U.S. Forest Service is increasing recreation fees across the Kisatchie National Forest

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The U.S. Forest Service is increasing recreation fees across the Kisatchie National Forest in specific areas. These increases will go into effect May 1. The goal of these fee increases is to establish consistent pricing for developed sites on the Forest. The current prices on the Forest are extremely low and do not reflect the services and amenities available at the sites. The increased prices will also better align the Forest with other recreation providers offering similar services.

“We want to give our visitors the best possible experience and we believe these fee increases are reasonable to help maintain these facilities for future generations,” said Lisa Lewis, Forest Supervisor of the Kisatchie National Forest. “In addition, operation and maintenance costs have outpaced prices which were last established in 2001.”

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The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004 allows the Forest Service to keep 80-95 percent of fees collected at recreation sites to remain local for improvements, operations and maintenance. “The direct beneficiary of all of this is the public,” Lewis said. “By keeping this recreation fee money specifically to maintain the recreation sites on the Kisatchie National Forest, we can maintain and improve these sites for the local community to enjoy for years to come.”

The Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (Recreation RAC) analyzes and provides recommendations on recreation fee proposals and increases. The Regional Forester ultimately makes a decision based on the Recreation RAC recommendations. The Recreation RAC is a citizen’s advisory committee that represents a broad array of recreational interests.

Increased fee changes which will occur on May 1 include:

Caney Ranger District:

–Caney Lakes Recreation Area Beaverdam Campground – increase from $15.00 to $25.00/single site/night

–Caney Lakes Day Use Recreation Area – increase from $3.00 to $5.00. This site includes three boat launches: o Upper Caney Lakes North o Lower Caney Lakes North o Lower Caney Lakes

South Catahoula Ranger District:

–Stuart Lake Campground– increase from $5 to $15/single site/night, and $5 to $20/double site/night

–Stuart Lake Day Use Area – increase from $3 to $5 Kisatchie Ranger District: –Cane Camp – increase from $3 to $10/single site/night

–Corral Camp – increase from $3 to $10/single site/night

–Lotus Camp – increase from $3 to $10/single site/night

Winn Ranger District:

–Gum Springs Campground – increase from $3 to $10/single site/night

–Gum Springs Horse Trailhead Camp – increase from $3 to $10/single site/night If you frequent the Kisatchie National Forest often, you may wish to consider purchasing an annual pass.

The Day Use Pass is $30 and is valid for one year from month and year of purchase. It can be used in all Kisatchie National Forest day use areas where fees are charged. Day use includes hiking, picnicking, fishing, sightseeing, picking berries, etc. It is not valid for camping or trail riding.

The Trail Use Pass is $50 and is valid for one year from month and year of purchase. It can be used on all Kisatchie National Forest multiple use trail systems when open. Multiple use includes horseback riding, 4-wheelers, dirt bikes, mountain bikes and hiking. This pass is not valid for camping.

The passes may be purchased locally at the Kisatchie RD (229 Dogwood Park Rd, Provencal, 318-472-1840), and Winn RD (12319 U.S. Hwy 84 West, Winnfield, 318-628-4664). Call for office hours. For more information about these increased fees or annual passes, please contact Stacy Blomquist, Public Affairs Specialist, at 318-473-7242.