Interagency Annual Pass Confusion - not a rant

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by jwg, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. there has been some good information and advice on this forum about federal and state passes.

    Rather than get both a NW Forest Service Pass and a Mt Ranier Park Annual Pass, I planned to get a federal Interagency Annual Pass for $80, thinking it would cover my needs when visiting forest service sites like Leech Lake, National parks, and BLM sites along the Yakima River lower canyon. Along with my State Discover Pass, I thought I would be covered for most everything.

    I stopped at the Naches forest service office to pick it up on the way to Leech Lake from the east side. When the transaction was nearly complete and I mentioned going to Leech lake, I was told the interagency pass does not cover the boat launch there, but a NW forest service pass would. Nor would the federal pass cover boat launches at the BLM sites along the yakima.

    Note, I am not talking about the disability federal pass or the retired federal pass.

    Anyway, the federal Interagency Annual Pass no longer looked like the value or hassle free option I thought it would be, so I did not get it.

    Federal web sites are less than clear exactly what is excluded from coverage by the Interagency Annual Pass and the web sites for specific locations generally don't clarify what passes apply to what either.

    Not a rant here.

    But maybe someone here has more information that can clarify. I am not certain I got totally correct information about Leech lake or the BLM sites on the Yakima river.


    P.S. here is what the forest service web site says about these passes:

    Interagency Annual Pass
    Costs: $80 Annually
    • Honored nationwide at all Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging entrance or standard amenity fees.

    Interagency Annual Passes do NOT cover expanded amenity fees or special recreation permits.

    Standard Amenity Fees
    Examples: Picnic areas, developed trailheads, destination visitor centers
    Explanation: Typically, standard amenity fees are day use fees, often covered by a day or annual pass. Each site or area must contain six "amenities," which are picnic tables, trash receptacle, toilet, parking, interpretive signing and security.
    Expanded Amenity Fees
    Examples: Campgrounds, highly developed boat launches and swimming areas, cabin or lookout rentals. Services like hookups, dump stations, special tours, transportation systems and reservation services.
    Explanation: Provides direct benefits to individuals or groups.
    Dan Nelson likes this.
  2. Ha, Ha, Ha. Sounds like Washington State like to stick it to it's residents
  3. One more required pass & I'll have to attach a display rack and reinforcement to my mirrors . . .

  4. The Interagency Pass is a NATIONAL pass, not a state program. So the same situation applies to all national lands that require a permit in Montana as well.

    As for what's covered, a couple years ago, BLM personnel told me the Annual Pass did cover day-use of the Yakima canyon. I would suggest a call to them to verify, but their latest press release announcing the start of the "fee season" (i.e., they only charge fees at the Yakima Canyon sites May 15-Sept 15 each year) clearly states that the fees fall into the Standard Amenity Fee category: "Day-use fees of $5 per-vehicle are charged at Umtanum, Lmuma Creek, Big Pines and Roza." This isn't a fee for boat launching, or any other special use. It is solely a day-use fee required by all users, regardless of their activity. "The day-use fees covers parking, boat launching, use of raft put-in and take-out points, picnicking and other day use activities."

    You can find contact information for BLM on the press release:

    Finally, always be cautious about information provided by any one public agency when that information pertains to a different agency. BLM and US Forest Service are not only different agencies, they are in completely different federal departments (BLM is part of Dept. of Interior with National Parks; USFS is in Dept. of Agriculture). Seldom does one agency know what's what within the other agencies.
    SquatchinSince86 and jwg like this.
  5. Good grief...
    GAT likes this.
  6. One problem with these "passes" is enforcement and showing proof or documentation. With the electronic age upon us, I wonder why the need to display the sign. For example, this past weekend, we decided on a family picnic out at Bayview State Park. I have a Discover Pass and feel we should pay for using "our land". However, this was a last minute decision and my Discover Pass was 200 miles away in a different vehicle. Do I risk parking without the pass and worry if I will get a ticket, all the while not able to enjoy the day or pay an extra $10 daily fee for something I already paid for?

    Same thing goes for driver license, fishing license, etc. Can't these regulatory folks have our information stored in a hand-sized computer rather than require us to hang stickers from our rear view mirror and keep track of our hunting and fishing licenses? With the number of bags, coats, vests, vehicles, and everything else that I sometimes use to carry around my license, it gets to be quite a chore of locating it when I want to do a last minute trip.

    Or perhaps I'm just an idiot?

  7. That site does not specify which passes.

    Since that it is a forest service site, they may have only meant their NW forest service passes. its ambiguous.

  8. This is probably redundant, but I just did a little research and found that Forest Service passes (in my case the one time Senior Pass), do not work for BLM lands at all. They also only buy you a discount at forest service locations on "expanded amenity" fees and may or may not be accepted by "concessionaires", whatever that means.

    The good thing is that I found a nice, 2 page list of Washington BLM lands that should simplify knowing "who's on first and what's on second". (if you don't understand the quote, ask an old fart ;)).

    Here's the link to the list:
  9. I understand all of this. I don't do much traveling to any National Parks. I'm what you would call a stay close to home body.

    But before I left your state for greener pastures. There wasn't any of these passes required, except your Fishing Access Pass. And that was free when you bought your fishing license. Since then you have to pay to have fun. All I'm required to have in my possession to Camp or fish here is a Conservation permit. You get it here when you turn 62. It's your fishing license.
    Dan Nelson likes this.

  10. Check it out the person at the Naches Forrest service is wrong. It was a little confusing when i first used my pass as well. Its actually fairly simple if any of the federal agency's mention the word PASS and you have a inter-agency pass your good. The only Fee's you have to pay are faculty fees such as showers and bathrooms. BLM, Forrest and park all charge 50% of over night fee for there use.
    So you hang your pass in the provided hanger in your window and you can use leech lake all day long. The person in the video answering your questions in the link i provided well you can meet her at leech lake and discuss it with her. she might be checking your pass.

    The instructions board at all of the Yakima BLM sites clearly states that a inter-agency pass is excepted and that you can camp at 1/2 the normal rate over night.

    Is the inter-agency pass a good deal? Well should you see a green jeep towing a blue trailer with a inter-agency pass using BLM land to launch and recover the raft know that instead of paying 30$ for day and over night fees i am paying 7.50 to spend the night. You will also from time to time see the same jeep at leech lake with the same pass. You will also see the same jeep getting into olly national park for free. clearly it is not a good deal and you should not buy one.
  11. Thanks Just.Mark, this clarifies things considerably.
    I clearly got steered wrong at Naches.
    Maybe this should be a rant now...
  12. Just a quick clarification: Is it "excepted" (not valid) or "accepted" (valid)?

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