Proposed Fee Changes
The White Mountain National Forest has long been loved for its outstanding recreation opportunities. The draw for many visitors are the easily accessible day use sites and scenic areas with higher amenity facilities.
The Forest is seeking public comments on their proposal to realign fees to be more consistent with other sites offering the same services and facilities and to enable more of the revenue to be used at recreation sites. This includes the proposed elimination of fees at nine trailheads including 19 – Mile Brook Trailhead, East Pond Trailhead, Greeley Pond Trailhead, Hale Brook Trailhead, Hancock Notch Trailhead, Sugarloaf Trailhead, Downes Brook Trailhead, Oliverian Brook Trailhead and Sawyer Pond Trailhead.
The Forest Service is proposing to increase the cost of a daily recreation pass to $5, an annual pass to $30, and eliminating the weekly and household passes. Over 90 percent of the Forest passes sold are daily passes. Realigning the White Mountain Pass lowers overhead and operating expenses freeing up more funds to support recreation facilities. Zealand Picnic Area is also being proposed to be added to the Forest Fee Program and would be covered by the White Mountain Recreation Pass, which covers 27 day use sites on the Forest.
Other changes include raising Dolly Copp Pavilion and Russell Colbath Barn rental fees to $100. Overnight fees for Crocker Pond campground will change to $18, 4th Iron campsites to $15, Black Mountain and Doublehead cabins to $40, and Radeke Cabin will increase to $65.
Ninety five percent of the revenue collected at recreation fee sites remains on the Forest to operate, maintain and improve the facilities and recreation programs. Fees are used to maintain day-use sites including trash pickup, septic pumping, painting, and cleaning, and to address the backlog of deferred maintenance, conduct patrols and maintain highly used trails, shelters, and campsites, and to assist visitors with information and education services such as Leave No Trace and hikeSafe. Visitors who purchase a pass are investing in the public land they come here to enjoy.
Comments are being accepted on the fee proposals until September 30, 2016. Please send your comments to Marianne Leberman, Recreation & Wilderness Program Leader at: Marianne Leberman, White Mountain National Forest, 71 White Mountain Drive, Campton, NH 03223-4272 or email@example.com.
All new fee proposals will be presented before the Eastern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (RRAC). 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.
The Eastern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (RRAC) will review the proposals for fee changes during their winter, 2017 meeting. If approved, fee increases will be implemented in the spring of 2017.
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.