Sunday, April 14
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U.S. Forest Service proposes recreation fee changes on Uwharrie National Forest

mountain bike on a trail - stock photo
(bodnarphoto / Adobe Stock)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (NCnfs) — The U.S. Forest Service is proposing to change recreation fees at two sites on the Uwharrie National Forest and the public is invited to provide input to proposed fee changes for 60 days beginning on June 23rd, 2023 and ending on August 22nd, 2023. The goal of these changes is to improve visitor experiences through site upgrades paid for by the collected fees. 

These fee changes are only proposed. After public comment is received, the Forest will assess the comments and concerns and then present the fee proposals to the Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (RRAC) at a future date.

“The Uwharrie National Forest provides a variety of recreational opportunities for visitors and we are continually working on ways to enhance the visitor experience. Collections from recreation fees are reinvested at the field level and used to address maintenance needs. The new proposed recreation fees will help us provide additional recreation opportunities and support our goal to provide safe, well-maintained and sustainable recreation opportunities for the public to enjoy.”

The proposed fee changes the Forest Service seeks comment on are:

Campgrounds

  • Yates Place Camp – new $50 group site fee per night with a group size of 50 people

Trails

  • Wood Run Mountain Bike Trail System – new $5/rider per day fee or new $30 annual pass*

*These fees would only apply to mountain bike use

Additionally, the following fee proposals went through the required public participation process in 2019 and are awaiting review by the Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee:

  • Badin Lake OHV Trail System – increase from $5 to $15/trail vehicle per day, and increase from $30 to $60 for the optional annual pass**
  • Yates Place Camp – new $10 per night fee for single sites

**As proposed, this fee would be phased-in over a two-year period

In 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA) which allows the Forest Service to retain funds collected at certain recreation sites and used these funds locally to operate, maintain, and improve these sites. The resource derived through collection of fees helps provide quality recreation opportunities that meet the modern expectations of visitors and creates a more financially sustainable developed recreation program for the benefit of future generations.

Under REA, all new fees and any fee changes must be proposed to and approved by a citizen’s advisory committee. Committee members represent a broad array of recreation interest groups to help ensure that the Forest Service is proposing reasonable and publicly acceptable new fees and fee changes.

The public is invited to comment on the proposed fee changes by August 22nd, 2023. For more information visit our webpage at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/nfsnc/recfeeproposals. To provide comments about this fee proposal for the RRAC to consider, please comment online at online at our Recreation Fee Proposal Mapping Tool or contact Logan Free at 828-257-4256, by email at SM.FS.NFsNCfees@usda.gov, or by mail at:

ATTN: Recreation Fee Proposals
160A Zillicoa Street
Asheville, NC 28801