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Adventure Pass Free Day

The controversial Adventure Pass, which for nearly a decade has
triggered theories both rational and conspiratorial from opponents,
will not be required in the Los Padres National Forest this
Saturday, November 11, in honor of Veterans Day.

The $5 per day, $30 per year pass is opposed by those who
believe that federal taxes should cover the cost of maintaining
national forests. Some of those opponents also cite evidence that
the fee is an open door to more development of the forest, mainly
because private concessionaires are brought in to administer the
charge and coordinate maintenance, security, and general
supervision. Representatives from the Los Padres, however, assert
that the fees, which are required in the Los Padres’ most popular
day use areas and campgrounds, are simply necessary to pay for
routine maintenance. Such maintenance is not covered by the tight
budgets approved by the federal government, the forest officials
explain.

Saturday is one of the three annual “fee-free” days, and the
only one that’s tied to an actual government holiday; the others
are National Trails Day in June and National Public Lands Day in
September. There is one glaring exception to the free day, however:
the Lower Santa Ynez Recreation Area, located off of Paradise Road
and including the popular Red Rock swimming spot, will still be
requiring Adventure Passes. Since that area is maintained by
Rocky
Mountain Recreation Company
, the company will still need to
offset it’s costs by charging for the pass.

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