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E-M:/ Fw: Fee Demo to be Extended ?!

Enviro-Mich message from Doug Cornett <drcornet@up.net>

The Fee Demo program is found in all 3 of Michigan's National Forests and
at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (I'm not sure of Pictured Rocks).
 The Huron-Manistee is by far the worst, and charges for parking and
picnicing at numerous access sites and trail heads throughout the Forest.
There is even one river where there is a per day float fee for boaters.
Fee Demo sites in the Huron-Manistee are listed at:  

In the 4 National Forests in Southern California, an "Adventure Pass" is
required to drive on any of the roads.  Check out Wild Wilderness at:
http://www.wildwilderness.org for an extensive data base on Fee Demo

There are 3 other excellent organizations that have web sites dedicated to
Fee Demo at: 

www.sespewild.org/sespewild - Keep the Sespe Wild Committee 

www.freeourforests.org - Free Our Forests
(this site has an excellent links page to many other organizations opposed
to Fee Demo)

http://www.nofees.org/ - Public Access Coalition

Doug Cornett
Northwoods Wilderness Recovery

----- Original Message -----
From: Scott Silver <ssilver@wildwilderness.org>
To: Scott Silver <ssilver@wildwilderness.org>
Sent: Wednesday, April 19, 2000 8:27 PM
Subject: Fee Demo to be Extended ?!

Word has it that the USFS is pushing extremely hard to have the fee-demo
program extended and that legislation may be introduced as soon as May 15,
2000. Details are still sketchy, but it appears that a bill will soon be
presented to the House Interior Appropriations Committee. The bill is
expected to ask Congress to authorize a modified demonstration program that
would, at a minimum:

1) extend the "demonstration" for a number of years
2) provide additional authority to charge recreation fees
3) make fees more universal within the US Forest Service System

This development comes as no surprise. The USFS is committed to making
industrial strength recreation its next business. This new business is
entirely dependent upon the ability to charge user and access fees. The fact
that the public has steadfastly refused to accept the very idea of paying to
take a walk in the woods has presented a major problem for the USFS and the
corporate backers of this program.

Being unable to demonstrate support for the program, the Forest Service and
its corporate partners asked that the program be extended to September 2001
(which Congress approved in 1998). Now they are asking for STILL MORE TIME
to work out the bugs and to demonstrate that this pay-to-play concept is

Wild Wilderness will be passing on additional information as soon as it
becomes available. PLEASE use this opportunity to make your opposition to
this proposed legislation know. (see www.wildwilderness.org/docs/options.htm
for specific suggestions).

PLEASE also join with activists all across America to demonstrate our
opposition to the fee-demo program. The next National Day of Action is
scheduled for June 10, 2000.

For additional info on the Day of Action please see


PS.... below are excerpted quotes from an article that appeared in
yesterday's Arizona Daily Star. Expect more of these articles as Chief
Dombeck tries to gently introduce the idea of extending forest fees.


---- begin excerpted article ---


Wednesday, 19 April 2000
Forest chief would make visitor fees permanent

By Jim Erickson

The $5-per-car Mount Lemmon recreational fee and similar charges in other
national forests across the country should be made permanent, the head of
the U.S. Forest Service said yesterday.

The Forest Service began collecting the fee at the base of the Catalina
Highway in September 1997 as part of a two-year federal program.

The program was extended until 2001, and now Congress is considering making
it permanent.

Forest Service Chief Michael Dombeck, said he supports the idea, along with
expanding the user-fee program to other sites in the national forest system.
Currently, 100 national forest sites participate in the fee program.

"Nobody wants to pay more for anything, whether it's shoes, lunch or a quart
of milk," said Dombeck, who was in Tucson yesterday for a meeting of Forest
Service rangers.

"But if you ask the question, 'Are you willing to pay if this money is
invested into something that you use?' the response is typically about 80
percent will support that," he said.

Dombeck said the Forest Service plans to sell its recreational passes online
and is looking for other ways to make the system more customer-friendly.

"One thing to keep in mind is that 99.9 percent of the 192 million acres of
national forest are free, and a large proportion of it needs to stay that
way," Dombeck said.

Reporter Jim Erickson can be reached at 573-4197 or e-mail

Scott Silver
Wild Wilderness
248 NW Wilmington Ave.
Bend, OR  97701

phone:       541-385-5261
e-mail:      ssilver@wildwilderness.org
Internet:    http://www.wildwilderness.org


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