Pisgah National Forest Officials Consider Fees for Mountain Bikers and Equestrians

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NOTE: This article is based on reporting done by the Transylvania Times.

In response to looming federal budget cuts, officials with the Pisgah National Forest of western North Carolina are considering a pay to play program geared toward mountain bikers and equestrians.

The idea, which the Forest Service is calling a “concept” at this point as opposed to an official proposal, would require mountain bikers and horseback riders to pay a fee in exchange for access to trail networks within the 500,000 acre national forest, though it doesn’t specify a dollar amount or specific trails.

The concept was announced by Pisgah’s head ranger Dave Casey during a recent Transylvania Natural Resources Council meeting in Brevard, North Carolina. Casey said that the idea would be “game changer” for Pisgah—one of the most popular mountain biking destinations on the entire East Coast.

Some forest users, such as hunters and fishermen, are already required to ante up fees through mandatory licensing programs.

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