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New User Fee for Virginia State Forest

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  • Sally Aungier
    Trailriders This is just a reminder that the new law which allows the Virginia State Forest system to charge a recreational user fee for horseback riding and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 5, 2009
      Trailriders

      This is just a reminder that the new law which allows the Virginia State
      Forest system to charge a recreational user fee for horseback riding and
      biking is now in effect. Please be sure to purchase your licenses so that
      you are in compliance. The link for on line purchases is embedded in the
      press release below. They are being sold as an add-on to the state hunting
      and fishing licenses. Note that a $1 surcharge has been added so the actual
      cost is $16, not $15 as mentioned in the press release. This has been done
      because the Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries is administering the program
      for the Dept. of Forestry (DOF).

      Please be sure to select the special license box “Virginia State Forest Use
      Permit” as shown below. The state will be able to track how many of these
      are sold so that we will be to obtain an impact analysis at the end of the
      year. You can make your purchase either on-line or at any location that
      sells hunting and fishing licenses. The special licenses will help the DOF
      to develop a small funding source for trail and trailhead improvements.
      This effort will by no means replace the trail volunteer efforts that are
      already established in the many of the Forests.




      Sally Aungier
      Boards:
      Virginia Horse Council
      Trails & Greenways Task Force, Virginia Outdoors Plan
      Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference (SETC)
      Powhatan Riding Association
      Friends of Powhatan State Park


      News Release
      For Immediate Release
      June 29, 2009
      Contact: John Campbell 434.220.9070 or 434.989.0665 VDOF
      09022

      Certain Recreational Activities in Virginia’s State Forests Will Require
      A State Forest Use Permit Beginning July 1, 2009

      During this year’s legislative session, the Virginia General Assembly passed
      a new law requiring certain recreational users of the Commonwealth’s State
      Forests to purchase an annual permit. This law goes into effect Wednesday,
      July 1st.

      The State Forest Use Permit is required for anyone 16 years and older who
      hunts, fishes, traps, rides mountain bikes or horses in one of Virginia’s 19
      State Forests. Anyone walking, hiking or canoeing will not need the Use
      Permit.

      The new Use Permit replaces the state forest license that used to be
      required of those hunting or trapping on the state forests. Obtaining a Use
      Permit is a new requirement for those who fish or ride horses or mountain
      bikes in the state forests. The State Forest Use Permit is valid for all
      five activities. This State Forest Use Permit does not apply to our
      national forests, national parks, state parks or state-managed wildlife
      management areas.

      The Use Permit, which costs $15 annually, is good for one year following its
      purchase. All funds generated by the Use Permit will go toward enhancing
      recreational opportunities on the State Forests.

      Since the founding of Virginia’s first state forest (Prince Edward – Gallion
      State Forest) in 1919, the state forests have been self-supporting entities
      – meaning they receive no tax dollars. Now, with 19 state forests in the
      system and increased demand for recreational use by Virginia’s citizens, the
      system cannot rely solely on the sale of timber on just the three largest
      forests to provide enough funding to operate, maintain and improve the
      entire system of 19 state forests – hence the need for the new Use Permit.

      The State Forest Use Permit is available online at
      http://secure01.virginiainteractive.org/horf/ or at authorized retailers who
      sell the Virginia state hunting license.


      Copy of amended regulation:
      CHAPTER 297
      An Act to amend and reenact § 10.1-1152
      <http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+10.1-1152> of the Code
      of Virginia, relating to forestry permits to fish and ride mountain bikes
      and horses.
      [S 1473]
      Approved March 27, 2009

      Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
      1. That § 10.1-1152
      <http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+10.1-1152> of the Code
      of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:
      § 10.1-1152 <http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+10.1-1152>
      . State Forester may require permits and fees.
      A. The State Forester is authorized, with the approval of the Board, to
      require any person who hunts, fishes, or traps, rides mountain bikes, or
      rides horses on any of the lands described in § 10.1-1151
      <http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+10.1-1151> to obtain a
      special use permit or special use permits. Permits to hunt. A special use
      permit to engage in these activities on any such lands shall be issued for a
      fee, not to exceed $15 annually for each permit, as fixed by the State
      Forester. Permits to trap on such lands may be issued in combination with
      the hunting permits, or separately, at a fee not to exceed $15 annually for
      each such permit, to be fixed by the State Forester.
      B. The State Forester is also authorized to enter into an agreement with the
      Department of Game and Inland Fisheries under which the Department of Game
      and Inland Fisheries will include permits required under subsection A in its
      program for the sale of permits and licenses by the means and to the extent
      authorized by § 29.1-327
      <http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+29.1-327> .
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