SALEM, Ore. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking public input on its draft business plan to modify fees at day-use sites, campgrounds, and group facilities across the Northwest Oregon District. The District is proposing to increase fees at existing recreation sites, and to establish fees at certain sites that currently do not charge fees or that are proposed for future development. The District is also proposing an annual pass that could be used to cover fees at day-use sites.
These fee changes are being proposed because maintenance needs at these sites are not being fully met due to increased operating costs. It has been more than ten years since fees at these recreation sites were changed and most fees have not been updated in over two decades. The new proposed fees will enable the BLM to improve services, add amenities desired by visitors, and help ensure the sites remain places the public can be proud of for years to come.
The proposal would modify fees at two existing day-use sites, and 13 campgrounds and group facilities. It would establish new fees at 16 day-use sites, campgrounds, and group facilities that currently do not charge fees. Fee approval is also requested for two campground facilities that are proposed for future development. Finally, the plan proposes an annual pass that would cost $30 per year and is designed to make it easier for frequent visitors to enjoy public lands while providing cost savings. It could be used at all day-use sites within the District except Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. This pass. In lieu of payment, the pass could also be obtained by contributing 12 hours or more of volunteer service on the Northwest Oregon District each year.
Through criteria established by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA), an assessment was conducted on the number and kind of amenities provided at each site. A comparative market study of fees charged for other similar recreation facilities in each local area was also used to determine the proposed fee adjustments. The proposed fee changes will be reviewed by the Western Oregon Resource Advisory Council in March.
FLREA allows the BLM to keep 100% of the recreation fees collected and use the funds locally to operate, maintain, and improve fee sites. Fees are one part of a comprehensive funding strategy to support recreation sites and services. This funding strategy also includes appropriated funding, volunteer assistance, interagency cooperation, grants, partnerships with the private sector, and commercial operations.
The draft business plans are available online at https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/permits-and-fees/business-plans. The public is invited to send feedback to Northwest Oregon District Recreation Staff at BLM_OR_NO_REC_publiccomments@blm.gov or (503) 315-5935.