BLM seeks input on proposed changes to Lower Deschutes fee structure

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Prineville District, Deschutes Field Office is seeking public comment on a proposal to change the fee structure for the Lower Deschutes Wild and Scenic River.

The current system has been in place almost 30 years and no longer reflects how today’s public land visitors enjoy the river and surrounding lands for outdoor recreation.

The proposed changes are intended to make fees more equitable for all users, including non-boating users, throughout the year and to account for rising operating costs and the need for year-round maintenance.

The current proposal is to:

  • Amend the current individual special recreation permit fee for floating the river (the boater pass) to a flat rate of $5/person/day.
  • Add a new $5/person/night camping fee in Segments 1 and 4 of the Lower Deschutes Wild and Scenic River on BLM-managed public lands where no vehicle access is present. The camping fee would not be required for visitors who have already purchased a boater pass for the same time, or for visitors staying in a developed campground that already requires a fee.

The fees collected will continue to support boating and camping operations along all four segments of the Lower Deschutes River, including maintaining and upgrading facilities and roads, conducting safety patrols, purchasing key infrastructure like a new portable toilet dumping station, treating weeds, and helping all visitors enjoy this unique place.

The Lower Deschutes Business Plan is available electronically at https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/docs/2021-04/pri-deschutes-plan.pdf.

It can also be accessed through the BLM Prineville District webpage at https://www.blm.gov/office/prineville-district-office.

A hard copy can be requested by calling (541) 416-6700.

Comments are due by August 13, 2021. They may be mailed to the Prineville District Office, Attn: Lower Deschutes Business Plan at 3050 NE 3rd Street Prineville, OR 97754 or submitted via email to BLM_OR_PR_LDR@blm.gov.

Please include Draft Lower Deschutes Business Plan in the email subject line.

For more information about this project, please call (541) 416-6700 or query via email at BLM_OR_PR_LDR@blm.gov.

For more information about the Lower Deschutes River please visit https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/permits-and-passes/lotteries-and-permit-systems/oregon-washington/lower-deschutes.

For information about getting a permit to float the Lower Deschutes River, please visit https://www.recreation.gov/permits/251980.

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