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WASHINGTON, Dec 03, 2009 — U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell announced today that the Forest Service is inviting comments on a proposed new policy for the acceptance of Inter-agency Passes at concession-operated campgrounds and day use recreation sites on National Forests and Grasslands. The policy would provide for coordination with concessioners to promote sustainable operations.

“The Forest Service is committed to ensuring that the American public can continue to fully enjoy the recreation opportunities on National Forests and Grasslands, and passes and discounts at concession operated campgrounds and day use sites are an important part of achieving this goal,” said Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “To this end, the Forest Service is inviting comments on proposed changes to pass-related discounts that are designed ensure that all Americans can continue to enjoy our Natural Forests and Grasslands while protecting the viability of the small businesses providing the important concession services our visitors rely upon.”

Under the proposed new policy, the Forest Service would offer a 10% discount at concession run campgrounds and standard amenity day use sites to holders of Golden Age and Golden Access Passports and Senior and Access Passes. Further, concessioners would offer free usage of these day use sites to holders of an Annual or Volunteer Pass.

The proposal is open to a 60-day public notice and comment period.  The public can review the proposed policy in the Federal Register (Vol. 229, No. 74, December 1, 2009) or at http://www.fs.fed.us/specialuses.  Comments may be filed on line at www.regulations.gov (search for Notice ID FS-2009-0001).

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 agency manages 193 million acres of public land and is the largest forestry research organization in the world.

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