Fee free days for BLM public lands, U.S. Forest Service

Fee free days for BLM public lands, U.S. Forest Service

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - In order to increase recreational access to public land, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service including Coronado National Forest are waiving recreation-related fees for visitors on select days in 2018. Those days are:

  1. National Get Outdoors Day (June 9)
  2. National Public Lands Day (September 22)
  3. Veterans Day (November 11)

Site-specific standard amenity and individual day-use fees at BLM-managed recreation sites and areas will be waived for the day.  Other fees, such as overnight camping, cabin rentals, group day use and use of special areas, will remain in effect.

BLM-managed public lands offer more recreational opportunities than any other federal agency, including camping, hunting, fishing and horseback riding, to boating, whitewater rafting, off-highway vehicle driving and many more activities.  About 67 million visits are made annually to BLM-managed lands and waters, supporting more than 48,000 jobs nationwide and contributing almost $7 billion to the country's economy.

In addition to waiving fees, many Forest Service units participate in a variety of public events on agency lands and in nearby cities and towns. National Get Outdoors Days features events to raise awareness that nature encourages healthy, active outdoor fun. National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort in support of public lands. Agency units plan their own events, which range from educational programs to picking up litter to invasive plant removal to building trails, and much more.

The program is offered in cooperation with other federal land management agencies under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. Fees are waived generally for day-use areas, such as picnic grounds and developed trailheads.
Concessionaire-operated sites may be included in the waiver if the permit holder wishes to participate.

Visitors to the Coronado National Forest are encouraged to contact the appropriate ranger district office to determine which recreation sites will have fees waived, and at which sites concessionaires will charge fees.

  • Douglas Ranger District - (520) 364-3468
  • Nogales Ranger District - (520) 281-2296
  • Sierra Vista Ranger District - (520) 378-0311
  • Safford Ranger District - (928) 428-4150
  • Santa Catalina Ranger District - (520) 749-8700

Recreationists are advised to plan their trips in advance, check weather forecasts and pack appropriate gear for expected weather conditions. 
Fire safety is emphasized year-round, a key message being "Never leave a campfire unattended for any reason, for any length of time.  Always make sure a campfire is cold to the touch before leaving it."  One gust of wind can lift embers from a seemingly dead campfire to nearby plant material and ignite a wildfire in a matter of seconds.

Cleanliness is encouraged to preserve aesthetic beauty and to avoid attracting wildlife and potential conflicts which could result.  Visitors should use trash receptacles when provided.  Carrying trash bags in vehicles is recommended should trash receptacles be full or unavailable.  Littering is unlawful and unsightly, and all visitors are responsible for proper disposal of their trash.

WANT MORE? Download the Tucson News Now app for Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.