In honor of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument offer visitors a “fee free” day Monday, Jan. 18. The normally required National Forest Adventure Pass will be waived.
“In honor of this great civil rights leader, we encourage people to use this fee free day to get outdoors and enjoy the wonderful recreational opportunities on the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument,” said Jeffrey Vail, forest supervisor.
Visitors who inadvertently use a Daily Adventure Pass can have it replaced free of charge. Although the Adventure Pass fee will be waived, campground, reservation, group-site, and concession fees may still be in effect.
Whether you are going for a hike or heading up to enjoy the snow, please come prepared for the potential hazards that come with winter conditions. Please “Know Before You Go” and visit the Angeles and Monu-ment website for updates on current conditions and closures at http://www.fs.usda.gov/angeles/. Please also take along essential winter safety items such as tire chains, extra food and water, a flashlight and first-aid kit.
Fee free days will be offered on multiple occasions this year, including Presidents Day on Feb. 15, National Get Outdoors Day on June 11, National Public Lands Day on Sept. 24 and Veterans Day on Nov. 11. The fee-waiver days support the goals of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Outside by actively supporting and promoting programs, projects and initiatives that encourage use of the outdoors by the public.
The waivers allow people to explore our nation’s forests, which offer a wide range of recreation and educational benefits such as improved physical and mental health, emotional well-being, concern for nature and a conservation ethic.
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, part U.S. Department of Agriculture, 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 agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone.
Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.