Once more the evil nuisance fee is popping up. This time it is Juneau's popular Eagle Beach that succumbed to the bureaucracy-minded people in charge of parks and recreation.
It is easy to create user fees particularly when they don't apply to those who write the regulations. Why shouldn't the people that work for the park system have to pay a daily fee to enter as well? Silly you ask? Of course, but equally ridiculous and offensive is the knowledge that the money gathered at Eagle Beach will disappear into the state general fund with a very slim chance of ever returning to the park. Oh they will cite incident after incident of past vandalism, the need for paved parking, flush toilets, as justification for charging admission, but the bottom line is that a little more precious freedom was taken away from all of us.
I'm not talking about allowing idiots to trash everything in sight. That is a problem that needs to be dealt with harshly. How about just the ability to simply spend 10 minutes alone watching a magnificent sunrise and reflect upon your life at a place that you have been visiting for 30 years? Now it costs $5.
I certainly would not protest paying to enter a new park in a new area, but sometimes I just don't have extra money to visit places I have always worshipped but are now captured by bureaucracy. And for those bent on destruction, they will find other areas to make havoc. It is naive to think that teenagers are going to buy a permit for a pallet party.
Shame on the people in charge who started the fee system and then gradually ramped it up so it gets into everyday life. I'm sure if they could figure out a way to do it, you'd be paying for the air you breathe. It wasn't a few people that ruined it for all of us. We did it to ourselves by not protesting when we had a chance.