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The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently issued the following press release on camping fees being charged on its land in Eagle and Pitkin counties:
SILT, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management announced today it will implement its new campground fee structure for six campgrounds in Eagle and Pitkin counties prior to the 2024 camping season.
The new fee structure will allow the BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office to meet current and future maintenance and improvement costs. The BLM will begin charging $20 a night at the Prince Creek Campground in Pitkin County, as well as at the Catamount, Lyon’s Gulch, and Pinball campgrounds along the Colorado River in Eagle County. There is currently no fee for these sites.
Additionally, the current $10 per night fee at Gypsum and Wolcott campgrounds along the Eagle River in Eagle County will increase to $20 per night. The BLM will charge $4 per person at group camping sites at Gypsum, Pinball, Lyon’s Gulch and Prince Creek campgrounds. A $5 day-use fee will be charged at the Wolcott Day- Use Site on the Eagle River near Wolcott.
“The fees collected will be used specifically to manage these sites,” said Field Manager Larry Sandoval. “This provides a way for the people who use and enjoy these areas to help cover the cost of the maintenance and improvements.”
To account for inflation or other economic changes, the business plan also proposes tying the new fee structure to a consumer price index. Fees would be reviewed annually against this index. Fees could be increased or decreased in $2 increments if supported by the index.
The BLM will begin charging the fees at least six months after publishing the new structure in the Federal Register as required by law. The field office released the proposal and associated business plan for public comment in Dec. 2018. The Northwest Resource Advisory Council approved the fee proposal at its June 2019 meeting. The business plan is available at https://www.blm.gov/office/colorado-river-valley-field-office.
Outdoor recreation is a major economic driver in Colorado, and recreation on BLM-managed lands in Colorado generated $1.4 billion in economic contributions in FY 21 and supported 11,000 jobs.