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Recreation fee program explained

An update report from the Deshutes/Ochoco National Forest headquarters demonstrates the value of the Forsest Service)s recreation fee program and accounts for where some of the income is being spent.
   The Ochoco National Forest is currently participating in the Regional Lodging and Campground Safety Net Programs of the Pacific Northwest Region Recreation Fee Demonstration Program. These programs provided fee collections, compliance checking, and operations and maintenance using 70 percent appropriated funds and 30 percent fee demonstration funds. Capital investments for these sites for FY 2000 include the replacement of 800 feet of traffic barriers, replacement of six site posts, repair of ten traffic barriers, purchase of six accessible picnic tables and three accessible fire devices using 100 percent fee demonstration dollars.
   Two cabin rentals (Cold Springs Guard Station and Big Summit Bunk Houses) provided fee collections, reservations and maintenance of the cabins using 30 percent appropriated funds and 70 percent fee demonstration funds. Capital investments for these sites for FY 2000 included refinishing cabin walls, refinishing cabinetry, plumbing repairs, upgrading interior furnishings, replacement of fire extinguishers and CO2 warning devices, and construction of a porch roof using 100 percent fee demonstration dollars.
   In conjunction with the release of the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region Stakeholder Report, the Deschutes National Forest has released its Fiscal Year 2000 Recreation Fee Demonstration Program Update.
   "It is important that we let the public know what they are getting for their money," said Leslie Weldon, Forest Supervisor for the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests. "The program has provided additional funds to augment our appropriated dollars, which has allowed us to complete important work."
   Northwest Forest Pass holders now have access to 83 fee sites across the Deschutes National Forest, including Lava Lands Visitor Center and Lava River Cave.
   Congress has extended the authority for the Fee Demonstration Program through September 30, 2002. The Deschutes National Forest will continue participating in the Northwest Forest Pass project and the Ochoco National Forest will be evaluating opportunities and projects for possible inclusion in the Northwest Forest Pass.
   Update highlights and accomplishments on the Forest Service website at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/deschutes/desnf/manage/feedemo/2000report.pdf/