Sequoia National Park Proposing Increase In Campground Fees

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.

Comments

Emailed comments will not be accepted. Of course not. They would be overwhelmed. The National Fee Service is really trying to get in these fee licks before they get slapped by congress for doing so. Jarvis is a real piece of work. Talk about a culture that needs changing. I propose we nominate Ranger Danno to clean out this bird cage.

Um, yeah. Rather than dealing with potentially misdirected email, the NPS created a webform directly linked to the document. The webform allows one to enter up to 10 pages of comments and tells how to forward more detailed comments by mail. I seriously doubt they are worried about being overwhelmed; the webform assures that all comments are directed appropriately and makes it easier for anyone interested to do so.

As for the increasing fees, the cost to camp at SNP hasn't increased since 2003. Try to find anything that hasn't increased in cost in th last ten years. Good luck.

Thanks, dahkota, for your cogent response to yet another exhibition of the Great American Entitlement Mentality.

dahkota is right about the ease of the on-line comment process. I went to the link provided in this story, and four quick clicks via the "open for comment" link put me on the page to start typing my comments.

Sending an email would not save me any time vs. this approach, which ensures comments are correctly addressed and in a standardized layout for more efficient review. There's no reason why the system would be any more "overwhelmed" by comments sent by e-mail vs. those sent via this website.

And yes, those who don't have access to the Internet can send in written comments on paper the old-fashioned way if they prefer, to the address provided in the announcement.

You may not like the proposed fee increase, but there's no valid basis for complaint about the process for submitting comments.