First fee-free day is June 11
The U.S. Forest Service will waive the day-use fees associated with many recreation sites or amenities on national forests nationwide on June 11, the first of several fee-free days this year.
“The Forest Service waives fees every year to encourage more Americans to get outdoors and experience the wide array of recreation opportunities provided on our forests and grasslands,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “We hope that these experiences on our lands will foster a lifelong appreciation and stewardship of precious natural resources.”
This year’s fee waiver dates are as follows:
- National Get Outdoors Day – June 11
- National Public Lands Day – September 24
- Veterans’ Day Weekend – November 11-13
Day-use fees will be waived at all standard amenity fee sites operated by the Forest Service for these listed dates. Concessionaire-operated, day-use sites may be included in the waiver if the permit holder wishes to participate.
Fees are not charged for 98 percent of national forest and grasslands. More than two-thirds of developed recreation sites can be used for free. The Forest Service operates approximately 18,000 recreation sites nationwide, many including day-use areas, picnic and shelter sites, beach and lake areas, boat launches, trails and trailheads, and campsites and cabins.
To assist with travel planning, the agency has posted a special interactive map on its website that locates national forest sites within a certain radius of a chosen location. Users can type in their location and adjust the radius to suit their travel plans.
Campsites and locations that are reserved online at http://www.recreation.gov will not be included in the fee waiver. Contact your nearest national forest or grassland for local details.
The fee waiver days support the goals of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) initiative, as well as First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Outside program. AGO helps to raise awareness about the serious challenges natural resources face today, particularly the loss of prime agricultural and forests lands that provide a wealth of benefits to Americans, including clean water, wildlife habitat, food and fiber, and more. The Let’s Move! Outside program promotes regular outdoor activity to help kids maintain a healthy weight, boost immunity and bone health, and lower stress. By linking parents to nearby parks, trails and waters, and providing tips and ideas, Let’s Move! Outside can help families develop a more active lifestyle.
For more information on the Forest Service’s recreation fee program and how these funds are used, visit http://www.fs.fed.us/passespermits/about-rec-fees.shtml.
The U.S. Forest Service mission 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 and is the world’s largest forestry research organization.