Increased camping fee proposed for Chiricahua National Monument  - Tucson News Now

Increased camping fee proposed for Chiricahua National Monument

(Source: Chiricahua National Monument) (Source: Chiricahua National Monument)
COCHISE COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The National Park Service is considering raising the fee for camping on at the Bonita Creek Campground on the Chiricahua National Monument (CNM) in Cochise County, according to a news release. 

Currently the fee is $12 per night, or $6 per night for those with Senior, Golden Age, Access, or Golden Access passes.  There are no fees for entrance to the CNM. The last time there was a fee increase was 2002. 

"We are committed to keeping camping at the park affordable but we also want to provide visitors with the best possible experience," said Chiricahua  National Monument Superintendent Allen Etheridge, in the release. "The money from camping fees is used to maintain and improve camping facilities, and provide visitor services."

New bear-proof food storage boxes, picnic tables, and tent pad improvements are a couple of projects at CNM that were made using camping fee money. Improvements to Hailstone and Sugarloaf Trails were also made possible by camping fees.  

(Source: Chiricahua National Monument/National Park Service)

According to CNM officials a fee increase would provide revenue to replace damaged and outdated interpretive wayside panels, as well as additional trail maintenance projects. 

In 2016, more than 51,300 visitors contributed $3 million to the local economy and helped support 40 jobs related to tourism, proving that CNM is a strong economic engine for the surrounding area.  

There is a public meeting scheduled from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, June 19 at Willcox’s Elsie S. Hogan Community Library, 100 North Curtis Avenue, Willcox, AZ, this meeting will also include a public comment session.  

A second public meeting is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 21 at the Coronado National Memorial Visitor Center, 4101 E. Montezuma Canyon Road, Hereford, AZ.

Comments can be submitted in writing to the park address above, by telephone at 520-824-3560 x9302, or through the Planning Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website http://parkplanning.nps.gov  

Following the public comment period, feedback will determine how, or if, a fee increase would be implemented.

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Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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