Monday, 20 May 2024

Changes proposed for Mendocino National Forest recreation program

MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST The Mendocino National Forest has completed the analysis for a proposed five-year program of work for the 64 developed recreation sites on the forest. This has been completed through a national process called “Recreation Site Facility Master Planning” (RS-FMP).


The process involves seven steps to help identify the developed recreation sites that are best suited for the forest.


A primary reason for the plan is to eliminate the backlog of deferred maintenance at recreation sites by focusing limited resources on the recreation sites that meet changing public demands and desires.


Before the plan is finalized, the RS-FMP must be approved by the Pacific Southwest Regional Forester and any changes in fees would need to be approved by the California Recreation Resource Advisory Committee, a federal advisory body for the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in California.


“Out of the 64 developed sites on the Mendocino National Forest, changes are proposed for only 17 sites,”said Forest Supervisor Tom Contreras.


Proposed changes include:


– Two of the currently designated developed campgrounds, Lower Nye and Surveyor, are proposed to have the few remaining developed facilities removed. This proposal would change the developed campgrounds to dispersed recreation sites that can still be used by the public; they just would not

have picnic tables, toilets, or fire rings.


– Thirteen other campgrounds, mostly in the off highway vehicle (OHV) use areas, would start charging a nominal camping fee for the use of those facilities. In the past, California State OHV grant funds have helped pay for maintainance and operation of those campgrounds, but those funds were

cut in half over the last three years.


– The two boat ramps at Red Bluff Recreation Area would start charging a nominal fee for boat launching on the Sacramento River below the Diversion dam and at the Lake Red Bluff launch ramp above the Diversion dam.


There would be No Changes at 47 recreation sites. The public will not see any changes in services at the other 47 recreation sites on the forest, except campground fees at 12 family campgrounds, the 3 group campgrounds, and one lookout would be increased after October 1, 2007.


“This would be the first increase in fees for our campgrounds since 1999,” said Contreras. “Those fees will help us provide better service at our campgrounds and allow us to repair or replace facilities that have become worn out.”


Most of the fees collected now stay on forest for use at these sites under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. Eighty percent of the campground fees will go to the operation and maintenance of those campgrounds. Fifteen percent of the fees will go to the collection and enforcement of the fees at those campgrounds. The remaining 5 percent goes into a fund that the Forest Service can apply for in grants to improve the resources in or adjacent to those campgrounds, such as trails around a lake, interpretive signing, or dealing with soil erosion at recreation sites.


Fees at the following locations would change under the proposed plan.


– Grindstone Ranger District: Main Letts Campground (CG) $12, Mill Valley CG $10, Plaskett CG $10, Saddle Camp CG $12, Spillway CG $12, Stirrup CG $12, Sycamore Grove CG $16, Camp Discovery Group CG $175, Gray Pine Group CG $75, and Masterson Group CG $75.


– Upper Lake Ranger District: Middle Creek CG $8. Covelo Ranger District: Eel River CG $8 and Hammerhorn CG $8.


The Mendocino National Forest would also be adding other recreation sites to the fee system after October 1, 2007.


Grindstone Ranger District would start charging fees at the following recreation sites: Davis Flat Campground (CG) $5, Dixie Glade Horse CG $5, Fouts CG $5, Little Stony CG $5, Mill Creek CG $5, North Fork CG $5, South Fork CG $5, Lake Red Bluff Boat Launch $6, and Sacramento River Boat Launch $6.


Upper Lake Ranger District would start charging fees at the following recreation sites: Deer Valley CG $6, Penny Pines CG $6, Oak Flat CG $5, Fuller Grove Boat Launch $6, and Pillsbury Pines Boat Launch $6.


Covelo Ranger District would start charging fees at the following recreation sites: Howard Lake CG $6, Howard Meadows CG $6, and Little Doe CG $6.


To make comments or for further information on forest recreation sites please contact Forest Recreation Officer Jack Horner, 530-934-3316, or visit the forest Web site at www.fs.fed.us/r5/mendocino to view the proposed five-year program of work and comment on the results.


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