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U.S. Forest Service Invites Public Comment on Proposed Recreation Fee Changes

(RUSSELLVILLE)  Officials from The Ozark-St. Francis National Forests are inviting the public to provide feedback by July 5 on proposals to change recreation fees across the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests.

Current pricing at National Forest sites have remained static for over a decade and not kept pace with non-federal recreation sites providing similar services and amenities. In addition, many sites have received various improvements and upgrades such as new vault toilets, parking areas, new trails water systems and a new shooting range.

“These proposals are the forest’s second round of fee changes, which began in 2018, and includes 16 day-use areas, three group camping areas, two picnic pavilions, an amphitheater, four OHV Trail systems, and one shooting range,” said Robert Duggan, Ozark-St. Francis National Forests recreation program manager.

The change in fees will help establish a consistent fee schedule on the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests and allow for continued operation, maintenance, and improvement of existing recreation facilities.

Forest officials will assess the comments and concerns prior to any proposals being presented to the Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee. The Recreation RAC is a citizen’s advisory committee that represents a broad array of recreational interests. The Regional Forester will make a decision after receiving recommendations on the fee proposals from the committee.

The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004 allows the Forest Service to keep 95% percent of fees collected at recreation sites to use locally in the operation, maintenance and improvements of these sites.

The list of proposed fee changes can be viewed on the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/osfnf/home/?cid=FSEPRD637290.   

For more information, or to provide comments about this fee proposal for the Regional Advisory Committee to consider, please contact Robert Duggan on the Ozark-St. Francis at (479) 964-7238, or by email at OSFNF_Rec_Comments@fs.fed.us.

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