Sequoia Forests Service Unveils Plan to Reduce Facilities & Increase Fees                                  Updated 4/1/11


Our National Forests are in the process of implementing a program called the "Recreation Site Facility Master Plan" (RSFMP) that begins to turn the Forest Service recreation program into a semi-for profit operation. The RSFMP will end up reducing services or decommissioning thousands of recreation sites nation wide. Every Forest is having to compile a RSFMP 5-Year Plan detailing management actions on every site on the forest including decommissioning, closures, reduction of operating seasons, new fee sites, increased fees, expanded concessionaire use, and removal of amenities.

The federal law under which authorizes fees for public lands is called the Fee Demo Program was replaced in 2005 by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA). Stewards of the Sequoia is part of a National Working Group made up of all types of recreation interests from Off Road to campground concessionaires. We are working to determine how this act could be rewritten to make the fee program reasonable. You can read Stewards of the Sequoia position on fees here.

You might be interested in the position of other groups. You can read their position papers on the following groups

Stewards of the Sequoia
National OHV Groups
BackCountry Horseman of America
Public Lands Service Coaltion
Western Slope No Fee Coaltion

Western Slope No Fee Coalition has been working to repeal the FLREA and you can read more about that here

In March of 2008 the Sequoia Forest released their second draft RSFMP which is a big improvement over the initial proposal. They have been holding public workshops and have responded well to the thousands of signatures that Stewards of the Sequoia & others have gathered in opposition to the initial proposed elimination of 63 recreation  sites and fee increases as proposed in 2007.

The new March 2008 Plan calls for the following at the existing 121 campgrounds/ recreation sites:

  • Decommissioning 2 campgrounds-Leavis Flat & Camp 4 1/2

  • New Fees or Increasing fees on 47 recreation sites/campgrounds

  • Seeking Partners at 31 campgrounds/recreation sites to maintain them. If partnerships cannot be found or if the partners do not fulfill their commitments then it is possible the 31 campgrounds or recreation sites would be closed at a later date.

  • Increase the number of user visitor days by 203% without building any new campgrounds.

Additionally the Sequoia wants to institute a paid pass like the Adventure Pass, which will require the public to pay a base fee of $10 per day to park your car or $50 a year. This money is promised to stay in the Sequoia. It appears that 20% will be spent on collection, 10-15% on administration & perhaps 65-70% will get to the ground.

Based on Forest Accounting records, sources have found as little as 18% of Forest Service budgets nationwide are currently spent on maintenance & field staff. The remaining 80% is spent on overhead.
Before Closing campgrounds & raising Fees, perhaps the National Forest Service should find ways to get more than a small percentage of the public's money funded through taxes to the ground.

The Sequoia is also going to be looking at eliminating dispersed camping or limiting it to one car length from certain roads.

You can read the Sequoia Plan at:
http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sequoia/projects/recreation-facility-analysis/rfa.pdf    (1.7meg)


The forest has not indicated an ending time for people to submit comments.

Stewards of the Sequoia is the largest on the ground volunteer organization in Sequoia. We have been actively helping out for many years prior to the recent Forest pleas for volunteers. For those who might want to become a Forest Partner here are a few options:

OHV enthusiasts may want to partner at Evans Flat & Cyrus Canyon campgrounds or Millwood Staging Area

Rock Climbers may want to partner at Magician Camp in the Needles

Read the plan for 31 other possible ways to volunteer or contact us at

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