Recreation Advisory Committee members wanted

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Will help determine fees at campgrounds, trailheads, day-use areas and boat ramps

If you have ever wanted to help determine the recreation fees at the local national parks in your region, here is your chance.

The USDA Forest Service’s Eastern Region, which includes Ohio and West Virginia, is seeking volunteer committee members to advise the agency on recreation fee changes at national forests throughout the northeastern United States.

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The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act gives the secretary of Agriculture the authority to establish, modify, charge, and collect recreation fees at federal recreational lands. 

Those fees are reinvested into the improvement, operation, maintenance and management of approximately 380 recreation fee sites. Approximately 80-95% of those fees stay at the site they are collected at and are used for improvements and management. 

REA also requires the secretary to establish Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (RRAC) in each region for federal recreational lands managed by the USDA Forest Service. Recreation RACs make recommendations on implementing or eliminating standard amenity fees, expanded amenity fees, and non-commercial individual special recreation permit fees; expanding or limiting the recreation fee program; and increasing or decreasing fee levels. Currently, the Eastern Region does not have a functioning RRAC. 

The committee of 11 volunteers who serve for 2-3 years meet once or twice a year to provide recommendations on recreation fees for national forest. Members receive travel, food and lodging costs for regularly scheduled meetings, but do not receive pay or other compensation.

Candidates are being recruited to represent one of the following recreation interests: 

• Summer motorized, summer non-motorized, winter motorized, winter non-motorized, and hunting and fishing.

• Motorized outfitter and guides, non-motorized outfitter and guides, and local environmental groups.

• State tourism official, a person who represents affected local government interests, and a person who represents affected American Indian tribes.

The Eastern Region RAC provides recommendations for the Forest Service and BLM on recreation fee matters in the states of Ohio, West Virginia, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.

Nomination packets and details are available at: or by contacting Krystal Fleeger, Regional Recreation Fees & Reservations Coordinator by e-mail:

Submit completed nomination forms by Friday, March 1, 2023, to: Forest Service Recreation RAC, Eastern Regional Office, 626 E. Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202 or email Letters of recommendation are welcome, but not required.

Once the advisory committee is seated, all Recreation Advisory Committee meetings will be open to the public and include opportunities for public input.