BEND, OR -- The Deschutes National Forest plans to provide recreation site maintenance, like restroom cleaning and trash pickup, later in the year at 61 fee sites. Jean Nelson-Dean, with the Forest Service, tells KBND News, "Normally, our fee season in our day-use sites ends at the end of September, and we're actually changing that. We are extending that." She says since snow falls in different areas at different times, the agency doesn't need to close access to all of them at once. They will continue to provide maintenance as long as sites are accessible.
Nelson-Dean says the fee amount isn't changing, only the time period for which users will be required to pay. "In the past, we had just kind of ended the season at the end of September. Now we're going to continue to maintain sites, and as along as we can continue to maintain, we will continue to charge a fee; that would be like the $5 Day Use Fee, or the Northwest Forest Pass, or one of the others."
Nelson-Dean clarifies that not everything will be affected, like campgrounds. The shift in policy only impacts locations that already require a fee or pass for access. "It's simply those sites that are Day Use sites where we provide restroom facilities, garbage, and some other maintenance in those areas."
Passes are available at the Sisters, Bend, Fort Rock, and Crescent Ranger stations, the Cascade Lakes Welcome Center and the Redmond Air Center.