Submitted by Steven Baker
Public Info Officer, USFS
PORTLAND, ORE – Join us on Saturday, Sept. 30 for National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. To encourage people to join in and visit their public lands, the Forest Service is waiving day-use fees at recreation sites across the Pacific Northwest.
“Our public lands are a national treasure belonging to all Americans,” said Jim Peña, Pacific Northwest Regional Forester. “On this National Public Lands Day, whether you’re volunteering in your community or enjoying the great outdoors, we thank you for helping us celebrate and care for these special places.”
Many National Public Lands Day volunteer projects are being held across Oregon and Washington. Projects include planting trees, building and repairing trails and bridges, removing trash and invasive plants, refurbishing historic structures, monitoring wildlife, and restoring natural habitats. To find a volunteer event near you, check with your local forest.
Fees will be waived at day-use recreation sites in Oregon and Washington. This fee waiver includes many picnic areas, boat launches, trailheads, and visitor centers. Concession operations will continue to charge fees unless the permit holder wishes to participate. Fees for camping, cabin rentals, heritage expeditions, or other permits still apply. To find a recreation site near you, visit our interactive recreation map.
Celebrated annually on the last Saturday in September, National Public Lands Day brings together volunteers, agencies, and partner organizations to connect people to public lands in their community, inspire environmental stewardship, and encourage use of public lands for education, recreation, and general health.
Last year, over 200,000 National Public Lands Day volunteers participated in over 2,600 events across the nation, contributing $18 million worth of public land improvements. To learn more about National Public Lands Day, visit www.neefusa.org/public-lands-day.
Also, as part of the national Every Kid in a Park initiative, all fourth graders and their families can claim their free Every Kid in a Park pass which allows free entry into and use of all federal parks, forests, and recreation areas for a full year. Fourth graders can print out a paper voucher for free entry into and use of all federal lands by visiting the Every Kid in a Park website at www.everykidinapark.gov. Students and their families can also redeem their paper voucher for a plastic pass at any Forest Service office. The voucher and passes are valid for the entire school year, Sept. 1, 2017 – Aug. 31, 2018.