Folkston, GA….Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge has modified the entrance and recreation fees which aid the refuge in supporting the Visitor Services program. Beginning Oct. 1, the fees will be updated as follows:
$15 for a Refuge-Specific Annual Pass
$15 for a Quota Hunt Permit for the Suwannee Canal Recreation Area
$15/person/night for the Wilderness Camping Permit; and
$50 for a Day-Use Commercial Guide Special Use Permit (SUP)
The refuge fee prices have remained unchanged since 1997 (Commercial Guide SUP unchanged since implemented in 2000). The fee increases were proposed to establish more consistency among neighboring sites and were increased due to the administrative costs associated with having a recreation fee program.
Public comments were accepted from June 16 – July 16, in which all comments provided regarding the refuge’s entrance and recreation user fees were taken into consideration before a final decision was made.
Since 1981, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has had authority to collect recreation fees. Since 1997, the Service has been able to retain fees collected at the station, first under the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program and then, in 2004, under the authority of Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA). The FLREA was established to provide funding for recreation program improvements. Typical projects paid for by recreation fee funds include road and parking lot maintenance, brochures, signage, and trail maintenance and improvements.
For any questions regarding the fee program changes effective October 1, please contact the Refuge Manager, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, via email (email@example.com), phone (912-496-7366), or by mail to 2700 Suwannee Canal Road Folkston, GA 31537.