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THE OUTDOORS DIGEST | BRIEFS

Some hiking fees questioned

September 23, 2003|Joe Robinson

There were few beefs when the price of admission climbed for stays in national parks, with upkeep and live rangers on the endangered species list. But fees for local national forest and Bureau of Land Management areas have not fared as well. Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.) has filed a bill that would make the national park fees permanent but phase out those in national forests and BLM lands.

The program was begun in 1996 as a test project to help fund straining national park and public land coffers. For some, though, having to pay for every hike crossed a line. Rep. Scott McInniss (R-Colo.) held a hearing last week on the fee program, at which he asked whether "the financial value added is really worth all the program's considerable controversy." More hearings are scheduled.

-- Joe Robinson

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