Wayne National Forest Proposing Changes to Recreation Fees

Release Date: Mar 14, 2017  

Contact(s): Gary C. Chancey, (740) 753-0862

NELSONVILLE, Ohio (March 14, 2017) – The Wayne National Forest is seeking public comments on a proposal that would change recreation fees to enhance campgrounds and trails and help attract more visitors to southeast Ohio.

The proposal calls for reducing trail permit fees for off-highway vehicle (OHV) users and eliminating fees for horse and mountain bike users.

Currently, OHV, horse and mountain bike users are paying $45 for a seasonal permit, $24 for a three day permit and $12 for a daily permit. Beginning in 2018, seasonal permits would be reduced to $35 and the three day permit to $20. The daily permit would be eliminated. These new fees would apply to motorized trail users only.  Horse and mountain bike users would be exempt from purchasing a trail permit.

“Motorized trail use on the Forest has declined over 50% in the last eight years. By reducing the fee, we hope to see an increase in usage,” said Forest Supervisor Tony Scardina. “By eliminating fees for horse and mountain bike users, the Forest will be aligned with other trail providers in the area.”

The proposal would also help standardize camping fees for higher developed campgrounds across the Forest. Base camping fees would be adjusted to $15, plus $5 for campsites with electrical hook-ups.

Based on the proposed fee changes, Iron Ridge Campground would increase from $18 to $20 for sites with electrical hookups. Leith Run Campground would decrease from $21 to $20 for sites with electrical hookups and tent-only non-electric sites would remain at $15. Stone Church Horse Campground would increase from $14 to $15. Burr Oak Cove Campground would see an increase from $10 to $15 for non-electric sites. Tent only sites at Burr Oak Cove will remain unchanged at $10. When water is not available fees will remain at $10.

The proposal also includes a new fee of $10 for campgrounds along State Highway 26 in Washington and Monroe Counties, which include Hune Bridge, Lane Farm, Ring Mill, and Lamping Homestead Campgrounds. Revenue generated from the new fee would be used to make improvements, such as upgrading picnic tables, grills, fire rings, restroom facilities, and signage.

Once public involvement is complete, the new fees will be reviewed by a Regional Recreation Advisory Committee, who will submit their recommendation to the Regional Forester for a final decision.

The public is invited to comment on the proposed fee changes.  The comment period is set to end by close of business on Friday, July 28, 2017.  To ensure that your comments are considered, please send your comments no later than the above date.   Comments can be emailed to comments-eastern-wayne@fs.fed.us with the subject line “Fee Change”.  Emailed comments must be submitted in a format such as within the body of the message, plain text (.txt), Word (.doc), portable document format (.pdf), or any software supported by Microsoft applications.

Written comments must be mailed or delivered to Wayne National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 13700 US Hwy 33, Nelsonville, OH 45764 or sent by fax to 740-753-0119, Attn: Chad Wilberger.

Oral comments must be provided in person at the Supervisor’s Office during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) or by calling 740-753-0101 and indicating you would like to provide comments on the proposed recreation fee changes.  For more information on the proposed project, visit our project page.

The 244,000 acre Wayne National Forest offers a variety of recreation opportunities, including trail riding, hiking, camping, picnicking, fishing, hunting, nature viewing, canoeing, and much more. Follow the Wayne National Forest on Twitter: @waynenationalfs and on Facebook.

The U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a mission of sustaining the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Forest Service’s Eastern Region includes 20 states in the Midwest and East, stretching from Maine, to Maryland, to Missouri, to Minnesota.  There are 17 national forests and one national tallgrass prairie in the Eastern Region. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/R9.

The U.S. Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. For more information, visit www.fs.fed.us.


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