BANDY CREEK — The National Park Service has proposed several fee increases for the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, and is currently accepting public comments on the proposal.
The proposed fee increases would take effect on May 1.
“Keeping park campgrounds affordable and providing a great experience is our priority,” said Big South Fork NRRA Superintendent Niki S. Nicholas. “We invite everyone to comment on these proposed camping fee increases.”
At Bandy Creek Campground, the fee increases would raise the price of a 30-amp electric hook-up from $25 to $30 per night, the cost of a 50-amp electric hook-up from $32 to $35 per night, and the cost of a group camp site from $125 to $140 per night.
Other campground fee increases include from $20 to $30 at Blue Heron and $5 to $15 at Alum Ford.
The proposal would also increase picnic shelter rental fees from $10 to $30 per day, and create a two-hour reservation block for $120 at the new Blue Heron Overlook Gazebo.
Holders of the America the Beautiful Access and Senior Lifetime passes would continue to receive 50% off the nightly campground fee; however, the discount does not apply to picnic shelter rentals, gazebo rentals or group camping.
The public comment period for the changes began Monday and will continue through March 22.
Comments are only being accepted via mail: Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, Attn: Park Superintendent – Proposed Campground Fee Increases, 4564 Leatherwood Road, Oneida, TN 37841.
The proposal has already drawn a sharp rebuke from the Southern Forest Watch, with board president John Quillen calling the proposed fee increases “outrageous.”
“How do you justify going from $10 to $30 for a picnic table reservation?” Quillen asked.