5 thoughts on “HCN’s Primer on Campground Concessionaires”

  1. Thanks for posting this, Andy, Kitty had sent it but I was running behind with posts.

    A couple of thoughts.. it’s interesting how the commenters pointed out that they preferred dispersed camping.. what I think was interesting about many in the recreation program is that facilities get all the attention and dispersed camping relatively little, despite the fact that in the Rockies that seems to be the most popular. It’s like it’s invisible. I always thought that was strange and beautiful, how so many people could get along with so few problems (especially during hunting season) with so little investment by the USG.

    As one time I was interested in doing some research on this.. and there seemed to be very little in the published literature. I thought it would be a fun summer to interview dispersed campers and understand what they like and dislike and maybe do a “willingness-to-pay” study. This did not intrigue anyone with authority to fund it or me.

    Oh, and to be clear, if my understanding is correct, Recreation is a separate BLI as funded by Congress. So while you can argue that there’s too much overhead or whatever, the FS can’t take veg bucks and put it into recreation (although I remember discussions of whether you could use rec bucks on roadside hazard trees). The Rec line item is funded by Congress, so if we’re looking to change we would have to change Congress’s view. Which could be done if there were a grassroots rally for recreation funding… but it would require the groups to get together, as we’ve discussed before.

    • “I thought it would be a fun summer to interview dispersed campers and understand what they like and dislike and maybe do a “willingness-to-pay” study.”

      With all due respect Sharon, as a dispersed camper myself, if you were to approach me in your uniform with your clipboard and survey questions, I would run screaming the other way as far and as fast as I could. If dispersed camping ever becomes studied it will become regulated and when it becomes regulated it will require a fee, whether anyone is “willing to pay” or not. When that happens I will just stay home.

      Invisibility is our best defense against government surveyors. Long live invisibility!

      • I am also a dispersed camper, preferentially and I get that.. the independence thing..but if the FS is interested in spending its recreation bucks on what people really want, certainly the management can’t fit if, the activity with the largest number of recreationists (which uses some energy, time, miles, of employees) are effectively invisible.

  2. A curious thing after I looked closely at the graph, the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison Forests are now one combined national forest, known somewhat less than poetically as the GMUG (pronounced G-mug). So it’s interesting that they would have different charges.


Leave a Comment