New recreation fees on public lands would be a thing of the past under a bill likely to receive much attention as Congress returns to Washington.
The bill, known as the "Fee Repeal and Expanded Access Act," would revoke the authority of federal agencies, with the exception of the National Park Service, to institute new fees or increase existing fees at campgrounds, trailheads, and other public areas.
The bill would specifically repeal the Federal Lands Recreational Enhancement Act, passed in 2004, and reinstate legislation dating back to 1965 that limits the use of fees on public lands. In addition, the bill would reinstate the National Parks Pass which was replaced by a more expensive, all-encompassing federal lands pass earlier this year.
The bill is sponsored by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID). It was introduced in the Senate on December 10, 2007. The bill was read and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
"Americans already pay to use their public lands on April 15," Baucus said. "We shouldn't be taxed twice to go fishing, hiking, or camping on our public lands."
from the Outdoor Industry Association weekly newsletter, Jan 25, 2008
and from the text of bill S. 2438. Go to Thomas and enter "Fee Repeal and Expanded Access Act" in the search phrase.
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