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UFWDA Community Forum  |  Regional Focus - News and Local Events  |  Southwest  |  Topic: Ca - Notice of Intent to Collect Fees in the Clear Creek Management Area « previous next »
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Todd Ockert
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« on: June 27, 2007, 09:42:13 am »


[Federal Register: June 27, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 123)]
[Notices]               
[Page 35257-35258]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr27jn07-84]                         

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management, Interior

[CA-190-1232-FU]

 
Notice of Intent To Collect Fees on Public Land in San Benito and
Fresno Counties, California Under the Federal Lands Recreation
Enhancement Act

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to Collect Fees in the Clear Creek Special
Recreation Management Area in San Benito and Fresno Counties,
California.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: To meet increasing demands for service and maintenance, the
Bureau of Land Management intends to implement a fee collection program
for the Clear Creek Special Recreation Management Area in San Benito
and Fresno Counties, California, beginning in January 2008. The fees
will be based on a fixed weekly fee rate or a fixed seasonal rate, as
explained in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below.

DATES: Written comments of interested persons must be postmarked not
later than July 27, 2007. Collection of fees will start in January
2008, when notice thereof is posted in the Bureau of Land Management,
Hollister Field Office, and at vehicle entry areas for the Clear Creek
Special Recreation Management Area.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons may submit written comments to the Field
Manager, Bureau of Land Management, Hollister Field Office, 20 Hamilton
Court, Hollister, California 95023. The relevant BLM records are
available for review at the above address during regular business hours
7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rick Cooper, Field Manager, Hollister
Field Office; or George Hill, Assistant Field Manager; 20 Hamilton Ct.,
Hollister, CA 95023. (831) 630-5000. E-mail: Rick Cooper@blm.gov/ca.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: To meet increasing demands for services and
maintenance of existing facilities, routes, and trails, the Bureau of
Land Management (BLM)'s Hollister Field Office proposes to begin
collecting fees January 2008 in the Clear Creek Special Recreation
Management Area (CCMA) in San Benito and Fresno Counties, California,
under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA) of 2005. The
primary recreation opportunity in the CCMA is off-highway vehicle use;
however, more and more outdoor enthusiasts are engaging in other
recreation activities in the CCMA with less surface impact, including
hunting, hiking, backpacking, hang gliding, peak climbing, and rock
hounding. Since the area offers recreation users both motorized and
non-motorized recreation opportunities, the CCMA qualifies as a site
wherein visitors can be charged a ``Standard Amenity Recreation Fee''
authorized under Section 3(f) and a ``Special Recreation Permit Fee''
authorized under section 3(h) of the REA. After receiving support,
guidance, and recommendations from the Central California Resource
Advisory Council (RAC), the BLM California State Office, and
considerable public input, the BLM Hollister Field Office proposes a
fee structure that would consist of charging a Standard Amenity
Recreation (SAR) Fee of $5.00 per vehicle upon arriving at the site.
This SAR Fee will only apply to users who use facilities at the Clear
Creek Management Area and not for members of the public passing through
the CCMA. For those visitors who would be participating in OHV use
(e.g. ATVs, motorcycles, quads, dune

[[Page 35258]]

buggies), a Special Recreation Permit Fee (SRP) of $10.00 per OHV would
be charged upon arriving at the site. Both the SAR and SRP fees would
be good for a weekly pass covering a period from Wednesday through
Tuesday regardless of day of purchase. An SRP season pass in the amount
of $80.00 would also be available for purchase.
    BLM plans to seek review and a recommendation from the Pacific
Southwest Region Resources Advisory Committee being established under
the authority of the REA. The CCMA is a popular off-highway vehicle
(OHV) recreation area and also offers excellent opportunities for
hunting, hang gliding, rock hounding, hiking, backpacking, and peak
climbing activities. The CCMA qualifies as an area where fees can be
charged based on the significant opportunities for outdoor recreation,
substantial Federal investment, the ability to collect fees
efficiently, has designated developed parking, permanent toilets,
permanent trash receptacles, interpretive signs, picnic tables, and
security. The BLM's commitment is to find the proper balance between
public use and the protection of sensitive resources. It is BLM's
policy to ``collect fees at all specialized recreation sites, or where
the BLM provides facilities, equipment or services, at federal expense,
in connection with outdoor recreation use.'' The Clear Creek Special
Recreation Management Area Fee Collection Project is intended to
provide funding to maintain existing facilities and recreational
opportunities, to provide for law enforcement presence, to develop
additional services, and to protect unique and sensitive resources in
the area.
    The rationale for charging recreation fees was established in the
Clear Creek Special Recreation Management Area Business Plan and in a
manner consistent with the following criteria: (1) The amount of the
recreation fee shall be commensurate with the benefits and services
provided to the visitor; (2) The aggregate effect of recreation fees on
recreation users and recreation service providers were considered; (3)
Comparable fees charged elsewhere and by other public agencies and by
nearby private sector operators were considered; (4) Public policy or
management objectives served by the recreation fee were considered; (5)
Recommendations and guidelines regarding initiating fee sites from the
Central California Resource Advisory Council (RAC) was considered and
incorporated into the Business Plan; and (6) Other factors or criteria
as determined by the Secretary were considered.
    The public has been notified and heavily involved since the
inception of the idea to collect fees in the CCMA. The RAC; government
officials; tribal, Federal, State, county, and local government
agencies; environmentalists, recreationists, private in-holders and
right-of-way holders have been notified of the Hollister Field Office's
proposal to collect fees in the CCMA through direct mailings,
bulletins, fee brochures, public meetings, and on-site information and
public contact. The Clear Creek Management Area Resource Management
Plan Amendment and Route Designation Record of Decision was issued
January 2006 and allows for recreation opportunities and the charging
of fees for use.
    All recreation fee receipts would be retained at the site. Of this
amount, at least 85% would be used for repair and maintenance projects,
interpretation, signage, habitat or facility enhancement, resource
preservation, maintenance, law enforcement directly related to
recreation use, support volunteer projects, Challenge Cost Share
projects, and similar partnership authorities directly relating to
visitor enjoyment, visitor access, and health and safety at recreation
fee projects. The Hollister Field Office would not use more than 15% of
total fees collected for administration, overhead, and indirect costs
related to the recreation fee program except in the case of SRPs where
this amount can not be exceeded for overhead and indirect costs
relating to issuing and administering the SRP.
    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address or
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be
aware that your entire comment including your personal identifying
information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can
ask in your comment to withhold from public review your personal
identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do
so.

(Authority: 43 CFR 1824.10)

    Dated: June 20, 2007.
Rick Cooper,
Field Manager, Hollister Field Office.
 [FR Doc. E7-12412 Filed 6-26-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-40-P

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Todd Ockert
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2007, 09:45:26 am »

This has been posted in here before, but it looks like they have slide the date to start the fee collection.

I am also working with a local group to form a Friends of Clear Creek group. 
We have some work done, and the BLM is supportive of this, and likes the idea and thought process we have going here.

I am willing to talk off-line with anyone on this, and the way to form a friends of group.
Carla also has info on this process.

Todd
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