Forest Service Fees Waived on Veterans Day Weekend

Anna Ruby Falls

In honor of Veterans Day, the U.S. Forest Service is waiving fees at most of its day-use recreation sites during the Veterans Day holiday weekend, November 10th – 12th, 2012.

The fee waivers are part of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.  Day-use fees will be waived at all sites operated by the Forest Service.  Day-use sites operated by concessionaires might not be included in the waiver.

Visitors may check with their local Forest Service office to find out in advance about specific sites.

U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said, “This is our way of saying thanks to the brave men and women – past and present – who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe at home.  We encourage veterans, their families and all visitors to take time out over the holiday weekend to enjoy the benefits that nature provides at forests and grasslands throughout the country.”


Brasstown Bald Visitor Center and Anna Ruby Falls Recreation Area are operated by the Cradle of Forestry.  They will admit veterans and their immediate family members free of charge on Monday, November 12, 2012.

The fee waiver days support the goals of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative and First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move Outside.”

The Forest Service operates approximately 17,000 recreation sites nationwide.   Of those, approximately 6,000 require recreation fees, which are used to provide visitor services, repairs and replacements, and facilities maintenance.  Traditionally, fees are not charged on 98 percent of national forests and grasslands and over two-thirds of developed recreation sites in national forests and grasslands can be used for free.   Many recreation opportunities such as camping, sightseeing and hiking can be enjoyed throughout the year at no cost.

The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests provide the finest outdoor recreation opportunities and natural resources in Georgia.  Featuring nearly 867,000 acres across 26 counties, hundreds of miles of clear-running streams and rivers, approximately 850 miles of recreation trails, and dozens of campgrounds, picnic areas, and other recreation activity opportunities, these lands are rich in natural scenery, history and culture.

The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.  The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests is part of the Southern Region, with the Forest Supervisor’s office in Gainesville, Georgia, managing four District units in Blairsville (Blue Ridge District), Lakemont (Chattooga River District), Chatsworth (Conasauga District), and Eatonton (Oconee District).