BLM seeks public comment on Upper Colorado River fee adjustment proposal
KREMMLING, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment on its revised proposal to adjust the fee structure at the popular Pumphouse and Radium recreation sites on the Upper Colorado River.
BLM is proposing to increase the day-use fee for the first time since the fee program began in this area in 1998 to off-set inflation and rising costs of maintenance and operations. All the day-use fees collected are used on-site for maintenance and improvements.
The day-use fee at these sites for private users would increase from $3 to $5 per vehicle per day. The commercial day-use fee would be raised from $1 to $1.25 per person per day. The season pass would be raised from $15 to $20.
Pumphouse and Radium recreation sites provide access points to the Colorado River. An estimated 60,000 people use the areas annually.
BLM released a similar plan for public review last fall. That original proposal would have increased the day-use fee from $3 to $4, rather than to $5 as is now proposed.
“The increase to $4 we originally proposed would still not have covered our operating costs, which meant we would likely have needed to adjust fees again in the near future,” said Dave Stout, Field Manager for the BLM Kremmling office. “After reviewing comments from the public and the Northwest Resource Advisory Council, we are now sending a proposal to the public that will better meet our current and anticipated future operating costs.”
The annual operating cost of these areas is $185,000. Current income from fees and appropriated funds is $164,000. The new proposed structure is anticipated to generate an additional $27,500.
As outlined in the original proposal, BLM is also considering making a change to the fee classification that would allow the day-use fee to be covered by the America the Beautiful Annual, Senior, Access and Volunteer Interagency passes. The current classification at these locations does not allow these passes to be used for day-use fees.
Under the new classification, holders of the Annual and Volunteer Interagency Pass would not pay a day-use fee, but would still pay full price for camping fees. Holders of Senior and Access Interagency Passes would not pay a day use fee and would pay 50 percent of the camping fees.
BLM anticipates making its decision on this proposal this fall. Fee increases must also be approved by the Colorado Northwest Resource Advisory Council, which is next scheduled to meet Dec. 1 in Gateway.
BLM began charging use-fees at these areas in 1998 under the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program. A major renovation of the Pumphouse Campground completed in 2010 was partly funded by these user-fees.
Comments will be most helpful if they are received by Oct. 28, 2011. They can be sent to [email protected] or to Hannah Schechter, PO Box 68, Kremmling, CO 80459. For more information log onto http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/kfo.html or call Hannah Schechter (970) 724-3008.
Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.