US Forest Service waives fees during Veterans Day weekend
The U.S. Forest Service is waiving fees at most of its day-use recreation sites during the Veterans Day holiday weekend, Nov. 9 to 11.
The fee waivers-the fourth this year-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.
Concessionaire operated day-use sites may be included in the waiver if the permit holder wishes to participate.
“We wholeheartedly salute the men and women who represent the nearly 22 million American veterans who have served their country in the military,” U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said. “As we do throughout the year, we encourage veterans and their families to take advantage of their national forests and grasslands to enjoy all the benefits the outdoors provide.”
The Forest Service also honors active duty military members year-round with the free Interagency Annual Military Pass honored at all Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sites charging entrance or standard amenity fees.
The health benefits visitors receive from visiting national forests and grasslands are found when exploring the more than 150,000 miles of trails, which includes hiking, biking, equestrian and motorized trails, and more than 10,000 developed recreation sites. Visitors also have a wide choice of recreational activities with 57,000 miles of streams, 122 alpine ski areas, 338,000 heritage sites, 9,100 miles of National Scenic Byways, 22 National Recreation Areas, 11 National Scenic Areas, seven National Monuments, one national preserve and one national heritage area.
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has more than 1.5 million acres of forest in northern Wisconsin. To see what is available, visit the Forest’s web site at: www.fs.fed.us/r9/cnnf or follow the CNNF on Twitter at twitter.com/CNNF002.
Some sites may be closed for winter. Visitors should contact the district ranger’s office serving the location they wish to visit. Lists can be found on the Forest web site.
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.”
Traditionally, fees are not charged on 98 percent of national forests and grasslands, and approximately two-thirds of developed recreation sites in national forests and grasslands 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 approximately 17,000 developed recreation sites nationwide. 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 U.S. Forest Service, part U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future