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Abstract

In recognition of the potential for recreational use fees to contribute to the operation, maintenance, and enhancement of public lands, Congress passed the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program in 1996, authorizing federal land management agencies to charge recreational use fees and retain the revenue. This study analyzes the response of federal land managers to this authority through estimation of the factors that influenced the fee setting decision by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) between 1996 and 2003. Both forest size and the availability of substitutes are estimated to delay fee implementation, while a large local population has a positive influence on the fee setting decision.

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