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Western Slope No-Fee Coalition Website
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of Forest Service and BLM backcountry access fees!
FEDERAL JUDGE APPROVES PRIVATIZATION OF ALL FOREST SERVICE RECREATION
On March 28, 2014, Judge Rudolph Contreras of the DC District Court issued a ruling that will allow the Forest Service to wash their hands of providing recreation and turn it all over to private concessionaires. The ruling settled a lawsuit in which the plaintiffs charged that the Forest Service is using concessionaires to evade the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act's prohibition on fees for access to undeveloped areas, scenic overlooks, parking, or passing through federal land without using facilities and services. The judge agreed that they are doing exactly that, and said that it is completely legal under the FLREA!
With this ruling, the Forest Service is free to complete the conversion (which has already begun) of all recreation to private management. Concessionaires will be allowed to require that you pay them a fee for access to roads and trails, use of toilets and picnic tables, and general access to undeveloped backcountry. There will be no public participation or involvement in decisions to establish or raise fees.
This is the end of public recreation on National Forests as we have known it, unless Congress steps in to change the law. They are already actively working on legislation to replace FLREA before the end of 2014 - it must include meaningful limits on the ability of private interests to control our access to our public lands.
IT'S UP TO US TO TELL CONGRESS THEY MUST ACT! More information HERE .
The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act was extended by one year in the legislation that ended the federal government shutdown. Congress is starting now to write revised fee legislation and it will be moving in 2014. Act now to make sure your voice is heard! Details HERE.
BLM California is trying to fast-track an illegal access fee for the King Range Wilderness near Arcata, using a sham public process. Immediate action is needed! Learn more HERE.
A California resident is fed up with the Sequoia National Forest charging fees the courts have said are illegal, and is taking them back to court to get them to stop. Read about the case HERE.
LAWSUIT FILED challenging the Adventure Pass fee program in southern California. Details HERE.
LAWSUIT FILED to challenge the Forest Service policy of using private concessionaires to evade federal recreation fee laws. Details HERE.
VICTORY! Federal Appeals Court issues sweeping ruling overturning fees for parking, trail use, dispersed camping, and scenic overlooks! Read the ruling HERE.
Listen to the podcast about the approval of 72 new and increased fees on three National Forests in Oregon and Washington!
The Western Slope No-Fee Coalition is a broad-based organization consisting of diverse interests including hiking, biking, boating, equestrian and motorized enthusiasts, community groups, local and state elected officials, conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats, and just plain citizens. We have members and member groups in 33 states.
Our goals are:
To eliminate recreation fees for general access to public lands managed by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management
To eliminate backcountry fees and interpretive program fees in National Parks
To require more accountability within the land management agencies
To encourage Congress to adequately fund our public lands
At this site you can learn about the history and current status of recreation user fees, read related laws, read press coverage of the fee issue from around the country, and find out how to take action to help restore the American heritage of public access to public lands.