Proposed Changes to Recreation Fees Identified by the Prescott National Forest

Photo:  White Spar Campground

The Prescott National Forest is proposing to charge new and increased fees at nine developed recreation sites.

Many day-use sites, overnight camping sites, and other recreation sites are managed without user fees currently on the forest. The Prescott National Forest Pass and the full suite of interagency passes will be honored at these new Forest Service day-use sites. Holders of Interagency Senior and Access passes are entitled to a 50% discount on campground fees.

“We recognize how important these sites are to our local communities and those who use the sites. These fee increases will help us maintain the sites to the level and quality people have come to expect as well as make the fees more consistent throughout the state,” said Dale Deiter, Forest Supervisor for the Prescott National Forest. “During this public input period, we want to hear strategies and other ideas to help cut costs and leverage resources.”

The proposed fees by site and Ranger District are listed in the below tables.

In 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA) which allows the Forest Service to retain funds collected at certain recreation sites and use these funds locally to operate, maintain, and improve these sites. These additional funds along with ninety-five percent of the revenue from recreation fees remains on the forests to operate, maintain, and improve facilities. Raising the revenue collected through recreation fees would help the forests improve infrastructure at campsites and day-use sites and hire additional recreation staff during the season of operation. The resource derived through collection of fees helps provide quality recreation opportunities that meet the modern expectations of visitors and creates a more financial sustainable developed recreation program for the benefit of future generations.

Under REA, all new fees and any fee changes must be proposed and approved by a citizen’s advisory committee. Committee members represent a broad array of recreation interest groups to help ensure that the Forest Service is proposing reasonable and publicly acceptable new fees and fee changes.

The public is invited to comment on the proposed fee changes to the developed recreation program. The comment period is set to end by close of business on September 5, 2022.  To ensure that your comments are considered, please send your comments no later than the above date to Prescott National Forest, Attention: Julie Rowe, 344 S. Cortez St, Prescott, AZ 86303 or SM.FS.R3FeeProComm@usda.gov.  You may also submit comments online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/r3/RecFees which allows you to use a public comment mapping tool to comment on specific sites or make a general comment on fee proposals.

Oral comments must be provided in person at the Prescott National Forest to Julie Rowe during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.).  Please call 928-856-2687 to schedule an appointment and indicate you would like to provide comments on the proposed recreation fee changes. For more information on the proposed project, visit our website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/prescott/.

Once public involvement is complete, the proposed fee changes will be reviewed by a Recreation Advisory Committee, who will submit their recommendation to the Regional Forester for a final decision.

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