RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - The nation's forest lands will have special appeal over Veteran's Day weekend now that the U.S. Forest Service has announced it will waive fees at most day-use recreation sites.
This is the fourth year of fee waivers, offered in cooperation with other federal agencies under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.
"We wholeheartedly salute the men and women who represent the nearly 22 million American veterans who have served their country in the military," said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell in the announcement. "As we do throughout the year, we encourage veterans and their families to take advantage of their national forests and grasslands to enjoy all the benefits the outdoors provide."
The fee waiver days support the goals of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative, which encourages all Americans to connect with the outdoors, and First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move Outside," which encourages children to get out and get active to be healthy.
The Forest Service also honors active duty military members year-round with the free Interagency Annual Military Pass honored at all Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging entrance or standard amenity fees.
Go online to find a national forest or grassland near you.
The U.S. Forest Service, part U.S. Department of Agriculture, 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 agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.