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Do you think admission to state parks should be free for Kansans?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on April 19, 2006

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Photo of Robert Batiste

“Yes. It’s run by the state. They should have to pay. You should have to pay for fishing licenses and extra things like that, but not to use the park.”

Photo of Karen Lyerla

“Absolutely. I think we pay for the maintenance and preservation through our taxes, and I think it should be free to anyone who wants to take advantage of it.”

Photo of Jonas Mitchel

“Yes, I do. It’s something that I think more people would use if it was free. I personally don’t mind paying because I like camping and being outdoors.”

Photo of Erin Woodworth

“I would like it if it was free, but I think there is plenty of upkeep necessary to keep it in order and make it a nice place where people want to go.”

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enochville 12 years, 1 month ago

We will pay for it one way or the other: taxes or admission fees. The question is whether individual tax payers should pay for something many of them don't use. I lean towards having visitors pay for the park's upkeep with a smaller percentage being subsidized by the tax payers.

Why have the tax payers help pay for something when many do not use the facilities? It is in the interest of all citizens to have ecological preserves to clean our air and help filter our waterways which the citizens pollute and to protect wildlife. Currently, we cannot live in a world that is solely a metropolis.

So, no free state parks.

jonas 12 years, 1 month ago

Well well, another Jonas!

. . . . GET HIM!!!!!!!!

trinity 12 years, 1 month ago

this is a great idea! with gas prices the way they're going, good Lord-it'd sure be nice for families to have a place to go&enjoy!

this frye person-my gawd! i really can't see the state parks filling up with miscreants&unruly drunks&druggies if the state does this. encourage attendance from good people&families who CARE about keeping the place clean&nice, then they'll outnumber and therefore "take over" from the "bad" people. and just what makes him think there aren't PLENTY of goofballs on any given campground on any given day, ANYWAY, already that DO pay the fee???


sgtwolverine 12 years, 1 month ago

How expensive are Kansas state parks, anyway? Do they offer a yearly pass?

blessed3x 12 years, 1 month ago

I think they should keep the current rates but offer a 50% discount to Kansas residents and illegal aliens.

What's the difference between this and college tuition?

On a serious note, no. Let those that use it, pay for it. I for one love our state parks and use them on a regular basis.

However, let's think about this...I deplore "new age" art and yet many of my tax dollars go to support these "arts". I am also against illegal immigration and yet many of the organizations that sponsered the recent protest marches by the pro-illegal immigration people are funded by tax dollars. Hillary Clinton is the anti-christ but my tax dollars pay her salary. So you see, we pay for a great many things we don't like or believe in. Maybe getting to stay for free at a state campground every now and then really isn't such a bad idea after all.

blessed3x 12 years, 1 month ago

rightthinker, you should really try Crawford State Park down by Fort Scott. It is a beautiful, well-kept park on a very nice little lake. I will admit that Kansas is no natural wonder but you would be amazed at some of the gems that are out there if you just take the time to look.

enochville 12 years, 1 month ago

blessed3x posted: "Hillary Clinton is the anti-christ"

I don't believe that for one minute, and I am not particularly fond of her. In fact, I want Mitt Romney to win in 2008. But, I want to know whether this is just your opinion, or if there is some "Christian" literature out there that actually tries to cite evidence for that she is the anti-Christ.

sgtwolverine 12 years, 1 month ago

Something tells me blessed doesn't actually believe Hillary is the anti-Christ. I think that was an overstatement for effect. I hope.

On a related note, have you noticed that Hillary has one-name-celebrity status, sort of like Cher? What other one-name celebrities come to your mind, and would Hillary really want to be associated with them?

RonBurgandy 12 years, 1 month ago

No, let the visitors pay an entry fee. I have yet to read the article but Blessed 3x had a good idea about a discount for Kansans, but I wonder how many out of staters visit these parks.

blessed3x 12 years, 1 month ago

Okay, FINE, Hillary may not be the anti-christ but she might be married to him.

paladin 12 years, 1 month ago

Tom Cruise is the actual anti-Christ. If not, then he is in serious need of some serious help. He's crying out for it.

blessed3x 12 years, 1 month ago

My Tom Cruise imitation:


Pretty good, huh? I've been working hard on it.

enochville 12 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for the clarification blessed3x.

kansasdaughter: I didn't know whether there was literature or not. I have read literature by 7th day adventist that the pope is the anti-Christ. I really didn't know.

I wanted to know because it might help her political opponents if such literature or beliefs were propogating among certain religious circles.

I didn't bring it up, blessed did. But, now that I have been reassured, I'll drop the issue.

paladin 12 years, 1 month ago

I fear Tom is headed for big trouble, and he going to take Katie down with him. And his spawn, as well.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 1 month ago

Prisons cost taxpayers about $50k-100k per year per inmate.

If someone wants to camp how about a camping fee to assist in the cost of clean up...$5 per night per tent.

Linda Endicott 12 years, 1 month ago

I just think Tom Cruise is too bizarre anymore. I won't even watch any of his movies now. Makes me sick.

Oh, yeah, state parks...well, how about having one fee for state residents, and a higher one for out-of-state people?

There's no charge to get into a park, they just charge for camping, right?

Of course, people would have to show ID or they wouldn't have any idea who the hell was a resident. I wonder if anyone ever used a fake ID to get into a park? ha...

wagg 12 years, 1 month ago

Do any of you read the article before posting your opinion? The new funding is to come from lottery revenues, not higher taxes. If you don't want to support this, then quit wasting your money on lottery tickets. You might even save enough money to get out of the trailer park in a few years. I spent almost every weekend of every summer at a state park when I was growing up, and those were the best times of my life. If more kids have those opportunities, perhaps they will be less likely to become a REAL tax burden - prisoners!

KsTwister 12 years, 1 month ago

If there is no charge to get into the State Park at Clinton would someone tell me why I just paid $46.65 for a year pass(for the first time) on my vehicle so I take some relatives and their senior friends and a guy on crutches on outings? Then there is only a few places you can even see the water----and you know these guys aren't going to swim or camp.

Liberty 12 years, 1 month ago

Yes, you have already paid for it in your taxes. Why should you pay for it twice?

Aileen Dingus 12 years, 1 month ago

While I would love to see state parks free for everyone, I think, realistically, that if we want to maintain the parks at an acceptable level, we're going to have to rely on more than one source of income- ie: taxes AND entry fees. It is poor business to keep "all your eggs in one basket" so to speak.

Liberty 12 years, 1 month ago


Principals are way, way over paid for what they do already. Why should they be paid even more just becaue others are doing it?

inkline 12 years, 1 month ago

Maybe the LJW should charge a fee for posting comments here. People might actually stay on the subject and write responsible, thoughtful commentary.

Jayhawk226 12 years, 1 month ago

Liberty...are you serious, or just foolish?


Liberty 12 years, 1 month ago

Inkline must be a principal from IL that really wants to work in a state park.

Jayhawk226 12 years, 1 month ago

Out of curiousity, what school district do you administrate for?

And what university provided you your masters and/or PhD...and certification to lead a school or district?

I should also ask how many students are enrolled in your district and building?

I'm very curious....

sunflower_sue 12 years, 1 month ago

Ks Twister, You are correct. An annual State Parks pass is $46.65. On top of that, there is an $8.50 daily campinfg fee ($10.50 reserved), then if you want to hike there is a $3.50 daily trail fee. You should have let one of the seniors (65+) or a disabled person buy the pass as it would have been half price. As long as they are in the car with you, it's all good. We went to several National Parks and let my disabled brother buy the pass and ride in my car and my senior mother buy the pass and ride in the other car.

It's no wonder with all the fees that are tacked on to spending a day/night in a state or national park that many families simply can't afford it. I think a discount would help to make it affordable to more families. We can't all afford club med and everyone should have access to a relaxing vacation outside of their own backyard.

sgtwolverine 12 years, 1 month ago

Multi, when did Sue get her own elementary school? I am impressed.

Liberty, since I've heard a number of times that teachers are overpaid but I know that to be false, I'm a little skeptical of the notion that principals are overpaid. The principal does have a significant effect on the environment at a school.

Inkline, if people stayed only on the original subject, on most days the number of posts here would decline significantly, to the point that this would be totally irrelevant in the first place. Just think of this as a normal everyday conversation. How many times do your normal everyday conversations wander from the original topic? I know mine do quite frequently, and I often enjoy the diversion, because it means I'm having a longer conversation that I'm enjoying even more.

GringoBob 12 years, 1 month ago

Free? Hell they ought to plow then over ans turn the places into Malls, parking lots, retail stores, factories... anything that will generate higher tax revenues.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 1 month ago

I have my own elementary school? Which one is it? I'm late!

RonBurgandy 12 years, 1 month ago

sue - the least you could do is pay your principal enough, sheesh.

Liberty 12 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like a few people have a soft spot in their heart for extremely high principal salaries (plus all of their assistant salaries that make up their bureaucracy) from the taxes that they pay. I just don't share that weakness. But state parks are nice to visit sometimes as long as you don't have to pay a principals hyper-inflated salary to administrate it.

inkline 12 years, 1 month ago

Sorry, I figured that people would be smart enough to see the tongue-in-cheek nature of the comment and the parallelism of it with the story. Guess I was wrong.

Charla Welch 12 years, 1 month ago

I believe parks should be free to a point. Why charge someone who is just going to take a walk out in nature? But you could charge to reserve picnic areas for parties, to camp overnight, etc. If the charges start getting absured, like having to pay to walk on a trail, people will stop going altogether. I would expect to pay to camp, however, or to reserve any type of space.

enochville 12 years, 1 month ago

Here is the problem with "overstatements", "tongue-in-cheek comments", and "sarcasm" on message boards. We often don't know each other well enough to know each other's true feelings or their manners of speech. And although some of the statements are so outrageous that the author thinks the reader will be able to tell that they are not serious, the fact is that we do have posters that have expressed similar outrageous ideas in all seriousness.

If you don't want to use text emoticons such as ;p , ;) to clue us in, please don't get upset when people can't tell that you are kidding.

Some longtime posters have developed a reputation for sarcasm, etc, that others may know, but lurkers may not.

sgtwolverine 12 years, 1 month ago

Wait, enochville, are you being sarcastic?


acg 12 years, 1 month ago

I guess I don't mind paying a few bucks to get into the state parks, as long as the money is being used for its intended purpose. That's pretty much all I have to say on that. Wow, we need a way more interesting topic today. Anyone?

enochville 12 years, 1 month ago

Thanks, omb. I always appreciate your witty allusions to previous posters remarks from another day.

: )

H_Lecter 12 years, 1 month ago

Here's what I love about using the state parks:

as long as we don't have to go bankrupt, I'm OK with a fee

canyon_wren 12 years, 1 month ago

I think it is risky to eliminate state park fees. The national parks are absolutely falling apart because of reduced spending on them (and for other reasons, in my mind, but I won't go into that here) and so are having to raise their entrance and use fees. I would hate to have the same thing happen to funding for Kansas state parks, so Kansas needs to keep entrance fees in place and hope they don't have to raise them.

However, I think $46+ for an annual pass for state parks is pretty steep, and I am assuming you pay for camping on top of that? I definitely think that there shouldn't be a charge for either hiking or picnicking, but then people shouldn't be using camping areas for picnicking, if that is a current problem.

I think Kansas is really fortunate to have as many wonderful state parks as it does--especially since public land is so scarce in general. I have been a long-time subscriber to the Kansas Wildlife and Parks magazine and am so impressed with everything they offer. Most people (residents and non-residents) have NO idea of how impressive that department is, and how lucky Kansans are to have it.

jonas 12 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps I'm the anti-christ. I just noticed that today, the day the subject got brought up, is the day I posted my 666th post. Well, I'm off to the bathroom to check my scalp for that mark.

ModSquadGal 12 years, 1 month ago

Come on guys... BARNEY is the anti-christ. Sheesh, that should be OBVIOUS.

paladin 12 years, 1 month ago

I believe, although I may well be mistaken, that there may well be more than one anti-Christ. A whole plethora of them, in fact. Jonas may well be one. Its probly better that he find this out now than later. At this point in time, they haven't linked up, but when they do, all hell is gonna break loose. What to do about it, I've no idea.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 1 month ago

Sunflower elementary...huh, huh...I get it. Doh!

In the interest of reducing light pollution, I suggest we ban all tacky lanterns on campers in state parks!

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 12 years, 1 month ago

Park fees are a joke. I was going to keep my boat at Clinton Marina but then I asked myself, "Why should I pay $1000 for a boat slip for the Summer when I'm expected to pay $6 every time I want to go sailing?" Forget it. I keep my boat at Perry Lake where my guests and I can sail without paying a toll every time.

sgtwolverine 12 years, 1 month ago

elementary_sue, I would suggest banning tackiness in general, but then I think we would lose the last two or three decades (maybe four).

Staci Dark Simpson 12 years, 1 month ago

Can I rant about the price of gas? Ok I will anyway!! I am so mad you can't hardly find E85 anywhere. Garnett, Topeka and the MO side of KC. I am pissed at these oil companies and I don't understand why we don't use E85 readily so we can be self sufficient on not rely on wealthy Middle Eastern sheiks who bomb each other for fun. Ok I am done now. PS oh yeah our prez has interests in oil doesn't he?

acg 12 years, 1 month ago

MD are you bustin' my chops? : ) It's a shame Tom Cruise is insane because he sure is easy on the eyes. I don't understand this recent trend of naming their kids such weird stuff. Apple and Moses? Well then, one can sort of look at Gwenneth and tell her elevator isn't running all the way to the top. What gets me is how much air time these people get. Tom Cruise is crazy, sure. My next door neighbor is crazy but no one gives a damn about him. We should all band together and stop caring. Stop reading it, stop watching it, looking up stuff about them online. Turn off your t.v.'s people and be in the three dementional world. Can you imagine how much better life would be without celebrities? How much greater would this world be if more people cared about cleaning up the environment, lowering our deficit and ending unnecessary war than who instigated the Nick/Jessica break up.

paladin 12 years, 1 month ago

I do not personally recognize GWB as my President. Or Cheney as my VP. I would rather have Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob as President and VP. All they were interested in was Ovaltine and Twinkies.

Drew_Carey 12 years, 1 month ago

50 pts to hitme for surrey with the fringe on top!

50 more points if it gets stuck in acg's head today.

Let's be sure to keep spacystaci away from elementary_sue's coffee or she'll be using CAPS!

Multi, I do believe acg called them out..kontum has been on a few pages trying to stir things up.

sgt, we may need your help down here, it is getting somewhat tacky.

Maybe we should ask Katie, is there a greater chance for tacky later in the day?

paladin 12 years, 1 month ago

acg-You are ABSOLUTELY right. Anybody know if there's anything good on tonight?

RonBurgandy 12 years, 1 month ago

Oh my gosh! Nick and Jessica broke up!

TOB - Lil' Lisa Slurry, great pull!

Oh, and j/k on the first thing.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 1 month ago

paladin - President Doody. Haha! Doody.

paladin 12 years, 1 month ago

OK, everybody, get your cameras ready! Although, when you get the picture of Tom back, there may be no image there.

paladin 12 years, 1 month ago

I think living in the three dementional world can possibly cause dementia.

paladin 12 years, 1 month ago

I used to love Kim. I mean really LOVE her. Her apparent decline is truly tragic to me, personally.

sgtwolverine 12 years, 1 month ago

I'm pretty sure Nick and Jessica broke up because the state parks in Kansas are too expensive.

Kim Basinger managed to get a spot on Leno? I didn't even know she was still acting. In productions, I mean.

As far as our friend Tom Cruise, I'm still not quite sure which star he was in War of the Worlds -- the guy or the alien machines. Would I be any clearer on that if I saw the movie, or can I use that time for something better, like tweezing out my gotee, hair by hair?

jonas 12 years, 1 month ago

Das: I can be plently imposing (or even imosing, if you prefer). I have after all, killed over 27 opposing forces for every time that I've died.

Hey, you inside joke, me inside joke, ne?

Linda Endicott 12 years, 1 month ago

Not only did Tom and Brooke have their babies on the same day, they were in the same hospital, and on the same floor.

I wonder if Tom and Katie heard Brooke while they were going through their "silent" birth...

Maybe he'll lie awake nights now wondering if she's having problems with post-partum depression again...

Ah, the joys of watching celebrities...

sgtwolverine 12 years, 1 month ago

You know, I might have heard of that. But it does not matter that nothing good is on tv tonight; I will be occupied.

In fact, in honor of the OTS question from the other day, I will be out enjoying the nice weather as I photograph a baseball game. (I would say I'm going to be shooting a baseball game, but I'm always afraid that's going to come out of context and make me sound violent...)

Chrissy Neibarger 12 years, 1 month ago

I think Suri is a much better name than what Brooke named her daughter "Grier Hammond Henchy" I was like.. what??!!??

sgtwolverine 12 years, 1 month ago

Multi, I think if nobody asked any questions, he would at least have the good sense to felonly. Feeling lonely is so pedestrian.

Drew_Carey 12 years, 1 month ago

100 pts to sgt for finding a way to get felonly in before 5 pm.

(And yet, no one has managed miscreant, what wrong with you people today? Or is it Miscreant-free Wednesday already?)

sgtwolverine 12 years, 1 month ago

Man, I like this points thing. It's such a self-esteem booster. Can I redeem these points for great rewards, too?

RonBurgandy 12 years, 1 month ago

Drew - well it was, but now you blew it. Nice going. Everyone, you all can saw miscreant now all you want.

badger 12 years, 1 month ago

I don't see a problem with park fees, so long as they're reasonable (like five bucks an adult, kids for free). The SO has a Texas Parks pass, and with the amount of hiking we do in state parks, it's more than paid for itself by eliminating the five bucks a person entry fee. Though, if there's going to be a parks pass, there shouldn't be any day use charges to passholders at all, and nominal camping fees.

I think, honestly, that if revenue is tied to use more directly, then the parks get a better deal and have more incentive to attract visitors and sell annual passes. I know that when we choose which parks to hike at, we have favorites that have the most well-maintained trails. I'd like to see the parks that make more of an effort get rewarded with more visitors and thus more revenue. I don't even think it would be that hard to track, say, that a park had ten percent of the parks pass-carrying visitors and so merited ten percent of the parks pass revenue.

I don't see that paying ten bucks for two adults and two kids for a day of hiking is exorbitant. They probably spent that much on sodas and snacks on the drive out to the park.

With marinas and such, I can't understand why an annual marina fee wouldn't cover the cost of a pass to let the carrier and his guests into the park so they can use the boat they've paid to keep at the marina. That doesn't make a lot of sense.

Drew_Carey 12 years, 1 month ago

On the show they're not worth anything, but seeing as how there is such interest in some of the posters on here, we're going into negotiations with some of the husbands/SO's..I'll get back to you.

(If you have any special requests, let me know..I hear some of the posters have special talents, baking, painting, photography, car repair/fuel injection systems, cartooning, computers, hunting, stalking, sperm donor,surrogate,baby sitters ...maybe a barter system maybe in order, he/she can trade for points to get what they need...:)

RonBurgandy 12 years, 1 month ago

md - maybe jonas knew his picture was going to be on here and wanted to make sure other people didn't realize that they are one in the same so he got on early and attempted to squash the rumor....

RonBurgandy 12 years, 1 month ago

The ots reporter probably put him up to it, and he only did it for...a klondike bar!

That booing and hissing you hear is from the audience.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 1 month ago

Someone got booted for mentioning a klondike bar? Wow, that seems a little harsh, especially since 75% of what is posted on the ots message board is off topic.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 1 month ago

All you people with kids... Have you ever had SpongeBob Squarepants Crabby Patties? The gummy snacks? Is it weird that I think they are good?

Linda Aikins 12 years, 1 month ago

Macon is calling everyone parasites on the Wal Mart recycling article. Kind of funny!

RonBurgandy 12 years, 1 month ago

OMB - you be sure and stay away from macon, we know your track record with people on the edge...

...or is it that I want you to poke at him...hmmm....

Drew_Carey 12 years, 1 month ago

50 pts for Gootsie, we always love bacon jokes squeezed into the breakfast edition!

Who the heck is shoemaker?This must be good.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 1 month ago


(shades of shoemaker - he used to type in ALL CAPS all the time. I think Bob the Terrific got in his "face" about it and got Shoemaker all riled up. I think he was a lawyer or something?)

jonas 12 years, 1 month ago

Sorry M_D: I have a beard, and I couldn't sleep at all last night, as I have a huge accounting test and just had an interview for acceptance into Grad School.

My smirks are usually much more knowing. Not that they signify any actual knowledge.

. . . I'm also much cuter than that Jonas, even with the beard. >B-)>

horrific_changeling 12 years, 1 month ago

Interesting things on the Walmart board. A woman employee for Walmart...writes as Richard Cory, yet defending Walmart.

Very interesting indeed.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 1 month ago

She could be writing on her husband's account. Maybe.

Drew_Carey 12 years, 1 month ago

Gootsie, glad to see you're excited.

So will the members who've written to ask if you could be one of the prizes in exchange for points!

And 100 pts for the information on SHOEMAKER! It clears up a lot of caps now!

Jonas..that's too bad it wasn't you, we've had members write in about you too! Not going to mention any names.

horrific_changeling 12 years, 1 month ago

oh, sorry, for those who don't know..richard cory is a poem and a simon and garfunkel song about a rich man ...go to the walmart site to read, and the link for the song lyrics.Famous.

Drew_Carey 12 years, 1 month ago

100 pts to one more bob for his remarkable restraint in relating that story.Thanks for sharing.

50 more for using nuts-o-rama! Makes me feel better for ruining miscreant-free Wednesday. I think I'll have a brewskie and a nuts-o-rama bar!

Linda Aikins 12 years, 1 month ago

Where's Katie Horner? We need her to cover this story!

OMB - that is right! I forgot "the rest of the story." He was really upset! And yes, it was LIABLE.

And that's how National *** Day came to be.

kcwarpony 12 years, 1 month ago

Who will ever forget SHOEMAKER? One of the most entertaining flame wars on this site.

All hail the victorious omb and his merry band of pie throwers!

Drew_Carey 12 years, 1 month ago

OldEnuf is kicking up his heels (perhaps commiting a sin) and scoring points over on the cemetary board.

Shall we all put our hats over our hearts, bow our heads,and then go ahead and laugh pretty hard..or just bite our lips?

How about another nuts-o-rama bar? Those things are pretty good. May have to make one with caramel.Just skip dinner tonight.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 1 month ago


going home now.

mztrendy 12 years, 1 month ago

wow, the walmart post is like a freaking trainwreck.

Drew_Carey 12 years, 1 month ago

Pardon me, I'm now typing one handed...blushing women always affect my typing skills.

Living in California, I'm rarely in the parks, but when I am, I'm always on the lookout for those squirrels. I wonder, will they be carrying signs that say,


Drew_Carey 12 years, 1 month ago

ok, remind me not to come back to the page too soon.

horrific_changeling 12 years, 1 month ago

Other than macon..poor macon. It's not too bad. A few reactions, but some who don't get the recycle center's operations.

Train wreck... I was thinking..Colossal Cart Collision? Maybe just a giant used car lot?:D

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