Fee increase approved for Baker Dam Recreation Area

ST. GEORGE – A fee increase for Baker Dam Recreation Area was approved by the Bureau of Land Management Recreation Resource Advisory Board Wednesday.

The St. George BLM Field Office proposed the fee increase for the recreation area because fees have not been increased since 1997, but operational costs have risen substantially since that time.

Baker Dam Recreation Area is located 25 miles north of St. George and was developed in the 1980s to take advantage of the fishing, swimming and boating opportunities afforded by the nearby Baker Dam Reservoir.

The fee change would raise the current $2 day fee to $5 per car and the overnight camping fee from $6 per night to $12 per night. Interagency Annual, Access, Senior, Volunteer and Military passes would continue to be honored.

St. George Field Office Bureau of Land Management Recreation Planner Kyle Voyles told the committee the increase is needed to cover operating costs, deferred maintenance and equipment costs.

The Baker Dam Business Plan was published late last year, and public input was accepted through Jan. 23, 2014. Two comments were received from the public, Voyles said, both in support of the fee increase. There were no negative or neutral comments.

The 290-acre recreation site has about 2,500 visitors annually, including 1,900 overnight campers. It offers a wide variety of amenities including a developed campground, day area and short hiking trails. The facilities are accessible for handicapped users.

The Utah Resource Advisory Council is a 15-member panel that provides advice and recommendations to the BLM on land use planning and management for 22.9 million acres of public lands in Utah. Members include a cross section of Utahns representing energy, tourism and commercial recreation interests; environmental, archeological or historic interests; and elected officials and the public at large.

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