The MNSC board opposes the fee at Pattee Canyon as it is currently proposed; we would consider supporting a fee IF our concerns (outlined below) were addressed in a future proposal.
Official MNSC Board of Directors Position on the Proposed Permit for Winter Parking/Recreation fee at Pattee Canyon:
We do not support the current fee proposal at Pattee Canyon, but would consider supporting a fee if the following conditions are satisfied:
a. The USFS provides a specific plan for how fee revenue would enhance the Nordic ski experience at Pattee Canyon - this could include trail improvements, expansion of the trail system, winter parking lot improvements, support for events, etc. Ideally this plan would also demonstrate a limited use of the revenue on fee implementation.
b. Discounted or free fees/permits would be available to educational programs and those with demonstrated need. Season passes would be made available in a low-hassle way; specifically, the season pass would be available for purchase online and at all local winter sports retailers.
c. A significant portion of the fee revenue is guaranteed to be used to support grooming operations, thereby reducing the need to support grooming through memberships and grants. Furthermore, the USFS would need to commit to supporting grooming that matches or exceeds the quality and frequency currently provided by the MNSC. Specifically, given that potential uses for revenue will likely exceed available funds, there needs to be clear prioritization of maintaining high quality grooming operations above all else, as groomed ski trails are the key feature of the winter recreation site at Pattee Canyon.
d. Revenue raised by a winter-specific fee is used to enhance winter-specific recreation, not to pay for services or amenities that are available freely in other seasons.
e. There is clear support from the community for a fee.
How to Comment on the Fee Proposal
We encourage all nordic skiers and other winter and summer users of Pattee Canyon and Crazy Canyon Trailheads to submit a comment on the fee proposal before September 30. In particular, please comment on what you feel would be required for a fee to garner your support, or conditions under which you wouldn’t support a fee (“I would only support this IF…” or “I wouldn’t support this without…” or “I do not support a fee of any kind”). You are welcome to include the official MNSC Board of Directors statement above as part of your comment.
The following website provides in interactive interface with site specific details related to the fee proposal: https://usfs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/CrowdsourcePolling/index.html?appid=21a083a39c49400c8d30742855d4a757
The Missoulian article published about the proposal can be found here: https://missoulian.com/news/local/new-fees-and-increases-proposed-for-lolo-forest-sites/article_87318699-9609-5f32-a141-ab7e2672af26.html
Public Comment Link
Feedback may be submitted the following ways:
· Submit Electronic Comments: visit www.fs.usda.gov/goto/r1recfee and use the interactive website to submit comments;
· Email Comments: email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org;
· Mail comments: Lolo National Forest, Attn. Rec Fee Proposal, 24 Fort Missoula Road, Missoula, MT 59804.
For more information please contact Kate Jerman, acting Public Affairs Officer, Lolo National Forest at (406) 329-1024.
Thank you for your continued support of nordic skiing in the Missoula Area!
The MNSC Board of DirectorsRead More