Forest Service Eyes Changes to Recreation Fees
Day use charges at Green Mountain Reservoir and Cataract Lake west of Denver may be eliminated, while camping fees could go up, as the U.S. Forest Service considers changes to a sometimes controversial recreation fee program that requires visitors to pay for access to sites with developed amenities, the Summit County Citizens Voice, Frisco, Colo., reported.
The proposed changes resulted from a region-by-region review of the fee program, with the Green Mountain/Cataract Lake sites identified as a place where the area-wide fees should be dropped, while continuing to charge site-specific fees for campgrounds with developed amenities. A stakeholder group that included fee program critics, local businesses and users of the area came to a similar conclusion years before the agency review.
Any changes are at least a year away, pending review by a recreation advisory committee. According to White River National Forest recreation staff officer Rich Doak, the review is required under the legislation that authorizes fees — a “gut check” to determine whether the existing fee structure at various sites is the best way to manage the areas for the benefit of the public.
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