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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: August 11th, 2020, 9:05 am 
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Joined: June 23rd, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Newmarket, Ontario Canada
Just and the additional point here. I just got back from a trip, where I stayed at the park going into the backcountry and then when arriving back. The experience was very frustrating with the new system. I had to pay 3 reservations fees. We could not just get up and go to put-in in on day 2. We had to wait for the gate office to open so that we could get our permits. Northern parks (don't know about southern parks) are working at 50% staff this summer, so by the time the permit office opened (8:45), we got our permits at 9:00, and then drove back to the put-in and launched the water had gone from glass (at 6 a.m.) to large rolling head wind waves. Staff did try to issue the permits the night before, but the system demanded we pay an extra backcountry night fee for the privilege, which we declined.

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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: August 11th, 2020, 10:17 pm 
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Joined: March 18th, 2019, 7:54 pm
Posts: 182
Location: Brampton
My only experience so far with the new system was arriving at Kingscote Lake to find that the campground across the road (Pine Grove Point) no longer issues permits - so much for "supporting local business". You need to reserve online or over the telephone. Well, that's great - but cell service there is spotty at best, I don't use credit, and their system is incapable of understanding Visa debit. So I had to call home to get my wife's Visa details first and then make the necessary arrangements over a barely audible connection, to then find out that reservations cannot be made after 2PM. It is, frankly, bullshit. It definitely felt quite hostile to the customer. In the I.T. business we call this "asshole design". This new system is almost certainly dreamed up by someone who doesn't understand the vicissitudes of free range camping.

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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: March 12th, 2021, 2:48 pm 
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Joined: April 14th, 2013, 9:49 am
Posts: 22
That’s crazy. I signed the petition really close to 1000 signatures.


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: March 14th, 2021, 10:34 pm 
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Joined: February 22nd, 2006, 4:23 pm
Posts: 62
Just wanted to chime in to suggest that this thread is worth reminding the readership about.

When it originally surfaced, I don't believe it got the attention it deserved and to be honest it seemed the discussion died on social media. Over the last few days, Hap Wilson, Kevin Callan, and other social media presences have come in to the discussion with their influential feedback. It makes me think that it might be the time to provide an update to the original petition. This could include links to some of these reactions such as the one here;
https://youtu.be/jdCm7Kx8rYk

Additionally, although I don't know if there might be a policy against it, perhaps posting contact information for relevant decision makers might have a parallel influence. I can't help but feel like I'm not having much impact in online petitions, but they're definitely a great way to inform folks about these issues and provide more background for next steps.

Snipping care of MartinG:
Greg Wake, operations and development office, Ontario Parks. 705 927- 2861 greg.wake@ontario.ca

The Minister in Charge. Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. 416-314-6790 jeff.yurek@pc.ola.org


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: March 14th, 2021, 11:13 pm 
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Joined: March 18th, 2019, 7:54 pm
Posts: 182
Location: Brampton
Well I must admit, even as someone who frequently travels solo in the Parks, I was ambivalent on this policy; I could see how it may perhaps produce a savings that we as paddlers can't envision, by streamlining quite a few things. But the video Bryce has posted has firmly convinced me. It's a very well thought out opinion that covers every side of the argument I can think of.

The one thing I would disagree with is sending a copy&paste form letter - it's the kind of canned email that we're all complaining about receiving when we complain about this. So make it personal. Take ten minutes and write a somewhat personal email.

Also, now that the likes of Mr. Callan and Mr. Wilson have spoken out about this, perhaps that's a good way to amplify our voices - by recruiting those with a bigger audience.

I will also be bringing it up with the staff at every park I visit this year, especially if I can manage to speak with the super. There's a couple of trips I'm doing this year where I'll be calling the super or the assistant super, and I'll be mentioning it then, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: April 26th, 2021, 12:13 pm 
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Joined: September 3rd, 2014, 4:35 pm
Posts: 354
I was in touch with the minister via email to both riding and ministry. The gist of it is...it's a trial, it's not been determined yet. So if you don't like it, don't give up hope, lobby these folks, a petition isn't enough. This is a small bit of unfairness/foolishness, with small niche of user's inside a large sprawling department in a bureaucratic maze poorly run by people that don't care, during a pandemic.

So please give it a try to change these minds. Maybe we will get lucky :)

The ministry send me some boiler plate crapola not worth adding anything here.

The minister, to give him credit did get back with in part...

Thank you very much for taking the time to reach out and share your concerns and insight. Ontario Parks is in the second year of piloting a flat rate per-campsite fee model for backcountry camping at The Massasauga and the Temagami Cluster of Parks. These pilot fee changes make backcountry camping fees consistent with our flat rate per-campsite car camping fee model.

Ontario Parks will conduct a review of the pilot at the end of the 2021 season. The long-term plan for backcountry fees across Ontario Parks has not been determined.

The average backcountry group size is four people. Under this pilot flat rate per-campsite fee model, the average group will not experience an increase in camping fees.


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: April 27th, 2021, 8:55 am 
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Joined: February 4th, 2008, 9:54 pm
Posts: 152
Steve.of.London

You are correct. Each of us should contact the minister's riding and ministry office directly. Would you relate to everyone how you did it?

My efforts by email were not productive. It took a phone call to the minster's office to get any response at all. Even then the response was in the form of a phone call from a reluctant person in the Ontario Parks office who apparently only possesses a first name, and concealed her telephone number. It seems that enough stink has been caused on this subject and on the subject of campsite availability that attention is now being paid. Maybe.

They still don't seem to understand that to charge car-camping prices for a remote patch of dirt with no particular facilities in nothing short of a rip-off.


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: April 27th, 2021, 6:29 pm 
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Joined: September 3rd, 2014, 4:35 pm
Posts: 354
jeff.yurek@pc.ola.org
constituency office Phone: +1 800-265-7638
ministry 'concern', they replied from this, don't see where i'd send it now..email op-concerns.comments@ontarioparks.com
https://www.ontario.ca/feedback/contact ... &nid=72714

It might be worth checking up thread to pester the ontario parks people, at the two trial sites and ministry itself.

In general I don't think people in the office camp or have a clue. Then there's the whole backcountry which is the next step beyond their headset.

I'm not sure how much emotional energy to apply to an outfit that gets their whole system booked hacked frazzled whatever. Keep plodding along I guess.


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: April 29th, 2021, 7:53 am 
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Joined: October 9th, 2005, 10:27 pm
Posts: 76
I noticed some rather creative public relations math in the canned response I got to an inquiry for rationale for the new fee structure.
One of the statements read, "When camping solo, fees increase approximately 26% per night from the regular per-person rate." To a casual reader this implies that solo campers are facing a 26% increase in fees when the actual number is much greater!
This is SO misleading.
In reality, fees for solo camping are increasing by almost 200% from the OLD rate! [(New Price - Old Price)/Old Price] x 100 = % [(36.73 - 12.43)/12.43] x 100 = 195.5%.
A 26% increase from the old per-person-per-night structure would be $15.66 (all prices incl. tax).
This certainly calls into question all the other percentage numbers thrown about in that rationale.
Figures don't lie, but liars figure...


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: April 29th, 2021, 8:31 am 
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Joined: November 15th, 2020, 7:21 am
Posts: 22
DoubleBend wrote:
I noticed some rather creative public relations math in the canned response I got to an inquiry for rationale for the new fee structure.
One of the statements read, "When camping solo, fees increase approximately 26% per night from the regular per-person rate." To a casual reader this implies that solo campers are facing a 26% increase in fees when the actual number is much greater!
This is SO misleading.
In reality, fees for solo camping are increasing by almost 200% from the OLD rate! [(New Price - Old Price)/Old Price] x 100 = % [(36.73 - 12.43)/12.43] x 100 = 195.5%.
A 26% increase from the old per-person-per-night structure would be $15.66 (all prices incl. tax).
This certainly calls into question all the other percentage numbers thrown about in that rationale.
Figures don't lie, but liars figure...


Maybe this model will increase their revenue by 26%? This is after the rate increase for 1,2,3 person groups gets averaged down by the rate decrease for large groups?

Just a guess...


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: April 29th, 2021, 10:18 am 
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Joined: August 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 5765
Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
matted wrote:
DoubleBend wrote:
I noticed some rather creative public relations math in the canned response I got to an inquiry for rationale for the new fee structure.
One of the statements read, "When camping solo, fees increase approximately 26% per night from the regular per-person rate." To a casual reader this implies that solo campers are facing a 26% increase in fees when the actual number is much greater!
This is SO misleading.
In reality, fees for solo camping are increasing by almost 200% from the OLD rate! [(New Price - Old Price)/Old Price] x 100 = % [(36.73 - 12.43)/12.43] x 100 = 195.5%.
A 26% increase from the old per-person-per-night structure would be $15.66 (all prices incl. tax).
This certainly calls into question all the other percentage numbers thrown about in that rationale.
Figures don't lie, but liars figure...


Maybe this model will increase their revenue by 26%? This is after the rate increase for 1,2,3 person groups gets averaged down by the rate decrease for large groups?

Just a guess...


Why put spin on a bare-faced lie? Let's call a spade a spade!!

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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: April 30th, 2021, 8:12 am 
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Joined: June 23rd, 2006, 4:25 pm
Posts: 3093
Location: Milton
Cheryl wrote
Quote:
Staff did try to issue the permits the night before, but the system demanded we pay an extra backcountry night fee for the privilege, which we declined.


I have run into this problem before, especialy with doing Agawa Canyon where I would not even be in the park for 3 or 4 days

How we overcame that is to get Staff to write in the dates and sign the permit.
Sometimes you just have to help staff who have never come across this problem.
Yeah there system sucks and they know it.
But you can be creative.
Jeff

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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: April 30th, 2021, 9:30 am 
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Joined: June 23rd, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Newmarket, Ontario Canada
Thanks, that is good to know! the new fully computerized system has some of the check in staff befuddled.

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