CFA Call to Action
May 28, 2014
Outrageous CUFFA fees are crippling the cabin program. The 2014 billing has exhausted the financial resources of many cabin owners who simply cannot pay $10,000 to $30,000—or more—this year and for the next ten years! Six years of dedicated work by the Cabin Coalition 2 (C2) and NFH to correct the problem and pass the Cabin Fee Act (CFA), have brought success within reach.
But, we need everyone’s help, now! Please read on . . .
The 113th Congress ends this year and may be our last chance. An all-out effort is being made by NFH and C2 in the next few weeks because the August Congressional recess and the November elections are fast approaching. A group of cabin leaders will be traveling to Washington, D.C. the week of June 16th to meet with key members and staff in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. We are hopeful that the updated version of the CFA will soon clear a key hurdle with the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and receive a committee mark-up in the House before our team hits the ground in D.C.
A key focus of the visits will be U.S. Senate offices to emphasize the urgent need to pass the CFA this year. We have strong support from many key Senators, but it is important these offices also hear directly from you, their constituents. Please take just a few moments to send an email to your Senator’s staff to remind them of the urgency of the situation. We need to flood their offices over the next two weeks so that our personal DC visits will be enhanced by your messages.
The names and email addresses for key Senators’ State and DC staff are provided for you on the ‘Call to Action’ Senate Contact List (click on link). Please use the key points provided below in an email to the staff in your state. Cut and paste for convenience, but be sure to share your story and what it will mean to you and your cabin owner friends if the Cabin Fee Act is not passed this year.
After sending your email, please forward a copy of it and any response you receive to Pete Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org. This will allow us to follow up with the offices we will be meeting with in June. Stay tuned if your state is not listed as we may broaden the effort in the coming weeks. Our most recent CFA update, from Aubrey King, is on the NFH website, for your reference. As always, you can check the website for the latest CFA information.
Points to include in your message:
If Congress fails to pass the CFA this year, hundreds of cabin owners will abandon or be forced to tear down their cabins due to escalating fees and an inability to find buyers due to the high fees. The U.S. Government will lose a source of revenue and the Forest Service will be left with a costly and contentious problem.
Both cabin owners and the Forest Service support passage of the Cabin Fee Act this year to ensure reasonable and predictable fees now and into the future. The Forest Service supports it because it understands the current appraisal based system is burdensome, costly, and results in unsustainable fees.
Cabin owners have worked tirelessly to improve the legislation and address questions and concerns from congressional offices and the Forest Service.
The Recreation Residence Program is a legacy program with a century of history that emphasizes sustainable uses of our national lands; at the same time preserving the natural environment of America’s forests. It is the largest middle class, family-based recreation program operated by the Federal government. It must not be allowed to erode due to unreasonable fees. Cabin owners, invaluable partners with the Forest Service, help protect the National Forests and introduce subsequent generations to the joys of outdoor recreation and stewardship of these national Lands.
On average, each cabin contributes $7500 per year to local, rural economies. If Congress does not pass the CFA this year, not only will many family cabin legacies be lost, but the economic benefit from the cabin program to rural communities will also be lost.
Our message: "Senator, we need your help to pass the CFA this year!"
Jay Tripathi, NFH President
for the Cabin Coalition 2