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Proposed changes to Aravaipa Canyon permit system

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SkyIslandHiker
Junior Kokopelli
Posts: 76
Joined: May 04 2004 7:22 pm
City, State: Sahuarita and Show Low AZ

Proposed changes to Aravaipa Canyon permit system

Postby SkyIslandHiker » Nov 25 2015 5:19 pm

Input sought on management of Aravaipa Canyon recreational permits

8. Proposed Modifications to Recreation Fee Management of Aravaipa Canyon Recreation Permits Program

The proposed action is to transfer the issuing of permits from Arizona Recreation Online Permit System (AROLPS) and the Safford Field Office to http://www.recreation.gov. Recreation.gov offers 24/7 access to the online permitting system as well as a call center that is open 12 hours a day from November 1st to February 28th and 14 hours a day from March 1st to October 31st. They will also offer more flexibility in terms of cancellations and refunds for the permits. All permit fees will be fully refundable as long as the permit is cancelled at least two weeks prior to the permitted entry date. The Recreation.gov website will have a different look but the current allocation of permits and fee structure will remain the same. Permits will continue to be available 13 weeks in advance and the current allocation of 50 people a day, 30 people from the west side, 20 from the east side and $5.00 per person per day fee will continue. However, Recreation.gov will charge a one-time transaction fee of $6.00 in addition to the permit fee. The transaction fee pays the contract for the maintenance and operation of the online services

Comments are being accepted through December 4, and can be mailed to the Safford Field Office or e-mailed to BLM_AZ_AravaipaBP_c ... .gov .

source and link to document: http://www.blm.gov/az/...

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SkyIslandHiker
Junior Kokopelli
Posts: 76
Joined: May 04 2004 7:22 pm
City, State: Sahuarita and Show Low AZ

Re: Proposed changes to Aravaipa Canyon permit system

Postby SkyIslandHiker » Nov 25 2015 6:50 pm

I submitted the following comments to the BLM:

"The proposed $6.00 transaction fee is highly discriminatory to the solo hiker. For example, a solo hiker purchasing a one day permit will incur an egregious 120% increase in cost. On the other hand, a group of ten purchasing a one day permit will incur only a 10% cost increase.

Instead of a flat $6.00 transaction fee per permit, the fair way to assess a transaction fee would be on a percentage basis so that everyone shoulders the cost increase equally."

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hikeaz
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City, State: Tempe, AZ
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Re: Proposed changes to Aravaipa Canyon permit system

Postby hikeaz » Nov 27 2015 12:16 pm

For almost 10 years, the contractor that manages the site -- Active Outdoors, a division of the Dallas-based Active Network -- has kept a tight hold on all the reservation data collected by its ReserveAmerica system while operating what amounts to a monopoly on federal recreation site booking - (It purchased reserveamerica in 2009).
That's an untenable position in this era of open federal data, argue advocates who want to see booking websites and apps built to compete with the longtime vendor. Sort of like expedia, cheapflights, hotel dot com, etc. all sell the same inventory and it is up to the consumer to choose their portal-of-choice. Consumers almost always benefit from level competition, both in pricing and service.
For example, the current system allows Active Outdoors/Recreation.gov (why the .gov; they are a public, for-profit company?) to decide whether or not to offer an API that can facilitate reservations, meaning the contractor has the sole discretion to decide to force all transactions to occur on the website they build. It also allows the contractor sole discretion to determine how to compensate any third parties who facilitate bookings.

Peel the onion a bit on these folks and you will find >> outsideonline.com/1 ... tion

My take on this is that A.O. as well as other 'takers' on these sorts of deals (i.e. Xanterra, etc.), have a small interest in the resource itself, not unlike mining... let's take what we can and if it dries-up, we'll merely move on. That is not encouraging news for US!
kurt


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