Fees proposed for North Carolina’s DuPont State Forest to help manage growth

DuPont State Recreational Forest’s popularity has been increasing rapidly, and forest leaders say that growth is putting a strain on their ability to accommodate visitors. At the annual meeting of Friends of DuPont State Forest, members heard about a fee proposal that would bring in revenue for more amenities to help shoulder the growing load of visitors.

The proposed fee schedule would raise money for much-needed improvements, said Forest Supervisor Jason Guidry, who stressed that the fee schedule was just a draft.

The fee schedule would include higher fees for higher-use areas that have the most impact and greatest needs, namely Hooker Falls and High Falls. They account for roughly 75 percent of the forest’s traffic. A daily fee would be instituted of $8 per vehicle Monday through Thursday, and $12 on weekends and holidays. For large vehicles and buses, a $20 fee would apply Monday through Thursday and $30 on holidays and weekends.

Lower fees of $6 per vehicle and $20 for large vehicles or buses is proposed for lesser-used areas like Lake Imaging, Fawn Lake, Guion Farm, Corn Mill Shoals and other trailheads.

A proposed annual fee of $30 for North Carolina residents and $70 for out-of-state residents was also included in the proposal.

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Update April 20,2016 @ 19:00

Plan to charge admission fees at DuPont State Forest on hold

Rep. Chuck McGrady, (R-Henderson), says instead of the fees, the state should appropriate more money.

“If you put fees in place, they would not generate as much money as a direct appropriation would, if we are capable of going there,” McGrady told News 13.

McGrady says the legislative session begins next week, and members of the general assembly have already expressed interest in helping out DuPont State Forest.

 

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