Olympic National Forest is proposing fee increases at three of its cabins and 10 of its campground sites due to increased operation and maintenance costs. If approved, the new fee structure could be in place by May 1.
The Forest Service is considering a range for all increases to allow for a pricing structure based on weekday, weekend and seasonal usage.
"The increases are necessary to maintain the levels of service and amenities at the campgrounds and cabins which visitors expect," said Dale Hom, forest supervisor of Olympic National Forest. "It lets us keep facilities open throughout the season without having to make significant closures or restricting camping access to weekends."
Campground fees would increase between $4 and $8 at the Coho, Klahowya and Seal Rock campsites from the current $12 rate. The Big Creek, Brown Creek, Collins, Dungeness Forks, Hamma Hamma and Lena Creek campground fees would increase from $10 to a range between $12 and $14. The fees at Klahanie would increase between $2 and $4, from its rate of $5. The proposal also seeks an increase of $20 to $40 at each of the cabins in the forest. The Hamma Hamma and Louella cabins are currently $40 per night and the Interrorem is $30.
Rising fuel costs were the largest factor in determining the fee increase at the cabin sites, where propane is used to for heat, lighting and refrigeration. Fees were last increased at the cabins more than 10 years ago and propane costs have more than tripled in that time.
"It's always been our desire to keep fees as low as possible, which is why we've held off on the increase for so long," said Hom. "For the amenities offered, the campgrounds on the Olympic National Forest will continue to be a great value in terms of camping on federal lands."
This fee increase proposal will be presented at the next meeting of the Pacific Northwest Recreation Resource Advisory Committee, created through authorities provided by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004.
RAC members represent various recreation interests, outfitter guides, local environmental groups, tribes, tourism officials and affected local governments. For additional information on the Pacific Northwest Recreation RAC, visit the Region 6 Forest Service Web site at www.fs.fed.us/r6. For more information on the Olympic National Forest, visit www.fs.fed.us/r6/olympic.
The Forest Service is interested in hearing public comments regarding this proposal. Please contact Brad Paul at 360-765-2213 or firstname.lastname@example.org by March 31.
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