BLM Oregon Campgrounds and recreation areas may see fee increases if proposals are approved.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is proposing fee changes at the Alsea Falls Recreation Area and Fishermen’s Bend Campground, as well as recreation sites within the Little North Fork Area, Sandy River Basin, and Molalla and Quartzville River Corridors. The District is also proposing a new recreation pass that could be used at day- use sites. The BLM is seeking input on these changes.
The BLM Oregon Campgrounds fee changes are being proposed because maintenance needs at these sites are not being fully met due to increased costs to operate them. It has been at least seven years since fees at these sites have changed. The proposed fees will enable the agency to improve services and add amenities desired by visitors at these sites, and help ensure that the sites remain operational for years to come.
A new annual pass, the Northwest Oregon BLM Pass, is also being proposed. The pass could be used at all day-use sites currently within the Eugene and Salem Districts where fees are charged for passenger vehicles and motorcycles, except Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. This annual pass would cost $30 and is designed to make it easier for frequent visitors to enjoy public lands while providing cost savings. The pass could also be obtained by contributing at least 12 hours of volunteer service on the Northwest Oregon District each year.
The proposed BLM Oregon Campgrounds fee changes will be reviewed by the Northwest Oregon Resource Advisory Council (RAC) in October. Approved changes would go into effect no earlier than the 2017 recreation season, however, fees will not be charged until standard and expanded amenities are in place on site. “These sites are valued places that provide an array of recreation opportunities,” said Jeff McCusker, Supervisory Outdoor Recreation Planner. “The proposed fees will allow us to offer the amenities that visitors expect to find at these sites and enhance the overall visitor experience.”
Through criteria established by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA), an assessment was conducted on the number and kind of standard and expanded amenities provided at each site. Amenities include picnic tables, toilet facilities, tent spaces, and drinking water. Business plans containing a regional comparative market study of fees charged for other similar recreation facilities in the local area were also used to determine the new fees and fee increases that are being proposed.
REA allows the BLM to keep 100% of the recreation fees collected and use the funds locally to operate, maintain, and improve fee sites. Fees are one part of a comprehensive funding strategy to support recreation sites and services. This funding strategy also includes appropriated funding, volunteer assistance, interagency cooperation, grants, partnerships with the private sector, and commercial operations.
Please send feedback to Recreation Planner Dan Davis at BLM_OR_NO_REC_publiccomments@blm.gov or (503)315- 5935.
Additional information is available online at http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/salem/recreation/index.php.