As school resumes across the nation the National Forest Service is offering last minute vacationers a chance to recreate in our national forests for free. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell is offering his agency's second fee waiver weekend this Saturday and Sunday. Tidwell says by waiving fees everyone will have the opportunity to enjoy the wonder and rejuvenation of recreation in national forests.
The Forest Service operates about 17,000 recreation sites and about 98% of national forests and grasslands and over two-thirds of developed recreation sites can be used for free year-round. Those that require fees are where services are provided and the dollars help pay for needed maintenance and repairs as well as recreational facilities and services.
The USDA Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to State and private landowners and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. The next fee free days will honor National Public Lands Day on Sept. 25 and Veterans' Day on Nov. 11.