Recreation Fees

Recreational Enhancement Program
Clearwater National Forest 

Investing in the Clearwater's Great Outdoors

Welcome to the Clearwater National Forest Recreation Fee page. Under the Recreation Fee Program, (formerly known as the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program), the fees visitors pay are retained on the Forest where they are collected. These fees are then spent on projects to maintain and improve these areas.

As part of this program the Clearwater National Forest is permitted to retain fees:

Collected in campgrounds
Paid by outfitters and guides operating on the Forest.
Paid by visitors renting fire lookout towers and cabins
Collected from visitors participating in winter recreation activities at Lolo Pass such as cross country skiing.
In 2001, the visitor fees collected in the 4 categories listed above were substantial, and funded a number of important visitor services and facilities across the Forest, they are listed in this report.

One unique partnership included using fee demo funds to match private funding to restore a backcountry cabin located in the Gold Meadows area.

The following links will provide information on what visitor fees funded on the Clearwater National Forest in 1999 and 2000.


More and more people recreate on National Forests each year, and keeping up with the needs of those visitors and natural resources is becoming more difficult. Seeing that National Forests, parks, and other federal lands were suffering from the lack of funding to care for these lands, Congress passed a law to test bringing more funds to these lands in a new way.

Did you know that traditionally visitor fees collected on the Forest went directly back to the national treasury? However, in 1996, Congress authorized the Recreation Fee Demonstration program through Public Law 104-134 (as amended: 16 United States Code 4601-6a), for the Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The intent of the program is to test the application of recreation fees that are reinvested in recreation areas on federal lands. These fees are used, in the same places where visitors paid them, to maintain and improve natural resources, recreation facilities, and services.


If you are interested in knowing more about this national recreation fee program you can visit the National Recreation Fee site.

If you would like more information on recreation on the Clearwater, check out the Forest's visitor information site. If you want specific information about campgrounds, rental cabins and lookouts, or outfitters and guides available on the Forest visit the following sites:

Services and facilities offered at our campgrounds (227K PDF)
Find out how to rent a cabin or lookout.
Find outfitters or guide services.
REMEMBER no matter where you are
enjoying the outdoors