The US Forest Service is proposing to raise campground fees or establish new fees at some recreation sites on the Siuslaw National Forest. These recreation fees are reinvested locally to maintain, operate, and provide visitor services at developed recreation sites. Fee changes are being considered due to increasing costs of operating and maintaining recreation facilities, and to enable the Forest Service to improve services or add amenities desired by visitors at various recreation sites. Siuslaw recreation fees have remained at their current levels for over 10 years at most sites.
Public input on the proposed changes is welcome, and will be evaluated by the Forest Service and presented, along with the proposal, to a citizen advisory committee later this year. The advisory committee will make recommendations that will be subject to approval by the Regional Forester. Approved changes would go into effect for the 2017 recreation season.
The proposal includes changing campground fees to be more in alignment with other comparable sites offering similar amenities on the Oregon coast (see table below). Fees would increase from $20 to $22 per night at the following campgrounds: Bluebill, Carter Lake, Eel Creek, Lagoon, Tahkenitch, Tahkenitch Landing, Tyee, Waxmyrtle and Wild Mare. They would increase from $20 to $25 per night at Driftwood II, Horsfall, Horsfall Beach and Spinreel campgrounds.
Other proposed fee increases include: $10 to $12 per night for Marys Peak campground, and $12 to $18 per site night at Hebo Lake campground. Fees at East Dunes and West Winds campgrounds at Sand Lake would change from $15 to $25 per night and Sand Beach from $20 to 28 per night. The proposal would also eliminate the extra vehicle fees at campgrounds at Sand Lake, Sand Beach and Hebo Lake to be in alignment with other Siuslaw campgrounds.
By 2017, the Forest Service will offer enhanced services at four recreation sites and is proposing new fees at these sites to help with operations and maintenance. Castle Rock and Rocky Bend campgrounds would be converted to reservable group campgrounds for $75/night. Major reconstruction of the Hebo Kitchen picnic shelter at Hebo Lake is planned for this year; under this proposal the day use shelter would be reservable for groups for $50/day.
A $5 day use fee at South Lake/Pioneer Indian Trailhead would be added and recreation passes honored. A $5 day use fee or recreation pass would also be honored at a new Cascade Head interpretive site along the Salmon River estuary within Cascade Head Scenic Research Area, near the intersection of Highways 101 and 18. This site is currently under construction and will be completed later this year.
In 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, which allows the Forest Service to keep 95 percent of recreation fees collected and use the funds to operate, maintain, and improve these fee sites. Recent recreation site investments on the Siuslaw National Forest that were made possible using recreation fees include expansion of the East Dunes Campground, wheelchair accessible campsite upgrades at Horsfall campground, new sewer and restroom upgrades at Horsfall Beach, and improved sand access points at various sites in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and Sand Lake.
Forest Service staff plan to be present the proposed fee changes to a citizen advisory committee for review later this year. The public is welcome to comment in writing and at all advisory committee meetings. The exact meeting times, location, and agenda will be announced on the forest website and through local media.
Written comments on the proposal should be mailed by September 15, 2016 to Siuslaw National Forest, ATTN: Recreation Fees, 3200 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, OR 97331, or emailed to SiuslawRecFee@fs.fed.us. For further information about this proposal, contact Dani Pavoni, Recreation Program Manager, at 541-750-7000.