Granby " Arapaho National Recreation Area proposes new fee structure
February 1, 2008
The U.S. Forest Service’s Arapahoe and Roosevelt National Forests are examining a change in recreation fees.
Fees established in January 2001 have not been adjusted since, but according to Recreation Manager Brad Orr, “our revenues are not really increasing, although the cost of operations is still increasing. We’re faced with the same realities all businesses are faced with ” the price of utilities, salaries and supplies are going up.”
Orr calls the change in fees not really an “increase,” but more like a “marketing scheme.”
If ultimately approved, the modified fee program would eliminate day passes completely. It would also eliminate the seven day pass, which Orr said is not very popular.
By eliminating the one-day pass, the Forest Service hopes to entice more people to purchase annual passes, which would be reduced from the existing $30 to $25.
The daily passes put a strain on administration, he said.
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Most users of the Arapahoe National Recreation areas are from the Front Range and most tend to purchase three-day passes, which will remain. But those who frequent the area at least three times a year may be better off purchasing an annual pass.
The cost of additional stickers for extra vehicles, such as pass holders and their children, would be raised from $1 to $2 under the proposal. A maximum of 7 stickers may be issued for the price of a pass and recipients must prove ownership of the vehicles, boat and OHVs.
Camping fees and other uses above the base recreation fee are not affected by the proposals.
The $10 senior pass would remain, which is good for life. So would the $50 per vehicle combined ANRA/Rocky Mountain National Park Pass and the $80 Interagency passes, which is mostly utilized by those traveling the West as opposed to day passes, Orr said.
The Colorado Recreation Resource Advisory Committee, which formed just a few months ago, plans to convene in late February to review the fee proposal as well as consider public comment.
The committee is authorized under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, which was signed into law December 2004. It makes recommendations on creating new or changing existing recreation fees managed by the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.
According to the committee, the proposals compare to neighboring Clear Creek Ranger District, which has fees set at $10 for three days and $25 for the annual pass, identical to what’s being considered.
Besides encountering increasing operational costs, Orr said the district also has plans for improvements.
Assuming the fee change is adopted and additional revenues come out of it, he said, projects tentatively planned for summer 2009 are replacing the restroom at Monarch Lake, renovating other restrooms, continuing to disperse camp sites in the Meadow Creek area, and establishing a new amphitheater at Stillwater Campground (for campfire programs Friday and Saturday nights) by either relocating it or improving it where it is.
The ANRA is located in north-central Colorado next to Rocky Mountain National Park and the Indian Peaks Wilderness. The main features of the area are five sub-alpine lakes totaling 9,000 water surface acres, six campgrounds and numerous picnic, day-use and interpretive sites. The area is used year-round, with available camping, picnicking, hiking on 20 miles of trails, fishing, hunting, boating and winter recreation.
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