The cost of outdoor recreation continues to rise as the state’s population continues to grow. The Arizona Game and Fish Department recently initiated the rule change process in order to increase hunting and fishing fees.
Recreation use fees at some of the most popular recreation sites on the Tonto National Forest would change March 1 under a current Forest Service proposal.
The proposed changes are targeted at the popular chain of lakes, recreation sites and campgrounds that stretch from Roosevelt Lake to the Lower Salt River Recreation Area on the Salt River, the Bartlett Lake and Horseshoe Lake recreation areas on the Verde River, and the Seven Springs Recreation Area.
For day-use sites and shoreline-access areas, fees would increase from $4 a day per vehicle and $2 a day per watercraft to $6 per vehicle and $4 per watercraft. Most agency-managed campground fees would also be changed to match day-use fees. Current charges of $10 per night for a single unit or $15 per night for a double unit would change to a standard charge of $6 per vehicle and $4 per watercraft at sites on Roosevelt and Apache lakes.
Tonto National Forest supervisor Gene Blankenbaker stated that while many users would see their fees increase, some users such as a single family camping without a boat would see their fees reduced. The proposed changes would simplify the fee structure and bring it more in line with other recreation areas around the state.
Written comments can be mailed to Fee Coordinator, Tonto National Forest, 2324 East McDowell Road, Phoenix, AZ 85006, or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available on the TNF Web site at www.fs.fed.us/r3/tonto.
SHEEP HUNT RAFFLE
The Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society is conducting its annual fundraising raffle for three fully outfitted sheep hunts — a stone sheep hunt of 15 days, a California bighorn sheep hunt of 14 days, and a Dall sheep hunt of 10 days. Each hunt is with a first-rate outfitter with the opportunity for a trophy ram. All hunts are for 2007. In addition to the hunts, each of the three winners will receive $1,000 for expenses.
Drawings will be held at the Society’s fundraising banquet on March 4. Winners need not be present to win. Raffle tickets are $50 each, four for $100, 12 for $250, 25 for $500 or 60 for $1,000. To order tickets, write the Society at P.O. Box 21705, Mesa, AZ, 85277-1705, or call (480) 854-8950.