Ed. Note: Cross-posted with the US Department of Agriculture blog.
The U. S. Forest Service will waive fees honoring those brave men and women who have protected our country and nation’s lands during the long Veterans Day weekend November 11-13 at some recreation sites. This is the third time this year that fees have been waived to encourage visitors to come to a national forest.
Fee waivers are a perfect opportunity for new and not-so-new visitors to get out onto our nation’s forests and grasslands to bike, hike, explore and more.
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.
Fee waivers are offered in cooperation with other federal agencies under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act and were offered earlier this year on National Get Outdoors Day in June and National Public Lands Day in September.
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. The waiver is an incentive to encourage people to visit our nation’s forests and grasslands, which offer a wide range of recreation and educational benefits such as improved physical and mental health, emotional well being, a concern for nature and a conservation ethic.
Traditionally, fees are not charged on 98 percent of national forests and grasslands and over 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 no cost.
The Forest Service operates approximately 17,000 recreation sites nationwide. Of those, approximately 6,000 require recreation fees, which are used to provide visitor services, repairs and replacements, and facilities maintenance.