And now, for something completely different. From the Colorado Springs Gazette here..
The Colorado Fourteeners Initiative on Friday released a follow-up to a first-of-its kind study from 2016, which estimated the state’s 54 tallest mountains experienced 260,000 hiker days a year. Now, the nonprofit stewarding the mountain trails says that figure is closer to 311,000. That kind of activity contributes $84 million to the state’s economy, the new study found.
Along with the counters, the study derives user estimates from posts on 14ers.com. The economic impact estimate is based on a 2009 Colorado State University report that found Quandary Peak climbers spent an average of $271 on various expenses including gas, food and equipment.
Without charging fees and getting into that can of worms, would it be possible to give climbers an opportunity to give something toward supporting and maintaining those areas. Certainly the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative does a terrific job, but if half the people donated the equivalent of 5% of their total expenses say, “$14 for 14ers” to the Forest Service, times half the estimated people climbing would be $2.177 mill. Unfortunately the trailheads probably don’t all have cell signal, otherwise it could just be a donation swipe and seemingly fairly easy to do. Personally, I’d like to have this available every time I hit a National Forest trail. Does anyone know of a place where collecting donations using any method is successful?