The Bridger-Teton National Forest is soliciting comments on a proposal to increase fees, or charge new fees at several campgrounds and rental cabins on the Kemmerer, Big Piney, Blackrock, and Pinedale Ranger Districts.
Most of these campgrounds and rental cabins have been available for recreation use by the public for more than 30 years. Campgrounds on the forest are typically open May through September, while rental cabins may be open year round.
A review of visitor use data and fee collection information for existing fee campgrounds and rental cabins on the forest demonstrate public need and demand for the variety of recreation opportunities these facilities provide; and that current fees are insufficient to adequately maintain these facilities for public use.
Market analysis indicates that the proposed fees are reasonable and acceptable for the type of recreation experience they provide on the forest. The following campgrounds and rental cabins are included in this proposal for fee increases:
Hams Fork Campground Kemmerer - $7 to $10; Hobble Creek Campground Kemmerer - $7 to $10; Kelley Guard Station Kemmerer - $30 to $60; La Barge Guard Station Kemmerer - $30 to $60; Hoback Guard Station Big Piney - $30 to $80; Sacajawea Campground Big Piney - $7 to $10; Snyder Guard Station Big Piney - $30 to $60; Boulder Lake Campground Pinedale - $7 to $12; Fremont Lake Campground: Single Pinedale - $12 to $15; Fremont Lake Campground: Double Pinedale - $24 to $30; Fremont Lake Group Site Pinedale - $35 to $50; Half Moon Lake Campground Pinedale - $7 to $12; New Fork Lake Campground Pinedale - $7 to $12.
Proposed new fee sites: Middle Piney Lake Campground Big Piney - $10; Willow Lake Campground Pinedale - $10; Sagebrush Cowboy Cabin Blackrock - $40.
Visitor use fees for campgrounds and rental cabins on the forest have not been raised since the early 1990s. In the last several years, improvements have been made at all sites in this fee increase proposal. Improvements at campgrounds may include new vault toilets, bear-resistant food storage or trash receptacles, picnic table replacement or refurbishing, and water system updates.
Improvements in rental cabins include items such as new flooring, windows, stoves, refrigerators, furniture, and heaters.
The proposed fee increase is necessary to address increased operational costs for continued operation and maintenance of these campgrounds and rental cabins to enhance the recreation experience at these sites. These fee increases are only proposed at this stage. A final decision regarding these fee increases will be made after further analysis and public comment.
Photos of campgrounds and rental cabins included in this fee increase proposal can be found on the Bridger-Teton National Forest webpage, https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/btnf/alerts-notices. At this time, comments are being accepted on the new fee increase proposal. Please send comments to: Cindy Stein, Forest Recreation Program Manager, P.O. Box 220, Pinedale, WY 82941, firstname.lastname@example.org with “BT Recreation Fee Proposal” as the subject line. Comments will be until taken until Aug. 31.
All new fee proposals will be presented to a citizen’s committee, Wyoming Recreation Action Team (REACT). REACT is a consortium of state and federal land management agencies that work to ensure public input regarding proposed fee increases on federal lands and to identify opportunities and address issues affecting recreation and tourism in Wyoming.
State agencies making up REACT are Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, Wyoming Department of Transportation, Division of Travel and Tourism, and Department of Agriculture. Federal entities involved are the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and US Forest Service. The public is welcome to attend and comment at all committee meetings. The next REACT meeting is expected to be held the winter/spring of 2019-20. The exact meeting time, location and agenda will be announced on the Bridger-Teton National Forest website. These fee proposals will also receive extensive review by the Regional and Washington Offices of the U.S. Forest Service.
In 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, which allows the Forest Service to retain funds collected at certain recreation sites and use these funds locally to operate, maintain, and/or improve these sites. Before the Forest Service received the authority to retain funds locally, all fees collected by the Forest Service went to the national treasury. As a result of this act, the Bridger-Teton National Forest retains approximately 95% of the revenue collected at recreation fee sites, including all sites listed above. These fees are utilized to operate, maintain, and/or improve services and facilities at fee sites on the Forest.
If approved, the proposed fee increases would begin in the spring of 2020. Reservations for campgrounds and rental cabins can be made via toll free number 877-444-6777 or online at www.recreation.gov.