Wednesday, March 2, 2022

ARRL Seeks Ham Exemption from New Forest Service Fees

The U.S. Forest Service is proposing a $1400 annual "communication facility fee" to be collected from any individual or entity maintaining a communication facility on Forest Service lands. 

The ARRL has filed comments requesting that amateur radio facilities be exempted from the fees, which it says are being proposed in response to a 2018 law requiring it to collect fees for issuing communications use authorizations "based on the cost to the agency for processing the applications, maintenance and other related activities." This fee would be on top of rental fees already collected. 

The League asked that amateur radio facilities be exempted on the basis of the service's statutory non-commercial status, the fact that amateurs maintain their own facilities and the public service provided by amateur radio during fires, search-and-rescue operations and other critical activities on Forest Service lands. The comment period extends through March 31.