Save the Date for the NFH 2015 CONFERENCE
May 1-2, 2015 in Vancouver, Washington
Ontario Forum Success
About 90 cabin owners met with the NFH board of directors and staff, along with supervisors of the both the Angeles and the Cleveland National Forests, for an informative and fun gathering at our 2014 Fall Forum on September 20 in Ontario, CA. Presentations covered a range of topics, from Cabins 101 and the CFA to living in harmony with fire and the Forest Service in national forest cabins. A tour of several cabin tracts on the San Bernardino National Forest was a treat for board and staff, who traveled from eight states scattered across four time zones to be there.
For those who could not join us in person, you can still share a virtual forum experience with presentations and photos by going to the Events menu above, or click here.
One Option for Unaffordable Fees
As we still await news on the Cabin Fee Act, the clock is ticking for many cabin owners who cannot afford another year of exorbitant permit fees and are agonizing over what to do. NFH and the Cabin Coalition 2 present one option to consider that may provide relief for some cabin owners. The Forest Service Handbook allows for the administrative suspension of a Special Use Permit. This requires placing your permit into a “non-use” status, which means that you will not have access to your cabin during that time, but also means that you do not have to make any rash decisions about terminating your permit and tearing down your cabin. This might be a very important consideration for those of you who are running out of options.
To learn more about the process, click here for a thorough explanation. If you are interested in pursuing this option, click here for a request letter template that you can edit to fit your particular circumstances. Contact NFH Executive Director Ernie Atencio at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Your cabin is a family legacy, but it is also part of a 100-year legacy of the cabin program nationwide!
Our Updated Advice
What to Do About Your 2014
Cabin Permit Fee
March 6, 2014
In early January we communicated our best advice to cabin owners facing 2014 fee bills – and some with 2013 fee bills – that they simply can’t pay. We’ve heard back from many of you and have learned more about the Forest Service collection process, and, frustratingly, the Cabin Fee Act is stilllanguishing in Congress. So for many, it now may be time to fish or cut bait, as they say, because you can’t sit on a fee bill forever without some unwelcome results.
First, we remain optimistic that the CFA will eventually be passed by Congress, but it’s got to be soon to help with extremely high fees. . . . Despite strong bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress, the Cabin Fee Act is part of a huge logjam that defies understanding. Be assured though that we continue to push the legislation as hard as possible!
Now, about those fee bills. In our prior communication, we advised that if you could not afford to pay your bill, simply do nothing for the time being. While the "do-nothing” strategy might be the only option for some cabin owners, the Forest Service has indicated that making no payment at all will place the permittee into noncompliance with their permit and could trigger revocation proceedings. Instead, we have heard from the Forest Service that the agency will act more favorably toward cabin owners who make any "good faith effort” to pay some portion of their 2014 bill, even if it’s not the full amount. . . .
(Read more and download the entire letter here.)
Cabin Fee Act Update
September 18, 2014
Dear Cabin Owners,
The Congressional Budget Office revenue report that was promised by mid-August was finally released late on Friday evening, September 12th (click here for full report). Perhaps many of you that follow the Congressional Record have already heard that the Cabin Fee Act (CFA) H.R. 4873 was found to be short $5 million over the ten-year evaluation period. During the following weekend, NFH leadership, the Cabin Coalition 2 (C2), and our lobbyists collaborated on a response to the $5 million revenue shortfall that was reported. All agreed that a $50 increase in each fee tier was the appropriate action and would make the legislation revenue neutral. Consent for this change was given by NFH and C2 leadership to Chairman Hastings’ staff director, Todd Young, during a conference call on Wednesday the 17th.
Though a quick decision, this change allowed our bill sponsor, Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) to submit the bill for Natural Resource Committee markup on Thursday, September 18th. We are pleased to report that the bill was successfully passed out of committee and has been assigned a new bill number, H.R. 5476, which replaces H.R. 4873. However, with Congress leaving DC on Friday the 19th, a week earlier than scheduled, a vote on the CFA in the House simply cannot occur this week. We have been assured it will move quickly following elections when Congress reconvenes on November 12th. We are also exploring how the CFA could be passed in the Senate on a parallel track to our efforts in the House. . . . (read more)
NFH Members click here! to see how you can continue to financially support the CFA effort.
2014 Election Results
With a total of over 1,300 ballots received, the National Forest Homeowners' membership elected Jay Tripathi, of Healdsburg, California, as the new President. Richard Maycock, from Roswell, Georgia was elected as a new Director. And we have a new Nominating Committee.
See complete election results here, and you can go to our NFH Board of Directors page for the updated list of current directors with contact information.
Thank you to all those who participated in our annual elections!
FIRE INCIDENT UPDATES
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