Forest seeking public comments on proposed changes to Recreation Fee Sites

Angeles National Forest officials are seeking public comments on proposed changes which would result in over 160,000 acres of the forest becoming available to the public free of charge. These areas include the Angeles Crest, Big Pines–Big Rock, Big Tujunga, Elizabeth Lake, Frenchman’s Flat, Front Country, Little Rock, Mt. Baldy, Rowher/ Drinkwater, and San Gabriel Canyon standard amenity recreation fee (SAF) areas. The forest is proposing to substantially reduce the size of the Big Pines, Big Tujunga, Mt. Baldy, and San Gabriel Canyon areas, eliminate the remaining six, and establish special recreation permit (SRP) fees in three locations.

In June 2011, the U.S. Forest Service conducted a national review of the 97 SAF areas on National Forest System lands. As a result of the review, the Forest Service plans to eliminate the SAF area designation for 73 recreation areas and reduce the size for 24 areas nationally. The proposed changes for the 10 Angeles National Forest SAF areas are consistent with the results of the national review. Consistent with direction on implementation of the national fee area review, the Angeles National Forest has not been issuing notices of required fees or enforcing recreation fees outside of the sites and reduced areas listed below.

Comments on the proposed changes must be submitted by Jan. 6, 2014, to be considered by a citizen's advisory committee, called the California Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (R–RAC). Comments may be submitted to the attention of Tamara Wilton, Pacific Southwest Region, 1323 Club Drive, Vallejo, California 94592 or twilton@fs.fed.us.

The public is welcome to attend and comment at all R–RAC meetings. The next R–RAC meeting is planned for Jan. 15–16, 2014. More information about the R–RAC and upcoming meeting can be found at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r5/recreation/racs.

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