Fees expected to keep South Yuba River state park open

As the number of signatures grows to keep South Yuba River state park open, people are talking more openly about the outcome.

I’m hearing from more and more people that if the park is to remain open, that it will impose fees.

Under the circumstances, I’d support that. We’ve watched the day-use fee climb at parks that we frequent — $8 per day at D.L. Bliss state park in Tahoe, for example.

Other examples: Auburn State Recreational Area, $10 for parking; Big Basin Redwoods State Park, $10; Bolsa Chica, $15.

A list of state park day-use park fees is here.

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About jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.
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11 Responses to Fees expected to keep South Yuba River state park open

  1. JOHN STOOS says:

    What a novel concept: Having folks pay for what they use.

    John

  2. I also support fees for park use. It’s very nice when it’s free, but I don’t think that is practical at this time.

  3. Shawn Garvey says:

    I think of the 270 State Parks, only a small handful still DON’T impose fees. So this is the direction of things. Frankly, dedicated revenues for our local parks is an idea whose time has long since come.

    • jeffpelline says:

      Yes, the link to the long list of parks that do charge indeed supports that. Let’s keep the park open and get on with it!

  4. PeteK says:

    Imposing a modest day-use fee to keep our treasured state parks open is priceless.

  5. Fortune Hiller says:

    Parks like North Bloomfield or Bridgeport with structures to be maintained and protected are one thing. Simple public access to the river such as the old Hwy 49 bridge is a totally different matter.

    Access to the river and parking need to remain free for the public at no charge as they are now. The river is public property just as the air we breathe and the spring flowers that grow along Buttermilk Trail. If need be, we could do without rangers at the Hwy 49 bridge. As we learned in the town hall meeting, there are other sources to fund portable toilets.

    An emergency call box at the bridge would do a lot more for safety than the occasional presence of a salaried park ranger.

    • Are you volunteering to empty the trash bins every day?

      • Fortune Hiller says:

        Paying for emptying the one garbage bin does not require a huge budget. Yes, I would commit to finding it myself if that would warrant keeping access to the river free to the public.

        I have picked up and carried out more than my share of trash from the river over the years and so have many others. Have you? I’ve never seen a ranger do that. But, I’ve seen armies of volunteers cleaning up, pulling scotch broom, fixing trails, all without pay.

        It’s a sad state of affairs that we believe only what we pay for is of value and money is the key to salvation. Thanks to all of those who care and do the work without compensation year after year.

      • My point (poorly stated above, my apologies) is that there is no such thing as free. As you mention, Faith, volunteers have been cleaning up our parks annually for many years, and I hope we will continue to do so, but I am pretty sure that we haven’t been doing it all.
        It seems to me that either we who use the park lands cover the bases of clean-up, trail maintenance, parking lot maintenance, keeping stupid drunk folks out, etc, or our taxes pay for the above, or we charge a small fee to cover the above (and probably more I’ve omitted). It seems that the tax solution isn’t going to happen any more. I don’t think it works to organize citizens to volunteer for everything, not to mention liability for the aforementioned stupid drunks. So I’m left with the fee solution. I would hope that under $5 will suffice.

    • PeteK says:

      Let me throw out this. I have been fishing/boating at fuller lake all my life. A few years back, where the boat launch/picnic area is, they started charging a $5 day use fee. At first, it really irked me that were charging to use a “public” lake(actually I think PG&E owns it) But since then, I have noticed bathrooms put in, picnic areas improved and less trash around the lake. It has really made going there a more pleasurable experience. If there is anything that irks me more is going out into the wilderness and seeing trash all over the place or other abuses and much needed maintenence.
      You are looking at it from the perspective that the public is being charged to go places that they have a right to go (public property)Try looking at it as a “donation” to keep our parks Clean and safe so you and your family (and future generations) can “keep” enjoying them. We all have to be stewards of our “public” lands they aren’t going to stay prestine on their own.

      • Fortune Hiller says:

        Our state taxes are a “donation” to the state and we expect the state to keep the parks open with those taxes. That’s what the town hall meeting was about as well as the petition that is going around. I hope it will have an effect.

        This is not the time for us to roll over without truly considering the alternatives and down sides to fees, fences and fines.

        My example where fees did not work and what we can expect if we are not watchful is the Auburn State Recreation Area. Only open on weekend days during the summer season for a $10 day use fee. No river access and no parking in the entire area when the gates are closed.

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