BLM plans fees for new Prince Creek camping near Carbondale |

BLM plans fees for new Prince Creek camping near Carbondale

Mount Sopris from Prince Creek Road in October.
Thomas Phippen

The Bureau of Land Management is asking what the public thinks of a plan to begin charging camping fees for most of the area campgrounds and raising fees for existing campgrounds.

The Colorado River Valley Office, located in Silt, manages six campgrounds and currently only charges for two. The $10 rate is too low to cover all the costs, according to the BLM.

One of the newer campgrounds the BLM hopes to charge for is located up Prince Creek south of Carbondale, which is already a popular spot for camping. The BLM completed two campgrounds this year along Prince Creek Road, each with five individual spots and one group spot.

BLM proposes fees of $20 for each site, with an additional charge of $4 for each person staying at the group sites.

The goal of the fee structure is to help cover costs of maintaining campgrounds that see a lot of use.

“This area was popular with dispersed campers and is anticipated to be a very popular developed camping area requiring intensive maintenance,” according to the BLM’s business plan.

“The fees collected would be used specifically to manage these sites,” Gloria Tibbetts, acting field manager for the office, said in a statement.

“This proposed fee structure will allow the BLM to fund the necessary maintenance and improvements at these popular sites using fees paid by the people who use and enjoy these facilities,” Tibbetts said.

Maintaining all six campgrounds with amenities like toilets, picnic tables and parking spaces, but using camping fee revenue from just two means the Silt BLM office loses around $20,000 each year, according to the business plan. Revenue from the two fee-structured campgrounds — the Gypsum and Wolcott Creek campgrounds — didn’t cover the cost of maintenance for themselves until 2016.

The business plan also proposes tying campsite fees to a consumer price index. That means the fees might increase or decrease by $2 increments from year to year, depending on the index.

If approved, the new campground fee structure would take effect in summer 2020. The BLM will accept comment on the fee structure until Jan. 25.

Comments may be mailed to BLM, Campground Business Plan Comment, 2300 River Frontage Road, Silt, CO 81652 or emailed to with “campground business plan comment” in the subject line.

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