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I was a Friends of Bagby during the early/mid 80's. The periods of peace, sanity and cleanliness were times when there was a strong presence of volunteers, which brought lots of family usage and had at least moral support from the Forest Service.
Things fell apart several times, when the Forest Service budget meant a cut in committment or when volunteer management fell away.
The Key factor about Bagby is that it is a NATURAL hot springs not a hot spring spa. Volunteer individuals and groups took great pains to maintain a low-key, natural looking system. Often at our own expense, which sometimes was more than less, and always was a committment of time and effort.
Going for profit does lead to 'commercialization' in all its ugly meaning. If I heard correctly, the natural tubs we (I was there, not I did it) hewed by hand will be replaced from outside sources. That and for-profit fees are examples of that commercialization.
It was a delight to be there when it was relatively unspoiled by toll booths and ticket takers.
And yes, it was a family place. One fond memory is a kid saying to his Daddy, "I'm fweezing, Daddy" asking to get back into the tub. Or the elderly Japanese lady who came often and alone.
Volunteer effort CAN be maintained with a minimum expense but vital support by the Forest Service. At one time Bagby was written up as an example within the Forest Service of volunteer effort.
and, Hi, FOB'ers! I'm the one with that guy in the white hat...
posted 2 years, 5 months ago
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