John Day River Boater Permit Fee

Floating the John Day River

February 2014 Update

After hearing from members of the public, guides and outfitters, and other groups, reviewing existing budgets and river needs, as well as gaining a unanimous approval from the John Day–Snake Resource Advisory Council, Prineville BLM has added a new boater special recreation permit fee for the Wild and Scenic sections of the John Day River between Service Creek (River Mile 157) and Tumwater Falls (River Mile 10). The non-refundable launch fee will apply to day and overnight trips (floats) from May 20–July 10 each year. The fee will be $20 per overnight trip per group or $10 per day-use trip per group. The fee is due when a permit reservation is made and will apply for the 2014 season. All fees collected will be used directly on the river to help keep launch sites and river campsites clean.

The launch permit and fee are not required when boating a distance of less than 100 yards upstream or downstream of the launch point, or to cross the river to the opposite bank. For short, day trips taking place completely within the Priest Hole Recreation Site (one mile between River mile 136.5 and 137.5), free, self-issue paper permits are unlimited and may be obtained at Priest Hole. For information about the decision and fee proposed by the John Day–Snake Resource Advisory Council, please see the minutes from the January 8-9, 2014 meeting.

July 2013 Update

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Prineville District Office is proposing a new boater special recreation permit fee (SRP) for the Wild and Scenic sections of the John Day River between Service Creek (River Mile 157) and Tumwater Falls (River Mile 10). The fee would apply to day and overnight trips (floats) during the peak use season of May 20 to July10 and may include the fall fishing season as well. Fees would be added for the 2014 season.

Details of the proposal and the range of fees being considered are outlined in the John Day River Fee Business Plan (see below). The BLM has not proposed a specific fee yet because we are working with our John Day - Snake Resource Advisory Council (RAC) for a final recommendation. A RAC meeting won't occur until this fall, so the specific fee proposed is expected to be published here by the end of the calendar year.

To ensure that your comments will be considered, the BLM must receive written comments on the proposal to collect fees by August 19, 2013. Please consider the time of year fees could be charged, the amount that should be charged, and if fees should be charged for a per trip or per day basis. For instructions on how to submit comments, please see the Notice of Intent to Collect Fees on the John Day River.

June 2012

The BLM, Prineville District is reviewing options to add a non-refundable special recreation permit fee for the 2014 John Day River (JDR) season. After reviewing the fees charged on other rivers in Oregon and the United States with comparable experiences, the preferred fee for the JDR is:

  • $15/person per launch for overnight trips up to 14 days
  • $7.50/person per launch for a day-use trip

The BLM's goal is to invest 100% of recreation fee receipts in the John Day River Recreation Area facilities, services, and programs related directly to visitor enjoyment, visitor access, and health and safety.

Prineville District is looking at a fee because it has been receiving fewer recreation funds over the past five years and that declining trend is expected to continue. While it is receiving less allocated recreation funding, the District will continue to put the same percentage of allocated recreation funds into JDR management. This means that the District will not shift allocated recreation funding for the JDR to another area, while expecting boater fees to cover management costs.

The fee is authorized by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, and the amount is based on operation and maintenance costs. Fees could help pay for services such as:

  • boat-in campsite clean-up
  • launch/take-out site staffing during the boating season
  • garbage service at Clarno and Cottonwood take-outs
  • improved facilities
  • staffing for increased public contacts

Fees will protect the John Day Wild and Scenic River by supporting the management of recreation use, reducing user conflicts, informing users, gathering use information, and protecting natural and cultural resources. Prineville District will continue to look for partnerships, grants, and in-kind assistance to help manage the river.

To provide comments or learn more, contact:

Prineville District BLM
Attn: Recreation Fee Program
3050 NE 3rd Street
Prineville, OR 97754
Or email BLM_OR_PR_JDRiver_Study@blm.gov with "fee proposal" in the title.

The Privacy Act and 43 CFR 2.48(d) require that you be furnished the following information: Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment-including your personal identifying information-may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask BLM in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, the agency cannot guarantee we will be able to do so.