Fee changes are going into effect on Jan. 1st, 2016 for campgrounds, day-use sites, boat launches, and shoreline areas in the Tonto National Forest. The fees are being changed to cover the maintenance and trash removal costs. This is all in accordance to the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) which Congress passed in 2004. According to the release from Tonto National Forest, here are the changes:
1. Eliminate recreation fees from six areas, charge for individual sites, and change shoreline areas to special recreation permit areas.
2. Decrease the cost of the Tonto Annual Pass from $95/annually to $80/annually; Seniors 62 years old and older receive a $20 discount.
3. Increase the daily Tonto Pass fee from $6/day to $8/day.
4. Align fees in 11 developed campgrounds and 7 group sites to be comparable to similar sites with similar services and operation and maintenance costs; Continue to offer 50% discount to Interagency Senior and Access Pass holders.
5. Eliminate fees at 8 recreation sites.
6. Install fee machines to provide an onsite option to purchase the daily Tonto Pass and watercraft sticker. The new onsite fee is $12 for the daily Tonto Pass and $6 for the watercraft sticker. Traditional hanging Tonto Passes will still be available for purchase for the regular price of $8 at over 200 venders in the area or online.
There are open houses being held for anyone who wishes to learn more about the changes at: Cave Creek District (Aug. 22nd, at Rattlesnake Cove at Bartlett Lake from 10 am to 2 pm), Mesa District (Sept. 5th, at Acacia at Canyon Lake from 10 am to 2 pm), Tonto Basin District (Sept. 12th, at the Windy Hill Boat Ramp from 10 am to 2 pm), & Tonto Basin District (Sept. 13th, 2015 at Burnt Corral Boat Ramp from 10 am to 2 pm).