Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, Hearing Before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, First Session, September 17, 2015 [open pdf - 3MB]
This is a testimony compilation of the September 17, 2015 "Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act," held before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. From the opening statement of Maria Cantwell: "Well thank you Madam Chair, and thank you for holding this hearing this morning to consider the reauthorization of the federal government's authority to collect recreational fees. And I welcome the witnesses. For those of us representing states with large amounts of federal land, outdoor recreation is an important part of our local economy. Sen. Wyden and I, just prior to the gaveling down, were just talking about those various activities within our two states and how much it means to us. I didn't know that the senator had traveled to the seven wonders of Oregon. So, I think maybe next year as we celebrate our centennial, we'll have to do something similar in Washington. Recreation fees have helped the land management agencies better provide and protect federal lands and provide important improved visitor services. In general, I support the extension of the authority for federal recreation fees so long as fees are kept at reasonable levels and do not discourage the public from accessing public lands. We must also ensure that fee revenues continue to be used to enhance visitor experiences on federal lands. For example, last year recreation fee revenues enabled the Forest Service, in partnership with the Washington Trails Association, to maintain and improve 92 miles of popular hiking trails across our state, including portions of the Quinault National Recreation trail system, the Duckabush trail and the Upper Big Quilcene trail. And so these recreation fees collected in the Olympic National Forest enabled the Washington Trail Association to donate 11,000 hours of servicing these trails." Statements, letters, and other materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Peggy O'Dell, Mary Wagner, Kitty Benzar, and David Brown.
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources: http://www.energy.senate.gov/