Forest Service campground fees
changing from person to site
By Robert Green
EPHRAIM—Sanpete County outdoor enthusiasts have surely noticed the mountains above their valley are filled with people.
They are fleeing in droves from the city and suburbs to the trails, lakes and streams to get out of the house and away from the worries of the new coronavirus pandemic.
In fact, according to Christopher Nichols, recreation specialist from Ferron Forest District, the campgrounds in the Manti-La Sal forest have been very busy year.
“Basically, we went through a year and half’s supply of toilet paper in a month and half,” he said.
People are looking to social distance, he said, and when it comes to camping, there’s few better options. “You can still have that distance and be with family and friends and enjoy yourself.”
Nichols said he prepared this spring for a busy summer by hiring new camp hosts and increasing his staff.
So far, maintenance issues in the campgrounds have gone smoothly this summer, he said.
The Manti-La Sal National Forest wants to alert campers about a proposal to change the fee structure at 30 developed campgrounds in the forest.
The proposal basically changes campground fees from a per vehicle fee to a site fee, Nichols said.
This is a way to standardize the rates, he said. “It will make it easier for our staff and the public if we don’t have to check every vehicle that comes in.”
The changes will primarily affect a lot of the group sites, he said. It’s more of a change in fee structure instead of an increase in rates. “To be honest, with this fee change, we’re hoping to break even,” he said.
Some families with multiple vehicles will getter a better deal because they will have one nightly rate and they won’t have to pay fees for every vehicle, he said.
Nichols mentioned that reserving group campground sites online will be more expensive than trying your luck with a walk-in rate.
Members of the public are invited to comment on the proposed fee changes by Sept. 15. Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the proposed project, visit the website https://www.fs.usda.gov/mantilasal.