“The N.C. Forest Service was asked to study the idea of implementing fees and create a plan based on that study by the legislature. If the implementation of fees is approved, it may help to address the growing costs of maintenance and operating costs at DuPont State Recreational Forest,” said Bruce MacDonald, the forest’s communications director.
But the funding hasn't kept pace with growth. There has never been a fee to use DuPont State Forest, which is managed by the N.C. Forest Service, a division of the N.C. Department of Agriculture. The current budget is $1.3 million, including personnel and operating expenses.
Sara Landry, executive director of the Friends of DuPont State Forest, the nonprofit that raises funds and performs educational outreach and trail maintenance in the forest, said the group is in favor of a study looking at a possible fee schedule as long as fees go to protect and conserve DuPont.