weather icon Partly Cloudy

Proposal would hike fees for Lake Mead

Lake Mead National Recreation Area officials have proposed raising fees, in some cases doubling them, and are seeking public comments about the changes.

The National Park Service has updated its entrance fee schedule, and officials with Lake Mead National Recreation Area, a designated Group 2 park, are seeking to change fees to meet that rate.

Among the proposed changes are doubling the single-vehicle entrance fee from $10 to $20, the individual entry fee from $5 to $10 and the camping fee from $10 to $20 a night. Other changes are raising the motorcycle entrance fee from $10 to $15, the annual vehicle entrance fee from $30 to $40, the annual vessel fee from $30 to $50 and the group camping fee from $30 to $80 a night.

“We are committed to keeping the park affordable for our 7 million annual visitors,” said Patrick Gubbins, acting superintendent of the recreation area. “If a family with a vehicle and boat purchased the annual passes, the cost to experience Lake Mead National Recreation Area would break down to $7.50 a month. We believe this is still a great value.”

Additionally, under the proposal, annual vehicle passes will change from a sticker system with calendar-year validity to a card pass system with validity for 12 consecutive months from purchase. This change guarantees annual pass holders a full year of access, no matter when they purchase their passes.

Since 2000, fees have funded launch ramp extensions, the construction of Princess Cove Road in the Katherine Landing area of Lake Mohave, the construction of park entrance and visitor information stations, additional crews to remove litter, floating restrooms/pump-out stations, and navigation buoys and lights. The current fees have been in place since 2011.

Based on Bureau of Reclamation lake level projections for Lake Mead, park officials estimate that it will cost approximately $5 million during the next few years to extend launch ramps, relocate portable restrooms and grade beaches and dirt roads necessary for lake access.

Fees also are used to support projects that benefit visitors and improve their experience in the park, such as the repair and maintenance of facilities, capital improvements, enhanced amenities, resource protection and additional programs and services.

The public is encouraged to comment on the proposed changes. Feedback will be accepted through March 11 online at http://1.usa.gov/1vF2nLV and via mail at Lake Mead National Recreation Area Superintendent, Attention: Proposed Fee Increase, 601 Nevada Way, Boulder City, NV 89005. The new fees could be implemented by Jan. 1. But the schedule may vary based on feedback provided during the 30-day public engagement period.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Lake gets slight boost, but drier times ahead

After falling more than 27 feet since the start of the year, Lake Mead got a bit of a bump thanks in part to the August monsoon season.

Grant aims to help protect, conserve endangered species

While many people are fretting over the massive reduction of water at Lake Mead, the over 387 species of animals that call the lake home have also had to adjust to the drought.

Lake Mead forecast to drop 30 feet in 2 years

Lake Mead is projected to drop about 30 feet over the next two years based on the “most probable” outlook by the Bureau of Reclamation released Aug. 31.

Proper pool drainage prevents water waste

Despite the heat wave, it’s getting close to the time of year when swimming pool owners might drain their summertime splash/tanning zone for winter.

Joint pact pledges water cuts, efforts to battle drought

Major urban water suppliers up and down the Colorado River, including the Southern Nevada Water Authority, announced on Aug. 24, a joint commitment to significantly expand water conservation efforts and reduce water demands.

New panel of experts to explore drought solutions

Some of Nevada’s top water conservation and climate science minds are coming together to help the state handle the worsening drought and declining levels at Lake Mead.

Remains at lake identified as missing LV man

The Clark County coroner’s office on Aug. 24 identified Thomas Erndt as the man whose remains were found at Lake Mead in May.

Online Extra: Nevada seeks D.C.’s help on West drought cuts

Nevada officials are calling on the federal government to take a stronger role in the negotiations to address the Western drought after Colorado River states failed to meet a federal deadline to propose solutions.