SAFFORD — Coronado National Forest will begin making adjustments to the developed recreation fee program during the fall of 2019.

Work begins this month and is expected to be completed in December.

A contractor will begin construction on projects intended to repair fee facilities that are in poor condition and upgrade signs and pay stations to be more consistent and visitor-friendly. Pay stations will also be installed at new fee sites, and a shade ramada will be built at Pena Blanca Lake. Visitors are cautioned to be careful as crews, equipment and associated noise may be present at construction sites.

As part of the Restructuring Developed Recreation initiative to increase program sustainability, a draft fee proposal was developed by the Forest and shared extensively with the public in 2017 and 2018. The proposal was approved by the Recreation Resources Advisory Committee in December 2018.

“We have very much appreciated input from our stakeholders and users in helping us to shape a more sustainable developed recreation program,” said Forest Supervisor Kerwin S. Dewberry. “In previous efforts to that end, we removed underutilized facilities, reduced the recreation program work force, worked with partners and volunteers, applied for grants, increased fee compliance and installed lower-maintenance facilities. Implementation of the fee proposal will move us closer to where we need to be to provide the quality of experiences our visitors have come to expect.”

Changes do not affect cabins or campgrounds operated by concessionaires.

$20/night campgrounds (high use) include: Arcadia, Bog Springs, Cochise Stronghold, General Hitchcock, Gordon Hirabayashi, Idlewilde, Lakeview, Molino Basin, Riggs Flat, Soldier Creek, Stewart and Sunny Flat.

$15/night all other campgrounds (lower use) include: Camp Rucker, Columbine Corrals, Cypress Park, Cunningham, Herb Martyr, Hospital Flat, Noon Creek, Peppersauce, Ramsey Vista, Reef Townsite, Rucker Forest Camp, Rustler Park, Shannon, Stockton Pass, Sycamore and White Rock.

New fee sites on Mount Graham include:

• Day use sites: Riggs Lake Fishing and Boating Site

• Campgrounds: Noon Creek, Stockton Pass

• Group sites: Columbine Visitor Center Ramada, Stockton Pass, Treasure Park, Twilight, Upper Arcadia

No fees will be associated with use of more than 99 percent of Coronado National Forest lands, including most trailheads and trails. Fee-free undeveloped areas will be available at Parker Canyon Lake, Pena Blanca Lake and Riggs Lake, as well as other locations.

Also, the Safford Ranger Office will be closed Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in observance of Columbus Day. The office will resume normal business hours Tuesday, Oct. 15.

For more information contact Safford Ranger District at 928-428-4150.

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