Input sought on proposed changes to National Forest visitor fees

New Mexico News

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The Santa Fe National Forest is seeking input about proposed changes to the fees that visitors pay to use developed recreation sites managed by the Forest Service. According to a release, campground and day-use sites in the Santa Fe National Forest that offer added services and amenities like restroom facilities, trash collection, visitor security and interpretive services charge visitor fees.


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The Forest Service says options under consideration include increasing fees at some fee sites, charging new fees at other sites that are currently free and introducing a $40 annual pass that would allow visitors unlimited access to day-use sites that charge fees on all five national forests. The proposed changes will help improve and maintain recreation facilities.

“More than a million visitors a year come to the Santa Fe National Forest to enjoy everything our forest has to offer. Since the onset of COVID-19, we have seen an even bigger jump in use, which has put additional strain on our aging facilities and maintenance backlog,” Forest Supervisor Debbie Cress said in a news release. “The Great American Outdoors Act has given us new opportunities to improve recreation infrastructure, and the proposed fee changes will help us support those improvements for the long term.”

The Forest Service said the five national forests are planning to hold a virtual public meeting on the proposed changes in early September. They say more information on the meeting will be released when details are confirmed. The Forest Service says the comment period on the proposed changes ends on September 30.

The Forest Service says comments can be submitted online, through comment cards available at Forest Service offices, by mail to the Southwestern Regional Office, Attention: Recreation Fees, 333 Broadway SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102, or by email at SM.FS.R3FeeProComm@usda.gov. For more information, visit fs.usda.gov/detail/r3/recreation.

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