Little Sahara Business Plan Q&As

Individuals are required to purchase a Special Recreation Permit to recreate within the Little Sahara Recreation Area (LSRA).  On April 1, 2010, the BLM Fillmore Field Office adopted a modified the fee schedule for Special Recreation Permits at the LSRA through proposals included in the  Draft Little Sahara Recreation Area Business Plan.

 Question #1: What authority does the BLM have to collect fees at a recreation site?

Answer:  The Federal Land Policy and Management Act authorizes the BLM to regulate the use of the public lands through permits, and the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act authorizes the BLM to collect recreation amenity fees when sites and areas meet specific criteria.  In the case of the LSRA, individuals must obtain a Special Recreation Permit to use the area in order to protect public health and safety, prevent user conflicts, and protect public land resources.  The policies for implementing this component of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act are codified at Title 43, Subpart 2932 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Question #2:  What are the fees? 

Answer: The following fee schedule was adopted on April 1, 2010:
Two-Day, One Night Camping Permit - $18
Annual Permit - $120 for 1st vehicle and $65 for 2nd Vehicle 
Senior Citizens Discount (age 62 and up) - 50% discount on all fees listed above

Question #3:  Will a Day-Permit still be offered at LSRA?

Answer:   No. The base fee is now $18 for two days and one night camping

Question #4:  Why did the fees need to be increased at LSRA?

Answer:  The new fee schedule will help meet BLM’s objective to enhance the quality of visitor experiences and cover the rising operational costs of administering, monitoring, maintaining and improving visitor services and facilities offered at Little Sahara Recreation Area.  The fees collected under the previous fee schedule for the LSRA did not fully cover the annual operating and maintenance costs. LSRA is a remote recreation site and visitor services are critical for enhancing visitor experience and providing visitor safety. Visitor services include but are not limited to:  law enforcement support, trash disposal, vault toilet pumping, emergency medical supplies, water quality testing, and maintenance of facilities.   By increasing fees, the existing visitor services will still be provided and would not need to be reduced or eliminated due to lack of funding.

Question #5:  How were the fee increases for LSRA determined?

Answer:  The Draft Little Sahara Recreation Area Business Plan used the Fair Market Assessment approach to calculate the proposed fee changes for the Little Sahara Recreation Area.  The Fair Market Assessment approach compares the fees charged at similar recreational areas in the western United States being administered by Federal and State land management agencies.  See Table 7, page 14, in the Draft Little Sahara Recreation Area Business Plan.

Question #6:  Will my current Annual Permit remain valid?

Answer: Yes.  No additional payment will be required and your current Annual Permit will remain valid through December 31, 2010.  Only new Annual Permits purchased after April 1, 2010 will be subject to the new rates.

Question #7:  Will LSRA continue to offer discounts to senior citizens and those with the disabilities?

Answer:  Yes. Senior citizens will continue to receive a 50% discount on all fees offered at LSRA with an ID showing picture and proof of age (i.e., driver’s license).  Those with disabilities may receive a 50% discount if they have the Access Pass.  These passes can be purchased at any BLM office or at LSRA Visitor’s Center.  These discounts offered by the LSRA provide a cost savings that is unique at the LSRA, since no other major recreational sand dune area in the western United States offers these discounts.

Question #8:  Can I use my America the Beautiful Pass to cover the Special Recreation Permit fees required at the LSRA?

Answer:  No.  The America the Beautiful Pass only applies to "Entrance" and "Standard Amenity" fees.   America the Beautiful program discounts do NOT apply to the non-commercial Special Recreation Permit fees that are charged at LSRA.  These details are included on the back of your America the Beautiful Pass.

Question #9:  Will the revenues from the proposed fee increases be used to repave the existing road system at LSRA?  

Answer:  No.  $7,780,000 of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds were made available for this project.  These ARRA funds are part of the economic stimulus package passed by Congress in 2009.  The existing paved road system (16 miles) within the LSRA and the Visitor Center parking lot will be repaved in fiscal year 2010.  The existing paved road surface is deteriorating and needs to be repaired.

Question #10:  Will additional roads be paved at LSRA, beyond those already paved?

Answer:  No.  Only the current paved road system will be repaved.  No dirt road surfaces will be improved or paved. 

Question #11:  Where is the LSRA Visitor’s Center located and what services and amenities are provided?

Answer: The Visitor’s Center is located at the main entrance of the LSRA.  Services and amenities available include: daily and annual permit sales, Jericho Campground reservations, flush restrooms and potable water, interpretive information, maps, bookstore and general information about the surrounding area.  Emergency medical assistance is also available to the public.  Phone: (435) 433-5960

Question #12:  What facilities and amenities are offered at LSRA?

Answer:  The LSRA offers the following facilities and amenities:  a Visitor’s Center, 4 campgrounds with a total of 255 campsites and 3 loops of primitive camping at Sand Mountain, RV dump station, pay phone at Visitor’s Center, potable water, and designated sand play areas safely-fenced for children.  All campgrounds include flush & vault toilets, water, and trash removal.  For more information click here. (LSRA brochure)

Question #13:  What additional facilities and amenities are under consideration?

Answer:  Facilities and amenities under consideration include:  Renovation of the Jericho Campground, replacement of toilets, potential additional campground, an additional dump station, solar security lighting, maintenance and replacement of shade structures, picnic tables, fire rings and grills, and tent pads.

Question #14:   Are emergency medical services available at the LSRA? 

Answer:  Yes.  The LSRA Visitor’s Center has a first aid room and BLM staff is certified in Basic First Aid and CPR and are available for emergency medical support upon request.  Ambulance Service and Life Flight helicopter services are available through the Juab County Sheriff’s Office.  The Central Valley Medical Center (30 miles from the Visitor’s Center) is the located at 1500 North Main in Nephi.

Question #15:  Is there phone service available at LSRA?

Answer:  Yes.  A public pay phone is available at the Visitor’s Center and cell phone coverage is accessible in various areas throughout the sand dunes, depending on cell service provider.

Question #16:  Is camping allowed outside the designated campgrounds at LSRA?

Answer:  Yes.  Dispersed camping is permitted throughout the LSRA.  Please follow “Leave No Trace” camping techniques to preserve the beauty of the area.

Question #17:  How is information regarding current weather conditions at LSRA accessed?

Answer:   Visitors can call the LSRA Weather Hotline at (435) 433-5961.

Question #18:  What communities are the closest to LSRA?

Answer:  From LSRA to Eureka - 23 miles, to Nephi - 28 miles, to Delta - 38 miles, and to Salt Lake City - 115 miles.  See map on page 4 of the Draft LSRA Business Plan.

Question #19:  Is LSRA a state park?

Answer: No.  The BLM Fillmore Field Office manages this 60,000-acre sand dune complex in Juab County, Utah that annually provides over 200,000 visitors with outstanding recreational opportunities on their public lands.