Senior camping discount will remain at U.S. Forest Service properties
There's good news for senior citizens who use U.S. Forest Service campgrounds. The Forest Service has announced that the 50 percent off discount to holders of the government issued $10 lifetime Senior Pass.
The Forest Service had proposed lowering the discount from 50 percent to 10 percent for holders of Golden Age and Golden Access Passports and Senior and Access Passes.
The plan was abandoned after more than 4,000 people submitted comments during a 60-day public comment period on the proposal.
"Each year more than 175 million people enjoy recreational opportunities on National Forests and Grasslands, and that includes more than 15 million visits to our campgrounds," said Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. "Particularly in these difficult economic times, it is very important to maintain affordable access to our National Forests and Grasslands, giving people easy ways to recreate and find respite in the great outdoors."
Concessionaires now operate most of the agency's developed campsites. Many say the mandatory half-off discounts for senior are putting an unfair burden on younger people and families.
"We are disappointed," campground concessionaire Steve Werner told the Salt Lake Tribune. "We would have liked to have seen a reduced discount. A third of our business and sometimes half depending on the part of the country and the time of the year involves seniors getting a discount. The way we have compensated for that is to raise the cost for younger families."