Comments Sought for Desolation Canyon, BLM Price Campgrounds Business Plans

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BLM Press Release

PRICE, Utah – The BLM is seeking comments on the draft Desolation Canyon and BLM Price Campgrounds business plans. The draft business plans provide the American public with the opportunity to review how recreation fees will be used and submit comments on proposed fee changes.

Desolation Canyon

The BLM Price Field Office manages the Desolation Canyon float trip that annually provides over 6,000 visitors with outstanding recreational opportunities on America’s public lands. About 1,500 visitors are passengers on commercial river trips, and 4,500 are private boaters. In addition to providing the whitewater float trip, Desolation Canyon offers a variety of amenities, including put-in and take-out boat ramps, parking facilities, camping and toilet facilities at both the put-in and take-out, trash removal, and canyon campsites.

The Draft Business Plan for the Desolation Canyon River Program proposes to increase Individual Special Recreation Permit fees for the Desolation Canyon Area. An Individual Special Recreation Permit for Desolation Canyon includes the use of all facilities in the special area. Fees for Desolation Canyon have not increased since 2008; however, operational costs have risen substantially since then to include four river rangers for a longer season and additional infrastructure maintenance. The proposed fee change is to raise the current $25 Desolation Canyon Special Area fee to $50 for the 2021 season.

Campgrounds

The BLM Price Field Office also manages three fee campgrounds that provide approximately 5,800 visitors annually with outstanding camping opportunities on America’s public lands. The Draft Business Plan for BLM Price Campgrounds proposes to add 12 future campgrounds within the Price Field Office. In addition, the Business Plan seeks a fee increase from the current $6/$8 per night for individual sites to $20 per night and includes a group site fee increase.

The Price Field Office proposes to add 12 fee campgrounds in areas where demand for camping is high, but full facilities are not available. The future campground locations include New Joe’s, Cottonwood Canyon, Buckhorn Wash, the Wickiup, the Wedge, South Temple Wash, San Rafael Reef, Temple Mountain Townsite, Little Wild Horse, Sand Wash, Jurassic and Millsite. Eight of these locations currently have some facilities; four have no facilities.

The fee increase is necessary in order to meet the public demand for services and support visitor needs. The fees will help fund both regular and deferred maintenance. Until now, the campground fee structure has never fully considered the replacement costs of the campground infrastructure. In fiscal year 2018, revenues for the fee campgrounds were $16,000 while expenses totaled $242,000. A fee increase is necessary to keep the campground program operating as well as to provide for safe and enjoyable camping experiences through maintenance and added facilities.  

Comment Info

The BLM Price Field Office will accept comments through Feb. 12, 2020. Comments made to the BLM during a comment period are public record and subject to Freedom of Information Act requests. Before including an address, phone number, email address or other personally identifiable information in any comments, be aware that the entire comment, including personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. Requests to withhold personal identifying information from public review can be submitted, but the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so. Do not include in any personally identifiable information you do not want to be made public.

Submit comments for the Draft Business Plan for the Desolation Canyon River Program to Jaydon Mead at jmead@blm.gov (put “river business plan comment” in the subject line) or BLM River Business Plan Comment, 125 South 600 West, Price, UT 84501.

Submit comments for the Draft Business Plan for BLM Price Campgrounds to Myron Jeffs at mjeffs@blm.gov (put “campground business plan comment” in the subject line) or BLM Campground Business Plan Comment, 125 S. 600 West, Price, UT 84501.

For more information or to access the documents, visit: www.blm.gov/recreation-business-plans.

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