Editorial: Forest Service smart to make fees convenient

Published Mar 28, 2014 at 12:01AM

Oregonians pay a price for recreating on public land. Many trails and National Forest sites charge fees from May 1 through Sept. 30.

The fees may never be popular. But the forest has never really been free. It costs money to maintain. It makes sense to us that in addition to the general tax dollars that support the national forests that users pay more.

Buying a Northwest Forest Pass for $30 is a regular annual expense for many families. A daily permit is also available for $5. Compared to a lot of things you can buy for $5, a daily forest pass strikes us as a deal. An annual pass is a better deal.

Many places sell them. As of April 1, people will be able to buy and print out a day pass at home. The so-called epasses will be available for $5 at www.discovernw.org. The epass will be for one designated day and for a designated license plate for a vehicle.

Remember, it is for forest passes. Sno-park passes are required by the state and are not the same thing.

Being able to buy and print your pass online won’t make recreation fees more popular, but it is a good thing to make them more convenient.