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Recreational Fee Tools

  • Horse Heaven Cabin in the Bitterroot National
    Forest, Idaho. The cabin is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and is used as a cabin rental. A new roof and rafter tails were installed in 1988.

    Photograph by C. Milo Mcleod, Forest Archeologist, Bitterroot National Forest.

    Forest: Bitterroot
    Region: 1

    What Is the REA and what happened to Fee Demo?

    Does the REA Include All Facilities?

    How Was the REA Authorized?

    How Are Fees Collected?

    How Is the Revenue Distributed?

    Regional REA Program Coordinators

    REA Web Sites

    References/Links

     

     

     


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  • Porcupine cabin, Gallatin National Forest.

    Forest: Gallatin
    Region: 1

    Most Forest Service personnel are familiar with the temporary Recreation Fee Demo program. The Recreation Fee Demo program authority expired at the end of 2005 and was replaced by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA). Both the Fee Demo program and REA authorized retention of most collected fees for use at the site where they were collected for maintenance and improvements. However, there are differences between the two programs.

    The REA prohibits collection of entry fees for Forest Service lands. However, it authorizes the collection of fees at areas that provide certain amenities. Standard fees may be charged at national conservation areas, national volcanic monuments, visitor centers, and all recreation sites or areas that provide at least these amenities: picnic tables, trash collection, toilets, parking, interpretive signing, and security services. Expanded fees may be charged at highly developed sites that provide additional amenities such as campground utility hookups, boat ramp lifts, swimming beach bathhouses with showers, dump stations, special tours such as heritage expeditions, cabin or lookout rentals, and reservation services. Special permits may be issued when extra measures are required for natural and cultural resource protection or the hetitleh and safety of visitors.

    The REA also contains requirements for enhanced public input on recreation fees and sites and requires implementation of a new multi-agency recreation lands pass.

    Click here for more information about the REA (available only to Forest Service personnel)

    Click here for the full text of the REA

  • The Fourmile cabin, Gallatin National Forest, is available for recreation rental.

    Forest: Gallatin
    Region: 1

    The REA only applies to recreation facilities. However, sites originally constructed for other purposes that are currently used as recreation sites open to the public are covered by the REA.

  • Smokey Bear greets visitors at the Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area.

    Forest: Davy Crockett
    Region: 8

    Title VIII, the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA) of the 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act (PL 108-447), was signed into law by President Bush on December 8, 2004. It has been extended through September 30, 2016.

    The REA prohibits collection of entry fees for Forest Service lands. However, it authorizes the collection of standard and expanded fees at areas that provide certain amenities and authorizes issuance of special permits when extra measures are required for natural and cultural resource protection or the hetitleh and safety of visitors. The act specifies how the fees may be used. It also contains requirements for enhanced public input on recreation fees and sites and requires implementation of a new multi-agency recreation lands pass.

    The Forest Service has created an REA Tool Box that contains information about interagency passes, advisory committees, fees, reporting, financial management, and more.

  • The Lewis-Clark Visitor Center in Montana is an example of a Forest Service fee site.

    Forest: Lewis-Clark
    Region: 1

    Fees can be collected for individual recreation sites or by selling regional or national passes. Single-day, multi-day, and annual passes may be sold.

    The REA mandated creation of new interagency Federal public lands recreation passes whose use is explained in the REA Toolbox (Web site available only to FS and BLM employees) that covers entrance fees and standard amenity recreation fees for all Federal recreation lands and waters where a fee is charged. The passes are valid for all lands managed by these agencies:

    • National Park Service
    • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    • Bureau of Land Management
    • Bureau of Reclamation
    • U.S. Forest Service

    Having a uniform fee program for all these agencies should reduce public confusion about public land recreation fees and make recreational use of Federal public lands a little easier.

    The Forest Service can continue selling regional passports such as the Northwest Forest Pass or the Southern California Adventure Pass.

    Accounting procedures(Web site available only to FS and BLM employees) for interagency passes are explained in the Financial Management section of the REA Toolbox.

  • Most receipts collected from
    passes and fees remain on the
    unit to enhance recreation
    services.

    Forest: Lake Tahoe Basin MU
    Region: 4.5

    Revenue is distributed differently depending on how the fees were collected.

    At least 95% of receipts from local standard fees, expanded fees, and special permit fees collected on a forest or unit must remain there. Most of these funds are to be used for recreation or permit site repair, maintenance, enhancement, visitor services, habitat restoration, law enforcement, and fee management agreements. A small percentage can be used for direct operation expenses. Another small percentage can be used for administrative, overhead, and indirect costs. The other 5% of standard fees, expanded fees, and special permit fees collected on a forest or unit may be used by the Region for deferred maintenance projects and some other recreation expenditures.

    Receipts from regional passports are distributed as required by the passport agreement.

    When interagency recreation passes (Web site available only to FS and BLM employees) are sold on a local unit, 95% of the receipts remain there and may be used for the same purposes as receipts from regional passes and local fees. The other 5% must be deposited into a special regional office account from which funds will be contributed to the national fee program. Collections and expenditures requirements are explained in the Financial Management section of the REA Toolbox (Web site available only to FS and BLM employees).

    Receipts from interagency recreation passes that are sold online through Recreation.gov, minus a small service fee, are deposited into a special WO account and distributed to forests and units using a formula.

     

  • The Fee Demo Program is no longer limited to 100 projects, so there is plenty of room for your project. Recreation sites that have been approved for the current year demo program are on the Washington Office Recreation Fee Demo Internet site .

    An easy way to add a new project may be to expand an existing project or join a national project such as the Cabin Rental Program or Heritage Expeditions. Contact your regional fee demo coordinator for more details.

  • For any new or expanded project, your first contact will be your Regional Fee Demo Program Coordinator. To expand an existing project, you will submit your proposal to the regional fee demo board for review. To initiate a new project, you will work with your regional coordinator to develop a concept paper to be sent to the WO for initial approval. If the concept is approved by the WO, you must complete a business plan for approval by your regional fee demo board (see examples of these plans). If the project is part of an existing national program such as the Heritage Expedition Project, your regional coordinator may need to submit your project to a national program leader for final approval.

    Work with your regional fee demo coordinator and fiscal department to track the cost of your project.

    List of Fee Demo Program Coordinators

  • Region-1 Recreation Fee Coordinator
    Joni Packard (406) 329-3586
    e-mail: jpackard@fs.fed.us

    Region-8 Recreation Fee Coordinator
    Rick Lowe (270) 924-2117
    e-mail: rickllowe@fs.fed.us

    Region-2 Recreation Fee Coordinator
    Jane Leche (303)275-5349
    e-mail: jleche@fs.fed.us

    Region-9 Recreation Fee Coordinator
    Marcia Heymen (414) 297-3662
    e-mail: mheymen@fs.fed.us

    Region-3 Recreation Fee Coordinator
    Jeff Saari(505) 842-3236
    e-mail: jsaari@fs.fed.us

    R-10 Recreation Fee Coordinator
    Jeff Miller (907) 586-8804
    e-mail: jeffmiller@fs.fed.us

    Region-4 Recreation Fee Coordinator
    Vicki Lawson (801) 625-5205
    e-mail: vlawson@fs.fed.us

    National Recreation Fee Coordinator and
    Golden Passports Coordinator
    Jennifer Eberlien (202) 205-1169
    e-mail: jeberlien@fs.fed.us

    Region-5 Recreation Fee Coordinator
    Tamara Wilton (530) 283-7655
    e-mail: twilton@fs.fed.us

     

    Region-6 Recreation Fee Coordinator
    Jocelyn Biro (503) 808-2411
    e-mail: jbiro@fs.fed.us

     

  • USDA Forest Service Recreation Fee Site

    REA Toolbox (Web site available only to FS and BLM employees)

    Recreation Fee Program National Library and Resource Center (Web site available only to FS and BLM employees)

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