The U.S. Forest Service announced yesterday eight dates for the new year when national forests nationwide will waive fees that are usually collected to support forest maintenance and amenities.
“We encourage the public to get outdoors in America’s vast and dynamic playground,” said Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “We hope that visiting your beautiful national forests and grasslands will help people gain a deep appreciation for natural resources, and create lifelong memories.”
Visitors to national forests will not pay fees on the following dates in 2012:
• Jan. 14-16 -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend
• June 9 -- Get Outdoors Day
• Sept. 29 -- National Public Lands Day
• Nov. 10-12 -- Veterans Day weekend
Despite the Forest Service’s fee waivers, the agency does not usually charge for visitors to national forests. In fact, the Forest Service does not charge for access on 98 percent of its land. More than two-thirds of the Forest Service’s approximately 18,000 recreation sites nationwide can be used for free. They include picnic sites, campsites, beach and lake areas, trails, boat launches, and cabins.