Cabin Fee Act -- Encouraging News!

We just received this encouraging news from Aubrey King, who is the National Forest Homeowners (NFH) representative in Washington, D.C.: The Cabin Fee Act of 2012 (H.R. 3397) passed the United States House of Representatives by voice vote late this afternoon of September 10, 2012, National Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA), who has championed the CFA for more than two years, spoke eloquently in support of the bill on the floor. The House bill now goes to the Senate, where a very similar Cabin Fee Act (S. 1906) was introduced last year and is under active consideration. Before it becomes law, both the House and the Senate will have to agree on identical legislation. NFH will now intensify its ongoing efforts with the Senate with the goal of finally enacting the Cabin Fee Act into law.

According to NFH President Geoff Anderson; "This tremendous success in the House is the result of the intense work of many cabin owners throughout the nation for the past several years. Many have committed their time, energy and dollars to see this effort through. We are, of course, especially appreciative for the leadership of Chairman Hastings who has stood by cabin owners through this whole process in the House. With final passage by the Senate and enactment into law, the Cabin Fee Act will enable thousands of cabin owner families to continue to enjoy the recreational use of their cabins as they have for generations."

I encourage you to re-read our recent blog post entitled, "Please Contact Your Senators and Representatives AGAIN!" This article provides a link to contact your U.S. Legislators, and some suggestions about what your email or phone message should say. Please keep pushing your Senators and Representatives to pass the CFA -- we're almost there!

Please Contact Your Senators and Representatives AGAIN!

At the risk of sounding like a "broken record" (you all do remember records, don't you?), here is another appeal to contact your Senators and Representatives yet again this month regarding the Cabin Fee Act (CFA). If the CFA is not enacted into law this year before the new Congressional session convenes in January, then CFA may be dead for the foreseeable future. First, please read the following summary of the CFA status, which was prepared by the National Forest Homeowners (NFH) representative in Washington, D.C.  Next, don't procrastinate!  Take immediate action to contact your Senators and Representatives to urge their timely action in support of the CFA. Passage of the CFA has long-term important ramifications for all of us cabin owners, so please take a few moments to read this article and voice your support, as described below. Thanks.




Cabin owners are approaching the end of a historic five-year journey to secure passage of the Cabin Fee Act that will significantly reform how fees are determined for the Forest Service Recreation Residence Program. After conceiving this approach to determining cabin fees, drafting reform legislation, testifying before multiple hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, working with the Congressional Budget Office to ensure the legislation will not have a negative budget impact and meeting repeatedly with bill sponsors and supporters and with Congressional staff to refine the bill, we are on the verge of success!

We now have a bill that is bipartisan, noncontroversial, revenue neutral, has the support of the Forest Service and no opposition. What we need is to convince Congress that the CFA merits priority attention that must not be blocked by the partisan, ideological disputes now preventing so much legislation.

Nearly all Senators and Representatives are home for much of August. Now is an opportune time to contact them and their staff. When legislators return to Congress, the schedule will be short and crowded. Congress is in session for only three weeks in September and another few weeks after the elections when they will return for a very busy "Lame Duck" session. We must prevent them from overlooking the CFA as parochial legislation. The CFA is poised for passage in September with a House floor vote expected and a Senate committee "mark-up" and floor vote possible. While lame duck action on the CFA may be necessary, we hope things are not carried that far, when our bill will have to compete for attention with controversial tax, budget and fiscal matters.

Cabin owners are being urged, once again, to contact their Senators and Representatives with the following simple message points and request:

(1) The Cabin Fee Act is vital to keep the historic cabin program as the largest source of Forest Stewardship and family recreation on the National Forests, serving over 14,000 families and generating more than 5 million visitor days annually.

(2) Without the fee reforms of the CFA, many cabin owners will be faced with draconian fee increases that will force the sale or abandonment of multi-generational cabins, drastically altering the overall program.

(3) In stark contrast to the current cabin fee system, the CFA has been developed to provide a fair, consistent and predictable fee structure supported by nearly all cabin owners.

(4) The CFA has strong bipartisan support in both House and Senate, is regarded as noncontroversial and will have no negative effect on the Federal budget according to the Congressional Budget Office.

(5) The CFA is supported by the Forest Service because it will be much more economical and simpler to administer.

(6) The biggest hurdle to passage is not the content of the CFA but Congressional procedural delays and obstructions that have nothing to do with this legislation.


A direct link to Contact your US Legislators:

Aubrey King, NFH Washington Representative August 2, 2012

Cabin Fee Act (CFA) or CUFFA?

The Cabin Fee Act (CFA) is once again working its way through Congress with bipartisan support and little controversy.  However, with a crowded election year schedule in Congress, the CFA needs some grassroots support and enthusiasm from cabin owners in order to gain enough momentum to become law.  CFA must pass this year, or we may be stuck with the old CUFFA rules and much higher fees for many years to come! Please email or phone the offices of both Senator Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, asking them to encourage Jeff Bingaman (Dem., New Mexico) to move the Cabin Fee Act out of committee and onto the Senate floor.  Bingaman is Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR).  Follow this link for information on how to contact Senators Feinstein and Boxer.

Please read the attached CFA Status Report for more information about the current CFA situation.  Thank you for your continuing support of the efforts to implement the Cabin Fee Act.

Cabin Owner "Call to Action" -- Cabin Fee Act

Here is the text of a recent appeal from the C2 Coalition, which is the coalition representing the interests of Forest Service cabin owners on behalf of the Cabin Fee Act. Please read the following information and act promptly to contact your California Senators.

IMPORTANT -- Your Grassroots Efforts are Needed Now

Breaking News: A Senate hearing on S. 1906, the Cabin Fee Act of 2011, has been scheduled for March 22, 2012 before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests, chaired by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). Coalition 2 is in full preparation mode!

Now is your time to help! Extensive grassroots efforts to contact key Senators are essential to support a successful hearing and passage of the legislation. Although neither of our California Senators are members of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, both Senators Feinstein and Boxer should be contacted and asked to encourage the committee to act promptly and positively to move the bill to passage in the Senate. Our California Senators must hear from you and know you care about the Cabin Fee Act! The message you should convey to our Senators should be consistent and to the point:

  1. Thank Senator Feinstein for her co-sponsorship of S. 1906.
  2. Senate Bill 1906 has been judged to be revenue neutral by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
  3. The bill has genuine bi-partisan support, with the following co-sponsors: Jon Tester [D- MT] (Sponsor), John Barrasso [R-WY], Max Baucus [D-MT], Michael Enzi [R-WY], Dianne Feinstein [D-CA], Charles Grassley [R-IA], and James Risch [R-ID].
  4. Cabin owners have agreed to changes in S. 1906 requested by the Forest Service. Both groups now support the prompt passage of S. 1906.
  5. We ask that this bill be passed out of committee and approved in the full Senate.

This task is simple -- call or email! Call the Capitol Hill Switchboard now at 202.224.3121 and ask for either Senator Feinstein's or Senator Boxer's office. When connected, tell them that your call is about S. 1906, the Cabin Fee Act. You should then be transferred to the staff person who handles natural resources or national forest issues. Convey your personalized message to that person.

Send your emails now at the following links:

Every call or email helps gain support -- please do your part.

Call or email our Senators today!

Note:  In both the Feinstein and Boxer email forms, you need to enter "Topic".  Since there is no choice for "National Forest" or "Forest Service", let's use "Environment" as the topic. Thanks.