Feedback on Fees
I have encouraged readers to provide feedback on this issue and you have responded in kind, though not always with kindness. Here is a sampling.
JG wrote: "Why is it that every time there is a increase in license fees the state overlooks the hikers? Shouldn't the people who use the trails and trail head parking pay? Wouldn't a hiking license along with a parking permit go a long way in covering the states property taxes? Shouldn't the day of the free ride be over?
AN wrote" We spend a lot of money just so the foolish hikers can get to the High Peaks. Let them start paying their own way...by charging all hikers a yearly fee and charge them when we have to send in the troops to save their ##$@% and bring them off the mountain tops. Patterson could make millions by charging hikers, bikers, kayakers and canoers. They do all of it for free."
LPS wrote "I think your article started out on the right track. Research. The state and towns along with the travel industry in New York are very lacks in investing in information gathering. The real challenge is developing relevant questions without bias. And assuring all interests are invited to provide input. But who can lead such an effort? How to fund it?
My fear of adding a fee is that the rich will be able to access the prime locations while access for the regular guy and yes even the disadvantaged will continue to dwindle. Just look at access to so many lakes. Real estate has taken access away from so many people. It has taken access from both locals and visitors as older family run accommodations are sold.
Now you're wondering if user fees for state land are a good idea. When I consider to whom the fees would be paid and who would administer that money I cannot believe much if any good would come from it."