Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Overview of April 4 House Hearing on Federal Recreation Fee Program

QWR strongly believes in user-pay/user-benefit land agency fee programs where monies collected stay at the site for on-the-ground public services such as trail maintenance, restrooms, and trash collection.

On April 4, 2014, the House Subcommittee on Parks and Environmental Regulations held a hearing
to amend the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act  (FLREA) to improve consistency and accountability in the collection and expenditure of Federal recreation fees, and for other purposes.

Link to House REA Hearing

QWR encourages land managers, user groups, local government, and other stakeholders to review the testimony from various presenters.   Topics covered include enhanced pass benefits for seniors and active service members, encourage continued public participation/review of fees, fees stay at site, and import of fees being used as leverage against other funding sources.

QWR would urge readers to review the joint letter submitted to Congress by over 30 recreation groups which includes 12 key tenets that should be addressed in FLREA reform.  One of those recommendations is for the US Army Corps of Engineers, the largest single federal provider of recreation experiences, to be included under FLREA to unify federal fee programs and eliminate current complications for visitors.

Joint Recreation Group Letter to Congress

QWR believes the Recreation Resource Advisory Committees (RRAC) have played, and should continue to have, an important role in helping ensure public participation in the review process.   QWR believes the RRAC appointment process for members must be streamlined so those committees can address fee issues in a timely and efficient manner.

QWR wants to thank agency staff and members of the public who work in a collaborative manner to ensure user fee programs are administered in an effective and fair manner.  It is noticed and appreciated.

PS –  My reflections on the CA RRAC

1 comment:

  1. What I have found in Florida is that the fees on off road recreation far out pace the fees on other recreation on our mutual lands. Worse the off roaders are constrained to just a small slice and wind up subsidizing everyone else s fun. The there is the pile on of newly purchased public lands are held fenced off to all activities. Its a complicated mess.