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Chief

Recreation RACs to be Continued

[Federal Register: September 8, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 174)]

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE - Forest Service
 
Recreation Resource Advisory Committees

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of intent to renew the Recreation Resource Advisory Committees.

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SUMMARY: The Secretary of Agriculture intends to renew five Forest Service Recreation Resource Advisory Committees (Recreation RACs) pursuant to Section 4 of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act passed into law as part of the 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 108-447) on December 8, 2004. The Recreation RACs operate in the Pacific Northwest, Pacific Southwest, Eastern, and Southern Regions of the Forest Service and the State of Colorado, and provide recreation fee recommendations to both the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as appropriate. As required by the Federal Advisory Committee Act, charters for Federal advisory committees must be renewed every two years.

Chief

Campground and Fire Lookout Rental Fees Reviewed

Campground and Fire Lookout Rental Fees Reviewed

VALLEJO, Calif., Jul. 3, 2008—The California Recreational Resource Advisory Committee (RRAC) held a meeting June 24 and 25 in Redding to review a wide variety of potential fee changes at BLM and Forest Service recreational sites in California. The RRAC was created with the implementation of the Federal Lands Recreational Enhancement Act. This Act which was signed into law in 2005, provides guidelines for charging fees at federal recreation sites. Congress made a significant effort to ensure that there would be public oversight of the fee development process as well as opportunities for the public to provide input. RRAC's are comprised of 11 members representing a balance of various user groups, environmental organizations, as well as local, state, and tribal representatives.

The meeting in Redding included a one-day field trip providing the RRAC members with the opportunity to view sites that are proposed for fee increases or changes, including areas that are free of charge and will remain free. In addition, the RRAC was able to see how recreation fees are used to improve and enhance recreation sites and services.

The actual proposals presented at the RRAC meeting included fee proposals from as far south as the Cleveland National Forest in southern California, all the way up to the Shasta Trinity National Forest in northern California. As federal budgets remain flat recreation fees have taken on a different role in the management of our public lands. For example, in 2007, the National Forests in California were able to manage recreation through an additional 7.56 million dollars provided through fee revenue. These funds helped to operate and maintain campgrounds, remove trash, install bear-proof garbage receptacles, replace toilets and much more. The Federal Lands Recreational Enhancement Act allows for a significant amount of the fees charged on public lands to stay with the managing unit and be used for enhancing the site and thus provide a more quality recreation experience for the visitor.

At this most recent meeting, the RRAC reviewed fees, many of which had not changed for as much as 10 years. Many of the increases for activities such as camping increased just a few dollars per site. The RRAC also saw the importance of keeping some locations open with no fee being charged at all and turned down new fee proposals for sites that were currently free of charge. These sites included a picnic area and fishing access on Shasta Lake as well as three campgrounds.

Bob Warren, RRAC chair stated, "The RRAC continues to take its responsibility of representing the public seriously and understands that this representation is an important component of ensuring the original legislation continues to be implemented, as originally passed by Congress."

The next meeting and review of fees for California will take place in Sacramento on October 16. For further information about the activities of the California RRAC, please contact the designated Federal official, Marlene Finley, at 707-562-8856, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Bob Warren, Committee Chairman, at 530-225-4485 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Chief

WHAT IS A SPECIAL RECREATION PERMIT?

WHAT IS A SPECIAL RECREATION PERMIT?

Types of permits:

Special Recreation Permits are authorizations which allow specified recreational uses of the public lands and related waters. They are issued as a means to manage visitor use, protect natural and cultural resources, and provide a mechanism to accommodate commercial recreational uses. Authorized by the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, there are five types of uses for which these permits are required: commercial, competitive, vending, individual or group use in special areas, and organized group activity and event use.

1. Commercial Use – Commercial Use is defined as recreational use of public lands and related waters for business or financial gain. When any person, group, or organization makes or attempts to make a profit, receive money, amortize equipment, or obtain goods or services, as compensation from participants in recreational activities occurring on public lands, the use is considered commercial.

Examples: Outfitters and guides, jeep tours, horse trail and wagon train rides, cattle drives, and photography associated with a recreational activity.

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