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Central California District
Release Date: 12/09/11
Contacts: David Christy , 916-941-3146  
News Release No. CC-12-17

San Joaquin River Gorge Special Recreation Management Area Implements Fees

After reviewing public comments, the Bureau of Land Management’s Bakersfield Field Office will proceed with a modified fee plan at the San Joaquin River Gorge.

On June 9, the Bakersfield Field Office published a Federal Register notice describing its proposed ‘Standard’ and ‘Expanded’ amenities fees for services provided within its San Joaquin River Gorge Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA). The notice outlined several fees, including fees for day use, camping and interpretive programs.

The notice in the Federal Register generated fewer than 50 public comments, the majority of which were in general opposition to the charging of fees for any service, anywhere, without regard to the specifics of the fee proposal. Other comments were either ambiguous or supported fees, offering feedback on the specific proposal and the fee amounts.

“After review of the public comments received, and in the interests of continuing to adequately maintain and enhance the level of service within the San Joaquin River Gorge SRMA, we have decided to implement fees at the gorge,” said Tim Smith, Bakersfield Field Office Manager.

Fees will be charged beginning Feb. 1, 2012. However, the fee structure has been slightly altered based on public comments. Prices have been reduced for the annual pass and interpretive and educational programs.

There will be a fee of $5 per person for day use. The fees for campsites will be $10 for individual campsites (per campsite, not per person), $15 for double/triple campsites and $175 for the group campground. There will be a $10 per-person fee for interpretive/educational programs. Special Recreation Permits, with their own associated fees in addition to those mentioned above, will still be required for some organized group, commercial and competitive activities and vending.

The San Joaquin River Gorge SRMA annual pass will be available for $25 starting Jan. 1 from the Bakersfield Field Office.  The fee for this pass was lowered in response to public comments. The annual pass will cover the day-use fee for a 12-month period. These can be purchased either in person, via mail or over the telephone. 

The day-use fee is also covered by the “America the Beautiful” passes (Senior, Access and Volunteer).  Both the Senior and Access versions of the America the Beautiful pass discount the costs for camping and interpretive programs by half. Furthermore, Golden Age and Golden Access Passports will be honored to cover the day-use fee.

“Anyone using one of the annual passes or paying fees directly will have to complete the traditional ‘yellow envelope’ with their visit information and annual pass number (or payment – check or cash) and deposit it in one of the Iron Rangers placed at four locations throughout the SRMA,” said Peter De Witt, Bakersfield Field Office outdoor recreation planner.

For additional information on the fees schedule for the San Joaquin River Gorge, or to acquire an annual pass, please contact the Bakersfield Field Office at 3801 Pegasus Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93308, telephone (661) 391-6000. You may also visit the Bakersfield Field Office website at for more information.


Central California District   2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825  

Last updated: 12-12-2011