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U.S. Forest Service implementing recreation fee changes…Mortimer Campground fees to double

ASHEVILLE, NC (December 14, 2018) — Starting January 1, 2019, the U.S. Forest Service will increase recreation fees at 24 sites on the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests. For sites that are seasonally closed, fee increases will take effect on opening day.

This is the result of a fee proposal process that began in 2017 and included a 46-day public participation period, a published Federal Register Notice, and review and recommendations from the Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (RRAC), a Federal Advisory Committee comprised of members of the public.

The goal of these changes is to establish a consistent fee approach on the National Forests in North Carolina and to improve visitor experiences through site upgrades paid for by the collected fees.  Current pricing at many Forest sites have remained static for over a decade and have not kept pace with other recreation sites with similar services and amenities. In addition, many sites have received various improvements and upgrades.

The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004 allows the Forest Service to keep 80-95 percent of fees collected to operate, maintain, and improve the recreation sites from which they were collected.

The fee changes will be effective as of January 1, 2019, (unless otherwise indicated) and include:

Campgrounds

  • Bristol Fields Horse Camp – increase from $5 to $8/night
  • Cheoah Point – increase from $15 to $20/night for single sites, $20 to $25/night for RV sites
  • Cable Cove – increase from $10 to $15/night
  • Curtis Creek – increase from $5 to $10/night
  • Horse Cove – increase from $10 to $15/night
  • Jackrabbit – increase from $15 to $20/night for single sites, and $30 to $40 for double sites
  • Mortimer – increase from $10 to $20/night for single sites, and $20 to $40/night double sites (phased in over a period of two years)
  • Rocky Bluff – increase from $8 to $15/night
  • Tsali – increase from $15 to $20/night
  • Wine Springs Horse Camp – new $10/night fee, effective January 6
  • Wolf Ford Horse Camp – new $10/night fee, effective January 6

Day Use Areas

  • Cheoah Point Beach – new $5/vehicle fee, new $30 annual pass, effective January 6
  • Dry Falls – new $3/vehicle fee, new $15 annual pass (usable at Dry Falls, Whiteside Mountain, and Whitewater Falls), effective January 6
  • Jackrabbit Beach – increase from $3 to $5/vehicle, new $30 annual pass
  • Whiteside Mountain – increase from $2 to $3/vehicle, new $15 annual pass (usable at Dry Falls, Whiteside Mountain, and Whitewater Falls)
  • Whitewater Falls – increase from $2 to $3/vehicle, new $15 annual pass (usable at Dry Falls, Whiteside Mountain, and Whitewater Falls)

Cabins

  • Cheoah Point Cabins – increase from $35 to $40/night
  • McCall Cabin – new $30/night fee or $200/week fee, effective January 6

Group Campgrounds

  • Appletree Group Camp – increase from $50 to $75/night for 25 person sites, and from $100 to $150 for 50 person sites
  • Rattler Ford Group Camp – increase from $50 to $75/night for 25 person sites

Shooting Ranges

  • Dirty John – increase from $3 to $5/person, annual pass increase from $25 to $30 (usable at all Nantahala National Forest ranges)
  • Moss Knob – increase from $3 to $5/person, annual pass increase from $25 to $30 (usable at all Nantahala National Forest ranges)
  • Panther Top – increase from $3 to $5/person, annual pass increase from $25 to $30 (usable at all Nantahala National Forest ranges)

Whitewater Launches

  • Nantahala River Corridor – increase from $1 to $2/paddler per day, new $10 annual pass