The end of free camping at Joshua Tree?

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Camping fees at the climbers’ campgrounds at Joshua Trees go into effect February 17th, and are causing quite a stir. As of 12/2, a web poll by Mike Morley of shows 41% strongly opposed, 27% fairly neutral, and 32% in favor of the proposed $5/night fees. Morley has received comments such as these:”To steal a phrase from John Long, the $5 fee “is the setting of the thin end of the chisel”…Don’t fall for this deception; $5/night is just a baseline that WILL be increased.””So will these fees cover the 2 or 3 GS-7 ($35,000 a year) employees that it will take to collect these fees and enforce the rules?”There will be a series of public meetings held in December in Joshua Tree, 29 Palms, and Yucca Valley with Park Superintendent Curt Sauer; visit for more information. Morley urges all concerned climbers to attend and have their voices heard, and is collecting public commentary online at, which is to be submitted to Superintendent Sauer.

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