Senator Feinstein Introduces Bill Restoring Program That Allows 80% of Fees Collected at Marinas on Forest Service Lands to Be Used for Local Recreation and Safety Programs
- Bill would generate millions of dollars for programs in the Shasta and Trinity Lakes Areas -
May 26 2006
Washington, DC– U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has introduced legislation that would allow 80% of fees collected at marinas on Forest Service lands to be used for local recreation and safety enhancement programs.
“Recreation on federal lands is important to the quality of life in my state and throughout the nation. In many rural areas, it also provides a boost to the economy,” Senator Feinstein said. “Communities in and around areas like the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in California stand to greatly benefit if a portion of these marina fees goes back to the communities where they were generated.”
Within some National Forests, the Forest Service has partnered with local small business owners, allowing them to operate houseboat marinas. In exchange, the Forest Service collects occupancy fees from these marina operators. A portion of these fees had, until recently, been kept in the Forest for local recreation and safety enhancement projects.
But when the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act was passed, this program was inadvertently repealed. Senator Feinstein’s legislation would correct this oversight by amending the Forest Service’s Special Use Permit program, and allowing the Forest Service to once again use these fees in the Forest where they were generated, and where their impact will be most direct.
Under the 1996 Recreation Fee Demonstration Program, the Shasta-Trinity Forest developed a recreation enhancement program at Shasta and Trinity Lakes. Forest Service officials used a portion of the revenue from this program for projects like dock repair, improved handicapped access, safety markers for boaters, law enforcement, and campground construction. Over $4 million was invested in the Forest through this program.
Total marina fees collected annually throughout Forest Service lands total approximately $1.2 million; of this, Shasta Lake marinas generate $1 million.
Representative Wally Herger (R-Calif.) has introduced similar legislation in the House of Representatives.