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Tonto National Forest Proposes Higher Fees

(photo courtesy of the US Forest Service)

Visitors to the Tonto National Forest in eastern Arizona may soon be paying more to camp and boat in the area. Officials plan to use the additional revenue to upgrade aging infrastructure.

The proposed fee increases would help the forest deal with a $2 million budget shortfall.

Greg Schuster is a recreation program manager with the Tonto National Forest. He said, right now, the forest service is having to choose between funding daily operations and long term deferred maintenance.

"And so by modifying our fee structure and bringing some of these prices up, we feel that we will be able to address both challenges equally," he said.

Schuster said, the Tonto National Forest has one of the largest recreation programs in the country.

The public has until mid-October to comment on the proposal.

Carrie Jung Senior Field Correspondent, Education Desk Carrie Jung began her public radio career in Albuquerque, N.M., where she fell in love with the diverse cultural scene and unique political environment of the Southwest. Jung has been heard on KJZZ since 2013 when she served as a regular contributor to the Fronteras Desk from KUNM Albuquerque. She covered several major stories there including New Mexico's Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage and Albuquerque's failed voter initiative to ban late-term abortions. Jung has also contributed stories about environmental and Native American issues to NPR's Morning Edition, PRI's The World, Al Jazeera America, WNYC's The Takeaway, and National Native News. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in marketing, both from Clemson University. When Jung isn't producing content for KJZZ she can usually be found buried beneath mounds of fabric and quilting supplies. She recently co-authored a book, "Sweet And Simple Sewing," with her mother and sister, who are fabric designers.