By Staff and wire reports
The Colville National Forest may implement or increase fees at 20 recreation sites, including a lookout, two cabins and 15 campgrounds, according to a U.S. Forest Service news release.
Public comment will be accepted on the proposal until Sept. 30.
If approved, the earliest the new fees could be implemented is 2022.
The proposed fees would affect one day-use site, two cabins, one lookout, one group site and 15 campgrounds. Eight of the sites are managed without any user fees. The last time the Colville National Forest raised fees at the affected campgrounds was 1988, according to the release.
“We recognize how important these sites are and want to ensure that they can continue to be used and maintained into the future. These fee increases will help us put much needed resources into quality recreation experiences in the Forest,” Rodney Smoldon, forest supervisor for the Colville National Forest, said in the release. “During this public input period, we want to hear from you. We are looking at this as an opportunity for us to meet the current and future needs of all visitors.”
In 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act which allows the Forest Service to retain funds collected, according to the release. Ninety-five percent of the revenue from recreation fees remains within the forests to operate, maintain and improve facilities. Raising the revenue collected through recreation fees would help the Forest Service improve infrastructure and hire additional recreation staff.
Under the Recreation Enhancement Act, all new fees and fee changes must be reviewed by a citizen’s resource advisory committee. Committee members represent a broad array of recreation interest groups to help ensure the Forest Service is proposing reasonable and publicly acceptable fee changes. Once reviewed by the advisory committee, the recommendations will be submitted to the Regional Forester for a final decision.
To comment on the proposed fee changes reply with a postmarked letter no later than Sept. 30 to Colville National Forest, with attention to: Allison Ginn, Recreation Program Lead, 765 S. Main St., Colville, WA 99114 or via email at Allison.Ginn@usda.gov.
Oral comments may also be provided by calling (509) 380-3586 during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). For more information on the proposed project, visit the website at fs.usda.gov/colville.
The proposed fees by Ranger District and site are listed :
Newport-Sullivan Lake Ranger Districts
Salmo Lookout, current $0 (currently not open to public), proposed $75
Crescent Lake Campground, current $0, proposed $10.
Three Rivers Ranger District
Frater Cabin, current $0 (currently not open to public), proposed $75
Big Meadow Lake Campground, current $0, proposed $15.
Canyon Creek Campground, current $6, proposed $15.
Davis Lake Campground current $0, proposed $10.
Deer Creek Campground current $5, proposed $10.
Lake Ellen East Campground current $6, proposed $15.
Lake Ellen West Campground current $6, proposed $15.
Little Twin Lakes Campground current $0, proposed $10.
Long Lake Campground current $8, proposed $15.
Pierre Lake Campground current $6, proposed $20.
Sherman Overlook Campground current $6, proposed $15.
Trout Lake Campground current $0, proposed $10.
Republic Ranger District
Snow Peak Cabin current $30, proposed $75 (accommodates up to 4 people).
Ferry Lake Campground current $6, proposed $15.
Swan Lake Campground current $8, proposed $20.
Swan Lake Group Group Site current $35, proposed $75 (accommodates up to 35 people).
Swan Lake Day Use Area Day Use Area current $0, proposed $5.
Ten Mile Campground current $6, proposed $10.
CORRECTION: Due to a Colville Forest Service mistake the phone number listed to call was incorrect. The story has been corrected.
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