Fees go up at two popular campsites

The Bureau of Land Management is increasing the fees at one popular campsite and imposing them for the first time at another.

Both the Mud Springs and the North Fruita Desert campgrounds are being targeted for new fees. User fees will stay local and pay for maintenance and improvements at the two sites, said David Boyd, BLM spokesman.

“These are developed areas that have specific needs from maintenance to improvements,” Boyd said.

“The idea with this fee program, which is a national fee program, is that the users of the areas pay for the maintenance of these areas.”

The BLM’s Grand Junction office receives about $50,000 a year to maintain public facilities in the area, Boyd said.

“Half of that is going to these two areas,” he said. “And because of that, these other areas are not getting the maintenance and attention they might otherwise would.”

In 2007, Mud Springs campground had 1,000 visitors, Boyd said. The North Fruita Desert campground had some 1,600 campsites occupied in 2008 and is popular with mountain bikers, Boyd said.

At both sites, campers were asked by the BLM to sound off about the fee increases.

“Most people supported it. Many did not,” Boyd said.

The measures do have broad support, which includes the Mesa County Commission, the Northwest Resource Advisory Council and the Colorado Plateau Mountain Biking Association.

Boyd said the fee increases likely will go into effect in the fall.


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