Advisory group holds key to fees | SummitDaily.com

Advisory group holds key to fees

BOB BERWYN
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado

SUMMIT COUNTY ” There was a new twist in the long-running tussle about public land recreation fees last year, when the regional office of the Forest Service formed a citizen advisory group to review proposals for new fees or increased charges.

The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act required the formation of the advisory group, partly to answer public criticism that the federal agencies were imposing fees without public input.

The Rocky Mountain region’s recreation resource advisory committee consists of 11 members. Five seats represent winter motorized recreation, winter non-motorized recreation, summer motorized recreation, summer non-motorized recreation, and hunting and fishing interests.

The president of the Colorado Snowmobile Association and a policy analyst for the International Mountain Bike Association are part of this group.

Three seats represent motorized outfitters and guides, non-motorized outfitters and guides and local environmental groups.

A Vail-based snowmobile tour operator at Vail Pass is in this group, along with Summit County resident Leslie Miller, who represents non-motorized outfitters and guides, and Vera Smith, representing The Wilderness Society.

The third group represents state tourism interests, Native American tribes and local governments. One seat in this group is vacant.

The committee voted six-four against recommending approval for the Green Mountain fee increase. The yes votes were from Drew Vankat, policy director for the International Mountain Bicycling Association, Leslie Miller, representing non-motorized outfitters, Vera Smith, of The Wilderness Society, and Ernest House, representing the Colorado Commission on Indian Affairs.

The committee has its own website with contact information for some of the members, Forest Service officials administering the fee program and information on scheduled meetings at http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/recreation/rrac/index.shtml.s


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