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Fee Changes At German Ridge And Saddle Lake
Updated November 21, 2017 11:36 AM | Filed under: Natural Resources
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(HOOSIER FOREST) - The Hoosier National Forest (NF) began implementing fee changes at German Ridge and Saddle Lake Campgrounds on Monday, November 20th. Both campgrounds are maintained year-round by Forest Service employees and volunteers. As the cost of maintenance increases and recreation budgets decline, Forest staff will use the fees to repair, maintain and improve the campsites at both sites.

The new fee for German Ridge is $8.00 per campsite per night, up from $4.00 per campsite per night. The previous fee of $4.00 was in place for over 20 years. The Hoosier NF has implemented several improvements to German Ridge Campground over the years. A new double vault toilet building was installed in 2009 to replace two wooden pit toilets. A gravity feed water tank, water lines and nine water spigots were installed in 2006 to provide water for horses. Two of the nine spigots are frost free, providing water year-round. The Forest recently installed two pull-through campsites to accommodate larger horse trailers. Horse camping use has increased over the years and the cost for hauling water to the campground has increased as well.

The new Saddle Lake Campground fee is $5.00 per campsite per night. The current campground is aging and has disrepair resulting from use, age, vandalism and theft of items such as grill grates and the cover for the vault toilet tank. The Forest has implemented improvements to this campground over the years as well. A new restroom was installed in Saddle Lake in 2003 to replace an aged wood vault toilet.

The Forest went through the fee proposal process by engaging in public involvement (notices were posted at the campgrounds and in the local newspaper and in the Federal Register throughout 2016 and 2017) and in April 2017 representatives of the Forest met with the Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) made up of citizens and representatives of various Forest recreation interests. The primary responsibility of the RAC is to provide recommendations on whether National Forests and Grasslands in 13 Northeastern States should adopt new recreation fees or change existing fees. The RAC approved the fee changes at their meeting in Louisville, KY on April 21, 2017.

At German Ridge Campground, the fee increase will be used to improve the services and facilities at German Ridge Campground by continuing to provide water for horses, rehabbing tent pads and campsite spurs, replace aging picnic tables, grills, and hitching posts; cleaning out the ditches on the main road, and providing more Forest Service personnel presence.

Saddle Lake plans include rehabbing tent pads and campsite spurs, replacing aging picnic tables and stolen grill tops, cleaning out the ditches on the main road, and providing more Forest Service personnel presence.

There are self-service pay stations at each campground and Forest personnel check for compliance. For more information about these facilities or the increased fees, please contact Nancy Myers, 812-547-9241.

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