March 20, 2013

State of Alabama
Press Release: Forestry Commission, Alabama

U.S. Forest Service Opens Recreation Sites in Alabama’s National Forests

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact: 
Joe Nicholson, Recreation Unit Leader (334) 241-8128   
Tammy Truett, Public Affairs Officer (334) 832-4470 

      
Montgomery, AL) March 18, 2013 --- With warmer days fast approaching, outdoor enthusiasts will have many opportunities to escape to nature in Alabama’s four national forests - Bankhead, Talladega, Tuskegee and Conecuh.  The U.S. Forest Service’s recreation season is beginning in the national forests with site enhancements and a change in program delivery. Plan ahead and visit the website www.fs.usda.gov/alabama or contact a Forest Service district office for directions, recreation activities, safety tips, fee waiver dates and recreation user fee amounts.

“We are preparing for another busy recreation season because many people are staying in Alabama to vacation,” said Steve Lohr, Forest Supervisor for the National Forests in Alabama. “There’s a lot to do in Alabama, and we have a team of recreation specialists and volunteers who are dedicated to making sure visitors enjoy their time in our national forests,” Lohr said.

The Forest Service manages 27 recreation sites and more than 363 miles of trails throughout the Alabama’s national forests.  The public can enjoy group picnic shelters, developed campgrounds, fishing ponds, sandy-white beaches and numerous trails designated for hiking, horse-back riding, mountain biking and off-road vehicles. Last year, approximately 1.3 million recreation visitor days took place with the Forest collecting approximately $431,242 in recreation user fees that were applied directly back to the sites. According to Joe Nicholson, recreation unit leader, the public can expect to see upgrades to wilderness area parking lots, trail maintenance on various horse and off-highway vehicle trails, gravel on camping pads, upgrades to a shooting range, plus more.

One change in program delivery will be on the Bankhead National Forest that now has two facilities managed by private concessionaires. The American Land and Leisure is the new concessionaire for Clear Creek and Corinth Recreation Areas in northwest Alabama.  They charge for their services as any private company does, so their fees will be different than other recreation sites. Visitors should also be aware that they will not honor America the Beautiful Passes for day-use fees. The concessionaire will operate Clear Creek and Corinth’s parking lots, campgrounds, boat ramps and much more on behalf of the Forest Service. Some campsites will require reservations; so please call      1-877-444-6777 or reserve on-line at www.reserveamerica.com.  If you have questions about Clear Creek and Corinth Recreation Areas, please call (205) 384-4792.

The partnership with American Land and Leisure will assist the Forest Service in managing the Bankhead’s most popular recreation sites – Clear Creek and Corinth.  “We are pleased to work with American Land and Leisure who will continue to provide a quality recreation experience,” said Nicholson, Forest Service recreation unit leader.   “Unlike the other recreation sites, Clear Creek and Corinth will receive a percentage of proceeds from the recreation fees,” said Nicholson. 

 The “America the Beautiful Pass” Program is a suite of annual and lifetime passes that provide U.S. citizens and visitors an affordable and convenient way to access Federal recreation lands. The five passes – Annual, Military, Senior Access and Volunteer provide a discount to card holders to sites except for Clear Creek and Corinth Recreation Areas in the Bankhead National Forest. The passports can also be used at other federal recreation sites.

For information about recreation sites, contact your nearest Forest Service district office or the central office in Montgomery at (334) 832-3370; Bankhead District in Double Springs (205) 489-5111, Conecuh District in Andalusia (334) 222-2555, Shoal Creek District in Heflin (256) 463-2272, Talladega District in Talladega (256) 362-2909, Oakmulgee District in Centreville (205) 926-9765, and the Tuskegee District in Tuskegee (334) 727-2652.

Listing of improvements



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