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Want to drive into the forest? You'll have to pay a fee...

Associated Press
Posted: 1/23/07 11:22am

A judge has ruled that the Forest Service can charge 'user fees' to people who want to see Mount Lemmon.

The new system requires anyone who drives up the Tucson-area mountain to pay $5 per day or $20 for an annual pass, if they park at hiking trails or picnic areas or anywhere else within a prescribed area on the mountain. That area includes all national forest along the Mount Lemmon Highway.

Back in September, a federal magistrate in Tucson ruled that the Forest Service went beyond its congressional authorization when it implemented the fees.

In making his ruling, the magistrate dismissed Forest Service charges against a Tucson woman, who got tickets twice in the same month for failing to pay fees when parking and hiking on different spots on Mount Lemmon.

On Tuesday, the US Attorney's Office in Phoenix announced that that ruling has been overturned on appeal.

It's unclear when the system could start.
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