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SIERRAVILLE, Calif. December 9, 2016 – The Forest Service is requesting public comments on a proposal to charge a fee for the rental of Sardine Lookout on the Sierraville Ranger District in the Tahoe National Forest.

Sardine Lookout would be the second lookout available for the public to rent in the Forest, the first being Calpine Lookout, also on the Sierraville Ranger District. The proposed per night rental fee would be $45, matching the current rental fee at Calpine. The Sardine Fire Lookout was built in 1935 and is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The Lookout has two twin beds, a table and fire finder pedestal, styled after originals from the Calpine Fire Lookout. There is a fire pit, picnic table and accessible vault toilet. The area is very remote with tremendous views and solitude.

Comments regarding this fee proposal should be sent to Quentin Youngblood (qyoungblood@fs.fed.us) or Tahoe National Forest – Sierraville Ranger Station, P.O. Box 95 Sierraville CA 96126). To be most helpful, comments should be received by February 7, 2017.

“The popularity of the Calpine Lookout made it an easy decision to expand the rental program to include Sardine,” explained Quentin Youngblood, Sierraville District Ranger. “Calpine Lookout has been a fantastic recreation opportunity for Forest visitors,” stated Youngblood. “We feel confident that providing additional rental opportunities at the Sardine Lookout will provide locals and visitors alike with another excellent opportunity to experience the beauty of the Tahoe National Forest.”

The Forest Service has made numerous improvements to this 1930s era lookout and will use the fees collected under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act to continue to upgrade the site.

Most (80–95 percent) of the revenue collected at recreation fee sites remains on the Forest to operate, maintain and improve the facilities and recreation programs. Fees are assessed based on the level of amenities and services provided, cost of operations and maintenance, and market assessment. These fees are proposed and will be determined upon further analysis and public comment.

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All new fee proposals will be presented to a citizen’s advisory committee, the Bureau of Land Management Central District Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (RRAC). The RRAC members represent a broad array of recreation interest groups and help to ensure public issues and concerns about recreation fees are addressed. The public is welcome to attend and comment at all the advisory committee meetings. The next RRAC meeting is expected to be held in spring of 2017. The meeting time, location and agenda will be announced on the Forest Service website at www.fs.fed.us/r5/passes/rrac/ and through local media.

In 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, which allows the Forest Service to retain funds collected at certain recreation sites and use these funds locally to operate, maintain and improve these sites. Before the Forest Service received the authority to retain funds locally, all fees collected by the Forest Service went to the U.S. Treasury.

If approved, the Sardine Lookout would be placed on the National Recreation Reservation Site for rental information and reservations. People can make reservations toll-free at (877) 444-6777 or online at www.recreation.gov.

For more information, questions or comments about any of these fee proposals, please visit the Tahoe National Forest website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/tahoe or contact Quentin Youngblood, Sierraville District Ranger, (530) 994–3401, ext. 6601.

For more Tahoe National Forest information, go to www.fs.usda.gov/tahoe. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/Tahoe_NF and “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TahoeNF.