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Oregon signs bill to stop Fee Demo

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May 16, 2001 12:58PM
Sorry that this is a little late but good news anyway

Oregon State Legislature Opposes Fee Demo

On May 1, the Oregon State Legislature passed House Joint Memorial #15 declaring the State of Oregon's opposition to the Northwest Forest Pass. The resolution passed the Oregon House by 50-5, and it passed the Oregon Senate by a 24-1.

This resolution comes on the heels of two resolutions passed by two Oregon County Boards of Commissioners. This also makes Oregon the third state, along with California and New Hampshire, to pass resolutions opposing the Recreational Fee Demonstration Program.

Oregon State Senator Atkinson who helped move the resolution through the Oregon Senate said, "The required purchase of the Northwest Forest Pass discriminates against lower income families who cannot afford to pay for access to National Forests."

The resolution reads as follows:


Urges Congress to abolish Northwest Forest Pass portion of Recreational Fee Demonstration Program.


To the President of the United States and the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled:

We, your memorialists, the Seventy-first Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent as follows:

Whereas in 1996, Congress passed the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1996 that included a rider creating the Recreational Fee Demonstration Program; and Whereas the Recreational Fee Demonstration Program requires citizens of Oregon to pay a fee for a Northwest Forest Pass to park in the Columbia
River Gorge National Scenic Area, the Deschutes National Forest, the Fremont National Forest, the Malheur National Forest, the Mt. Hood National Forest, the Ochoco National Forest, the Rogue River National Forest, the Siskiyou National Forest, the Siuslaw National Forest, the Umatilla National Forest, the Umpqua National Forest, the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, the Willamette National Forest and the Winema National Forest; and
Whereas citizens of Oregon already pay federal income taxes
that should adequately fund the operation and maintenance of national forests; and

Whereas the citizens of Oregon should not be required to pay a fee for a Northwest Forest Pass to augment the budget of the United States Forest Service in light of congressional cuts of that same budget; and

Whereas the fee constitutes a regressive tax that bears no relation to the actual costs of recreation, including hiking, wildlife observation or picnicking; and

Whereas fees associated with the Northwest Forest Pass deny
limited-income citizens access to public lands and inhibit volunteerism and stewardship of public lands; and

Whereas fees are even required to gain access to areas that are unimproved and undeveloped; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon:

(1) The Congress of the United States is respectfully urged to abolish the Northwest Forest Pass portion of the Recreational Fee Demonstration Program and permit the citizens of Oregon to enjoy the national forests in the state without payment of a fee.

(2) A copy of this memorial shall be sent to the President of the United States, the Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to each member of the Oregon Congressional Delegation.

Oregon signs bill to stop Fee Demo

free our forests 1311May 16, 2001 12:58PM

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