BLM proposes new fees at Arizona sites as visitation grows

By Scott Streater | 05/14/2024 01:29 PM EDT

Visitation at public lands in the state rose 38 percent in the last five years.

Recreation on public lands along Lake Havasu in Arizona.

Recreation on public lands along Lake Havasu in Arizona. Bureau of Land Management/Flickr

The Bureau of Land Management wants to raise fees at recreation sites in northwest Arizona in the face of increased visitation that BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning warned last year has placed public lands “at risk of being loved to death.”

BLM on Monday unveiled five draft recreation business plans that propose increasing existing fees for activities like overnight camping, and in some cases adding new ones, at 13 sites in the northern and western parts of the state.

The goal is to raise resources needed to continue providing basic services, such as trash pickup and routine maintenance of facilities, and in some cases helping pay for future projects, such as amenities to address growing numbers of visitors to these public sites.


The proposed fee increases would apply to specific sites within two field offices — the Kingman Field Office in northwest Arizona and the Lake Havasu Field Office in western Arizona — as well as the Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area, the Phoenix District’s recreational shooting sites, and the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument’s Paria Canyon/Coyote Buttes Special Management Area and White Pocket.