2019 Fee Proposal

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is interested in hearing your comments on a proposal to begin charging new recreation fees, increasing overnight fees and removing fees from some recreation sites on the Forest.

Most, 80–95 percent, of the revenue collected at recreation fee sites remains on the Forest to operate, maintain and improve recreation program facilities.  Examples include: trash pickup, septic and toilet pumping, painting, cleaning, address the backlog of deferred maintenance, conduct patrols, and maintain highly used trails, shelters and campsites.

Fees are proposed based on the level of amenities and services provided, cost of operations and maintenance and market assessment.

The Chequamegon-Nicolet’s proposal includes increasing overnight fees at 15 of the 45 developed campgrounds and adding a daily shelter reservation fee for Namakagon, Mount Valhalla and Lake Owen chalets. The proposal would also add a standard amenity recreation fee to three day use areas and an expanded amenity recreation fee for a RV dump station.  Fee eliminations are proposed for five day use areas and seven campgrounds. 

A majority of the proposed overnight fee increases are associated with a $10 fee for electric that would be implemented as those amenities are installed and available for use on campsites.  There are some double and group site fees that would be implemented when those modifications are made to campgrounds. These proposed actions are associated with management actions outlined in the forest’s Final Recreation Facility Strategy located at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/cnnf/recreation/?cid=fseprd563055.

Please click here for a listing of proposted fees.

As of July 1, 2019, comments are being accepted on the proposed fees. Comments will be accepted through September 30, 2019. Please include the specific recreation site you are commenting on along with your comments.

Please send your comments to:

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Recreation Fee Proposals
500 Hanson Lake Road
Rhinelander, WI 54501.

Comment cards are available by clicking here, at proposed sites or by stopping at any local Ranger Station. 

You may also email your comments to: CNNFAdmin@fs.fed.us.

All comments will be reviewed by the Forest and then presented before the Eastern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (RRAC) in the winter of 2019/2020. Committee members represent a broad array of recreation interest groups to help ensure that the Forest Service is proposing reasonable and publicly acceptable fee changes.  The exact meeting time, location and agenda will be announced and the public is welcome to attend.  If the fee proposals are approved by the Regional Forester, new fees would be implemented as improvements are made to recreation sites and chalet rentals are available on recreation.gov.

In 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act which allows the Forest Service to retain funds collected at certain recreation sites and use these funds locally to operate and maintain and improve these sites. Before the Forest Service received the authority to retain funds locally, all fees collected by the Forest Service went to the national treasury.