Camping areas at Horsethief Reservoir will soon be under new management, and one of the biggest changes users will see is a new camping fee.
Idaho Fish and Game approached YMCA leadership in the fall of 2016 regarding the possibility of a temporary partnership between the two organizations. After months of negotiation and planning, the agency will hand off campground management responsibilities to the Y beginning July 1.
“Our training is in fish and wildlife management; we possess little expertise with, or statutory authority for, campground management,” Fish and Game fisheries supervisor Joe Kozfkay noted. “It’s exciting to have the YMCA as a partner, as they have that expertise.”
Under the new agreement, Fish and Game will continue its normal responsibilities such as fish stocking, rules enforcement, and area maintenance. The YMCA will become the primary manager of overnight camping, implementing a fee of $15/night beginning July 1. All fees will be utilized to hire additional staff and for campsite and access area improvement.
The temporary partnership sunsets in two years. “Both parties will come together at that time to discuss whether a long-term agreement is in the cards,” Kozfkay said. “If so, the public will benefit by having cleaner, safer campgrounds and a longer camping season for years to come.”
Built in 1967 and subsequently developed for fishing and camping, Horsethief Reservoir Access Area remains one of Idaho’s more popular outdoor destinations.