Hittin' the Trails 4 You

Sep 27, 2013 9:10 AM by Jeff Beamish

Hittin' the Trails 4 You: Free hiking at Sabino Canyon this Saturday

TUCSON - The USDA Forest Service will waive day-use fees associated with many recreation sites or amenities on national forests nationwide on September 28, National Public Lands Day.

The Forest Service waives fees every year to encourage more Americans from all walks of life to get outdoors and experience the wide array of recreation opportunities provided on the national forests and grasslands. Six fee-free days are celebrated in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, National Get Outdoors Day, National Public Lands Day and Veterans Day Weekend.

Fees are not charged for 98 percent of national forests and grasslands. The Forest Service operates approximately 18,000 recreation sites nationwide. More than two-thirds of developed recreation sites can be used free-of-charge.

This year's remaining fee waiver dates are as follows:

• National Public Lands Day - September 28
• Veterans' Day Weekend - November 9 through 11

Day-use fees will be waived at all standard amenity fee sites operated by the Forest Service for the listed dates. Concessionaire-operated recreation sites may be included in the waiver if the permit holder wishes to participate. Campsites and locations that are reserved through the website http://www.recreation.gov will not be included in the fee waiver.

Visitors to the Coronado National Forest are encouraged to contact the appropriate ranger district office to determine which recreation sites will have fees waived, and at which sites concessionaires will charge fees.

• Douglas Ranger District - (520) 364-3468
• Nogales Ranger District - (520) 281-2296
• Sierra Vista Ranger District - (520) 378-0311
• Safford Ranger District - (928) 428-4150
• Santa Catalina Ranger District - (520) 749-8700

The Coronado will host three National Public Lands Day volunteer projects. The Sierra Vista Ranger District will celebrate the occasion from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Carr Barn with an aquatic restoration project. Work will be done to improve aquatic habiat for threatened and endangered species such as the Chiricahua leopard frog. Participants are asked to bring plenty of water, a lunch, sunscreen and gloves. Apparel should include long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work shoes or boots, and a hat. Tasks will include pulling weeds, moving rocks and rolling out pond liners. Tools will be provided. The work site is approximately six miles south of Buffalo Soldier Trail. To reach it drivers should turn east from Highway 92 onto Calle Del Tecolote and travel ½ mile to a gated area on the road's south side, where parking will be available. For more information please contact the Sierra Vista Ranger District at the number listed above.

Two projects will be undertaken on the Santa Catalina Ranger District. In Sabino Canyon, volunteers will remove invasive buffelgrass and fountain grass, and other plants. The non-native plants threaten the integrity of the Sonoran Desert. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. followed by two to three hours of plant removal. Participants should bring a water bottle, hat and sturdy shoes or boots and meet at the Southern Arizona Rescue Association parking lot, 5990 N. Sabino Canyon Road. This is just north of the Sabino Canyon parking lot. For further information please contact Sharon Biedenbender at sbiedenbender@fs.fed.us or (520) 388-8300.

On Mt. Lemmon the Coronado will team up with R.E.I. and the Southwest Conservation Corps beginning at 8:00 a.m. to remove trash and debris from all parking pullouts and vista points along the Mt. Lemmon Highway. Volunteers should meet at Molino Lookout parking lot (Milepost 4.3 on the Mt. Lemmon Highway), and bring long pants, sturdy shoes or boots, hat and gloves. For further information please contact the Santa Catalina Ranger District at the number listed above.

More information on National Public Lands Day is available at www.publiclandsday.org.

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