Lawsuit challenges Forest Service’s SoCal Adventure Pass

Hikers claim adventure pass program is illegal under federal law and pursuant to an earlier court ruling

Public lands advocate continue their challenge to the Forest Service fee program with a lawsuit in Southern California. Bob Berwyn photo.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Public land activists continue to try and chip away at various Forest Service fees, most recently with a lawsuit challenging the agency’s Southern California adventure pass.

In September, a similar lawsuit was filed challenging the agency’s practice of letting private companies that operate Forest Service campgrounds charge fees for adjacent day-use areas.

Four hikers have gone to court claiming the pass program is not authorized under federal laws that set strict limits on where and when fees can be charged for use of public lands. The adventure pass program requires forest visitors to display a pass on their vehicle when they park on the Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres, and San Bernardino National Forests, even when they do not use any developed facilities.

In the civil suit filed Oct. 24, Alasdair Coyne and Richard Fragosa, both of Ojai, John Karevoll of Running Springs, and Peter Wiechers of Kernville are asking the Los Angeles District Court for relief from having to pay a fee just to go for a hike in many popular parts of the four forests. Read the lawsuit here. Continue reading

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