A last ditch effort is being made to standardize cabin fees in national forests as the 112th Congress heads toward its deadline. On Monday, Dec. 31, 2012; the Federal Forests County Revenue, Schools & Jobs Act of 2012 (H.R. 4019) was readied for possible House consideration. On that day, the House Committee on Natural Resources reported the bill and the committee on Agriculture passed an opportunity to review it. The bill was placed on the Union Calender so the House could take it up before Congress expires on noon, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2013.
If Congress does not pass the measure by then, the 113th Congress will have to start the legislative process over again.
The bill would amend the Forest Service Recreation Residence Program to require the Department of the Interior to establish a fee structure of nine tiers, depending on the assessed valuation of the cabin. Annual fees would range from $500 to $4,500 and could be adjusted for inflation. The department would get three years to appraise all the structures.
The House approved a similar measure a stand-alone bill in September but the Senate never acted. The earlier bill had some differences, such as allowing an initial fee of up to $5,000.
So the new measure is included in a bigger bill that includes a variety of other measures regarding the U.S. Forest Service.
View the bill at http://www.examiner.com/article/house-passes-bill-to-create-structure-for-cabin-fees-national-forests and see the stories linked to below for the history of the effort to pass the fee structure.