Continuing to get folks to visit the great outdoors, Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell is offering his agency's second fee waiver weekend this summer on August 14-15.
"The Forest Service is working to ensure as many visitors as possible have the opportunity to experience the great outdoors and take advantage of the many recreational activities national forests have to offer," said Tidwell. "By waiving fees, everyone will have the opportunity to enjoy the wonder and rejuvenation of recreation on national forests."
These fee waivers are offered in cooperation with other federal agencies under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA) and aside from the August waiver, other dates throughout the year will be fee waived as well.
The remaining Fee Waiver dates for 2010 are as follows:
- Back-to-School Season - Aug.14-15, - fees will be waived for Saturday and Sunday.
- National Public Lands Day - Sept 25, 2010 -This fee waiver is offered every year.
- Veterans' Day - Nov. 11, 2010 - This fee waiver is offered every year.
The Fee Waiver weekends support the goals of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Conference and First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative by actively supporting and promoting programs, projects and initiatives that encourage the use of the outdoors by the public. The waiver will allow people to explore our nation's forests, which offer a wide range of recreation and educational benefits such as: improved physical and mental health, emotional well being, a concern for nature, and a conservation ethic.
Traditionally, fees are not charged on 98 percent of national forests and grasslands and over two-thirds of developed recreation sites can be used for free. Many recreation opportunities such as camping, sightseeing and hiking can be enjoyed throughout the year at no cost. The Forest Service operates about 17,000 recreation sites. Of those sites, approximately 6,000 require a fee at recreation sites which provide visitor services, needed maintenance/repairs, and recreational facilities and services.