The Coconino National Forest is seeking public input on proposed fee implementation at six specific high-use recreation sites to provide consistent maintenance and keep these sites and trails at a level of quality visitors have come to expect.
Numerous day-use sites, overnight camping sites, and other recreation sites are managed without user fees across Coconino National Forest. The following day-use sites would be added to the current Red Rock Pass Fee Program, and the Interagency America the Beautiful Passes will also be honored at these sites.
The public comment period begins today. To ensure that your comments are considered, please send your comments to the Coconino National Forest no later than August 31, 2022 using one of the following methods:
- Mail: Address to Coconino NF, Red Rock Ranger District, Attn: Chris Johansen, P.O. Box 20429, Sedona, AZ 86341-0429
- E-mail: Christopher.Johansen@usda.gov
- Online: Go to www.fs.usda.gov/goto/r3/SusRec and utilize a public comment mapping tool to comment on specific sites or to make a general comment on fee proposals.
- In person: Oral comments must be provided to Christopher Johansen during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) or by calling (928) 203-7529 and indicating you would like to provide comments on the proposed recreation fee changes.
Once public involvement is complete, the proposed fee changes will be reviewed by the Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) during their winter 2022 meeting. If the RAC and the Regional Forester approve of the changes, fees could be implemented at these sites as early as spring 2023.
In 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA) which allows the Forest Service to retain funds collected at certain recreation sites and use these funds locally to operate, maintain, and improve these sites.
These additional funds along with 95% of the revenue from recreation fees remain on the national forest to operate, maintain, and improve facilities. The resource derived through collection of fees helps provide quality recreation opportunities that meet the modern expectations of visitors and creates a more financial sustainable developed recreation program for the benefit of future generations.
Under REA, all new fees and any fee changes must be proposed and approved by a citizen’s advisory committee, Arizona Bureau of Land Management Resource Advisory Committee. Committee members represent a broad array of recreation interest groups to help ensure that the Forest Service is proposing reasonable and publicly acceptable new fees and fee changes.