Contributed Article By Heidi Schewel, U.S. Forest Service Coronado Forest Public Affairs Specialist
Tucson – The U.S. Forest Service, including the Coronado National Forest will waive fees at most day-use recreation sites on Jan. 16, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The fee waiver day is the first of four such days offered by the agency during the 2017 calendar year.
Coronado National Offices will be closed Jan. 16 for the federal holiday. The Sabino Canyon Visitor Center will remain open for business.
Other scheduled fee-free days observed by the Forest Service in 2017 are President’s Day, Feb. 20; National Get Outdoors Day, June 10; National Public Lands Day, Sept. 30; and Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day honors the vision and legacy of the prominent civil rights leader. President’s Day honors our nation’s presidents, with emphasis on President George Washington and President Abraham Lincoln.
In addition to waiving fees, many Forest Service units participate in a variety of public events on agency lands and in nearby cities and towns. National Get Outdoors Days features events to raise awareness that nature encourages healthy, active outdoor fun. National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort in support of public lands. Agency units plan their own events, which range from educational programs to picking up litter to invasive plant removal to building trails, and much more.
The program is offered in cooperation with other federal land management agencies under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. Fees are waived generally for day-use areas, such as picnic grounds and developed trailheads.
Concessionaire-operated sites may be included in the waiver if the permit holder wishes to participate.
Visitors to the Coronado National Forest are encouraged to contact the appropriate ranger district office to determine which recreation sites will have fees waived, and at which sites concessionaires will charge fees.
- Douglas Ranger District – (520) 364-3468
- Nogales Ranger District – (520) 281-2296
- Sierra Vista Ranger District – (520) 378-0311
- Safford Ranger District – (928) 428-4150
- Santa Catalina Ranger District – (520) 749-8700
Recreationists are advised to plan their trips in advance, check weather forecasts and pack appropriate gear for expected weather conditions.
Fire safety is emphasized year-round, a key message being, “Never leave a campfire unattended for any reason, for any length of time. Always make sure a campfire is cold to the touch before leaving it.” One gust of wind can lift embers from a seemingly dead campfire to nearby plant material and ignite a wildfire in a matter of seconds.
Cleanliness is encouraged to preserve aesthetic beauty and to avoid attracting wildlife and potential conflicts which could result. Visitors should use trash receptacles when provided. Carrying trash bags in vehicles is recommended should trash receptacles be full or unavailable. Littering is unlawful and unsightly, and all visitors are responsible for proper disposal of their trash.