Forest Service Letter to Cabin Owners
Dear Members of NFH:
I wanted to take this opportunity to share the information we have regarding fees and billing for cabin lot permits. Recently, the majority of you have received bills with higher fees than in previous years. While we understand that in some cases these bills are creating hardships, we have no choice but to implement the law as written. These higher fees reflect full implementation of the Cabin User Fee Fairness Act (CUFFA).
As most of you know, your bill was created based on a recent appraisal. At the time you received the appraisal it was appealable. However, the fee is not appealable. If you need more information please see the US Forest Service website: http://www.fs.fed.us/specialuses/special-recreation-residence.shtml (This website further explains the fee provisions of CUFFA.)
I have been working closely with the National Forest Homeowners Association on new legislation which would replace CUFFA. The Department has testified in support of earlier versions of the legislation which provides a set of fee tiers based on recent appraisal values and obviates the need for future appraisal cycles.
Again, we appreciate the hardship some cabin owners may experience. We are working with NFH and Congressional staff in providing information which will assist them in developing replacement legislation. The US Forest Service values and appreciates its relationship with NFH and remains committed to the resolution of the fee issue that is mutually acceptable to all parties.
Gregory C. Smith
Acting Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System
July 30, 2013