GAINESVILLE - The U.S. Forest Service will waive fees at most of its day-use recreation sites on Jan. 20 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, including those in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests. The fee waiver day is the first of four such days and one full weekend offered by the agency during 2014.
Traditionally, fees are not charged on 98 percent of national forests and grasslands, and approximately 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. Fees are waived generally for day-use areas, such as picnic grounds, developed trailheads and destination visitor centers. Concessionaire operated sites may be included in the waiver if the permit holder wishes to participate.
In Georgia, forest visitors may check with their local Forest Service office to find out in advance whether waivers will exist at specific sites:
*Blue Ridge District Office, Blairsville - 706-745-6928
*Chattooga River District Office, Lakemont - 706 754-6221
*Conasauga District Office, Chatsworth - 706 695-6736
*Oconee District Office, Eatonton - 706 485-7110
Additional information about the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests is available on the web at www.fs.usda.gov/conf. View a list of fee-free days for 2014 and the public land agencies that honor them at http://www.usda.gov/documents/2014-fee-free-chart.pdf.
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).
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