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#18064 - 02/08/06 05:20 PM RE: Preserve Day Fee Increase
MohonkPreserve Offline
stranger

Registered: 11/22/05
Posts: 8
We are committed to providing climbers with affordable, safe access to the Gunks cliffs and want to try to briefly respond to concerns voiced in this email thread about the recent day fee increase. (Please feel free to contact us directly if you’d like a more detailed explanation. See Contact Us.

You've asked why we are increasing fees again. The cost of “doing business” has gone up significantly. Unfortunately the cost of fuel, equipment and protecting the land is quickly outpacing our ability to attract donations and grants. To provide climbers and all visitors with the same level of service, we have no choice but to increase day fees to help cover the costs. (For more on the many ways we are seeking to fund these increasing costs, see the Mohonk Preserve Annual Report.) The day fee increase has nothing to do with our Visitor Center, which was totally funded by a separate capital campaign in the late 1990s.

You've also asked why climber fees are increasing more than others. Climbing members previously paid a higher premium for accessing the Preserve than day users. Previously, climbing members paid a 70% premium in addition to their hiking membership to climb at the Preserve, while a day climber only paid 30% more than a day hiker. Now the burden is shared by day users and members.

Climbing costs more than hiking: There are significant costs related to allowing rock climbing at the Preserve – such as increased insurance and the costs of specialized rescue operations and additional facilities. We also have one of the best-trained, vertical rescue teams in the northeastern United States. This kind of training is the result of thousands of staff hours and requires state-of-the-art equipment.

We hope this answers most of the concerns you raised. Thanks very much for your support of the Preserve.


Edited by webmaster (02/08/06 05:42 PM)

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#18065 - 02/08/06 05:39 PM Re: Fifteen Dollars [Re: MohonkPreserve]
strat Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 4242
Can you please comment on the operating expenses associated with the Visitor's Center? Do revenues generated by Climber's Day Passes contribute to covering the operating expenses of the Visitor's Center?

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#18066 - 02/08/06 05:54 PM Re: Fifteen Dollars [Re: strat]
MohonkPreserve Offline
stranger

Registered: 11/22/05
Posts: 8
Please see our Annual Report referenced in the last email. It shows sources and use of revenue in supporting the Preserve's operating budget. Day-to-day costs of operating the Visitor Center are of course part of the Preserve's operating budget.

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#18067 - 02/08/06 08:15 PM Re: Fifteen Dollars [Re: strat]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1038
Loc: The Bayards
First, I’d like to commend the Preserve for having the courage to engage in a public dialogue, especially one regarding the use of funds.

Second, please comment on payments made to Peter Fairweather of Fairweather Consulting. How much did the Mohonk Preserve, or its’ agents, pay Mr. Fairweather in 2004 and 2005? From which budget(s) were these payments made? As a Mohonk Preserve Life Endowment Member and neighbor, I'd very much like to know.

And to whom shall we ascribe these Mohonk Preserve posts? Glenn? Debi? Please advise.

Thank you.


Edited by Kent (02/08/06 10:19 PM)

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#18068 - 02/08/06 08:39 PM Re: Fifteen Dollars [Re: Kent]
drkodos Offline
addict

Registered: 05/02/04
Posts: 674
Loc: Chattanooga, TN
How Big Brotherly of the "Preserve" to post.


_________________________

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#18069 - 02/10/06 03:44 PM Re: Fifteen Dollars [Re: Kent]
MohonkPreserve Offline
stranger

Registered: 11/22/05
Posts: 8
Kent -

Peter Fairweather was a consultant to the 7-town Green Assets initiative until February of 2005, and was paid $28,000 for his time working with several towns from a multi-year grant of $190,000 to the Shawangunk Ridge Biodiversity Partnership. The Partnership delegated to Mohonk Preserve the responsibility to be the recipient and administrator of that grant on behalf of the Partnership, and to The Nature Conservancy the role of overseeing Fairweather’s scope and progress as a part of the responsibilities under the overall project.

Also, to answer your last question, postings on Gunks.com are the product of staff teamwork.

Just to let you know that we only have the staffing capacity to check Gunks.com every week or so and will tend to reply to groups of comments, rather than individual queries, just due to the volume of other work we have to attend to.

Thanks,

Debi Clifford, Communications Director


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#18070 - 02/10/06 10:55 PM Re: Fifteen Dollars [Re: MohonkPreserve]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2679
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Thanks again for the reply. As we climbers don't usually go into the Visitor Center, it is easy for us to feel apart from the staff there and decision making process.

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#18071 - 02/11/06 03:38 AM Re: Fifteen Dollars [Re: MohonkPreserve]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1038
Loc: The Bayards
Debi,

Thank you for responding. It seems you are saying the Preserve paid Peter Fairweather $190,000 in 2004 and 2005. That's a lot of money. Please comment on the nature of the $190,000 of work done by Mr. Fairweather for the Preserve.

And thank you also for the clarification regarding the Preserve staff teamwork that produces your posts. Similarly, some of my posts will be the product of neighbor teamwork. As for the timing of your responses, please respond at your convenience, as will we.

Thanks,

Kent


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#18072 - 02/11/06 04:02 AM Re: Fifteen Dollars [Re: Kent]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
Quote:

It seems you are saying the Preserve paid Peter Fairweather $190,000 in 2004 and 2005. That's a lot of money. Would you please comment on the nature of the $190,000 of work done by Mr. Fairweather for the Preserve.



No, Debi clearly said:
Peter Fairweather was a consultant to the 7-town Green Assets initiative until February of 2005, and was paid $28,000 for his time working with several towns from a multi-year grant of $190,000 to the Shawangunk Ridge Biodiversity Partnership.
_________________________
- Marc

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#18073 - 02/11/06 04:17 AM Re: Fifteen Dollars [Re: MarcC]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1038
Loc: The Bayards
And I clearly asked how much the Mohonk Preserve paid Peter Fairweather in 2004 and 2005. I didn't ask how much the Green Assets Initiative or the Shawangunk Ridge Biodiversity Partnership paid Mr. Fairweather.


Debi,

To add to my comments above, if Peter Fairweather was paid only $28,000, then what of the remaining $162,000 in the grant? What were those funds used for? Also, in a telephone conversation I had with Cara Lee of the Nature Conservancy, she stated The Nature Conservancy received a check for $50,000 from the Mohonk Preserve, after which The Nature Conservancy in turn wrote a check to Peter Fairweather for the same amount. What is the source of the disparity?

Thanks again.

Kent

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