Guidelines For Public Involvement In Recreation Fees Published

The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and the Interior published public involvement guidelines regarding federal recreation fees in the Federal Register on September 28, 2005. These final guidelines are the result of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) of December 2004 and cover five cooperating federal agencies: USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management and United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

Congress Replaces National Recreation Fee Demonstration Program

Contact: Derrick Crandall

Congress Replaces National Recreation Fee Demonstration Program

Washington, D.C. (November 24, 2004) – The National Recreation Fee Demonstration Program, created in 1996 as a three-year experiment, will soon be replaced by a new recreation fee program covering five federal agencies and providing a ten-year fee authorization. The new Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, created under Section J of HR 4818, the omnibus appropriations measure for Fiscal Year 2005, is based upon legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Ralph Regula (OH-16) and amended and approved by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Resources. Mr. Regula played a central role in the development of the fee demo program and its extension as the Congress sought to craft long-term recreation fee policy.

Recreation Fee Demonstration Bill Passes

Committee on Resources, U.S. House of Representatives
For Immediate Release: Saturday, November 20, 2004
Contact: Brian Kennedy or Matt Streit at (202) 226-9019

Recreation Fee Demonstration Bill Passes

Washington, DC - Today the Congress passed H.R. 3283, the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, introduced by Rep. Ralph Regula (R-OH). The bill will improve recreational facilities and visitor opportunities on federal recreational lands by reinvesting receipts from fair and consistent recreational fees and passes.

ARC Recommends Changes to National Fee Program

Christine Jourdain, Executive Director of the American Council of Snowmobile Associations and a member of the American Recreation Coalition’s (ARC) Board of Directors, recently testified before the U.S. Congress on the recreation fee legislation currently under consideration by the House of Representatives to replace the national recreation fee demonstration program. Ms. Jourdain testified on May 6, 2004 before the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation and Public Lands at a hearing on H.R. 3283, the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. During her testimony, she emphasized that ARC does not consider recreation fees as an end in themselves, but rather as a means to be used – in conjunction with other tools, including appropriated funds, volunteerism and partnerships – to help reach the goal of "great experiences in the great outdoors."

Position of the American Recreation Coalition on Recreation Fees at Federal Sites

Fees for use of public recreation facilities and services are not new. Fees were established early in the history of the national park system and today generate more than $100 million annually in federal receipts, collected chiefly by the National Park Service and the Forest Service through entrance fees, camping fees, ski area permit fees and assorted other recreation fees collected from recreationists and those providing recreation services on public lands.

Much of the philosophical and legal basis for recreation fees is outlined in the 1964 Land and Water Conservation Fund Act. The act was the product of those who recognized the importance of recreation in America, and it has enriched our lives immeasurably through strategic increases to federal and state land systems. Yet a great deal has changed since the time of this act and, despite periodic amendments under the guidance of this Committee, the criteria and specific provisions for fees deserve careful review and a new clear and comprehensive strategy.