Birds - Photographs - and National Parks

Subject: Birds - Photographs - and National Parks
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 16:59:53 -0500
Let me throw in a little bit of a U.S. perspective.  Many, if not most, of our 
National Parks now charge an entrance fee.  There is usually an additional fee 
for use of camping facilities.

The reason for this is clear.  In theory, it would be nice to see tax dollars 
pay for the maintanance of the parks and for the programs that go on their, 
includding those designed to attract and protect birds and other wildlife.  But 
the reality is that tax dollars only go so far, and if left strictly to the 
government budget, the park system would be even more poorly maintained than it 
is today, and there would be mainy fewer parks.  So compromises are necessary.

One compromise is user fees, such as entrance fees and charges for certain 
specirfic facilities, like camping.  Those who use the parks a lot can reduce 
the cost by purchasing an annual pass.

Another compromise, of greater controversy, is the partnership with hunting 
groups that provide a great deal of money for conservation, but in return have 
a large say in how and what the parks conserve and may have hunting seasons, 

While the idea of totally free national parksis a nice ideal, at least in our 
country it is hardly a workable reality.  But user fees seem a reasonable 
compromise, in that they impose some of the additional costs on those who reap 
some of the greatest benefits, and letting those who apparently care the most 
help preserve what they love.

Eric Jeffrey
Falls Church, VA
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