Forest Service backs fees for Maroon Bells

ASPEN — The U.S. Forest Service has determined that the recreation fee it charges visitors to the Maroon Bells area near Aspen is reasonable.

The White River National Forest raised more than $185,000 in fees collected from visitors to the Maroon Bells in 2010. The agency charges $10 per vehicle, although travel times are restricted.

It also collects 50 cents per ticket from the hundreds of people who ride buses to Maroon Lake.

According to the Aspen Times, the federal government has decided the Forest Service has to offer amenities like toilets or picnic benches where it charges a fee. It cannot require a forest visitor to pay a fee simply for parking at an obscure trailhead and going for a hike.



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