Dec 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm #1297178
more at link …
Bradley said he is tired of seeing ill-prepared hikers in sneakers and jeans on snow-covered trails who look to the state to bail them out if they get into trouble.
Recent rescue costs ranged from about $200 to more than $50,000, Fish and Game Maj. Kevin Jordan said. He said hunters, anglers, boaters, snowmobilers and all-terrain vehicle riders pay 100 percent of the rescue costs through license fees but averaged only 14 percent of the rescues since 2006. Hikers pay nothing toward the agency's search and rescue fund but averaged 57 percent of the rescues, Jordan said.
"It's not fair for the sportsmen to pay a fee who have nothing to do with hiking," said Chandler.
Fish and Game conducted 954 search and rescue missions over the past six years that cost $1.8 million, said Jordan. The agency has operated at an average annual deficit since 2006 of $101,446, he said. He has not had money to replace the snowshoes, ropes and other equipment his teams use for eight years and worries someone will be hurt or killed if the equipment fails.
"For 20 years, we've asked for a $200,000 (annual) contribution to that account and we've yet to get one penny," he said.Dec 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm #1936430
Interesting. I think in most states the rescue task falls to the local county, usually to the county sheriff's department. Often they don't have the manpower to do the whole thing themselves, so they often have volunteer SAR groups to help out.
–B.G.–Dec 18, 2012 at 3:58 pm #1936431
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
Down here, it's the state and sometimes mixture of federal law enforcement volunteers that performs rescues since it's "live training" vs. just a scenario (unless they've changed the rules).
Imagine they are also curious as to why someone is so far from the major highways but that may be unique to this area.Dec 18, 2012 at 4:54 pm #1936446
@cameronLocale: The WOODS
Well if rescue services are serving the public at large I think they should be funded by public taxes not fees of hunters and fishermen.
The idea of charging for rescues came up a while back and is interesting.
On one hand it could encourage more personal responsibility, "I better not get in trouble because I can't afford the rescue cost"
On the other hand there's it might encourage more bad choices. "I should wait for rescue but I can't afford it so I'll just find my way home in a blizzard."Dec 18, 2012 at 5:06 pm #1936451
In many of the national parks (which collect entrance fees from visitors), if somebody has to be rescued, the cost can be significant. In some park like Yosemite, it is often a mixture of NPS employees plus hired contractors who go searching. If the visitor was completely legal, located somewhere legal, right permits, etc., then their _first_ rescue is free. If they were not entirely legal, or they were someplace off limits, or they were doing something particularly stupid, then they get to pay the bill. That should be encouragement to be legal.
–B.G.–Dec 18, 2012 at 5:20 pm #1936455
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Out here Search and Rescue are basically all volunteer groups, with the county sheriff calling them out and providing the coordination.
The Oregon and Washington SAR groups are adamantly opposed to charging for rescue. They strongly believe that if there is a charge, people will delay calling for help, resulting in more recoveries (i.e., dead bodies) rather than rescues. In addition, the delay in summoning help will put more pressure on SAR personnel, with far greater risk to their own safety.
An up-front fee (such as the insurance many European countries require) would make more sense, but I suspect there will be many, many objections to that.
In places where private helicopters or horse outfitters are needed for rescue, the rescuee will be billed for those charges. Wyoming is one state where this will happen. Where military helicopters can be used for rescue, theis activity is considered part of their training cost.Dec 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm #1936462
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
So NH Fish & Game gets funding from hunters, fishermen, snowmobile, and boat registration fees for the purpose of rescuing wayward sportsmen? And doesn't like rescuing non-paying citizens? (Because they nothing from the General Fund? Really?!?)
What about NH hunters, fishermen, and boaters who are rescued by the Coast Guard, local authorities, volunteers, etc? Does Fish & Game reimburse those other agencies? If not, they have no logical or ethical leg to stand on and are just bean counters trying to expand their kingdoms.
And, if visitors to NH are charged, then rescues should remain free in other states, except that NHers should be charged for their misfortune.
My preference would be that rescues are free if you've followed the rules and regs, but are charged at cost if you are trespassing, hunting out of season, didn't have your permit, etc.Dec 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm #1936465
@owareLocale: Steptoe Butte
"He has not had money to replace the snowshoes, ropes and other equipment his teams use for eight years and worries someone will be hurt or killed if the equipment fails."
SAR volunteers provide their own gear for the most part around here (WA and CA states). Other than the the sheriff deputy who
is part of the leadership and some communications employees, it is mostly volunteer. The rescued often chip in more than it
costs for the rescues too. Some have donated tens of thousands of dollars. The rescued do have to pay for any ambulance or
medevac rides that are not part of the military or volunteers.
New Hampshire is going the wrong way with this. And who would want to use someone else's climbing rope if they didn't know
where it had been?Dec 18, 2012 at 5:54 pm #1936467
@cameronLocale: The WOODS
Usually we are paying taxes to support things like police and rescue. Now if NH is using sportsmen's fees to fund their SAR work maybe we should change their funding? I don't know if I like the solution but I agree the situation is somewhat unfair.Dec 18, 2012 at 6:04 pm #1936469
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
Rescue insurance anyone?Dec 18, 2012 at 6:41 pm #1936480
delDec 18, 2012 at 6:48 pm #1936481
"Japan makes one pay for rescue while hiking or on the ski slopes."
How is this enforced?
–B.G.–Dec 18, 2012 at 7:18 pm #1936494
More chaff put in wrong place.Dec 18, 2012 at 7:30 pm #1936497
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