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Gunks MUA camping ticket - help?
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By Martin le Roux
From Superior, CO
Nov 9, 2012
Stairway to Heaven
CWood wrote:
paying to park a car somewhere and put up a tent for the night is and always will be unacceptable.


You're not being serious, are you? As they say in economics, there's no such thing as a free lunch, and there's no such thing as a free campsite either. Someone has to pay for construction and maintenance, water supply, latrines, garbage disposal, and supervising the area. Land isn't free either, not when you're only 85 miles from midtown Manhattan. Sure, I can understand that you don't like paying for it, but that doesn't mean there aren't any costs involved.

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By Matt Davis
Nov 9, 2012
HG, perhaps you can share some facts about which parts of the preserve are not bought and paid for. I am curious.

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By Jim Sweeney
Nov 9, 2012
For the Second Time

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By CWood
From SLC, UT
Nov 9, 2012
Happiegrrrl wrote:
"Bought and paid for?" - This is not an accurate statement in any way, shape or form.

If that's not factually accurate, my apologies. From the looks of Jim's link, the preserve is acquiring a lot of land that's unrelated to rock climbing and this cost is passed on to those who only use the land for climbing (ie. climbing day passes). I don't particularly care to support new non-climbing acquisitions, but I'm not allowed to "opt out". The majority of other large, great climbing areas are typically free of charge, so unless the Trapps cliff isn't paid for, or they're trying to acquire Sky Top, it looks like bloated overhead to me.


Martin le Roux wrote:
You're not being serious, are you? As they say in economics, there's no such thing as a free lunch, and there's no such thing as a free campsite either. Someone has to pay for construction and maintenance, water supply, latrines, garbage disposal, and supervising the area. Land isn't free either, not when you're only 85 miles from midtown Manhattan. Sure, I can understand that you don't like paying for it, but that doesn't mean there aren't any costs involved.

Dead serious. I'm not asking for construction, maintenance, water supply, latrines, garbage disposal OR supervision. If somebody makes a campsite that has that stuff and the end result is me having to pay for it, I would prefer to camp in an unimproved location which is free. I'm not lighting fires, leaving trash, or shitting in the woods. Ever been to New Hampshire? Lots of dumpy, expensive "managed" campgrounds for $20 a night - yet free camping elsewhere is possible. Fuck pay camping.

(also: fuck Manhattan, but that's a separate discussion)

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By TWK
Nov 9, 2012
You see, this is the problem with the East. (I'm a native of PA and lived in PA NY and NJ until I was 20). There is very little public land. It's why I moved west 30 years ago.
Don't get me wrong, I loved the Gunks but it sounds like a fiasco now. Too many people, not enough access.
Tell everybody in manhattan it's way worse here, so don't move. They'll get the lights and heat back on soon. I had to wear a long-sleeved t-shirt today. It was so cold. I feel your pain.

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By Merlin
From Grand Junction
Nov 9, 2012
CWood wrote:
] Fuck pay camping. (also: fuck Manhattan, but that's a separate discussion)


Fuck BosWash and CA would be more encompassing.

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By TWK
Nov 9, 2012
What does that mean?

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By Merlin
From Grand Junction
Nov 10, 2012
TWK wrote:
What does that mean?


Generic dislike of urban sprawl running for hundreds of miles.

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By TWK
Nov 10, 2012
Well, I'm sure we all agree, but don't lump all of NorCal in with that.

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By Merlin
From Grand Junction
Nov 10, 2012
TWK wrote:
Well, I'm sure we all agree, but don't lump all of NorCal in with that.



Shoot, CA is cool, sucky politics but cool state. I'm mostly adding to the silliness out of boredom.

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By Happiegrrrl
From Gunks
Nov 10, 2012
CWood wrote:
If that's not factually accurate, my apologies. From the looks of Jim's link, the preserve is acquiring a lot of land that's unrelated to rock climbing and this cost is passed on to those who only use the land for climbing (ie. climbing day passes). I don't particularly care to support new non-climbing acquisitions, but I'm not allowed to "opt out".


The Rosendale Water Works was also purchased a few years ago, wit the purposes of acquiring not only an ecologically sensitive area, but a historically significant piece of land both as a civic and recreational area, as well as to allow legal access to boulders. Apparently the bouldering is very good. There is also some rock with single pitch climbing.

You don't like paying what amounts to 25 cents per day to support the preserve, and are certainly entitled to your opinion. The opt-out is to simply not support with your membership.

The majority of other large, great climbing areas are typically free of charge, Another statement which is not actually true, sorry to say.

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Nov 10, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Pea...
TWK wrote:
You see, this is the problem with the East. (I'm a native of PA and lived in PA NY and NJ until I was 20). There is very little public land. It's why I moved west 30 years ago.


Same problem with the entire state of Texas. You wouldn't think so much crappy land would all be private, but it mostly is.

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By Merlin
From Grand Junction
Nov 10, 2012
Stich wrote:
Same problem with the entire state of Texas. You wouldn't think so much crappy land would all be private, but it mostly is.


Skipping Texas and NY are never a bad option.

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By CWood
From SLC, UT
Nov 10, 2012
Happiegrrrl wrote:
You don't like paying what amounts to 25 cents per day to support the preserve, and are certainly entitled to your opinion. The opt-out is to simply not support with your membership.

I don't know how you figure 25 cents a day. I'm certainly not using the place 365 days a year. $90 is the current annual rate for a member with "climbing option", which is more expensive than a national parks pass that covers every national park in the US, including areas like Zion, Yosemite, JTree, Yellowstone, Acadia, Bryce, Canyonlands, Black Canyon, Arches, RMNP, GTNP, Denali, Rainier, etc, etc, etc. All of them. For a car full of people. For a year. (more than 50% of all national parks have no entrance fee)


Happiegrrrl wrote:
The majority of other large, great climbing areas are typically free of charge, Another statement which is not actually true, sorry to say.

I'm not aware of any major climbing in MA or NH that is not 100% free. Cannon, Cathedral, Whitehorse, Rumney, etc. If the Trapps cliff was located in MA or NH, it would have been state land and free to all from day one.

The Adirondacks is free. RRG is free. NRG is free. Seneca Rocks is free. Indian Creek is free. Lover's Leap and the Tahoe area crags are free. Cascades - free. Red Rock costs $7 PER CAR. Eldo is $8 PER CAR. The majority of the climbing in the West is free, or in the case of national parks costs $10-20 PER CAR, PER WEEK, which is a hell of a lot better than $17 PER PERSON, PER DAY at the Gunks. In fact, the Gunks is the most expensive climbing area I can think of.

To address Eric and "entitlement": how pissed off would you be if the top of Cathedral ledge was privately owned by some wealthy family that ran a luxury hotel for the 0.1% to fly in from Manhattan penthouse helipads, and climbing was prohibited? You're damn right I feel entitled to cliffs which should never have been privately owned in the first place, and would be public land basically anywhere else in the US.

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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Nov 10, 2012
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Strut...
Continuing thread drift: these "free" cliffs are often supported by tax dollars. I wonder how some farmer in Indiana feels about paying for Yosemite National Park though his taxes.

The Gunks are expensive, no doubt about it, but that's the price of doing business within a short drive of NYC. I'd rather pay a fee than sling a fire hydrant for a belay on top of Arrow. These other northeast crags simply never had that kind of pressure from developers. C'mon, Millbrook almost had a ferris wheel put on it in the 1970s. Climbing fees support the Preserve, and climbers don't use much of the preserve - but how different would it feel driving in from New Paltz if that farm land was a suburb of McMansions?

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 12, 2012
Rumney
The issue isn't whether they can, it's simply a matter of whether they should continue their trend of increasing fees, especially considering they seem to be doing just fine at the current rate(s). The defense of their policy doesn't appear rooted in arithmetic.

Private preserve finances and government owned parks are apples to oranges. Government funded land access is spread out over a HUGE demographic at pennies cost each. Were the Gunks owned/operated by a government agency the cost per user would be significantly low because the total cost is absorbed by all tax payers. That's how things like roads, bridges, medicare, social security, regulatory agencies, etc get funded. The farmer in Kansas doesn't even know they're sponsoring the national parks program because the cost to them is literally pennies. Same is true for other government programs. It's funny that many of the government programs on the Republican chopping block represent a MINUTE amount of overall budget savings, and the things that are truly the biggest issues like defense they're actually trying to increase. But I digress...

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By Matt Davis
Nov 13, 2012
Happiegrrrl wrote:
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.


People get paid a lot of money for not doing a lot. So? I know a guy who never went to college and he makes a silly amount of money selling stuff on the QVC channel. He has a couple houses, a couple boats, and a plane. No, wait, make that two planes now. And four kids.

What other people make has no bearing on what the exec director at the MP makes. It's a non-profit land preserve. Most non-profit land entities have all volunteer staff. I bet the MP ED makes more than any other non-profit land preserve ED in the country.

And his rate of pay has gone up a lot in recent years too. Several years ago he was making 90k. Now it's 135k. While everyone else in the economy was taking it on the chin he got a 50% pay hike.

But whatever, they can pay him as much as they like. The MP cannot however have a 135K a year ED and 1.8M a year staff and at the same time credibly say they are a poor struggling land preserve.

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By Matt Davis
Nov 13, 2012
Jim Sweeney wrote:


lucander wrote:
.....how different would it feel driving in from New Paltz if that farm land was a suburb of McMansions?


This land was owned by the Smileys, so doesn't that mean it was already preserved? Were the Smileys going to develop this land if the preserve didn't buy it? Really? I find that hard to believe.

Even if the Smileys were collaborating with Toll Brothers to develop it, as mentioned previously lots of communities preserve land without having an organization with 20 board members, a $1.8M staff, a multi-million dollar visitor center, and without charging for access.

What's crazy about this deal is that climbers are now going to be paying for years so the Mohonk Preserve can give millions of dollars to the Smileys, who don't allow climbing access at Skytop, one of the country's highest quality and most storied crags.

Back on topic a bit, the same sort of dynamic exists for the new campground. The Mohonk Preserve is collaborating with the PIPC to build the new campground. The PIPC is responsible for banning climbing on more public land than any other government agency in the country. The two chunks of land I'm talking about are the Pallisades to the south and right here in the gunks 99% of Minnewaska State Park. The Mohonk Preserve is collaborating with the anti-climbing PIPC to build a for-pay campground and then shut down the only two free campgrounds around.

And the new campground will be a trip too. It will be an aggressively supervised almost anti-vulgarian campground. No fires of any kind at your camp site, only in the common area. No alcohol at your campsite, only in the common area, and maybe even no alcohol at all. No singing kumbaya at your campsite, only in the common area. As the neighbors are mightily pissed off about a new campground in their neighborhood, you can can expect frequent calls to and visits from the popo if the rules aren't followed.

The gunks used to be a fun mellow place to climb. Because of the current Mohonk Preserve management culture, it's become a supervised, managed, sort of corporate place to climb.

Edited to add: And oh yeah, absolutely unequivocally no happy lettuce smoke. Wafting whacky weed smoke will result in an immediate call to the police from the pissed off neighbors who don't want the new campground.

The new campground sounds like such a fun place.

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 13, 2012
Rumney
Matt Davis wrote:
People get paid a lot of money for not doing a lot. So?... What other people make has no bearing on what the exec director at the MP makes.


Our current brainwashed economic culture has us believing that hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars spent on executive pay is justifiable. We look at sports salaries and balk, but when a CEO makes 15 million plus bonuses it doesn't seem to register as foul. I agree that $130,000 as a director of a non profit seems excessive. The money is SUPPOSED to be spent on programming and infrastructure. People are drawn to work at non profits for the type of work being done, not the size of their paycheck. Although at 10% of the total salaries, MP is actually slightly below the executive director/ceo pay average for most wall street firms. Oh wait, that's right - they're not a wall street firm.

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By Happiegrrrl
From Gunks
Nov 13, 2012
Matt Davis wrote:
People get paid a lot of money for not doing a lot.


My point was that the amount you specified is actually a rather meager sum for an executive to be paid.

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By Matt Davis
Nov 13, 2012
Happiegrrrl wrote:
My point was that the amount you specified is actually a rather meager sum for an executive to be paid.


I guess meager is in the eye of the beholder. I'd love to see input from other private land preserves around the state and nation to see what they think of an executive director of a private non-profit land preserve being paid what Glenn Hoagland gets paid, including salary, health care, pension contributions, deferred salary, vehicle, etc.. Meager seems an unlikely adjective.

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 13, 2012
Rumney
Matt Davis wrote:
I guess meager is in the eye of the beholder. I'd love to see input from other private land preserves around the state and nation to see what they think of an executive director of a private non-profit land preserve being paid what Glenn Hoagland gets paid, including salary, health care, pension contributions, deferred salary, vehicle, etc.. Meager seems an unlikely adjective.


If they're ethical they'll denounce it, but if they're Amerikan they'll keep their mouth shut because the more he makes the more they may someday make. That's hippygirl's point - it's a system of back scratching and monopolized pay scales. Justification isn't in the vocabulary of those "in power". We should be jailed for even suggesting they're overpaid.

It begs the question - what the hell do they actually DO to earn that much more than the other salaried employees? Do they breath fire? Perform miracles?

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By Matt Davis
Nov 13, 2012
I'd love to know how Glenn's pay increases over the last several years compare to the rangers pay increases. Have the rangers gotten a 50% pay increase too, or just Glenn?

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 13, 2012
Rumney
There you go using MATH again. You need to think with your heart, not your head! lol

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By oldfattradguuy
Nov 13, 2012
With the caveat that it has been >20 years that I have been in the Gunks:

I was one of the 1st rangers when the PIPC took over Lake Minnewaska, in 1987 we looked into getting climbing open in all of Minnewaska. Itís better off not being legal and never stopped anyone, except right at the lake). With that in mind:

Those of you who are whining about having to pay to climb on preserve land: You are fools and do not realize what the area would be like if it were developed or owned by someone not friendly to climbers. It is gem.

Most of you likely spend more than $90 per year on fancy coffee drinks I canít pronounce. Even 20 years ago parking was problem, I can't even imagine what it must be like now.

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