US Forest Service waives fees during Veterans Day weekend

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Colorado Hunter magazine

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The U.S. Forest Service is waiving fees at most of its day-use recreation sites over the Veterans Day holiday weekend, Nov. 10-12, the agency announced in a news release.

The fee waivers are offered in cooperation with other federal agencies under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.

According to the release, day-use fees will be waived at all standard amenity fee sites operated by the Forest Service. Concessionaire operated day-use sites may be included in the waiver if the permit holder wishes to participate.

"This is our way of saying thanks to the brave men and women – past and present – who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe at home," U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said in the release. "We encourage veterans, their families and all visitors to take time out over the holiday weekend to enjoy the benefits that nature provides at forests and grasslands throughout the country."

The fee waiver days support the goals of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative and First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move Outside," the release stated.

Typically throughout the year, fees are not charged on 98 percent of national forests and grasslands, and approximately two-thirds of developed recreation sites in national forests and grasslands can be used for free. Many recreation opportunities such as camping, sightseeing and hiking can be enjoyed throughout the year at no cost, according to the release.

The Forest Service operates approximately 17,000 developed recreation sites nationwide. Of those, approximately 6,000 require recreation fees, which are used to provide visitor services, repairs and replacements, and facilities maintenance, according to the release.

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