Forest Service Recognizes Martin Luther King Jr. Day as National Day of Service, Waives Fees at Recreation Sites

Release Date: Jan 13, 2021

Portland, Ore. — The USDA Forest Service will waive fees at day-use recreation sites in Oregon and Washington on Monday, Jan. 18 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday as a national day of service in 1994 in recognition of Dr. King’s legacy of service and leadership to gain equality for all Americans.

The Forest Service honors Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a fee-free day to encourage Americans to get outside and visit their public lands.

“Every day, we strive to answer Dr. King’s call to serve and contribute in our communities,” said Glenn Casamassa, Pacific Northwest Regional Forester. “On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, whether you’re volunteering in your local community or visiting your public lands, we encourage you to reflect on Dr. King’s legacy and how we can continue advancing his dream of opportunity for all.”

Across the Pacific Northwest, volunteers serve a critical role in helping the Forest Service in countless ways. In 2020, more than 6,500 volunteers and partners contributed nearly 300,000 hours of service. Volunteering on your public lands is a great way to spend a summer, jump-start your career, or serve your country. Whether you want to volunteer during the summer, throughout the year, or for a single event, there are many ways you can volunteer with the Forest Service or our partner organizations. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit

The fee waiver includes many picnic areas, boat launches, trailheads, and visitor centers. Fees for camping, cabin rentals, or other permits still apply. Fees will continue to be charged at recreation sites operated by concessionaires unless the individual manager chooses to participate. To find a recreation site near you, visit our interactive recreation map.

The Forest Service manages 24 million acres of national forest lands in the Pacific Northwest and over 3,000 world-class outdoor recreation areas, facilities, and programs. No fees are charged at any time 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.

To learn more about the Forest Service in the Pacific Northwest, please visit

Contact: Stephen Baker (503) 808-2690,