U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell announced Wednesday (March 17)
his decision not to implement proposed changes to fees charged to
holders of passes at Forest Service campgrounds operated by private
businesses. The chief’s decision means seniors and people with
disabilities will continue to receive a discount at Forest Service
campgrounds run by private concessions, according to a press release.
The forest service had proposed changes to discounts provided to
holders of Golden Age and Golden Access Passports and Senior and Access
Passes. Under the proposal, discounts at concession-operated campgrounds
would have changed from the current 50% to 10%. After considering many
public comments, Tidwell determined the proposed changes are not the
best way to address growing challenges regarding services provided by
private businesses at forest service recreation facilities.
“Each year more than 175 million people enjoy recreational
opportunities on national forests and grasslands, and that includes more
than 15 million visits to our campgrounds,” said Tidwell. “Particularly
in these difficult economic times, it is very important to maintain
affordable access to our national forests and grasslands, giving people
easy ways to recreate and find respite in the great outdoors.”
Concessioners are not required to accept passes at day-use sites.
Seniors age 62 and older pay a one-time $10 fee for the Senior Pass.
Lifetime Access Passes for people with disabilities are free.
The Forest Service conducted a 60-day public notice and comment
period on the proposed changes. More than 4,000 comments were received.
For more information, visit www.fs.fed.us.