March 17, 2010

Wyden Successful in Efforts to Maintain Current Discount Levels for Seniors and Disabled Campers

Forest Service Abandons Proposed Rate Hike after Wyden's Objection

Washington, D.C. –U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) welcomed a decision from Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, to abandon a proposal to severely reduce discounts for seniors and persons with disabilities staying at privately run Forest Service campgrounds. Wyden sent a letter in February urging the Forest Service to honor their commitment and maintain the current discount level. 
“Increasing the profits of private companies by taking money from the pockets of persons with disabilities and seniors who camp in National Forests was a bad idea, said Wyden, chair of the Senate subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests.  “These passes had been bought in good faith and it is good to see the Forest Service honoring their commitments to seniors and persons with disabilities by leaving the discount untouched.”
The Forest Service had considered reducing the discount for seniors and persons with disabilities who purchase special passes to campgrounds operated on Forest Service land by private concessionaires from 50 percent to 10 percent. The move would have meant increased fees for seniors and persons with disabilities who frequent forest service campgrounds, including those who already purchased their passes.  Approximately 80 percent of the Forest Service campgrounds are operated by private concessionaires, including those in Oregon’s Willamette and Deschutes national forests. Wyden urged the Chief of the Forest Service not to implement this directive in a letter sent in February.
To read the original letter click below: