---- — The U.S. Forest Service is offering a fee-free day on Saturday, June 8, in celebration of National Get Outdoors Day, an annual event to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun. All day-use fees will be waived across the White Mountain National Forest, but fees will remain in effect for overnight camping, cabin rentals, permits, reservations and activities offered by concessionaires.
“The country’s forests and grasslands beckon people from coast to coast to come hike, bike, fish and camp this weekend,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “A tank of gas can give you memories with family and friends that will last a lifetime.”
Encouraging Americans to reconnect with nature, especially on public lands, is consistent with President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative that seeks to empower Americans to share in the responsibility to conserve, restore and provide better access to our lands and waters, and leave a healthy and vibrant outdoor legacy for generations to come. National Get Outdoors Day also supports Let’s Move Outside!, First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to raise a healthier generation by engaging kids and families in active, outdoor recreation across public lands and waters.
The pilot effort of National Get Outdoors Day was launched June 14, 2008, through a partnership between the Forest Service and the American Recreation Coalition. The partnership built on the success of More Kids in the Woods and other efforts to connect Americans — especially children — with nature and active lifestyles. Go Day, as it sometimes called, now includes federal, state and local agencies, key organizations and recreation businesses to create activities across the country.
The mission of the Forest Service 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.
Forest Service lands 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 $27 billion per year.
For more information about the White Mountain National Forest and volunteer program, visit fs.usda.gov/whitemountain.