KANAB, Utah — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is seeking public comment on the Draft Business Plan to increase camping, day-use and group reservation picnic fees at Calf Creek Recreation Area and Deer Creek Campground near Escalante, Utah.
The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act authorizes BLM to collect recreational fees at sites and areas that meet specific criteria. The camping fee at Calf Creek Campground is currently set at $7 per campsite, per night. A fee for reservation use of one group picnic site is currently set at $35 per day. A day-use fee of $2 per vehicle is also charged at Calf Creek. The camping fee for Deer Creek Campground is $4 per campsite per night. Fees at both campgrounds have not been increased for more than 12 years, and operational costs continue to rise.
If the proposed fee increases are approved, fees at Calf Creek Campground would increase to $15 per campsite per night; $5 per vehicle for day-use; and $50 per day for reservation use of the group picnic site. At Deer Creek Campground, fees would increase to $10 per campsite per night. An advance reservation system is proposed for approximately five sites daily that is projected for implementation in 2015-2017 that would add an additional $10 per advance reservation as a cost recovery fee. Senior and Access Pass holders will continue to receive a 50 percent discount on all camping fees. The change is proposed to begin on March 1, 2014.
Calf Creek Recreation Area offers overnight visitors amenities including flush toilets, pit toilets, picnic tables, 13 designated campsites, paved roads and parking, shade shelters, campground host services, an interpretive trail , fire grills and culinary water. The group picnic site associated with this campground offers advance reservation for use by up to 75 people and offers shade structures, large picnic tables, fire grills, paved access, nearby toilets and drinking water.
Deer Creek Campground has seven designated campsites with an access road, one flush toilet, picnic tables, and fire grills. BLM also provides campground patrol by both law enforcement and recreation personnel. The campgrounds routinely operate at 75-100 percent capacity beginning in the spring and continuing into the fall months. In addition to the two small developed campgrounds, the Monument continues to offer a wide range of dispersed roadside and backcountry camping opportunities, free of charge.
The Draft Business Plan addresses campground operational and infrastructure needs in both campgrounds and is available online at http://on.doi.gov/16TVHYr. It is also available by request at the Escalante Interagency Visitor Center and at the Kanab Visitor Center. The Utah Recreation Resource Advisory Council will be meeting Jan. 10, 2014, to consider the proposed fee increases.
Comments will be accepted by letter or email until Dec. 6, 2013. Please note that the most useful comments are those that contain new technical or scientific information relevant to the proposed action. Comments should be as specific as possible. Comments which contain only opinions or preferences will not receive a formal response, but may be considered in the BLM decision-making process. Please reference “campground business plan comment” in your correspondence or in the subject line of your email. Comments may be mailed or emailed to the following:
Grand-Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Campground Business Plan Comment
669 South Hwy 89A
Kanab, UT 84741
Before including an address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in any comments, be aware that the entire comment—including personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. Requests to withhold personal identifying information from public review can be submitted, but the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so. The BLM will not consider anonymous comments. All submissions from organizations and businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be available for public inspection in their entirety.
SOURCE: Bureau of Land Management Utah State Office news release