Tonto National Forest Taking Public Comments On Proposed East Verde River Fees

By Ron Dungan
Published: Monday, August 30, 2021 - 11:07pm
Updated: Monday, August 30, 2021 - 11:08pm

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East Verde River
Stina Sieg/KJZZ
The East Verde River, a tributary of the Verde River.

The Tonto National Forest is seeking the public’s input on a proposal to charge a fee for a couple of popular recreation areas near Payson.

The East Verde River and Flowing Springs have grown in popularity over the years.

Then the pandemic sent waves of visitors outdoors, who sometimes left piles of trash behind.

Visitors have frequently told the Forest Service they would like to see upgrades to the areas, such as cleaner restrooms, trash pickup and more parking.

But the Forest Service says it will need to charge a fee for those services. 

“Both of these sites are near water, so, automatically that makes them popular, you know especially from people during the summer, trying to escape the heat,” said Matt Paciorek, District Ranger for the Payson District.

Paciorek says that 95% of the fees would stay within the Tonto Forest. Oral comments can be provided over the telephone between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday by calling 928-474-7900. When calling, please indicate you would like to provide comments on the proposed district recreation fee changes. Comments can also be submitted by email to [email protected]