In the near future, the Sierra Vista Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest will host a series of public meetings for its new initiative, “Restructuring Developed Recreation: the Future of Fees, Campgrounds and Day-use Areas.”
The Coronado National Forest (CNF) seeks community input on the management of its Developed Recreation Program. Developed recreation sites are areas such as picnic areas, campgrounds, group sites and trailheads where CNF provides some mix of picnic tables, interpretive signs, rest rooms, trash receptacles, parking areas, security services, and other amenities. Examples include Brown Canyon Ranch, Parker Canyon Lake, and Ramsey Vista Campground.
The funding to operate CNF developed recreation sites is generated by money allocated by the federal government, fees paid by visitors at CNF developed recreation sites, and donations from partners. These sources of funding, however, fall millions of dollars short of the amount required for CNF to operate and maintain the 204 developed recreation sites on the Forest. To assure the Forest has financial resources to continue to provide the expected level of service to Forest visitors into the future, CNF is restructuring the Developed Recreation Program.
The program has already increased efficiency by reducing paid staff, using more sustainable materials to build and maintain infrastructure, and eliminating some facilities. Current considerations include raising visitor fees, simplifying the payment process, closing sites, adding qualifying sites to the fee program, and increasing volunteer management of sites.
Fee sites (both existing and eligible) occupy well under 1% of Coronado National Forest. As such, over 99% of Coronado National Forest is available for enjoyment free-of-charge.
The CNF seeks input from all Forest visitors on which solutions, or combinations of solutions, are preferred.
To explain the details of the Developed Recreation Program, and to gather input on potential solutions for restructuring the program, CNF will host public meetings across the Forest.
Those not attending meetings may submit comments to the following email address: CoronadoRecreation@nullfs.fed.us.