For the first time in nearly three decades, Bridger-Teton National Forest officials may raise the fees for some campgrounds and rental cabins.

The Bridger-Teton has not increased fees since the early 1990s, according to a news release. Now, following upgrades to 17 campgrounds and cabins, the additional revenue seeks to balance the higher costs of operation and maintenance.

“Our fees have been pretty continuous for a good long while,” said interim forest spokesperson Evan Guzik. “I know in [some] other forests across the country, they’ve already raised their prices.”

The new rates would offset expenses from campground improvements like vault toilets, water system updates and bear-resistant food storage, and cabin improvements like flooring, stoves and heaters.

“Market analysis indicates that the proposed fees are both reasonable and acceptable for the type of recreation experience they provide,” the release states.

Some of the increases won’t put much of a dent in anyone’s wallet. For example, several campsites currently listed at $7 could rise to $10 or $12. But rates for a few pricier cabins could more than double, from $30 to $60 or $80.

All the sites fall within the Kemmerer, Big Piney, Pinedale and Blackrock ranger districts.

In accordance with the 2004 Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, the Bridger-Teton retains about 95% of the money collected through these fees. The money goes into the forest’s recreation budget, which can be used for expenses like trail maintenance and campsite upgrades.

If approved, the increases would take effect next spring, but for now they are only proposals.

They will be presented sometime in the winter or spring to the Wyoming Recreation Action Team, a committee of federal and state land management agencies, from the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission to the Bureau of Land Management. That meeting, which is not yet scheduled, will be open to the public.

The regional and national offices of the U.S. Forest Service will also perform an “extensive review” of the increases, according to the release.

Officials will accept public comment on the subject until Aug. 31, and comments can be sent to Recreation Program Manager Cindy Stein at cindy.stein@usda.gov.

Find detailed information about the campgrounds and cabins at fs.usda.gov/activity/btnf/recreation/camping-cabins.

Contact Cody Cottier at 732-5911 or town@jhnewsandguide.com.

Cody Cottier covers town and state government. He grew up with a view of the Olympic Mountains, and after graduating Washington State University he traded it for a view of the Tetons. Odds are the mountains are where you’ll find him when not on deadline.

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