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BLM Seeks Public Input on Draft Plans for the Enhancement of Arizona Recreation Sites

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) requests public feedback on five draft recreation business plans to modernize the management of recreation fee sites across Arizona.

The proposed changes target the Kingman Field Office, Lake Havasu Field Office, the Arizona Strip Field Office’s Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area, the Phoenix District’s Recreational Shooting Sites, and the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument’s Paria Canyon/Coyote Buttes Special Management Area and White Pocket.

An interactive story map shows the locations of the proposed fee sites and any suggested changes, along with instructions for providing comments. Additionally, BLM will host another virtual public information session on June 5 to discuss the proposals. The first information session happened on May 30.

BLM’s market analysis revealed that current recreation fees are below local market rates. Gerald Davis, BLM Arizona deputy state director for resources and planning, indicated that the BLM has not updated business plans for their recreation sites to reflect market conditions in decades.

“The updated plans would enable the BLM to improve services and add amenities in order to ensure these sites provide the exceptional experiences that visitors to public lands deserve,” Davis said.

The draft business plans detail existing and proposed recreation fee sites, fee changes, operation and maintenance costs, and planned expenditures. Under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) of 2004, all recreation fees collected at these sites are reinvested directly back into the local recreation programs to enhance and expand recreational opportunities.

Over the past five years, public land visitation in Arizona has surged from 4.9 million to 6.8 million. Despite this increase, the BLM’s budget per visitor has decreased.

“These increases have caused wear and tear,” Davis noted. “With rising costs and increased visitation, the BLM is seeking public input on proposed fee increases to keep pace with the cost of operations and maintenance, comparable to other public agency and private sector facilities.”

According to a press release, outdoor recreation represents an $11.7 billion industry in Arizona. Recreational activities on BLM-managed lands contribute over $276.2 million annually to the state’s economy. Additionally, the BLM’s “Blueprint for 21st Century Outdoor Recreation” provides guidance to address increasing visitation by diversifying recreation funding sources and considering recreation demand, program needs, and investment opportunities.

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: BLM Seeks Public Input on Draft Plans for the Enhancement of Arizona Recreation Sites! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/arizona/blm-seeks-public-input-on-draft-plans-for-the-enhancement-of-arizona-recreation-sites/