Clark Corbin

(Idaho Capital Sun) Faced with an increase in usage, the Bureau of Land Management is proposing eliminating camping and adding a day-use fee at the popular Jump Creek Recreation Site located in Owyhee County.

Located about seven miles outside of Marsing on BLM administered lands, Jump Creek is a popular area that features trails through canyons, a 60-foot waterfall, picnic tables and parking areas. The area is currently free to access, and overnight camping is available through a special use permit at four tent camping sites in the area.

Jump Creek now attracts 40,000 visitors a year, BLM officials wrote.

Earlier this month, Bureau of Land Management officials proposed adding a day use fee and eliminating camping in the Jump Creek Recreation Site Business Plan that was published on the BLM’s website.

“Operational and maintenance costs have increased greatly as use has nearly doubled during a recent six-year period,” BLM officials wrote in the business plan. “The region’s population continues to grow, as does recreating on public lands. With current funding unreliable and BLM directing that its recreation sites become more self-sufficient; a fee collection is needed to cover the increased costs.”

In a letter accompanying the business plan, BLM Owyhee Field Manager Ammon Wilhelm said the proposed day-use fee is $5 per vehicle or $25 for an annual pass.

The BLM is accepting written public comment on the business plan through Sept. 28.

“This business plan includes a fee site proposal to address facility maintenance and public safety needs due to increased use and costs of operation,” Wilhelm wrote. “The fee will also enable the BLM to improve services, add amenities desired by visitors and help offset costs incurred by Owyhee County from increased law enforcement patrols and search and rescue efforts.”

Boise Dev reported on the fee proposal in its newsletter on Tuesday.

BLM officials calculated the proposed fees by analyzing the costs at similar recreation sites, Wilhelm wrote. Before they were published in the business plan, the proposed fees were presented to and supported by the BLM Idaho Resource Advisory Council in August 2021, Wilhelm said.

If the fees are approved, the BLM would honor national pass discounts, such as the America the Beautiful Pass, at Jump Creek.