Portland, Ore., June 15, 2023 – In celebration of Juneteenth, the USDA Forest Service is waiving recreation fees for day-use sites in Washington and Oregon on Monday, June 19th. This initiative recognizes the historical significance of Juneteenth which marks the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. It also seeks to promote diversity and equity in outdoor recreation while inspiring more people to engage in outdoor activities and discover the natural beauty that our nation’s forests and public lands have to offer.


The Forest Service will also be extending fee waivers on other select federal holidays throughout the year. These fee waivers are intended to promote accessibility and inclusivity by removing financial barriers and encouraging individuals and families to embark on outdoor adventures.


“It is our commitment to provide equitable access to these incredible outdoor spaces and we hope to create more opportunities for people to connect with nature and build lasting memories,” said Tracy Calizon, Assistant Director, Recreation and Related Resources for the Pacific Northwest Region of the Forest Service. “We are especially eager to welcome communities who have been historically underserved and those who have not felt welcome to visit national forests in the past.”


On June 19th and other designated federal holidays, visitors to the Pacific Northwest Region’s forests and public lands will have the chance to explore a diverse range of recreational possibilities. Fees will be waived for several picnic areas, boat launches, trailheads, and visitor centers. Regular fees for camping, cabin rentals, heritage expeditions, and other permits will still apply, and concession operations will continue to charge fees at the discretion of the permit holders. Most national forests and grasslands have no fees at any time and approximately two-thirds of developed recreation sites in national forests and grasslands are available for use at no cost.


The Pacific Northwest Region of the Forest Service manages millions of acres of land across Washington and Oregon including over 2,400 developed recreation sites, more than 24,000 miles of trails, 51 Wild and Scenic Rivers, and two national monuments. Visitors are encouraged to check their local forest or public land websites for specific information on recreation opportunities, trails, safety guidelines, and any additional regulations.


In alignment with the Forest Service’s commitment to environmental stewardship, visitors are urged to adhere to Leave No Trace principles during their outdoor adventures. By respecting the environment and minimizing our impact, we can collectively preserve the natural beauty of these remarkable landscapes for future generations.