The Transylvania Times -

U. S. Forest Service Proposing Fee Changes, Including For Cradle

 

August 14, 2017



The U.S. Forest Service is proposing to change recreation fees at several sites in Pisgah National Forest, including the Cradle of Forestry.

The public is invited to provide input to proposed fee changes by Sept. 25.

The goal of these proposed changes is to establish a consistent pricing for developed recreation sites for the National Forests in North Carolina, according to a news release.

In addition, many day use sites will now accept the suite of “America the Beautiful, the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands” (Interagency) passes.

Current pricing at many forest sites have remained static for over a decade and have not kept pace with other recreation sites with similar services and amenities, the release said.

In addition, many sites have received various improvements and upgrades.

These fee changes are only proposed. After public comment is received, Forest Service officials will assess the comments and concerns and then present the fee proposals to the Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (RRAC) in the fall.

This committee will provide recommendations on the fee proposals and the Regional Forester will make a decision on the proposals. The Recreation RAC is a citizen’s advisory committee that represents a broad array of recreation interests.

“We are very blessed to have so many outstanding recreational sites for visitors to enjoy,” said Dave Casey, district ranger in the Pisgah Ranger District. “Unfortunately, the costs of properly maintaining, modernizing and being present at these facilities is beyond what we can accomplish with our current fee structure.

“By increasing these fees we can continue to provide safe and well-maintained sites that are still a great value for our visitors.

“The fees collected stay in the forest and help us continue a legacy of providing great places to explore and enjoy the Pisgah National Forest.”

The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004 allows the Forest Service to keep 80-95 percent ofees collected to operate, maintain and improve the recreation sites.

For more information, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/nfsnc/2017recfeeproposals.

To provide comments about this fee proposal for the RRAC to consider, contact Logan Free at 828-257-4256, by email at NFsNCfeepro posals@fs.fed.us, or by mail at:

ATTN: Recreation Fee Proposals, 160A Zillicoa Street, Asheville, NC 28801.

 
 

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