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Why You May Pay More to Camp This Summer

The U.S. Forest Service is proposing to raise campground fees or establish new fees in 2018 at select Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest recreation sites.

Posted: Jan. 24, 2018 1:03 PM
Updated: Jan. 24, 2018 1:54 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- For the first time in approximately 8 years, the U.S. Forest Service is proposing to raise campground fees or establish new fees at some Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Recreation sites.  Officials want to make the changes effective for this summer.  

The recreation fees are used to maintain facilities and provide visitor services at developed recreation sites.  The money would pay for improving services and amenities as well as aligning the price of sites with facilities provided.  

Highlights of the proposal include:
• Offering three new lookout and cabin rentals;
• Increasing fees at 10 existing cabins or lookouts;
• Conversion of five small campgrounds that have seven or fewer individual campsites into single group camping facilities;
• Increasing fees at four existing group campsites;
• Adding 10 day-use fee sites, where an annual Northwest Forest Pass or National Interagency Pass would be accepted;
• Adding new fees at six campgrounds and adjusting fees at 16 others; and
• Adjusting extra vehicle fees to 50 percent of the rate of the campsite fee in all fee campgrounds.

For example, in the High Cascades Ranger District, Rental Cabins/Lookouts would increase by more than double: 
Big Elk Guard Station would go from $50 to $100; Imnaha Cabin would go from $40 to $125; Lodgepole Guard Station would go from $50 to $125; Wilow Prarie Cabin would go from $15 to $65.   Campgrounds would increase by $7-$9.    Click here for all the proposed fee changes; they can also be viewed on the RRSNF’s website at http://bit.ly/2E4cgcm.  

The RRSNF is welcoming public input on the proposal. Forest Service staff will evaluate and present the input along with the proposal to a citizen advisory committee later this year. The advisory committee will review all proposed fee changes before making recommendations to Pacific Northwest Regional Forester Jim Peña, who will make a decision on the proposal. Approved changes would go into effect for the 2018 summer recreation season.

In 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, which allows the Forest Service to retain 95 percent of recreation fees collected to operate, maintain and improve fee sites. Recent recreation site investments on the RRSNF that were made possible using recreation fees include cabin and lookout repairs (propane systems, interior repairs, appliance replacement, rail and tread board replacement on steps and decking), campground improvements (accessible tables and fire rings for replacement, water system repairs and maintenance).

In spring 2018, Forest Service staff will present the proposed fee changes to the Rogue-Umpqua Resource Advisory Committee in Roseburg and Siskiyou Resource Advisory Committee in Brookings.

The public is invited to comment in writing or at advisory committee meetings. Meeting dates, times, locations and agendas will be posted on the RRSNF website. The information will also be disseminated on Facebook, Twitter, media outlets and a Federal Register Notice.

Written comments on the proposal should be mailed by February 16, 2018, to Rogue River-Siskiyou N.F. ATTN: Recreation Fees, 3040 Biddle Road, Medford, OR 97504. Comments can also be emailed to Rogue_River-Siskiyou_RecFee@fs.fed.us.

For more information about this proposal, contact RRSNF Recreation Program Manager Julie Martin at 541-618-2066.

Proposed fee changes can be viewed on the RRSNF’s website at http://bit.ly/2E4cgcm.

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