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U.S. Forest service seeking increase on camping rates at Rock Creek Park

In a press release issued last week, U.S. Forest Service officials at the Cherokee National Forest said the increasing costs of campground operation and maintenance, along with facility improvements that have been made at Rock Creek Recreation Area, have created the need to increase camping user fees.
The proposed recreation fee increases at Rock Creek Recreation Area will effect camping only. The single sites, currently $15 per site per night, will increase to $20 per site per night ($15 with pass discount), double sites, that are currently $30 per site per night, will increase to $40 per site per night ($30 with pass discount) and the $10 walk-in tent sites will increase to $12 ($6 with pass discount).
A number of significant improvements; such as reconstruction of Loop C, the 1940s CCC bathhouse reconstruction and trail improvements, have been made at Rock Creek over the last several years, the press release said. Fees have remained at their current level for over 10 years. The proposed fee increase would be consistent with inflationary costs; especially the increased cost of utilities, the release said. In addition, the fee increase would bring camping fees in-line with other Cherokee National Forest Campgrounds with similar amenities.
“We recognize how important these sites are to our local communities and those who use the sites. These fee increases will help us maintain Rock Creek.” said District Ranger Terry Bowerman.
All new fee proposals will be presented before a citizen’s advisory committee, called the Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee, or RRAC. Committee members represent a broad array of recreation interests to help ensure that the Forest Service is proposing reasonable and publicly acceptable fee changes. Committee members will help ensure that the Forest Service addresses public issues and concerns about recreation fees.
The public is welcome to attend and comment at all advisory committee meetings. The next RRAC meeting is expected to be held in spring 2013. The exact meeting time, location and agenda will be announced on www.fs.fed.us/r8/.
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, maintain and improve the sites, according to the press release.
For information about this fee change proposal, please contact Terry Bowerman at 638-4109 or email [email protected]