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The $5 charge will help with upkeep of the 1,400 acre park popular with dog owners, hikers and others

PMG FILE PHOTO - The U.S. Forest Service will begin charging the $5 daily fee at Sandy River Delta Park effective Friday, Jan. 17. A $30 Forest Service annual pass also will be accepted.People using the popular Sandy River Delta Park will have to pay a $5 day-use fee starting mid-January, the U.S. Forest Service announced.

The park is well-used by hikers, birders, fishermen, horse riders, bicyclists and especially dog owners because it's mostly an off leash area.

The new fee will help with upkeep of the park, which has seen increased usage over the past few years.

The 1,400 acre park is near Troutdale, off exit 18 on Interstate-84, making it a quick getaway from Portland. With the Columbia River on one side and the Sandy River on the other, the park is criss-crossed with seven miles of trails. It boasts forests, meadows and wetlands.

The U.S. Forest Service said it will begin charging the $5 daily fee effective Friday, Jan. 17. A $30 Forest Service annual pass also will be accepted. Implementing the fee has been discussed for over two years and the public was encouraged to submit comments.

Many hiking trailheads kept up by the Forest Service and nearby Metro parks such as Oxbow Regional Park and Blue Lake Regional Park charge similar fees or require display of a yearly pass.

The U.S. Forest Service and nonprofit group Friends of the Sandy River Delta have improved the park and worked on upkeep. The Friends and other groups hold plantings, clean-up and work parties to keep the Park pristine for users.

The Forest Service says it has invested more than $1 million since purchasing the site in 1991. Amenities include vault toilets, trash pickup, parking lots, and, what the government agency describes as regular patrols, plus the multi-trail network.

Sandy River Delta Park, sometimes called "Thousand Acres," has also become a site for camps of homeless people.


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