has been discussed since 2007 Growth Management Plan meetings.
    Safety is good but it appears to be just another method to collect a fee.
    Renagade69 wrote: »
    Either you are mechanically inclined ore your not. The fact you had to ask told me that you can not do it. Its ok, not every one has this ability. Some people just have to pay.
  • fromthefortfromthefort Posts: 89 Deckhand
    How much is the boater safety course and is it an on line course. It already costs allot of money for us to make trip down and stay and fish. I don't mind if they are going to keep money in park, but it really sucks when the feds do things like park shutdown like last year which ruined our trip and cost us money.
    from the fort
  • snookaffinitysnookaffinity Naples, FLPosts: 1,159 Officer
    thanks for the post Charlie
    "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." - Mark Twain
  • blewitupsirblewitupsir Posts: 774 Officer
    How much is the boater safety course and is it an on line course. It already costs allot of money for us to make trip down and stay and fish. I don't mind if they are going to keep money in park, but it really sucks when the feds do things like park shutdown like last year which ruined our trip and cost us money.

    From the meeting the boaters safety course should be free to take, but will be a requirement to obtain the boaters permit which allows entry into the park.


    Fishing the Everglades hopefishing.com
    http://hopefishing.comFishing the Florida Everglades National Park with Hope Fishing Adventures.
  • blewitupsirblewitupsir Posts: 774 Officer
    thanks for the post Charlie

    Very welcome, I will always make every attempt to be at meetings I feel critical not only for myself as a guide, but for the recreational angler as well. Anything I can ever help with just let me know.


    Fishing the Everglades hopefishing.com
    http://hopefishing.comFishing the Florida Everglades National Park with Hope Fishing Adventures.
  • fromthefortfromthefort Posts: 89 Deckhand
    Thanks
    from the fort
  • MegalopsAtlanticusMegalopsAtlanticus Port of the Islands, FLPosts: 91 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the information.

    The South Region thread is getting a bit exaggerated, but its understandable for people to worry about rate increases, etc.
    "Once in awhile you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right"
  • yankee redneckyankee redneck Posts: 19 Deckhand
    Thanks for attending and passing this along. We appreciate it.
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,667 Admiral
    So if I read this right , I'll need a Boating Safety Course before I can launch at Chokoloskee ?
    I've been boating there for 40 years. Also I've got to get a NPS Permit to fish that area as well ?
    Is the NPS crazy ?
    I haven't been to flamingo for 50 years and I'm going to pay for Improvements to the place that I never go to ???
    I'll agree if the NPS fixes the dirt road I live on too. Only fair....
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Lead slingerLead slinger Posts: 449 Officer
    Guessing if you access the park then yeah, boat permit. I've written letters and doing my part to keep the post office in business. Gonna be a pain for the gulf coast rangers checking every boat that enters the park out of EC, Chok, Goodland, etc etc.

    Supposedly there has been an idea submitted to tack on an additional per person fee to the boat tours out of gulf coast. Of course that's while telling me that I can not offer a tour of the 10,000 islands because it's "prohibited."

    This increase is a terrible idea. Parks are public land for all, if they have their way it'll only be the wealthy and foreigners.
  • blewitupsirblewitupsir Posts: 774 Officer
    Evening all, just saw in the paper a small article that there will be a meeting on January 12 from 6-8 pm concerning the fee increases in the ENP. This will be in the naples area. c7faaed3ae2d827aebe109d576389366.jpg


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    http://hopefishing.comFishing the Florida Everglades National Park with Hope Fishing Adventures.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,840 Captain
    There they go again, very short notice (and that's if you were lucky enough to notice the one tiny public notice...). Kind of makes you wonder about their sincerity doesn't it?
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • BobberBobber Posts: 943 Officer
    NPS proposes to totally eliminate any fee for canoes and kayaks, makes their agenda very clear.

    They don't wan't power boats in the Park.

    Once they ram this feecee down our throats, horsepower limitations will be next.
  • Lead slingerLead slinger Posts: 449 Officer
    Was that notice in the Naples News or just the mullet wrapper? I can understand the late notice being the wrapper isn't published very often.

    Furthermore, why have the meeting in Naples? You have a visitor center right there in EC. Oh that's right, don't want the locals showing up huh? This entire process is sickening.
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,667 Admiral
    I notice something in that Fine Print
    A new Boating Permit will replace the current Boat Ramp Permit. I don't have one of them..never even heard of them.
    Soooo, If I didn't have , or need a Boat Ramp Permit...Why would I need this...Boating Permit ?.
    I.m in Federal Navigatable Waters. Will a Yacht coming thru Channel 5 headed to points north need that Boating Permit. How bout them Shrimp boats that run the Markers to the Keys. Will the Everglades area Stone Crab boats need one ....?
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • blewitupsirblewitupsir Posts: 774 Officer
    I notice something in that Fine Print
    A new Boating Permit will replace the current Boat Ramp Permit. I don't have one of them..never even heard of them.
    Soooo, If I didn't have , or need a Boat Ramp Permit...Why would I need this...Boating Permit ?.
    I.m in Federal Navigatable Waters. Will a Yacht coming thru Channel 5 headed to points north need that Boating Permit. How bout them Shrimp boats that run the Markers to the Keys. Will the Everglades area Stone Crab boats need one ....?

    These are all great questions, I would encourage all of you who have time to attend the meeting tomorrow night and ask them. Your only chance to get anything that might resemble an answer.


    Fishing the Everglades hopefishing.com
    http://hopefishing.comFishing the Florida Everglades National Park with Hope Fishing Adventures.
  • nobleonenobleone Posts: 80 Deckhand
    Your only chance to get anything that might resemble an answer.


    Fishing the Everglades hopefishing.com


    That last part is so true. I have been to a couple of these "meetings" and any answers to questions I had felt like they were blowing smoke up my skirt.

    "If it's not one thing, it's an alternator"

  • FGA members attended a meeting last night in Rookery Bay. There were 12 attendees including representatives from Marco Rubio's office.

    According to the assistant superintendent, he has budgeted 3 more rangers and a boaters educational program, both of which he said came out of the GMP discussions that have been on going for 8 years, and to my knowledge still aren't finalized.

    Those two items were proposed by the stakeholders (boaters) as alternatives to a staff recommendation of establishing no motor zones in Florida Bay where propeller scaring is visible.

    The estimated annual cost of this effort is $500K. In order to pay for this, everyone who enters the park waters by boat, regardless of their point of entry (including private property) is being burdened with the $75 annual usage fee; kayakers/ canoeists, veterans and people over the age of 62 exempted.

    This means that the educational program, which is wholly unnecessary for the majority of users of the park along with the extra enforcement necessary to enforce the mandatory education is placed upon the backs of the very people who require the least education and police oversight.

    What it also means is everyone living in Everglades City and Chokoloskee Island will be required to buy either the daily, weekly or annual pass, simply to use their boat, and without the benefit of using any NPS facilities or stepping on dry land within the park.

    Transiting from Naples or Key West through park waters will also require an educational permit as well.

    No meetings were scheduled for the gulf area, to alert the local residents of this proposal.

    We succeeded last night in postponing this component of the new fee schedule until additional hearings could be held.

    That is all.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • BobberBobber Posts: 943 Officer
    Thanks for the update Gary.
  • snookaffinitysnookaffinity Naples, FLPosts: 1,159 Officer
    Thanks
    "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." - Mark Twain
  • Flatwater witchFlatwater witch Posts: 606 Officer
    According to the assistant superintendent, he has budgeted 3 more rangers and a boaters educational program, both of which he said came out of the GMP discussions that have been on going for 8 years, and to my knowledge still aren't finalized.
    The estimated annual cost of this effort is $500K. In order to pay for this, everyone who enters the park waters by boat, regardless of their point of entry (including private property) is being burdened with the $75 annual usage fee; kayakers/ canoeists, veterans and people over the age of 62 exempted.

    Ok 3 new rangers to write tickets to visitors that don't have/weren't aware of/ the boater safety permit.
    Makes you really want to visit a National Park.
    Put the increased fees into the facilities that need fixing
    Camp sites,ramp,road...navigational marker maintenance.
    Renagade69 wrote: »
    Either you are mechanically inclined ore your not. The fact you had to ask told me that you can not do it. Its ok, not every one has this ability. Some people just have to pay.
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