Fee Dollars At Work

Lockhart Ranch - The Crow's Nest
Restoration work on the Lockhart Ranch was done using Fee money

Lockhart Ranch - The Crow's Nest

Crooked Creek Contact Station
Fee Dollars were used by Bighorn Canyon to improve the Crooked Creek contact station


Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area is being cared for today and for future generations by the National Park Service. This dual objective—use today and tomorrow—comes at a price. Protecting our natural and cultural heritage while at the same time ensuring that visitors have a safe, enjoyable, and educational experience is expensive.

As the number of visitors to parks continues to climb due to the popularity of our national treasures, government funding available for necessities such as road and building repairs, campground maintenance, visitor protection, resource protection and other services has not kept pace with demand.

In 2004, to address these needs, Congress signed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) which allows the U.S. Department of the Interior to implement an interagency Fee Program in three of its agencies—the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The program also includes the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. The program directs funds collected from park visitors towards the maintenance of the facilities they are utilizing.

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area is a participant in the Interagency Recreational Fee Program. The program authorizes Bighorn Canyon to keep up to 80% of the fees collected.

These funds have been and will continue to be used for maintenance, repair projects, public service programs, signage, and natural and historical resource preservation, as listed below. The remaining revenue is generally distributed to parks that do not collect fees but have similar needs and to fund other servicewide initiatives.

The following is a list of some of the projects that have been completed using fees collected by the park.

  • Crooked Creek Contact Station
  • Horseshoe Bend Pavilion for public programs
  • Horseshoe Bend Campground upgrades
  • Restoration work at the Historic Ranches
  • 3 Mile Access bathroom
  • Afterbay Launch Ramp

Last updated: March 31, 2012

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area Headquarters Office
PO Box 7458

Fort Smith, MT 59035


(307) 548-5406

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