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Utah, Juab County Commissions speak out against U.S Forest Service proposed fee hikes at local recreation sites

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The Utah County Commission will vote today on a joint resolution with the neighboring Juab County Commission to oppose the United States Forest Service raising or adding a use fee to recreational sites throughout the State. 

The U.S Forest Service introduced a fee proposal in July and has been seeking citizen feedback over the past two months. The new proposal would increase or add fees to over 50 campsites, trails and recreational areas throughout the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. 

Popular destinations will see the following rates if approved: 

• Cascade Springs: $6 multi-day pass would increase to $10. A $12 weekly pass would increase to $20. 

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• Mount Timpanogos trailhead: $6 multi-day pass would increase to $10. A $12 weekly pass would increase to $20. 

• Donut Falls: $0 multi-day fee would increase to $10. A $0 weekly pass would increase to $20. 

• Silverlake: $0 multi-day fee would increase to $10. A $0 weekly pass would increase to $20. 

• Grotto Trailhead: $0 multi-day fee would increase to $10. A $0 weekly pass would increase to $20. 

• Jenkins Flat: $0 multi-day fee would increase to $10. A $0 weekly pass would increase to $20. 

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With visitation and use of these recreational areas rising yearly, the Forest Service says these fees and increases are needed to maintain services like restrooms, picnic areas, fire pits and parking lots. The joint resolution by Utah and Juab Counties expresses concern with the potential impact on lower-incomefamilies and those on budgets that would prohibit the use of these public lands. 

The counties made the following joint statement. 

“The Juab County Commission and Utah County Commission stand together in strong opposition to the implementation of any fees in the concerned areas where our residents have worked, recreated, and enjoyed for well over one and half centuries free of charge by the federal government. The charging of fees is an affront to the Juab and Utah Counties residents, who have a vested interest in the concerned areas. We urge the U.S. Forest Service not to implement the fees suggested and call upon Utah’s Congressional delegation, the Utah State Legislature and all others in positions of influence to work to keep these areas free to all.”

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