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VALLEY FOCUS | Angeles Forest

Free Activities Offered on Public Lands Day

September 25, 1998|HOLLY EDWARDS

Camping, biking and hiking the wooded trails in Angeles National Forest will be free Saturday as the forest celebrates National Public Lands Day.

"This will give everyone a chance to reflect on the important role public lands play in all our lives, particularly in the Los Angeles area, where we're very short on open space," said forest Supervisor Mike Rogers. "The forest offers an escape from urban congestion and a chance to get back to our roots."

With 35 million annual visitors, Angeles National Forest is the most heavily used national forest in the country, Rogers said.

Since 1996, visitors to the park must have an Adventure Pass hanging from their rear-view mirror. Daily passes cost $5 and annual passes cost $30; they are available at 20 Adventure Pass stations in the forest. An Adventure Pass is needed when visitors stop their cars and use the forest for recreation, said Robert Brady, forest public affairs assistant.

"If you park your car and want to go for a walk, have a picnic or engage in any of the other recreational activities we have here, then the Adventure Pass fees apply," he said.

Revenues from the Adventure Pass Program are used to keep the forest clean and improve recreational facilities.

"In the past, we've had litter and trash in the streams, and since we didn't have Porta Potties, people were using them to go to the bathroom," he said. "And since 35% of the water supply for the urban area of Los Angeles comes from the forest, this wasn't a very good relationship with our drinking supply."

For information about Angeles National Forest or National Public Lands Day, call (626) 574-5208.

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