Forest proposes increased fees at many sites, cabins

A weekend stay at some sites in the Helena National Forest is, it seems, about to get a little more expensive. That will be the case if a proposal to implement new or increased fees at 25 campgrounds, 19 rental cabins and 2 group use sites.

The proposal, if approved, would enable a trio of cabins to be added into the rental system.

Officials say the move would bring the costs at campgrounds into alignment with other sites offering similar services.

“The combination of funding trends, increasing costs to maintain these sites, and higher demand for quality recreation experiences, has resulted in the need to reevaluate the management and associated costs of some of sites,” Forest Supervisor Bill Avey said. “It’s been at least 10 years, and in some areas closer to 20 years, since the forest has increased its recreation fees. The changes we’re proposing range from $2 to $45 increases, and will help the Forest achieve more consistent pricing for sites with similar levels of amenities and capacity.”

Public comment is being sought through Feb. 9. Once public involvement is complete, this proposal and public comments will be presented to the Bureau of Land Management Recreation Resource Advisory Councils prior to a final decision and implementation.

Here’s how you can contact the HLC regarding their plan:

Interactive Mapping Tool 
(A comment box is available when people click on a specific recreation site; all comments written in that box are saved and submitted.)

(Write ‘Helena-Lewis & Clark NF Recreation Fee Proposal’ in the subject line.)

USPS Mail:
Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest
ATTN: Rory Glueckert
2880 Skyway Drive, Helena, MT 59602.

Forms are available online for comments, but they are not required to be used.

Here are the site proposals: