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Tiered Fee Changes Implemented In Forest Recreation Areas

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Sonora, CA – Get ready to pay more when using day-use areas and certain campgrounds in the Stanislaus National Forest.

The forest has a new tiered fee structure for the 2024–26 seasons to address operating costs exceeding revenues across developed campsites and other recreation areas. For the first time, Sourgrass and Beardsley day-use sites and the Union East boating site will cost $5 per day, as detailed in earlier reports. Campgrounds in the Calaveras, Mi-Wok, and Summit Ranger districts will have fees ranging from $15 to $75 for Big Meadow Group Campground. The latter price will go to $100 in 2026. Additionally, the final price for 2026 will impact 28 locations across the forest.

Forest officials advise that public input was used in making these changes: “Public outreach conducted in 2021 was used to prepare the final fee change proposal, which was approved by the Bureau of Land Management’s Central California Region Recreation Resource Advisory (Recreation RAC) Committee.”

This is the first fee increase since the 2004 Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA/FLREA), which allows the U.S. Forest Service to retain 95% of revenue collected at recreation sites and use these funds locally to operate and maintain these sites. The final fee changes are effective immediately. Click here to see a list of the locations and fee changes.


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