A Reprieve from the US Forest Service

At long last, there’s some good news on the financial front. With price increases and service cuts rampant across the travel landscape, the US Forest Service went in a different direction. They slashed prices ?  Well, kind of.

The fee in question is the 50% discount on camping in national forests, available to America the Beautiful Access Pass holders. Back in December the US Forest Service proposed slashing that discount to 10%. Although the US Forest Service said they wanted to make camping affordable, the campground concessionaires claimed they could no longer afford to honor the discounts. It was estimated that the cut would generate an additional $3.36 million in revenue; so we’re not exactly talking about chump change here — especially in this economy.

Which was why I was floored when the US Forest Service recently announced that after careful consideration, they decided not to slash the discount. The cut was tabled for economic reasons — they just didn’t want to raise prices in tough economic times. And they wanted to keep access to national lands affordable, especially for senior and disabled visitors.

Which is great. OK, it’s not exactly a price roll-back, but it means that prices aren’t going up either. And that’s almost as good. So enjoy our national lands this summer. And don’t forget to get your America the Beautiful Access Pass. Not only will it save you money on camping fees, but you’ll also get free admission to all National Parks. And that savings adds up fast! So go out and enjoy!