The Coconino National Forest is seeking public input on proposed fee implementation at the Clints Well and Kehl Springs campgrounds, and fee increases at Blue Ridge, Rock Crossing, Knoll Lake, Elks, Long Valley Work Center and Moqui campgrounds on the Mogollon Rim Ranger District.
Based on increased use at campgrounds, a fee increase and fee implementation is needed to continue site improvements and will help ensure that people can continue using and enjoying the campgrounds. Fees have not been changed in over a decade.
Of the recreation fees collected, 95 percent remain on the forest to operate, maintain and improve the facilities and programs at the campgrounds. An increase in fees would help the recreation sites be more financially sustainable.
Developed family campgrounds are limited to a family size group or up to eight people and two cars. The Moqui Group Campground consists of three group sites that can accommodate up to 50 people and 10 vehicles at each site. The Elks and Long Valley Work Center Group campgrounds can accommodate up to 300 people and 50 vehicles.
The fee change proposal will be presented before a citizens advisory committee called the Arizona Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (RAC). The public is welcome to attend and comment at all advisory committee meetings, which should be held in December. If these fee proposals were approved, the increase would go into effect as early as spring 2020.
The deadline for comments is Oct. 15. The public can submit comments in writing through one of several methods:
Regular mail: Coconino National Forest, Mogollon Rim Ranger District, Attn: Recreation Fee Program, 8738 Ranger Road, Happy Jack, AZ 86024
Fax: 928-477-5057, Attn: MRRD Recreation Fee Program
Why change the fees
on the Mogollon Rim
Current fee pricing is well below comparable campground fees charged by other public agencies. Fee changes will help the district operate and maintain developed fee sites to meet visitor expectations and create a more sustainable developed recreation program. The campgrounds proposed for fee changes are currently out of date and in poor condition, needing updates to picnic tables, fire rings, information boards, site delineation, etc. The increase in fees will help address the growing costs of maintaining campground facilities. The proposed group site fees will be consistent and better tie prices to the number of users.
What will these
fees go toward?
Costs to maintain these sites include things such as:
- Daily/weekly tasks such as cleaning restrooms and removing trash;
- Annual maintenance, such as painting;
- Replacement or repair of facilities such as information kiosks, signs, fire rings, picnic tables, and restrooms as they reach the end of their useful life;
- Infrastructure work, including road resurfacing and water system repairs.
Will this limit access
to the forest?
No. The purpose of the fee increase is not to limit the recreation program but to improve it. Public use and enjoyment of the national forest and developed recreation sites will not be unduly impeded or restricted, because the vast majority of the national forest is open for free dispersed camping.
These fees only affect the listed developed campgrounds because these campgrounds are maintained and include amenities not found in the dispersed camping experience.
How was this
Existing and projected visitor demands, resource conditions, program costs, and revenue generation are being considered in the proposed fee implementation and increase. On-site visitor surveys and public outreach through letters, phone calls, email, social media, local newspapers, PSAs to the public and locally elected officials, business owners, and local field knowledge will continue to provide a solid foundation of public recreation preferences and values.
Read more on the Coconino National Forest website.