Sequoia National Park officials are proposing an increase in fees at four campgrounds, and are seeking your thoughts on the proposal between now and September 21.
The affected campgrounds are Potwisha, Buckeye Flat, Lodgepole, and Dorst Creek campgrounds.
The proposed fee increase is being sought to "to cover use of a reservation system and additional projects to benefit park users," a park release said. "Under the proposal, starting in May 2014, campsite rental fees in Potwisha and Buckeye campgrounds could increase from $18 to $22. Campsite rental fees at Lodgepole and Dorst Creek campgrounds could increase from $20 to $22. This is the first proposed fee increase for campgrounds since 2003.
With the fee increase, park officials said the public would see the following improvements to customer service:
* Four reservable campgrounds in the park would allay concerns about not finding campsites after arrival.
* The cost of the reservation system would be paid by campground users.
* Once the reservation system has been set up, campground reservations may be made by calling Recreation.gov at 1-877-444-6777 from 10 a.m.-12 midnight EST or at www.recreation.gov (available 24 hours a day). Expanded trip-planning information will available on the website, too.
* Use of the reservation system is expected to reduce congestion and user conflicts in Potwisha and Buckeye Flat campgrounds, thus providing less impact on people who are camping by people searching for available campsites.
Two other campgrounds with an 18-year track record on the reservation system—Lodgepole and Dorst Creek—serve as successful models for how the reservation system is expected to work in the new locations, the park said. More than "42,000 people benefit from reservations at Lodgepole and Dorst Creek campgrounds each summer (This statistic is based upon a three-year average of reserved campsites from 2010 through 2012 for Lodgepole Campground from late May through late September and for Dorst Creek Campground from the end of June through early September)."
Sequoia officials say emailed comments will not be accepted on this proposal. Rather, they ask that comments either be mailed via the Postal Service or made on the National Park Service’s Planning, Environment and Public Comment website located here.