The Custer Gallatin National Forest is seeking public comment through August 23, 2020 on a proposal to increase recreation fees across 14 campgrounds, 27 cabin/lookout rentals and at the Rendezvous Nordic Ski area. Additionally, the Forest is proposing to implement new fees at four campgrounds and two rental cabins, Eldridge Cabin and Sage Creek Cabin, adding to the Forest’s popular recreation rental program. As part of a Region-wide effort that other Forests have already completed, the new fees would support the Forest’s ability to continue to maintain and improve services to Forest visitors at popular recreation sites, as well as develop fee tiers that are more consistent among sites with similar amenities, locations and capacity. New fees would not be implemented until 2021.
“The Custer Gallatin National Forest is a recreation hub, notable on a regional and national scale. We want to continue to work hard to provide a suite of recreation opportunities across this vast and diverse landscape that everyone can experience and enjoy,” said Mary Erickson, Custer Gallatin Forest Supervisor. “Over the past 20+ years, most of the fees have stayed the same and the majority of our recreation sites across the Forest still do not require a fee. However, as we make our fees comparable with other similar sites, it means more than doubling some of our current fees, but this will allow us to continue to provide high quality recreation experiences,” Erickson continued.
The Custer Gallatin retains 95% of the fees collected at these recreation sites, as authorized by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act passed by Congress in 2004. The Forest has worked hard over the years to reinvest revenue into the maintenance, operations, improvement, and resource protection and these proposals, if implemented, will further support the long-term stewardship of the sites.
Once public involvement is complete, this fee proposal and public comments will be presented to the Resource Advisory Committees (RACs) prior to a final decision by the Regional Forester and implementation by the Forest. In addition to the proposed fees (listed below), an extra vehicle fee of $5 per night, for more than two, non-trailered vehicles, is being proposed for single campsites in the campgrounds. Rental cabins are or will be available on www.recreation.gov and all campgrounds will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Comments should be submitted by August 23, 2020 online at: www.fs.usda.gov/goto/r1recfee or email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please contact Jane Ruchman at 406-587-6966. Hardcopy comments can also be mailed to: Custer Gallatin National Forest, Attn: Rec Fee Proposal, 10 East Babcock, P.O. Box 130, Bozeman, MT 59715.