News Release: Wallowa-Whitman National Forest proposes a new recreation fee for the Wild and Scenic portion of the Snake River – Open House Dates
Release Date: Jun 20, 2016
Contact(s): Jake Lubera, Matt Burks
JOSEPH, OR – Forest managers at the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest are interested in hearing your comments on a proposal for a new recreation fee associated with the Wild and Scenic portion of the Snake River. The Forest is proposing a special recreation permit fee of $5.00 to $10.00, depending on public feedback received. This proposed fee would be, per-person, per-trip and would be collected from all boaters and passengers. This fee would also include individuals using outfitter/guide services on the Wild and Scenic portion of the Snake River. The area subject to the proposed fee is the Snake River beginning at Hells Canyon Dam to Cache Creek Ranch (approximately 70 miles).
Employees of outfitters and guides would not be subject to the fee during working hours, nor would travel by private, noncommercial boat to any private land inholding; or any person who has right of access for hunting or fishing privileges under specific provisions of treaty or law. The proposed fee would be used to help provide a sustainable funding source for the Wild and Scenic Snake River. The $5 to $10 fee would be used to improve maintenance of developed facilities and historic sites used for recreation, expand interpretation, address health and safety concerns and provide extra river patrols.
“We recognize how important this river corridor is to both our local communities and visitors; however, we are seeing a decline in our ability to keep up with normal operations. With this proposed investment from those who use the river, we will be able to maintain the sites to the level and quality that people expect and invest in other needs such as education and safety,” said Jake Lubera, Deputy District Ranger, Wallowa Mountains Office.
All new fee proposals will be presented before the John Day-Snake River Resource Advisory Committee, a citizen’s advisory committee. Committee members represent a broad array of interest groups to help ensure that the Forest Service is proposing reasonable and publicly acceptable fee changes and addresses any concerns.
In 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act which allows the Forest Service to keep 95 percent of fees collected at certain recreation sites and use these funds locally to operate and maintain and improve these sites.
The new fee proposal will be posted in the Federal Register on June 21, 2016. In addition, open house sessions will be conducted in Boise, Riggins, Clarkston/Lewiston and Joseph.
July 5th, 2016
6pm – 8pm
Valley View Elementary School Gymnasium
3555 N Milwaukee St. Boise, ID 83704
July 6th, 2016
6pm – 8pm
HCNRA Riggins Office Conference Room
1339 Hwy 95 South Riggins, ID 83549
July 7th, 2016
6pm – 8pm
Walla Walla Community College – Clarkston Campus Multipurpose Room
1470 Bridge St. Clarkston, WA 99403
July 8th, 2016
6pm – 8pm
Joseph Community Center
East 1st St. Joseph, OR
For more information, questions or comments about any of these new fee proposals, please contact Jake Lubera, Deputy District Ranger, Wallowa Mountains Office at 541-426-5581 or email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit the 2016 Wild and Scenic Snake River Fee Proposal website at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/WildScenicSnakeRiverProposedFee