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Gunks MUA camping ticket - help?
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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Nov 6, 2012
Stoked...

Happiegrrrl wrote:
You do realize that these guys have had to go in and scrape brains, intestines, dismembered limbs and more off the rocks, don't you? It's insulting, the attitude that these people are "the man."


Pretty sure this is what cops do for a living too... and I certainly call them "the man." I think this may be a bad example.


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By Happiegrrrl
From Gunks
Nov 6, 2012

I've seen the annual reports. I've seen annual reports for several not-for-profit organizations. I don't see anything so terribly out of line with the financials fro MP. Would you care to enlighten me?


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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Nov 6, 2012
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Struttin.

Kevin Heckeler wrote:
It's getting rather "unfriendly" in the Gunks. The preserve guards are there earlier than ever each day, earlier in the season, and later in the season


You've basically just said: "I'm mad that it's getting harder to sneak into the Gunks so I'm going to hijack the thread."

I hope the OP can resolve his ticket and that we all got a reminder to look up at the signs on trees before pitching our tents.

DL


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By J Antin
From Denver, CO
Nov 6, 2012
First morning at Indian Creek!!!

GMBurns wrote:
you can't do that in a lot of states these days. In order to ensure fines are paid, and in order to maintain revenue, several states now share information and these agreements allow the home state to also suspend a license, or at the very least require you to pay the fine before you can renew. Not sure which states have agreements with which other states, but they exist. As for the camping: I'm super bummed by the potential development to begin next spring. OK, I live in Brasil now, but man, that free camping was really great. I wonder how many New Englanders will stay in NH and head to the 'Daks as a result. Drive four hours from Boston, pay your season's pass, and pay for camping? It adds up.


It was awesome - especially for those of us driving up late, crashing for a few hours and getting up early to climb. No need for showers, facilities,etc. If I want that experience, I'd go hang out at the KOA.


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By Dana Bartlett
From CT
Nov 6, 2012

Kevin Heckeler wrote:
Don't sensationalize this. Look at the preserve's financials (it's all on their website) and come to grips with reality.


Sensationalize? These are from your posts.

"Vapor campground"
"the man"
"brainwashed,"
"koolaid"
"guards"
"trying to drive people away"
"It's all about the money"

It's pretty simple. If you don't like the price, shop somewhere else.


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By TWK
Nov 6, 2012

It gets even simpler. There's too damn many people interested in "adventure sports" almost everywhere one goes.

All the "climbing" gyms and developments in gear have reduced the learning curve to a chuckle, and everybody's leading 5.9 after a season.

If you were able to climb in the Gunks in the 70s, you would have encountered almost no lines anywhere, rare minor parking inconveniences, and you could crash for free at the AMC cabin.

Of course, you would have had to learn how to climb without all the new sticky shoes, and how to place passive pro. No on-line climbing guides available then, either. All the cars were crap back then, too, so it was usually a moral victory just to get to the crag.

Same deal with whitewater--you can walk across to the Ocoee shore on the tourist rafts after getting crushed out of your kayak by them.

Too many people, overuse of finite resources. I want a time machine.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 7, 2012
Rumney

lucander wrote:
You've basically just said: "I'm mad that it's getting harder to sneak into the Gunks so I'm going to hijack the thread."


I am a dues paying member, and have been for several years.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 7, 2012
Rumney

Dana wrote:
It's pretty simple. If you don't like the price, shop somewhere else.


I admittedly spend 2/3 - 3/4 of the year up north (Adirondacks). So I guess I only use the Gunks as my Spring and Fall outdoor gym when it's too cold up north to rock climb, but not cold enough for ice. Perhaps this gives me perspective lost on those who are more geographically bound to the Gunks, who don't have a choice but to pay.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 7, 2012
Rumney

Happiegrrrl wrote:
I've seen the annual reports. I've seen annual reports for several not-for-profit organizations. I don't see anything so terribly out of line with the financials fro MP. Would you care to enlighten me?


We'll work on an hourly rate so I can afford to take time off to complete a full audit. ;)

On the surface they spend too much on advertising/revenue generation. Example I like to give is the mailers - too many for starters, and sometimes duplicated. Cash starved organizations can't afford to make those mistakes. The content and postage of the mailer is a chunk of change to produce/distribute when multiplied by the number of members/people they send them to. If I recall, they allot $300,000 annually for these types of solicitations.

What I didn't see online were the salaries of the top employees. Maybe you know where those figures are. The numbers I've heard via hearsay were pretty staggering. It's common for extra funds to make its way into executive staff paychecks.

www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-17/nonprofit-ceo-pay-topping->>>

www.blog.thegoodkarma.co/2011/10/12/nonprofit-is-a-misnomer/

Non/not for profit is a misnomer if you actually understand how the money is used, and often wastefully used in order to use it all.

This is only one area where there's obvious spending issues. To get to the heart of others would require time with the books and decision makers at the preserve. Simple math concludes that they have a solid income between grants, membership, donations, and fees. Their actual costs to do business are relatively low in proportion to their income. This is NOT a struggling not for profit! But you would think they were on the brink of collapse the way they have their hand out all the time. It also calls into question the motive for fee increases if they're not actually struggling, which is / has been my entire point.


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By Happiegrrrl
From Gunks
Nov 7, 2012

From what I have seen, 11% on Communications is well within a respectable ratio. Though I may be wrong, it seems to me I have seen mentions on some of printed materials have been offset by in-kind donations too.

As for salaries, I have no idea whatsoever on administrative salaries, but do know that experienced, high quality people do need to be paid on par with the market rates (for non-profits). While compensation isn't the only factor one considers in choosing a job, it usually is high on the scale. And there's nothing wrong with that. Administering for an organization IS a job!

Kevin Heckeler wrote:
To get to the heart of others would require time with the books and decision makers at the preserve.
Well, next time you see Russ Clune at the cliffs, ask him if he can spend a few minutes going over your concerns about the preserve. As you probably know, he is on the Board and thus would be one of those decision makers.

I also am pretty sure that when people have queried board members or administrative personnel about things they are responded to.


Kevin Heckeler wrote:
Their actual costs to do business are relatively low in proportion to their income.


I have to say that I doubt you have any actual idea what their costs are. You might feel the costs are low, but you may not be aware of just what goes into the managing of the place.

But - we could go back and forth, back and forth, ad nauseum. I am not educated enough to defend my position on a greater level than I have been, and I would not like to seem as if I am presenting myself as some sort of authority. If you would like to take that as a concession, feel free.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 8, 2012
Rumney

Their costs are in their annual report.

The kind of numbers/paperwork worth discussing aren't available cragside. Nor am I so hell bent on spending personal time on the matter that I would want to trade climbing time for doing THEM the favor of going over their books. Auditors get paid handsomely. They're a business like any other, it's just how they use and pay taxes on their income that's different from traditional corporations.

There's a reason you don't know the salaries of the top employees. It would ruin their justifications for increasing fees and asking for donations. Call it - sticker shock!


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By Happiegrrrl
From Gunks
Nov 8, 2012

The reason we don't know a person's salary is because it is personal business, Kevin, despite the perspective you have. I would fully expect that administrators for the largest nature preserve in NY state and a key organization for environmental education and research would be compensated very well.

When I suggested you talk to Clune, I didn't seriously expect you would do that....But do you have the balls - really - to say to his face, or to Sharon Smiley's, that you feel they are handling the organization's finances in an irresponsible manner? That you have the audacity to consider yourself able to do them a favor by explaining how they can better manage the organization!? I'm stunned.

I realize that I have also hijacked this thread by taking the bait you put out, and I apologize to the OP, to whom I can only suggest pay the fine, and be more careful in the future.

As some know, I have spent many a day camping in Joshua Tree National Park, a location also well known for having their camping spots inadequate for the population on a buys weekend in season. I knew full well that if I arrived on a Friday afternoon - even Thursday afternoon - that I would not get a campsite in Hidden Valley or Ryan. I planned accordingly. It would never have occurred to me to camp in a non-site, even though I have on occasion seen others pitch tents in that way and then aggressively defend their position to others who try to tell them they will be ticketed, and then play dumb when the rangers came to boot them.

Just like at Joshua Tree, there are alternatives here in the Gunks. The alternatives are not free, and are not as convenient as the MUA or Slime, but they are there.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 8, 2012
Rumney

Happiegrrrl wrote:
The reason we don't know a person's salary is because it is personal business, Kevin, despite the perspective you have. I would fully expect that administrators for the largest nature preserve in NY state and a key organization for environmental education and research would be compensated very well. When I suggested you talk to Clune, I didn't seriously expect you would do that....But do you have the balls - really - to say to his face, or to Sharon Smiley's, that you feel they are handling the organization's finances in an irresponsible manner? That you have the audacity to consider yourself able to do them a favor by explaining how they can better manage the organization!? I'm stunned.


Um, any Mohonk member has a right to ask how our dues are being spent. You take these discussions to a personal level when they have absolutely nothing to do with you, personally. You seem to know more about me and my inabilities and lack of worth in this discussion than I. YOU couldn't possibly being any more insulting.

Fwiw - I wouldn't know these people if I fell on top of them. Maybe you can introduce me next time we're there climbing.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 8, 2012
Rumney

Kevin Heckeler wrote:
Simple math concludes that they have a solid income between grants, membership, donations, and fees. Their actual costs to do business are relatively low in proportion to their income. This is NOT a struggling not for profit! But you would think they were on the brink of collapse the way they have their hand out all the time. It also calls into question the motive for fee increases if they're not actually struggling, which is / has been my entire point.


^^^ This will be reposted by me as perma-response until it's addressed.
______________________

I think part of the resistence to fee increases by people like me is the lack of feeling like our money is going toward something with meaning/value. The preserve has failed to demonstrate the payoff. There's no sense of pride in much of the climbing community with regards to the preserve doing the world a favor by existing (ie - the feeling of "I'm giving to a good cause").

If you take the Nature Conservancy or even the Access Fund as comparisons, I think you'll find that contributing members give because they feel those entities are truly generating value from their membership's contributions. The sense is that the preserve is pocketing more than it needs to, and that it could be "doing more". Whether or not that is true isn't the point, they've failed at making the case that they're doing enough.


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By Matt Davis
Nov 8, 2012

I'm guessing the Mohonk Preserve has current assets of around $16,000,000, that their annual revenue is around $3,000,000, that total annual expenditures on employees are around $1,800,000 and that executive director Glenn Hoagland's salary is around $135,000 plus quite generous benefits.

Anyone else care to venture a guess? ;-)

The Mohonk Preserve is VERY wealthy as land preserves go. Most land preserves have no visitor center let alone a three million, soon to be four million, dollar visitor center. Most land preserves have an all volunteer board and staff. Most land preserves allow free access.


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By Matt Davis
Nov 8, 2012

Happiegrrrl wrote:
I also am pretty sure that when people have queried board members or administrative personnel about things they are responded to.


At least the obviously very happy girl below knows enough to defer to someone better informed, in this case a fifth grader, when she has no clue.


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By Happiegrrrl
From Gunks
Nov 8, 2012

Matt Davis wrote:
salary is around $135,000 plus quite generous benefits.


For what it's worth, if I were still working as a handbag designer in NYC, I would be making more than that by quite a significant amount, and my higher education was an Associate Degree.


As for "taking it personally," well - YES! I know these people in person. They are not anonymous entities.


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By Matt Davis
Nov 8, 2012

Oooooooohhhhh. You know the MP rangers and other staff personally. So cool. Wait, so do thousands of other people.

That you take it personally on their behalf is kind of psychophantically creepy. Why don't you let them speak for themselves if they want to?


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By Jim Sweeney
Nov 8, 2012

In case you were wondering where the money goes 850 Acres in the Valley


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By JBaker
From Belmont, MA
Nov 8, 2012
summit of Mt. Washington, NH

Calling your bluff Emmet... you don't have a girlfriend!


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By Eric Engberg
Nov 8, 2012

To all the whiners who say "da Gunks cost too much" - go someplace else. Please. Just go away and shut up. Your sense of entitlement to property that is not yours wears thin...


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 8, 2012
Rumney

Eric Engberg wrote:
To all the whiners who say "da Gunks cost too much" - go someplace else. Please. Just go away and shut up. Your sense of entitlement to property that is not yours wears thin...


No you shut up, poopy pants smell cake.


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By CWood
From SLC, UT
Nov 9, 2012

Happiegrrrl wrote:
As for free camping.... once the campground is open, the MUA and Slime are going to be closed. This new campground is brought to us in part by the American Alpine Club, and AAC members will have reduced rates. It is going to be a nice campground, with showers, some drive up spots and some walk in spots, a covered pavillion for cooking and such in rain, and a central firepit(which will definitely help with a reduction of loud after quiet hours are on, plus a reduction in idiots pulling limbs off live trees to burn.


I have four words for you: PAY CAMPING IS BULLSHIT


The MUA may be a perpetual source of problems, and the crowds at the Gunks may be excessive, but paying to park a car somewhere and put up a tent for the night is and always will be unacceptable. I don't care whether you agree or not.

Also, regarding Mohonk Preserve revenues and costs, it seems hardly reasonable to me that membership/fees go up every year without fail. It is implausible that money is not being wasted or siphoned off. Running a land preserve that is bought and paid for should not entail endless escalation of costs.


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By "H"
From Manitou Springs
Nov 9, 2012
Axes glistening in the sun

ah the good ole' days. When movies cost a nickel. The gunks used to cost $5 on a weekday and $7 on the weekend, when if you got there early enough in the morning there wasn't anyone around except a handful of early bird climbers such as myself, and the days when you could camp out on a road by the hairpin turn, and also pretty much park anywhere. Oh and it wasn't like climbing at a gym either.

All that being said I miss climbing there, but not all this other craziness.


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By Happiegrrrl
From Gunks
Nov 9, 2012

CWood wrote:
Also, regarding Mohonk Preserve revenues and costs, it seems hardly reasonable to me that membership/fees go up every year without fail. It is implausible that money is not being wasted or siphoned off. Running a land preserve that is bought and paid for should not entail endless escalation of costs.


Membership and day passes this year are same as last year.... My memory is not good enough to recall other years but I know for a fact that there has not been an increase each year since I have been going there (2004).

"Bought and paid for?" - This is not an accurate statement in any way, shape or form.


It is not helpful when people make statements as if they are factual when the words seem to have been plucked clean out of the air.


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