Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriation Act of 1996
(PL 104-134, as amended 1996, 1997, & 1998)
Recreation Fee Demonstration Program Language from the General Provisions
section for Interior and Related Agencies
SEC. 315. RECREATIONAL FEE DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM.--
(a) The Secretary of the Interior (acting through the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service) and the Secretary of Agriculture (acting through the Forest Service) shall each implement a fee program to demonstrate the feasibility of user-generated cost recovery for the operation and maintenance of recreation areas or sites and habitat enhancement projects on federal lands.
(b) In carrying out the pilot program, established pursuant to this section, the appropriate Secretary shall select from areas under the jurisdiction of each of the four agencies referred to in subsection (a) no fewer than 10, but as many as 100, areas, sites or projects for fee demonstration. Fore each such demonstration, the Secretary, notwithstanding any other provision of law--
(1) shall charge and collect fees for admission to the area or for use ofoutdoor recreation sites, facilities, visitor centers, equipment, and services by individuals and groups, or any combination thereof;
(2) shall establish fees under this section based upon a variety of cost recovery and fair market valuation methods to provide a broad basis for feasibility testing;
(3) may contract, including provisions for reasonable commissions, with any public or private entity to provide visitor services, including reservations and information, and may accept services of volunteers to collect fees charged pursuant to paragraph (1);
(4) may encourage private investment and partnerships to enhance the delivery of quality customer services and resource enhancement, and provide appropriate recognition to such partners or investors; and
(5) may assess a fine of not more than $100 for any violation of the authority to collect fees for admission to the area or for the use of outdoor recreations sites, facilities, visitor centers, equipment, and services.
(c) (1) Amounts collected at each fee demonstration area, site or project shall be distributed as follows:
(A) Eighty percent to a special account in the Treasury for use without further appropriation, by the agency which administers the site, to remain available for expenditures in accordance with paragraph (2)(A).
(B) Twenty percent to a special account in the Treasury for use without further appropriation, by the agency which administers the site, to remain available for expenditure in accordance with paragraph (2)(B).
(C) For agencies other than the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service, up to 15% of current year collections of each agency, but not greater than fee collection costs for that fiscal year, to remain available for expenditure without further appropriation in accordance with paragraph (2)(C).
(PL 104-134, Section 315 Continued)
(D) For agencies other than the Fish and Wildlife Service, the balance to the special account established pursuant to subparagraph (A) of section 4(i)(1) of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, as amended.
(E) For the Fish and Wildlife Service, the balance shall be
distributed in accordance with section 201(c) of the Emergency Wetlands Resources Act.
(2) (A) Expenditures from site specific special funds shall be for further activities of the area, site or project from which funds are collected, and shall be accounted for separately.
(B) Expenditures from agency specific special funds shall be for use on an agency-wide basis and shall be accounted for separately.
(C) Expenditures from the fee collection support fund shall be used to cover fee collection costs in accordance with section 4(i)(1)(B) of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, as amended: Provided, That funds unexpended and unobligated at the end of the fiscal year shall not be deposited into the special account established pursuant to section 4(i)(1)(A) of said Act and shall remain available for expenditure without further appropriation.
(3) In order to increase the quality of the visitor experience at public recreational areas and enhance the protection of resources, amounts available for expenditure under this section may only be used for the area, site or project concerned, for backlogged repair and maintenance projects (including projects relating to health and safety) and for interpretation, signage, habitat or facility enhancement, resource preservation, annual operation (including fee collection), maintenance, and law enforcement relating to public use. The agencywide accounts may be used for the same purposes set forth in the preceding sentence, but for areas, sites or projects selected at the discretion of the respective agency head.
(d) (1) Amounts collected under this section shall not be taken into account for the purposes of the Act of May 23, 1908 and the Act of March 1, 1911 (16 U.S.C. 500), the Act of March 4, 1913 (16 U.S.C. 501), the Act of July 22, 1937 (7 U.S.C. 1012), the Act of August 8, 1937 and the Act of May 24, 1939(43 U.S.C. 1181f et seq.), the Act of June 14, 1926 (43 U.S.C. 869-4), chapter 69 of title 31, United States Code, section 401 of the Act of June 15, 1935 (16 U.S.C. 715s), the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 (16 U.S.C. 460l), and any other provision of law relating to revenue allocation.
(2) Fees charge pursuant to this section shall be in lieu of fees charged under any other provision of law.
(e) The Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture shall carry out this section without promulgating regulations.
(f) The authority to collect fees under this section shall commence on October 1, 1995, and end on September 30, 2001. Funds in accounts established shall remain available through
September 30, 2004.
P.L. 105-83 Nov 14, 1997 adds:
"None of the funds collected under the Recreational Fee Demonstration program may be used to plan, design, or construct a visitor center or any other permanent structure without prior apporval of the House and Senate Committee on Appropriations if the estimated total cost of the facility exceeds $500,000."