Free Forest Fees
updated: Nov 06, 2012, 8:29 AM
Source: Los Padres National Forest
The fee waivers - the fourth this year - are offered in cooperation with other federal agencies under the
Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. Day-use fees will be waived at all standard amenity fee sites
operated by the Forest Service. Concessionaire operated day-use sites may be included in the waiver if
the permit holder wishes to participate.
"This is our way of saying thanks to the brave men and women - past and present - who put their lives
on the line every day to keep us safe at home," said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. "We
encourage veterans, their families and all visitors to take time out over the holiday weekend to enjoy the
benefits that nature provides at forests and grasslands throughout the country."
The fee waiver days support the goals of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative and
First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move Outside."
Traditionally, fees are not charged on 98 percent of national forests and grasslands, and approximately
two-thirds of developed recreation sites in national forests and grasslands can be used for free. Many
recreation opportunities such as camping, sightseeing and hiking can be enjoyed throughout the year at
The Forest Service operates approximately 17,000 developed recreation sites nationwide. Of those,
approximately 6,000 require recreation fees, which are used to provide visitor services, repairs and
replacements, and facilities maintenance.
The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's
forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193
million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the
largest forestry research organization in the world. Forest Service lands contribute more than $13 billion
to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the
nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $27 billion per year.
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