|Fees To Increase At Some National Forest Sites|
Roanoke, VA (April 5, 2019) - The USDA Forest Service will increase fees at several recreation sites on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests beginning this year. The changes help align National Forest fees with other nearby recreation areas, and will help the recreation sites be more financially sustainable.
The increase in fees affects 19 campgrounds and day-use areas in 12 counties on National Forest lands in the mountains of Virginia and West Virginia. The fee increases for 2019 range between $2 and $4. Most recreation opportunities remain free. The Forest has not raised prices at some of the recreation fee areas in 20 years.
Additional fee increases go into effect in 2020 or 2021. The following table outlines these changes:
(Editor's note: to download the table as a pdf file, click here.
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â€śRevenue from fees remain on the forest to maintain and improve sites, and are used with appropriated funding and grants for construction and maintenance of trails, campground operation, user education, and to provide patrol and security at recreation sites,â€ť says Forest Supervisor Joby Timm.
In the fall of 2017 the Forest asked the public to provide feedback to determine what level of an increase would be acceptable to Forest visitors. The response indicated support for some fee increases as long as they result in improvements to facilities or services. There were some concerns expressed that higher fees would reduce the number of recreation visits for some families. To address these concerns, the Forest is phasing in many of the fee increases over three years. We are employing a conservation corps crew to make improvements to some recreation sites in the spring and summer of 2019.
For further information on the specific camping and day use area increases and for season opening dates for 2019, check the Forestâ€™s website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/gwj.