Register Now for the NFH Fall Forum in Ontario, California
Saturday, September 20, 1:00-5:00 (stick around for a social hour from 5:00 to 6:30)
Click here for details
FIRE INCIDENT UPDATES
Click on state location of your cabin for updates
Arizona California Colorado Idaho Montana Nevada New Mexico Oregon Washington Wyoming
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 email@example.com 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.)
Summary of Results:
2014 Cabin Fee Survey
A special 'THANK YOU’ to the large number of cabin owners that participated in the survey. Your participation is greatly appreciated. A summary of the results is now posted and available for your review.
A more detailed review of the results will be conducted and when available, additional results will be posted on the website. Comments or questions concerning the survey should be directed to Ernie Atencio, NFH Executive Director.
Cabin Fee Act Update
August 8, 2014
NFH and the Cabin Coalition 2 (C2) remain firmly committed to the CFA, pulling out all the stops and attempting every strategy that could make a difference to get it through Congress this year. In mid June, a nine-person delegation of NFH and C2 leadership, cabin owners, and our lobbyists traveled to Washington and visited 30 individual offices during a whirlwind three-day period. Congressmen, Senators, and their staffers were all well informed and largely supportive of the CFA, after a flood of over 400 email messages in response to our last grassroots call to action (thank you cabin owners – those emails make a difference!). We heard loud and clear from U.S. Forest Service Chief Tidwell that he is solidly in support of the legislation and wants to see it passed this year. It is a sensible solution and a non-controversial bill with strong bipartisan support, a win-win-win for the Forest Service, the public, and cabin owners. Influential sponsors and key committee members from both parties and in both chambers of Congress are poised to move the bill through to a vote as soon as possible.
So what’s the problem?
At this moment in early August, we are still waiting on a report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that scores the bill “revenue neutral,” meaning that under the CFA the cabin program will generate the same level of revenue as it would going forward under CUFFA. The bill cannot be taken to a floor vote until that determination is made. In March the CBO gave an unfavorable score to the senate version of the bill (S. 1341). Since then the House of Representatives has introduced a new CFA (H.R. 4873) – identical to the senate version – and the Forest Service has provided the CBO with updated and corrected information for a more complete calculation. NFH, C2, and the Forest Service all believe that using accurate data, the CFA will meet the test. The latest update we received is that the CBO will release its report by mid August. Then we need to wait until the House and Senate are back from recess on September 8, and will have to hit the ground running for a very short session, but our allies in Congress say they are ready to move it quickly.
Meanwhile, NFH and C2 continue to explore all of our options to provide some relief to cabin owners who are facing exorbitant permit fees and to avoid any loss of cabins in the program – losing cabins anywhere will erode and weaken the cabin program for everyone. Next year the cabin program will celebrate its centennial anniversary. We need to keep it healthy and strong for the next hundred years.
Please be prepared to once again write your Congressmen and Senators in support of the CFA. Once we have the CBO report in hand, we will provide the message, the timing, and contact information. Stay Tuned.
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!