Parks and Recreation:

Recreational Fee Authorizations, Prohibitions, and Limitations

RCED-86-149: Published: May 8, 1986. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed federal land use recreational fee authorizations, prohibitions, and limitations, and related policies concerning such fees.

GAO noted that: (1) the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 authorizes the assessment of entrance fees, use fees, and special-recreational-use permit fees for public lands; (2) the seven federal land management agencies authorized to establish and collect recreational fees are limited in their ability to assess such fees due to several amendments to the act; (3) since 1965, legislation has changed the original program of assessing fees at all national outdoor recreational areas to limiting fees to specific areas; and (4) the land management agencies' policies reflect the criteria and guidelines restricting them in their development of how, when, and where they may charge recreational fees. GAO also noted that Congress is considering six bills to: (1) authorize entrance fees within certain U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service units; (2) amend various provisions of the act; and (3) repeal certain prohibitions or limitations under another law.

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