Make all Federal Camping Free
The National Park Service, National Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management each operate thousands of campgrounds in the United States. The US Forest Service alone operates 4300 campgrounds across 154 National Forests. Nightly fees can vary from $5.00/night to $30.00/night, depending on location, facilities, and popularity. According to the 2018 US Forest Service Budget Overview, only $21 million were collected in campground fees, or hardly 1% of the $1.75 billion Forest Service budget (not counting the $2.5 billion for wildfire management). Evidently, these fees are irrelevant when compared to the budget provided by federal tax dollars. The major downsides to charging overnight fees in campgrounds are lacking diversity in
natural spaces and infringements on individual rights. Because some federal areas charge fees of $30/night, a week of camping can cost hundreds of dollars. For the 3/4 of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, camping is an impossibility. We believe that all federal campgrounds should be free. We believe that the hundreds of free campgrounds on BLM and Wildlife Refuge land prove that the Forest Service and National Park Service can maintain free and plentiful camping.