Cumberland seeks input on proposed fee increases
The National Park Service is seeking the public’s input on proposed increases to entrance and camping fees at Cumberland Island National Seashore.
The comment period opened Monday and closes June 20.
This is the first proposed increase since 2006.
“We are committed to keeping the park affordable but we also want to provide visitors with the best possible experience,” island superintendent Gary Ingram said in a press release. “The money from camping and entrance fees is used to improve park facilities, infrastructure and provide for enhanced visitor services.”
The park service has proposed raising entrance fees from $4 a person for those older than 16 years to $7 a person. All entrance fees are valid for seven days.
There is also a suggested increase to the annual pass, which grants entry to the card holder and three additional people, from $20 to $30.
Rate increases have also been proposed for camping fees, moving the fee structure from a per person to a per site schedule and keeping it comparable to other campgrounds in the area. The rates had been $2 or $4 per person, per night depending on the campsite. The proposed fees are $25 per site, per night at Sea Camp with six people per site; $40 per site, per night with 20 people per site for a Sea Camp group site; $15 per site, per night with six people per site at Stafford Beach; and $12 per site, per night with six people to a site in the wilderness camp grounds. A $6 reservation fee is included in all of the proposed rates.
To making camping reservations more convenient, the park is moving to an online reservation system where visitors can check availability and pay for their stay online. Currently, campers have to call the park during a four-hour range each day to make reservations.
“Funds collected through entrance fees and camping have been used in the repair of historic buildings, stabilization of archaeological resources, roof replacement on park buildings, restoration of the Dungeness area landscape and support of visitor services at the mainland visitor center,” according to the release. “Additional revenue raised by a fee increase would continue to enhance the visitor experience by continuing to improve facilities and providing more programming options for park visitors.”
Citizens can express their opinion by sending an email to CUIS_Info@nps.gov with the subject line “fee changes;” calling (912) 882-4336; submitting comments to www.facebook.com/CumberlandIslandNPS/ or at www.parkplanning.nps.gov; or mailing comments to ATTN: Fee Changes, 101 Wheeler St., St. Marys, GA 31558.