The U.S. Forest Service is proposing new fees at two sites in the Croatan National Forest.
The proposed fees would be for entry to the Cedar Point day-use area at the recreation site on the White Oak River in Carteret County and the Flanners Beach day-use area on the Neuse River in Craven County. Officials are proposing $5 a day or $30 for an annual pass for each site.
The goal of the proposed fees is to establish a consistent fee approach for the National Forests in North Carolina and to improve visitor experiences through site upgrades paid for by the collected fees, officials said.
Public comments are being accepted through Aug. 22 and can be made online at the recreation fee proposal mapping tool, by phone at 828-257-4256, by email to SM.FS.NFsNCfees@usda.gov, or by mail to ATTN: Recreation Fee Proposals, 160A Zillicoa St., Asheville, NC 28801. Public comment period began Friday.
“The Croatan National Forest provides an amazing diversity of outdoor recreational opportunities, including access to water, campgrounds, trails, and day-use areas,” Ron Hudson, District Ranger on the Croatan Ranger District, said in a statement.
The fee would be waived for visitors that have paid for a campsite at either Cedar Point or Flanners Beach campgrounds during their stay. The full suite of interagency passes would be honored.
After public comment is over, Forest Service officials are to review feedback then present the fee proposals to the Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee.
In 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, which allows the Forest Service to retain funds collected at certain recreation sites and use the proceeds locally to operate, maintain and improve the sites. Under the act, all new fees and any fee changes must be proposed to and approved by a citizen’s advisory committee.
For more information visit www.fs.usda.gov/goto/nfsnc/recfeeproposals.