Fee changes ahead for the Daniel Boone National Forest

Published 4:33 pm Thursday, December 2, 2021

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By Mary O’Malley
The Daniel Boone National Forest will implement a new fee structure beginning January 1, 2022.

These changes will impact fees at 32 recreation sites across the Forest, including nine sites that do not currently charge fees. With the increased revenue from these changes, the Forest will be better equipped to maintain or add amenities, pay for operations and improvements, hire additional operations staff, and match other funding sources to pay for larger projects at these recreation sites.

These fee changes come after extensive public engagement in 2019 and review from the local Daniel Boone National Forest Resource Advisory Committee. The Committee, which is completely voluntary and composed of members of the general public, recommended the approval of the proposed changes on September 29, 2021. These changes were then officially approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service on November 16, 2021.

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“Our goal with these changes is to support the work and projects that both the Forest and our visitors want to see,” said Daniel Boone National Forest Supervisor H. Scott Ray. “We’ve used funds from existing fees to do everything from improving parking lots in the Red River Gorge to the complete rehabilitation of Grove Boat Ramp facilities. The incoming fee changes will help us bring that support to more recreation sites across the Forest.”

The incoming changes will impact 32 recreation sites on the Daniel Boone National Forest. In general, sites that currently require a one-day, three-day, or annual pass will see the following changes:
• One-Day Pass: $3 → $5
• Three-Day Pass: $5 → $7
• Annual Pass: $30 → $50

The White Sulphur OHV System and Redbird Crest OHV System will see simplified pass structures in addition to slight increases:
• One-Day Pass: $7→ $15
• Three-Day Pass: $15 → No longer offered.
• Annual Pass: $40 → $60

Claylick Boat-In Campground, Clear Creek Campground, Clear Creek Shooting Range, Koomer Ridge Campground, Bee Rock Campground, and Barren Fork Horse Camp will see similar small fee changes. The Forest has also added nine sites that do not currently require a fee to the fee program. Beginning in 2022, fees will be charged at Bangor Boat Ramp, Billy Branch Day Use Area, Clear Creek Boat Ramp, Leatherwood Boat Ramp, Bee Rock Boat Ramp, Craigs Creek Boat Ramp, S-Tree Campground, Whitman Branch Shooting Range, and Great Meadows Campground.

These changes will not affect one and three-day passes purchased prior to January 1, 2022. One and three-day passes purchased at current rates will continue to be honored by the Forest into the New Year. Annual passes, which will be available for purchase the week of December 6, will reflect the new 2022 fee structure.

“For most recreation sites, the change works out to just a couple dollars more,” said Ray. “But, collectively, these changes will help the Forest better support and even enhance recreation opportunities well into the future.”

For a detailed list of these fee changes or for more information about the fee program, please visit the Daniel Boone National Forest fee change webpage.

To purchase a pass, please contact your local Daniel Boone National Forest District office or visit one of our pass vendors.

Mary O’Malley is a public affairs specialist for the US Forest Service, Daniel Boone National Forest.