Forest Service offers free access to day-use recreation areas June 12

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As part of our celebration of National Get Outdoors Day and National Get Outdoors Month, the U.S. Forest Service will waive fees at recreation sites designed for day-use on Saturday, June 12.

National forests and grasslands offer some of the most readily available and valuable recreation settings in the country.

The fee waiver includes developed recreation areas designed for day use and managed by the Forest Service, including many picnic areas, boat launches, trailheads, and visitor centers, including all National Forests and Grasslands in Washington and Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

Fees for camping, cabin rentals, or other permits will still apply.

Fees will continue to be charged at recreation sites operated by private concessionaires on Forest Service lands unless the concessionaire chooses to participate.

Spending time outdoors brings many benefits, from enhancing wellbeing through social and physical activity to promoting mental health and wellness by connecting with nature.

Recreation experiences encourage Americans to appreciate natural resources and promote a sense of stewardship.

Recreational activity also creates jobs, in rural communities and beyond. Spending related to recreation on national forests and grasslands generates an estimated $13.5 billion in economic activity each year.

The National Visitor Use Monitoring program found visits to some types of developed recreation sites decreased in 2020, likely due to site closures or individual travel and crowding concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wilderness areas experienced as significant increase in visitation activity.

Whether discovering the outdoors for the first time – or rediscovering their love for the outdoors – we ask everyone visiting National Forests and Grasslands in Washington and Oregon this summer to Know Before You Go, Leave No Trace, and Tread Lightly!

The Forest Service manages 24 million acres of national forest lands in the Pacific Northwest and more than 3,000 world-class outdoor recreation areas, facilities, and programs.

Fees are used to provide a sustainable source of funding for recreation opportunities, with the vast majority of funds used to maintain or improve recreation facilities and services where they are collected.

No fees are charged at any time on 98 percent of national forests and grasslands.

For information about day passes, annual passes, and interagency annual passes valid for use at Forest Service recreation sites, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r6/passes-permits/recreation.

To learn more about how recreation fees are used to help fund improvements that keep Your Northwest Forests accessible for all to enjoy, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r6/passes-permits/recreation/?cid=fsbdev2_026999.

To find a recreation site near you, visit our interactive recreation map. Looking for a more portable version? We’ve got an app for that!

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