Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest seeks public comments on a proposal to changes recreation fees

The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest seeks comments on fee changes at certain recreation sites across four of the Forest’s ranger districts and the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. These fee changes will assist the Forest in closing that gap and continue to maintain sites to the level visitors have come to expect, as well as expand current opportunities.

“We recognize how important these sites are to our local communities and those who travel great distances to use them,” said Forest Supervisor Bill Dunkelberger. “I really encourage the public to get involved in this process as public input is a critical part of the fee establishment process and a great opportunity to help shape the future of public lands.”

The Forest continues to see increased recreational use and associated demands for amenities and opportunities. These demands are impacting the resource, visitor experience, and the forest’s capacity to manage a quality recreation program. These new and increases fees will align the price of sites with the facilities provided, and continue to improve services and site amenities, especially at a time when the Forest is experiencing increases in recreation and operating costs. Approximately 70 percent of the developed recreation sites do not charge a fee.

There are 22 campgrounds, four day use areas, and two visitor center site rentals that are a part of the recreation fee proposal. The proposal also includes 14 new fee sites and 14 fee changes at campgrounds and day use areas. The developed sites that are included in this fee proposal are as follows:

  • Austin-Tonopah RD: Barley Creek, Big Creek, Bob Scott, Columbine, Kingston, Peavine Creek, Pine Creek, San Juan, and Toquima Cave Campgrounds.
  • Carson RD: Lookout Campground.
  • Mountain City-Ruby Mountains-Jarbidge RD: Big Bend, Jack Creek, Pine Creek, Sawmill, Slide Creek, and Wildhorse Crossings Campgrounds.
  • Santa Rosa RD: Lye Creek Campground.
  • Spring Mountains NRA: Cathedral Rock Picnic and Group Picnic, Foxtail Group Picnic, and Old Mill Picnic areas; Fletcher View, Hilltop, Kyle Canyon, Mahogany Grove Group, and McWilliams campgrounds; and the Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway’s Mt. Charleston Amphitheater and education building.

For more information on the recreation fee proposal and a complete list of recommended fees changes by site, visit: https://bit.ly/HTNFRecreationFeeProposal_Info.

Under the 2004 Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, the USDA Forest Service is allowed to retain at least eighty percent of recreation fees collected to use those funds locally to operate, maintain, and improve fee sites. Raising the revenue collected through recreation fees help the Forest improve infrastructure at campgrounds and day use areas, reduce the backlog in deferred maintenance, and hire additional recreation staff during the season of operation.

“The resources derived through collection of fees create a more financial sustainable developed recreation program for the benefit of future generations.” Dunkelberger added.

The public is invited to comment on the proposed fee changes by close of business on Monday, Oct. 16, 2023. Comments should be sent to the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Attn: Recreation Fees, 1200 Franklin Way, Sparks, Nevada 89431 or via e-mail to SM.FS.HTRecFees@usda.gov. Please put “Humboldt-Toiyabe 2023 Recreation Fee Proposal” in the subject line.

Comments can also be submitted by using the interactive web map at:  https://bit.ly/HTNFRecreationFeeProposal_CommentSite.

For more information on this proposal, please contact Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Recreation & Wilderness Program Manager Randy Kyes at randy.kyes@usda.gov.

Once the public comment period ends, all comments will be reviewed by the Forest Service. Those comments found to be substantive will be evaluated further and considered in this proposal.

The final proposed fee changes will then be presented to a citizen’s resource advisory committees that represent a broad array of interests. Their recommendation will be submitted to the USDA Forest Service Intermountain Regional Forester for a final decision. If approved, the new and/or increased permit fees would go into effect in 2024 or 2025.

For additional information on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, visit https://fs.usda.gov/htnf or participate in the conversation at https://twitter.com/HumboldtToiyabe and https://facebook.com/HumboldtToiyabeNF/.