Maybe old news. I just stumbled on this information today:
The Forest Service is reducing the area in Southern California where fees are required. The Adventure Pass will still be required in most locations that are popular with visitors, including areas along the Angeles Crest Highway, Rowher Flats, Frenchman Flat, Big Pines, and San Gabriel Canyon. The revenues from the fees will allow the Forest Service to continue to maintain trails, clean restrooms, pick up trash, remove litter and graffiti, and provide visitor information and other services.
On the Angeles National Forest, recreationists will be able to use approximately 75% of the Forest without paying a fee. The non-fee areas are more remote, have fewer visitors, and experience fewer impacts from visitor use than fee locations.
The changes to the fee program are the result of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA), which was passed as part of the 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act. The FLREA allows the Forest Service to charge fees for specific sites, and for heavily impacted recreation areas that have specific amenities, including toilets, parking, trash receptacles, picnic tables, interpretation, and security. FLREA also extends the fee program for ten years, and establishes standards that must be met before new fees can be charged.
“This new law will allow us to continue to provide services the public needs and has asked for in their National Forests,” said Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron. “In addition, a large percentage of the more remote areas of the Angeles will no longer require a fee.”
Visitors who want to know whether fees are required at their favorite recreation destination may contact the nearest Forest Service office or look on the Adventure Pass website at www.fs.fed.us/r5/sanbernardino/ap. Maps showing the changes can be seen on the website and at Forest Service offices, and will soon also be available through our vendors. The Forest Service will be printing new brochures with maps later this summer, and will be posting new signs throughout the Forest to notify the public of the newly defined fee areas.
Recreation fee amounts are unchanged within areas still requiring a fee. The price of the Adventure Pass will also remain unchanged -- $5 for a daily pass, or $30 for an annual pass. Those visitors who have purchased a pass for an area where fees are no longer required may request a refund of their Annual Pass and accompanying second vehicle pass any time before December 31, 2005. Refunds will be pro-rated depending on the months remaining on the pass.
The Adventure Pass was initiated in June of 1997 to reduce recreation deferred maintenance and address problems posed by heavy recreation use. Since 1997, more than $22 million in revenues have been collected and invested back into the four southern California Forests. Additional field staff have been hired, and communication with visitors has been greatly improved.
“Know Before You Go…” Forest visitors are reminded that payment of a recreation fee doesn’t guarantee access to the National Forest. Weather and Fire restrictions can affect access to the Forest, especially in southern California. Always call ahead for current conditions before leaving on your outing. Forest office numbers are listed below:
Angeles National Forest (626) 574-1613
Cleveland National Forest (858) 673-6180
Los Padres National Forest (805) 968-6640
San Bernardino National Forest (909) 382-2600
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