Forest Service offers fee-free day

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The San Bernardino National Forest is offering a fee-free day on Saturday, Sept. 28, in conjunction with the 20th-annual National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands.

No Adventure Pass is required for using standard amenity fee sites that day, whose focus is to instill a sense of shared stewardship and educate the public about the importance of natural resources.

More than 170,000 volunteers are expected to assist in the nation’s largest, hands-on volunteer effort to improve public lands. Local Forest Service activities may range from maintaining trails and cleaning waterways to planting native vegetation.

“National Public Lands Day is a good day to enjoy the great outdoors, both by visiting the national forest and taking part in one of the many volunteer opportunities around the forest,” said San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron.  “We appreciate all the volunteers that donate countless hours restoring and caring for their national forest.”

Local activities on the San Bernardino National Forest will be available in Big Bear, Lytle Creek, Palm Desert and the San Gorgonio Wilderness.

Visit www.publiclandsday.org for more information on these and other local events.

In 2012, about 175,000 volunteers worked at 2,206 sites in every state, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories, making it the largest participation in the event’s history. Those volunteers collected about 500 tons of trash and 23,000 pounds of invasive plants, planted 100,000 trees and other plants, and built or maintained 1,500 miles of trails.

Typically, standard amenity fees are day-use fees, often covered by an Adventure Pass. Other fees, such as those in campgrounds, reservation and group sites, are still required. Visitors who accidentally use their daily Adventure Pass on a fee-free day may have it replaced free-of-charge.

For more information about fee-free days and the recreation fee program on Southern California national forests, visit www.fs.usda.gov/adventurepass.

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