By Russ and Tiña De Maris
In a move that may be unsettling for some Pacific Northwest recreationists, fee increases, and new fees where none existed before, are being trotted out for review by managers of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. It’s a broad spectrum of changes that managers say will simply bring rates more into line with other existing facilities, based on their amenities.
Here’s the breakdown. Going from zero to $10 per night: Big Creek, Camp 3, Line Creek Stock Camp, Packsaddle and Telichpah campgrounds. Jumping from zero to $15 per night: Crossing, Fly Flat, Mammoth Springs and Spruce Tree campgrounds. Additional “extra vehicle fees” of $5 would apply at all.
Elsewhere, Reynolds Creek Group Site Camp Area, now free, would jump to $50 per night. Other campgrounds presently charging $6 per night would jump: Cooper Creek, Meadow Creek, Tin Can and Turner Flat Campgrounds – all to $15. However, if water is not available the fee would be $12. Cedar Creek goes up to $10, Emerald Creek jumps to $15, and Shadowy St. Joe will be up from $6 to a whopping $20.
Finally, relieving yourself could also cost considerably more: The free dump station at the Priest Lake Information Site would cost $10.
Since you’re most likely an RVer, we won’t list the increases for cabin and lookout rentals, nor the fee jumps at “boat-in” only campgrounds. However, more information on those, and all aspects of the proposal, are available at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/r1recfee.
Your comments about this fee proposal will be accepted until January 14, 2018. You can also contact Josh Jurgensen at (208) 765-7214. Snail mail comments to: Idaho Panhandle National Forests, Attn; Rec Fee Proposal, 3815 Schreiber Way, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815, or email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.