SALEM - Despite holding a Golden Eagle Passport which is honored at most Forest Service recreation sites, hunters will still need to pay fees to use some campgrounds in the Grant County area, Forest Service officials announced.
The $65 Golden Eagle Passport replaced the Northwest Forest Pass, and the National Parks Pass was implemented on April 18 as a cost-saving measure for recreationists.
Prior to this change, visitors spent $30 for an annual Northwest Forest Pass in addition to $50 for the National Parks Pass. The Northwest Forest Pass is still available, and will still be honored with the Golden Eagle Passport.
"The Golden Eagle Passport is only good for entry into 'high impact' recreational areas, visitors centers and developed areas such as picnic areas, trailheads and parking sites, but not for campsites," Forest Service public information officer Pattie Hammett reported.
As a result, hunters should expect to pay up to an additional $6 per day fee at campsites within the Blue Mountain Ranger District. At Parish Cabin Campground, the rate is $6 without a pass, $3 with one. At Starr Campground, the rate is $4 without a pass, $2 with one.
Funds from the Golden Eagle Passport and the Northwest Forest Pass are used to provide the facilities and services requested by the public, Hammett said. Eighty percent of the sales are retained at the national forest where they were purchased, with the remainder being used for other high priority recreation projects across the country.
Hammett reported there are also Golden Age and Golden Access Passports available to citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are 62 years of age or older.
The Golden Age Passport is a $10 lifetime national pass, and provides a 50 percent discount at campsites, developed boat launches and swimming sites, and for specialized interpretive services.
The Golden Access Passport is a free lifetime pass available to citizens who are blind or permanently disabled, and provides the same benefits as the Golden Age Passport.