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  #1  
Old 10-05-2011, 01:58 PM
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TJ Jeep TJ Jeep is offline
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Question Request for Feedback

The Discovery Pass is heading for a bit of rework.. Can't solve all the issues at once but would love feedback on some options that will be proposed and how they could impact us.

Transferability is by far the number one concern with many folks.

1)Current proposal on the table is to have 1st pass be $30.00, 2nd pass be $15.00 so an incremental approach.

2)Another idea was to have first pass be $30.00 and option to buy a super pass for additional 30.00 with unlimited transferability.

3)Have one pass, with additional space for multi vehicles, up to 2 vehicles.

Volunteer hours was also a huge topic but one that we ran out of time to discuss but feedback is being asked by the user groups to provide options on how to manage.

My 2 cents: I see a program that will evolve much like our “We Did it”.. you apply for your event to be included as a sanctioned event, you designate contact person for that event, you make them accountable to collect names, miles traveled and hours spent. If trash clean up how much was picked up, if trail maintenance how much material was user provided, travel time, hours spent. You all get the idea.

There was talk about community service time and those that are state mandated to work….. should those hours count toward a pass?

I also would like some feedback on the following areas as well. If collectively we can help provide solutions or ideas. Saying "don’t have the pass"

will not work for as you know the short fall in budgets will lead to them closing areas. So lets be proactive and provide ideas that could work for all of us.. I know many of you recreate not just in your OHV but also Hunt, or Fish or even Horseback..

What are your thoughts on the following:
1)On Discounts (Due to existing state laws, certain residents are exempt from paying for access to parks but not exempt from DFW/DNR lands).
•Veterans
•Disabled
•Senior citizens
•Foster families

2)Volunteers hours
3)Recreation area designations
4)Convenience charges at DF&W Dealers
5)Dual registrations - Some street legal “orvs” have the ORV tab, and are trailered into DNR lands for trail use – technically they are required to have a pass on the trailered vehicle if it is “street legal” and in most cases these folks are buying the ORV tab voluntarily…the intent was to get the towing street legal vehicles, but not the “ORVs”.

On the dual registration – this one really only effects us and the sport bikes. So as you can imagine they are not overly concerned on this one. But that is not to say if we could help them better define this ruling, why in our case some of our street legal vehicles really are not street legal do to WAC rules. This one is a real grey area.. and maybe that we dual register knowing the tab fees do more for us then the pass does. This one is still needing a bit more understanding on the impacts and solutions.


Please feel free to provide comment here or send them to me via Email.

I know you all have opinions and so do your friends.. the more we can collect for concerns, solutions or ideas the better chances that we may end up with something that works.. it will not go away and fees will not change for 2 years.. So getting mad is not the solution.

Working to find a way to make this work is what is needed..

Heck we spend more on parts in a given weekend that cost is not the factor just the inconvience and yet another fee..

All the feedback collect will be passed on to the DNR. Here is your chance to make your voice heard.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:58 PM
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Okay folks.. I am going to stick my neck out here! I am one person and I know that for me 30 bucks is not an issue and I can drive mine to the trail so I could potentially only have one pass. Until Tamara comes home! LOL..

I do have my opinions on this and I am seeking your opinions.. I really need these by the end of Month.. I was hoping for at least some feedback. I know you all have opinions.. I have heard a few in passing.

Help me out on this.. heck our opinion is being asked for and will be used to possibly change a few things.... sorry the pass will remain but, we can infuence the way it reads.............
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:52 PM
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jim putman jim putman is offline
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I think you already know my feelings on this dorthy. I have no issue at all with a pay to play system but we should only have to pay once. The pass should be good for a household or at least transferable to multiple vehicles of the same owner. The way the system is set up now only fosters cheating umong users and a total distrust of the govt. ability to do anything right.
We also need a higher percentage going towards "OUR" use. If I want to go to a state park then I will pay for that. (I already was doing this through lic tabs). They also need to fix the volunteer hours thing. We have lots of small workparties with DNRs approval but now unless its advertised on their website it dosent count Total BS and it just discourages people from volunteering.


So theres my 2 cents
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:10 PM
Merrick Graves Merrick Graves is offline
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I did post a responce shortly after your orginal post. I deleted it for a couple of reasons.

First off I think our lawmakers stuck something somewhere where the sun does not shine. In fact I think this whole bill came out of where they stuck their something. It is/was clear that no one gave this any thought other than a way to collect money (kinda like how they how much thought they put into stealing Nova/OHV funds). Well with no thought they did it again.

1st problem was a $30 pass that cost $35. Even the author of the bill does not agree that was the way he meant it to be.

2nd problem was the single vehicle per pass idea. I understand they did intend it to be that way from the start. However I think they could of authored the bill and modified it later to the single vehicle per pass after the public had a chance to recover from the idea of pay to play.

3rd problem is we as a wheeling community do not support the split. 8%/8%/84% somehow to me still does not seem like a fair split. State parks get the majority.

Those are my main gripes about this. I have others.

I have also seen some of how this is working for the state. Most of the parking is taking place outside of the state parks that I often drive past (fee avoiders). I have also read that where it is impractical to park outside of the park that the park use is down in a major percentage. One park reports 50% less atendence. I work in the forest where there is a checkerboard of land owners. Where a pass is required we have fee avoiders parking (off DNR/WFDW land) so they do not need a pass. I also have people who try to use their Discover Pass on the National Forest (it's not valid on National Forest). After giving an earful they reluctantly pay the required fee.

One also cannot get consistant answers as to if and where a pass is required. Where I work it is required that a certain level of conviences be offered before a fee can be inposed. The state seems to think that just because you are there you are subject to the fee.

You say this fee is here to stay. I seem to remember the same thing was said about an entrance/parking fee imposed a few years ago at state parks. One season later the fee was resinded. Attendence drop and flak about already paying enough thru existing taxes caused the lawmakers to rethink.

I have yet to of met a person who thinks this is/was a logical way to solve the states problems.

I have an idea that probably would not be to popular. That is resind this fee and carry the collection over to my state property taxes. Us a dedicated fund that could not be used anyhow else. And make the split more equatable or make it a grant process.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:16 PM
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I agree with both of you on your comments and I thank you.

Many of discussions have come regarding the free loaders.

For us the split does seem un fair and in the scope of things agree. But in numbers that are given the higher percentage of users are not us. But like discussed those that would have thought to pay the pass to go to the parks for the hikers or mountain bikes are now parking outside of the parks and not paying for the pass.

So now the question is in these tough times how do you pay to keep operations open to the public when there is no money available and they are being asked to trim the fat??

What would it take for us beside the transferability and money split to buy the pass? What would be an acceptable medium??

Here is what another member from our COG group had to say!

1.Transferability - The inability to transfer a pass from one vehicle to another is a poor design and options to offer multiple discounted passes don't address this. Transfer mechanisms for sold vehicles are cumbersome and add complexity to a system that is already overly complex for the many license offices to administer. Also, many of our members own more than one vehicle which they might use to visit a state park instead of using their tow vehicle.

2.Dual Registration denial - It should be sufficient to have either an ORV permit or a Discover Pass ... but for street legal 4X4 and dirt bikes already paying for both license plates and having dual registration with an ORV tab, the D-Pass is a required third government sticker ... and that's unreasonable. This also adds complexity in that these dual registered vehicle only need the D-Pass when they're on State land but only on roads where their plates are required. Otherwise if they're strictly off road, their ORV permit suffices. This denial creates a third tax for the user and a complicated structure for determining when it's required.

3.Complexity/USFS dissimilarity - We already have one "pass system" for off road recreational use in this state and it's been around for a long time. The fact that this new one chose to change transfer rights, volunteer policies and even ties it to a vehicle creates an unnecessary burden of understanding for our users and a similar unnecessary burden for teaching and communication for the government. Several of the reasons for this design were perhaps driven by the desire to increase revenues as well as the complexity of joining with State Parks and DFW in the system. You're adding yet more complexity as you seek to fix the problem of routine changing of license plates (because when I change license plates for any one of several routine reasons my pass is now invalid). Rather than adding the burden of this new pass to support DNR programs, another approach would be to use the existing User Fee system with ORV permits and establish the level of revenues users are willing to support. That then can must drive the expense side of the DNR's program's. What we instead have here are expenses driving the revenues ... and revenues falling short. With the complexities and overlaps of this system you're unable to determine just what YOUR DNR user group is willing to fund ... and part of the Dual Registration desire comes from users willingness to purchase ORV permits while knowing DNR gets SO MUCH of that revenue compare to the D-Pass.

So what would I offer as solutions here (in addition to the obvious message of right-sizing expenses)?:

1.Create a simpler Pass - Construct a D-pass scheme using transferability and volunteer policies mirroring the USFS Forest Pass. I assume this is possible given the legislation but that does need to be checked. Survey to find out participation rates for various pricing levels using these assumptions to drive net revenue projections. This addresses the desire for transferability ... which really isn't addressed by discounted 2nd passes. And it quantifies the voice of the users so that leadership can respond. Without this you'll be continuing to try to sell a recreational system that users can't afford.

2.Allow Dual Registered Vehicles exemption - This is another question regarding the law ... can someone who HAS a license plate AND ORV permit and is on a DNR road be exempted from the D-Pass? If so, thank you ... if not, this crystallizes a legislative change for the next session.
Written by a member of WOHVA.


Sorry for the length of the post but this is a huge topic and needs to be looked at in many ways!

I pesonnally welcome the comments
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:24 AM
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zukkev zukkev is offline
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My main beef with the current system is having to buy one for each vehicle...that means 4 passes for me! One for the Sami, one for the tow rig, one for the XJ (hunting rig/dd), and one for the wife's ZJ if we were to go up in the hills in it....I've already got enough hours for one pass via the volunteer hours credits, but my understanding is you only get one free pass per yr....I figure if you volunteer enough (lord knows I do!!!), you should be rewarded for that by being allowed more than one per yr...If that were the case, I have enough for two...almost.
Which brings the volunteer hours thing to light, 24 is not alot of hours, but means at least two trips to my ORV area, which equates to at least $100 in fuel money thru the tow rig/wheeler, plus food, and any other moneys spent during the trips (which goes to local businesses)...16 hrs could be an option, as a loooooong day volunteering, 16 could be attained in one trip...just a thought.
The multiple pass/discounted rate scale idea would help...but I'd still have to buy 4 passes, potentially....
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:56 AM
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The pass should be just like the FS pass. One pass per household and it can go from rig ro rig and covers the tow vehichle and trail rig. Simple and easy.
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant Collins View Post
The pass should be just like the FS pass. One pass per household and it can go from rig ro rig and covers the tow vehichle and trail rig. Simple and easy.
How would you be able to put a pass in each vehicle if you tow your wheelin' rig to the trails? Just curious...
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:03 AM
Merrick Graves Merrick Graves is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zukkev View Post
How would you be able to put a pass in each vehicle if you tow your wheelin' rig to the trails? Just curious...
2 Piece permit. 1 part is the mirror hanger, it has a tear off wallet section. Problem would be that to confirm compliance would require contact with the permit holder. My experience says nothing but problems with enforcement as dealing with people who either don't understand or don't care will create headaches.

To restate my position: I pay property taxes. In the tax statement there are numerous acessements (fire, schools, hosipital, library, etc). Seems it would not be a hard thing to establish a taxing district called State recreation. Each property owner would share the burden of supporting parks and rec. Seems to simple and fair to have something like this created. But so goes the State Gov. Seems like the state is helll bent on fixing the problem rather than solving the problem.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zukkev View Post
How would you be able to put a pass in each vehicle if you tow your wheelin' rig to the trails? Just curious...
The pass is in the tow rig not the trail rig. 1 pass covers both tow and trail rig.
This has been the way the FS has done it forever, seems to work.
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