The U.S. Forest Service is waiving fees at most of its day-use recreation sites over Veterans Day weekend for the third year, a Forest Service press release reports.
The waivers are offered in cooperation with other federal agencies under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. Day-use fees will be waived at all standard amenity fee sites operated by the Forest Service.
“We’re honoring our country’s brave men and women veterans by waiving fees over the long weekend,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “We encourage people who might not normally enjoy our beautiful public lands to get out of the house and enjoy a forest or grassland near you. Our lands 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.”
The Forest Service will waive fees four times in 2012: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Weekend – Jan. 14-16; National Get Outdoors Day – June 9; National Public Lands Day – Sept. 29; and Veterans Day Weekend – Nov. 10-12. The fee waiver days support the goals of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative and First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move Outside.”
There are approximately 17,000 recreation sites nationwide that the Forest Service operates. Of those, approximately 6,000 require recreation fees, which are used to provide visitor services, repairs and replacements, and facilities maintenance.
The mission of the US Forest Service is to “sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Recreational activities on our lands contribute $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy,” the release states. “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.”
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