News Release

Forest Service Chief Invites Families to Participate in National Get Outdoors Day

Fees waived for children at most Forest Service Day-use Sites

June 9, 2016 -

U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell invites children and families to experience the many benefits of nature by participating in the ninth annual National Get Outdoors Day, Saturday, June 11. The event, also known as 'GO Day,' inspires national and local organizations to come together to promote the social, economic and environmental benefits of outdoor recreation.

“Get Outdoors Day is a great opportunity to reconnect with nature and discover a new favorite trail, wildlife creature or lake on our national forests and grasslands,” said Chief Tom Tidwell. “First-time visitors can take part in planned activities ranging from fishing to rock wall climbing to hiking, right in their own neighborhoods.”

Nationwide, many Forest Service locations will provide free recreational and educational activities. Some events are specifically designed to engage urban and multicultural youth in nature-based activities, as well as attract first-time visitors to public lands.

“GO Day helps American families discover opportunities for healthy, active outdoor fun close to home,” said American Recreation Coalition President Derrick Crandall. “It also builds upon other Great Outdoors Month events like the Capital Campouts hosted by governors across the country, National Fishing and Boating Week and National Trails Day. Some 15,000 GO Day events and activities will involve more than a million people this year.”

On GO Day, fees are generally waived for day-use areas such as picnic grounds, developed trailheads and destination visitor centers. Some concessionaire-operated sites may also be participating. Contact your local national forest or grassland to confirm whether your destination is waiving fees for GO Day, Saturday June 11, 2016.

The fee waiver program is in cooperation with other federal land management agencies under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.

June is also Great Outdoors Month and Chief Tidwell invites all Americans to join Forest Service staff and their many partner organizations as the get out and explore all types of recreational activities throughout the month.

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 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, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands managed by the Forest Service contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.