The Federal government is at it again–this time they are proposing that all repeaters and radios on US Forest Service sites–and there are lots of them–pay an exorbitant (to us hams) $1400 yearly fee to be able to stay where they are. Many repeaters we use in the Bay Area are on USFS sites. The Feds say that there are thousands all over the US.
Here is a link to the ARRL website with their summary of the impact of the proposal:
Annoyingly, the ARRL doesn’t have this very important item shown prominently on their front page, nor do they provide you with a direct link to where you should post your comments. I’ve added a shortcut to where you want to go. The comment window will close on Feb. 22, 2022, so do it now! Just click on “Comment” to leave your own thoughts:
I posted my own a few hours ago. It was quick and easy to do. You can do it anonymously if you’d like.
I suggest a few things to have the best effect:
1. Please avoid histrionics, name calling, or off-topic rants. Keep to the issue at hand, which is the proposed fee problem for hams, who can be an important emergency resource to government.
2. Double- and triple-check your spelling and grammar. You’ll make a better impression if you sound reasonable and thoughtful.
3. NO CAPS LOCK! Don’t shout with your keyboard.
4. Keep it short. A few lines are more effective than 10 paragraphs that no decision maker will take the time to read.
Even if you don’t use any repeaters, please do take the time to comment! If you are a repeater user, think of what life would be like without it, or worse yet, how it would be to get a monthly or yearly bill to continue using it.
If you leave an email address, you’ll get an acknowledgement that your comments were received, along with a copy of what you wrote. Here’s mine:
Your comment was submitted successfully!
Comment Tracking Number: xxx-xxxxx-xxxx
Your comment has been sent for review. This process is dependent on agency public submission policies/procedures and processing times. Once the agency has posted your comment, you may view it on Regulations.gov using your Comment Tracking Number.
Agency: FOREST SERVICE (FS)
Document Type: Proposed Rule
Title: Land Uses: Special Uses; Annual Programmatic Administrative Fee for Communications Use Authorizations
Document ID: FS-2022-0001-0001
I am strongly opposed to this proposal to charge an administrative fee, if it includes Amateur Radio (FCC Part 97) repeaters and radios. Amateurs have a long and rich history of working directly with the Federal government, as well as local government agencies, in times of disaster or other emergencies. One of the primary tools Amateurs use to enable emergency communications is mountaintop repeater systems. The proposal to charge such a relatively high fee for Amateur Radio repeaters will effectively drive them off most of the USFS sites. This is due to the fact that they are maintained by individuals or small club groups, not corporate entities that can include the proposed fees in their budgets as a cost of doing business. Please consider amending this proposal to exclude repeaters and radios licensed under FCC Part 97 from being required to pay the proposed site fees.