San Bernardino National Forest officials are seeking public comments on proposed changes to two standard amenity recreation fee areas — Black Mountain and Thomas Mountain — within the San Jacinto Ranger District, and six other areas within the SBNF — the Arrowhead, Barton Flats, Big Bear North, Big Bear South, Falls and Lytle Creek.

Within the SBNF, the national fee area review resulted in a proposal to eliminate the standard amenity fee designation for seven areas (Arrowhead, Barton Flats, Big Bear North, Big Bear South, Black Mountain, Falls and Thomas Mountain). It also proposed to substantially reduce the size of the Lytle Creek SAF area, and change the type of recreation fee charged from SAF to special recreation permit fee for four winter recreation locations (Barton Flats, Snow Valley, Aspen Glen, and Rim), and three recreational target shooting locations (Lightning Gulch, 1N09, Arrastre and Big Pine Flat).

In June 2011, the U.S. Forest Service nationally reviewed the 97 SAF areas on National Forest System lands. As a result of the review, the Forest Service plans to eliminate the SAF area designation for 73 recreation areas and reduce the size for the remaining 24 areas nationally.

The proposed changes for the eight San Bernardino National Forest SAF areas are consistent with national review results, according to an SBNF press release. Consistent with direction on implementating the national fee area review, the SBNF has not been issuing notices of required fees or enforcing recreation fees outside of the sites and reduced areas listed in the proposal below.

Comments on the proposed changes must be submitted by Jan. 6, 2014, to be considered by the California Recreation Resource Advisory Committee. Comments may be submitted to Tamara Wilton, Pacific Southwest Region, 1323 Club Drive, Vallejo, CA 94592 or [email protected]

The public is welcome to attend and comment at all R-RAC meetings. The next R-RAC meeting is planned for Jan. 15 and 16, 2014. More information about the R-RAC and upcoming meetings may be found at www.fs.usda.gov/main/r5/recreation/racs.

Black Mountain Recreation Fee Proposal

Eliminate the Black Mountain SAF area designation, retain two SAF sites; retain five expanded amenity recreation fee sites; eliminate fees at seven SAF sites and areas: Black Mountain Lookout, Black Mountain Trailhead, Seven Pines Trailhead, Fuller Ridge Trailhead, Marion Mountain Trailhead, Seven Pines Camps, and Black Mountain Camps; and continue to accept local and national passes at the remaining recreation fee sites and areas.

Thomas Mountain Recreation Fee Proposal 

SBNF is proposing to eliminate the Thomas Mountain SAF area designation and eliminate the recreation fees at Thomas Mountain Camping Area and Toolbox Springs Camping Area.

If this proposal is adopted, the recreation fees would be eliminated for the 2,020-acre Thomas Mountain SAF area.

For more information about this recreation fee proposal, contact Tamara Wilton at 707-562-8965 or [email protected] More information about this proposal can also be found on the forest’s website, www.fs.usda.gov/sbnf.