Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Hikers, others rescued in New Hampshire would pay a fee under legislative proposal


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eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Hikers, others rescued in New Hampshire would pay a fee under legislative proposal on 12/18/2012 16:47:48 MST Print View

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/cd524dfb52bd47cf88c573e7aabc9962/NH--NH-Rescue-Fees

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.


Edited by bearbreeder on 12/18/2012 16:49:15 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Hikers, others rescued in New Hampshire would pay a fee under legislative proposal on 12/18/2012 16:53:57 MST Print View

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.--

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Hikers, others rescued ... on 12/18/2012 16:58:59 MST Print View

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.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Encouraging Personal Responsibility on 12/18/2012 17:54:27 MST Print View

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."

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Encouraging Personal Responsibility on 12/18/2012 18:06:43 MST Print View

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.--

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Hikers, others rescued in New Hampshire would pay a fee on 12/18/2012 18:20:58 MST Print View

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.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Fair is fair on 12/18/2012 18:43:26 MST Print View

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.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Hikers, others rescued in New Hampshire would pay a fee under legislative proposal on 12/18/2012 18:49:24 MST Print View

"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?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Fair is Fair on 12/18/2012 18:54:39 MST Print View

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.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Hikers, others rescued in New Hampshire would pay a fee under legislative proposal on 12/18/2012 19:04:38 MST Print View

Rescue insurance anyone?

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Re: Re: Hikers, others rescued in New Hampshire would pay a fee under legislative proposal on 12/18/2012 19:41:13 MST Print View

Japan makes one pay for rescue while hiking or on the ski slopes. Ski resort insurance usually is ~US$2pp per day. Trekking insurance is ~US$5pp per trip/route and can be purchased online thru MontBell or even Yahoo Shopping. Average cost of a helicopter rescue US$30,000 so buying insurance before a trek is prudent on some particularly risky routes. National Health Insurance covers 70% of all medical treatments.

Edited by rmjapan on 12/18/2012 19:45:11 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Hikers, others rescued in New Hampshire would pay a fee under legislative proposal on 12/18/2012 19:48:16 MST Print View

"Japan makes one pay for rescue while hiking or on the ski slopes."

How is this enforced?

--B.G.--

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Hikers, others rescued in New Hampshire would pay a fee under legislative proposal on 12/18/2012 20:18:17 MST Print View

More chaff put in wrong place.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Re: Re: Re: Re: Hikers, others rescued in New Hampshire would pay a fee under legislative proposal on 12/18/2012 20:30:28 MST Print View

I suppose the local police will send you, and/or your family/employer/guarantor a bill. There is a lot of social pressure here to pay your bills and all real estate/credit and employment contracts usually require someone to "guarantee" you. For self employed with no suitable family in Japan, there are "guarantor" for fee businesses.

If you ignore the bill collectors they call your family/guarantor or sometimes your boss. The guarantor system here is draconian but pretty effective at keeping all but the most ardent deadbeats in line.