Friends of Cougar

2005 changes

Cougar Hot Springs: Changes

  

By Greg Thorne, Monday 6/20/05 8:00am:

Since May 13, 2005, the Forest Service has had private contractor Hoodoo Recreation managing the Hot Springs. The daily fee has increased from $3 to $5. Annual passes increased to $50. There are no other changes planned. The Hot Springs will continue to be clothing-optional.

The Forest Service increased the fee to cover the costs incurred by Hoodoo to provide an attendant 8 hours each weekday, 12 hours each weekend through September. Fewer hours in the "off season."

Friends of Cougar has helped manage the Hot Springs purely with volunteer time.* Historically most of the work at the Springs has been done by volunteers. When we learned of the Forest Service plan in April, we sprung into action to try to persuade them of a better solution: having Friends of Cougar manage the Springs instead of Hoodoo. We know the Springs and the needs of visitors.

The Forest Service refused to change their immediate plans. But they did say that at the end of 2005, if the FS or Hoodoo are not satisfied with how things are going, the Hoodoo plan will end. Otherwise, it will automatically continue for another 5 years before it is opened for bidding.

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(* Volunteers now provide unobtrusive security at the Hot Springs. Volunteers take out most of the trash to the trailhead, pick up trash from around the Springs, inform visitors and give directions on the website and a volunteer sits in his van and guards the parking lot all day long to prevent theft. The Forest Service pays Maria roughly $150 per pool cleaning, and pays Forest Service employees to periodically collect the trash from the cans at the trailhead, clean the vault toilets, and maintain and stock the outhouses. )

 

 

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