Published Jan 31, 2013
Death, taxes and bad hair days are inevitable. You don't have to like them but they're a part of life.
U.S. Forest Service recreation managers in North Carolina want visitors to be aware of newly proposed fee increases and new fees at seven recreation sites within their national forests.
The good news is you may express your feelings (be nice) and send your comments through the end of February. Click Here to E-mail Your (Nice) Comments
If adopted, the fee changes would be implemented in two phases over a two-year period.
We have another option, if we all pull together. We can buy our own dang forests and charge the Forest Service to use it! Are you with me? <chirp, chirp, chirp> Hello? I said, "Are you with me!"
Croatan National Forest
Uwharrie National Forest
Pisgah National Forest
Nantahala National Forest - The fee increases would standardize rates across the three shooting ranges. The fees are needed to address the maintenance needs and costs associated with increased visitation.
The Forest Service has made numerous improvements to many of the above-mentioned sites. While fixed costs have increased, recreation fees have remained static for a number of years. The fee increases would both be consistent with inflationary costs as well as ensure that fees are more comparable to similar public and private sites in their respective areas.
In recent years, the National Forests in North Carolina sought public comment and informed local leaders about the proposed increases. Public outreach efforts included:
All fee change proposals will be presented before a citizen's advisory committee, called the Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (RRAC). Committee members represent a broad array of recreation interests to help ensure that the Forest Service is proposing reasonable and publicly acceptable fee changes. Committee members will help ensure that the Forest Service addresses public issues and concerns about recreation fees. The public is welcome to attend and comment at all advisory committee meetings. The next RRAC meeting is expected to be held in spring 2013. The exact meeting time, location and agenda will be announced on www.fs.fed.us/r8/. If approved, the Forest Service will implement the fee changes later in 2013.
In 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, which allows the Forest Service to keep 95 percent of fees collected at certain recreation sites and use these funds locally to operate, maintain and improve the sites.
Comments can be sent to comments-southern-north-
Tags: Tourism, Appalachian Trail, and US Forest Service
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