HR 289, the Guides and Outfitters Act, mostly pertains to guides and outfitters but it appears the legislation would also allow federal agencies to charge fees to anyone wanting to do anything, anywhere on federal public lands.
Section 2 of the bill states:
“For specialized individual and group use of Federal facilities and Federal recreational lands and waters, such as, but not limited to, use of special areas or areas where use is allocated, motorized recreational vehicle use, and group activities or events.”
- Use of the term “specialized individual and group use” is not defined and could therefore be applied to any citizen or group visiting public lands. The general use of public lands by individuals or groups is not “specialized” and the words “individuals”, “group use” and “specialized” should be removed from Section 2.
- Use of the term “special areas” or “areas” is not defined and could therefore be applied to anywhere on the National Forest or federal public land. The words “special areas” and “areas” should be removed from Section 2.
- Use of the term “such as, but not limited to” is a pandora’s box for permitting agencies to charge fees for anything they deem necessary and therefore the words “such as, but not limited to” should be removed from Section 2.