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Grand Island fees updated

May 25, 2018

GLADSTONE — At a meeting in Baltimore in April 2018, the Eastern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (R9 Recreation RAC) recommended approval of the updated fees for Grand Island National Recreation Area. Regional Forester Kathleen Atkinson subsequently approved the recommended fees. Hiawatha National Forest will implement the following new fees for overnight camping effective immediately:

  • $10/night for Bermuda, Channel Marker, Little Dunes 1, Little Dunes 2, and Loon Call Campsites.

  • $8/night for Driftwood, Duck Lake, Gamefence, Hardwood, Hemlock, and Little Duck Campsites.

  • $30/night for group fees at Juniper Flats and Murray Bay Group Campsites.

Hiawatha National Forest will also implement increased fees for day use areas across the island:

  • Daily Use Fee $5

  • Annual Boater Pass $40

In 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, which allows the Forest Service to retain funds collected at certain recreation sites and use these funds to operate, maintain and improve those sites. As a result, the majority (about 95 percent) of recreation fees collected on Grand Island will remain on the Forest for operation, maintenance, and improvement of facilities and programs on the island. As a supplement to appropriated funds, these funds are critical for safe, efficient operation of Grand Island NRA such as critical equipment maintenance and the dredging necessary for water access to the Island.

Since the original fees were established in 1999, use has increased from about 7,000 people visiting the island in 2013 to nearly 11,500 in 2016. At the current visitation rate, the new fees would increase revenue collected from about $19,000 to $66,000 per year. The updated fees will allow the Forest to hire additional seasonal staff to support recreation services on the island, to further maintain infrastructure within the campsites and day use areas on the island, and to provide better public service.

For more information about Grand Island National Recreation Area, visit our web page. For additional information about public involvement and the R9 Recreation RAC process, contact Paul Holeva (Program Manager, Recreation and Lands), Forest Headquarters, 906-428-5889,

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