New advisory group to offer input on fees for recreation sites
SUMMIT COUNTY – A newly formed citizens group will help determine the future of recreation fees at national forest and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sites in Colorado.Eleven people, representing diverse public land stakeholder groups, will begin meeting in October to give oversight on recreation fee issues, the Forest Service announced this week.The advisory group has been in the making for about a year. Among other things, the panel will look at local Forest Service plans to raise some fees at Green Mountain Reservoir. The Dillon Ranger District wanted to increase camping rates this summer, but couldn’t do so until the advisory group had a chance to scrutinize the plans.Winter day-use and parking fees at Vail Pass and Cataract Lake are also administered under the program.”We are thrilled to have had such a diverse and high-caliber pool of applicants,” said Rocky Mountain regional forester Rick Cables.The advisory group includes representatives from motorized and non-motorized user groups, as well as from hunting and fishing interests, outfitters, environmental groups, the state tourism office, Native American tribes and local governments. The panel was established as part of a requirement under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. It will make advisory recommendations to the regional forester and the state BLM director on the implementation or elimination of fees at specific sites.More generally, the group will also offer input on the expansion or limitation of the recreation fee program and on the relationship of fees to commercial uses of public lands.
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