Regulatory Assessment of the Final Guidelines

Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guidelines
Final Rule: Outdoor Developed Areas
August 1, 2013

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

“We,” “our” and “us” in this document refer to the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board).

The Architectural Barriers Act requires facilities constructed or altered by or on behalf of federal agencies to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.  Certain agencies are required to adopt accessibility standards for the design, construction, and alteration of facilities covered by the Architectural Barriers Act.[1]  We are required by section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act to establish and maintain minimum guidelines and requirements for the accessibility standards adopted the federal agencies.  We are issuing the final rule pursuant to this authority.  The final rule amends the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guidelines that we issued in 2004 to address camping facilities, picnic facilities, viewing areas, trails, and beach access routes constructed or altered by or behalf of federal agencies.

The final rule applies to the following federal agencies and their components that administer outdoor areas developed for recreational purposes: Department of Agriculture (Forest Service); Department of Defense (Army Corps of Engineers); and Department of the Interior (Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service).  The final rule also applies to non-federal entities that construct or alter recreation facilities on federal land on behalf of the federal agencies pursuant to a concession contract, partnership agreement, or similar arrangement.

We prepared this regulatory assessment to estimate the costs and benefits of the final rule.  We compared the final rule to guidelines and standards used by the federal agencies for the design of outdoor developed areas without regard to accessibility to determine whether the final rule would result in additional costs.  We determined the final rule would not result in additional costs for camping facilities and picnic facilities.  We estimate the final rule would result in additional costs for viewing areas, trails, and beach access routes shown in Table 1.

Table 1.  Additional Costs Due to Final Rule
Viewing Areas $2,176 for dual base binocular scopes and $3,380 for a dual base telescopes, if viewing scopes provided at viewing areas
Trails $40,655 per trail mile, if trail would not otherwise meet the technical requirements and the exceptions to the technical requirements do not apply to the trail
Beach Access Routes $4,497 to $6,530 to purchase roll-out mats for beach access routes, if parking areas, toilet facilities, bathing facilities, and circulation paths serving beaches are constructed or altered or beach nourishment project is undertaken

We estimate the federal agencies would incur $1.2 million additional annual costs due to the final rule based on the assumptions shown in Table 2.

Table 2.  Total Annual Costs
Facility Assumptions
  1. Estimate is based on higher cost for roll-out mats.
Viewing Areas Fish and Wildlife Service provides a viewing scope over the next five years at 556 wildlife refuges to enhance visitor experiences.
$241,971
Trails Federal agencies construct 15.2 trail miles per year that would not otherwise meet the technical requirements and the exceptions to the technical requirements do not apply to the trails.
$617,956
Beach Access Routes Federal agencies provide beach access routes at 1,025 beaches over a 20 year period as parking areas, toilet facilities, bathing facilities, and circulation paths serving the beaches are altered or replaced with new facilities.
$344,6621

The proposed rule would enable individuals with mobility disabilities to participate in outdoor recreation activities with their families and friends.  The benefits are difficult to quantify, but include important national values recognized in Executive Order 13563 such as equity, human dignity, and fairness.

CHAPTER 1 – BACKGROUND

1.1  Introduction

We prepared this regulatory assessment in accordance with Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) and Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review).  Among other things, Executive Order 13563 directs agencies to propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that its benefits justify its costs; tailor the regulation to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining the regulatory objectives; and, in choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select those approaches that maximize net benefits.  Executive Order 13563 recognizes that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify and provides that, where appropriate and permitted by law, agencies may consider and discuss qualitatively values that are difficult or impossible to quantify, including equity, human dignity, fairness, and distributive impacts.

1.2  Statutory and Regulatory Background

The Architectural Barriers Act requires facilities constructed or altered by or on behalf of federal agencies to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.[2]  See 42 U.S.C. 4151 et seq.  The Department of Defense, Department of Housing and Urban Development, General Services Administration, and United States Postal Service are required to adopt accessibility standards for the design, construction, and alteration of facilities covered by the Architectural Barriers Act.[3]  See 42 U.S.C. 4152 through 4154a.  We are required by section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act to establish and maintain minimum guidelines and requirements for the accessibility standards adopted the federal agencies.  See 29 U.S.C. 792 (b) (3).  We also are required by section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act to investigate complaints alleging that facilities covered by the Architectural Barriers Act have not complied with the accessibility standards.  See 29 U.S.C. 792 (b) (1) and (e).  When we find a violation, we request the responsible federal agency to submit a corrective action plan and monitor implementation of the plan.

We issued the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guidelines for facilities covered by the Architectural Barriers Act in 2004.  See 69 FR 44151 (July 23, 2004).  The guidelines contain scoping and technical requirements.  Scoping requirements specify what features are required to be accessible and, where multiple features of the same type are provided, how many of the features are required to be accessible.  Technical requirements specify the design criteria for accessible features.  The scoping and technical requirements address some but not all of the features provided at outdoor areas developed for recreation purposes.  For example, the scoping and technical requirements address parking areas, toilet and bathing facilities, fishing piers and platforms, and boating docks and marinas.  However, the scoping and technical requirements do not address the minimum number of camping units and picnic units required to provide mobility features, or provide design criteria for viewing areas, trails, and beach access routes.  The final rule amends the guidelines by adding scoping and technical requirements for these features.

1.3  Summary of Final Rule

The final rule applies to the following federal agencies and their components that administer outdoor areas developed for recreational purposes: Department of Agriculture (Forest Service); Department of Defense (Army Corps of Engineers); and Department of the Interior (Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service).  The final rule also applies to non-federal entities that construct or alter recreation facilities on federal land on behalf of the federal agencies pursuant to a concession contract, partnership agreement, or similar arrangement.

The final rule does not apply to outdoor developed areas administered by state and local governments and by private entities covered by Titles II and III the Americans with Disabilities Act because sufficient data were not available to prepare a regulatory assessment of the impact of the proposed rule on state and local governments or private entities.

The final rule adds scoping and technical requirements for the design, construction, and alteration of camping facilities, picnic facilities, viewing areas, trails, and beach access routes to the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guidelines.  The scoping requirements address the following outdoor constructed features provided at these facilities: picnic tables, fire rings, grills, fireplaces, wood stoves, trash and recycling receptacles, water hydrants, utility and sewage hookups, outdoor rinsing showers, benches, and viewing scopes.  The scoping requirements also address the following elements provided in camping units with mobility features: parking spaces for recreational vehicles and other vehicles; tent pads and tent platforms; and camp shelters.  The scoping requirements added by the final rule are summarized in Table 3.

Table 3.  Scoping Requirements Added by Final Rule

F244 Camping Facilities

Requires minimum number of camping units to provide mobility features based on total number of camping units provided in the camping facility.

Requires camping units with mobility features to provide choices of camping units comparable to, and integrated with, those available to others.

Requires at least one of each type of outdoor constructed features and other elements provided within camping units with mobility features to comply with the applicable technical requirements.  Where more than one of the same type outdoor constructed feature or element is provided, requires at least two of the same type to comply with the applicable technical requirements.

Requires at least 20 percent of each type of outdoor constructed feature provided at each location in common use and public use areas serving camping units with mobility features to comply with the applicable technical requirements.

Requires outdoor recreation access routes to connect:

  • Accessible elements, spaces, and facilities provided within camping units with mobility features;
  • Camping units with mobility features to common use and public use areas serving the units;
  • Accessible elements, spaces, and facilities provided within common use and public use areas serving camping units with mobility features; and
  • Camping units with mobility features to an accessible route serving adjacent recreation facilities, where a circulation path connects camping facilities and adjacent recreation facilities.

F245 Picnic Facilities

Requires each picnic unit to provide mobility features where picnic facility contains two or fewer picnic units.  Requires at least 20 percent of picnic units to provide mobility features where picnic facility contains more than two picnic units.

Requires picnic units with mobility features to provide choices of picnic units comparable to, and integrated with, those available to others.

Requires at least one of each type of outdoor constructed features and other elements provided within picnic units with mobility features to comply with the applicable technical requirements.  Where more than one of the same type of outdoor constructed feature or element is provided, requires at least two of the same type to comply with the applicable technical requirements.

Requires at least 20 percent of each type of outdoor constructed feature provided at each location in common use and public use areas serving picnic units with mobility features to comply with the applicable technical requirements.

Requires outdoor recreation access routes to connect:

  • Accessible elements, spaces, and facilities provided within picnic units with mobility features;
  • Picnic units with mobility features to common use and public use areas serving the units;
  • Accessible elements, spaces, and facilities provided within common use and public use areas serving picnic units with mobility features; and
  • Picnic units with mobility features to an accessible route serving adjacent recreation facilities, where a circulation path connects picnic facilities and adjacent recreation facilities.

F246 Viewing Areas

Requires each distinct viewing location and at least 20 percent of outdoor constructed features within viewing areas to comply with the applicable technical requirements.

Requires outdoor recreation access routes to connect accessible parking spaces or other arrival points serving the viewing area with accessible elements, spaces, and facilities provided within the viewing area.

F216.13 Trailhead Signs

F247 Trails

Requires new trail information signs provided at trailheads on newly constructed and altered trails designed for use by hikers and pedestrians to comply with the applicable technical requirements for trailhead signs.

Requires trails designed for use by hikers and pedestrians to comply with the applicable technical requirements for trails where the trail directly connects to a trailhead or another trail that substantially meets the applicable technical requirements for trails.

Requires existing trails to comply with the applicable technical requirements for trails where the original design, function, or purpose of the trail is changed and the altered portion of the trail directly connects to a trailhead or another trail that substantially meets the applicable technical requirements for trails.

Requires camping facilities, picnic facilities, and viewing areas provided on trails to comply with the applicable scoping requirements in F244, F245, and F246, except for outdoor recreation access routes.

Requires at least 20 percent of outdoor constructed features provided at trailheads and at each location on trails, other than at facilities provided on trails, to comply with the applicable technical requirements.

Requires outdoor recreation access routes to connect accessible parking spaces or other arrival points serving a trailhead to the starting point of the trail and accessible elements, spaces, and facilities provided within the trailhead.

F248 Beach Access Routes

Requires at least one permanent or removable beach access route to be provided for each ½ mile of beach shoreline administered or managed by an entity where:

  • Circulation paths, parking facilities, toilet facilities, or bathing facilities serving the beach are constructed or altered; or
  • A beach nourishment project is undertaken.

Not more than 20 percent of the costs of constructing or altering facilities serving the beach or a beach nourishment project are required to be expended on beach access routes.

The technical requirements establish design criteria for outdoor constructed features; parking spaces within camping units and picnic units with mobility features; pull-up spaces for recreational vehicles at dump stations; tent pads and tent platforms; camp shelters; viewing areas; outdoor recreation access routes; trails; and beach access routes.  The final rule permits exceptions to specific provisions in the technical requirements for certain elements and facilities based on the conditions listed in Table 4.  When an entity determines that a condition does not permit full compliance with a provision, compliance is required to the extent practicable.

Table 4.  Conditions for Exceptions
1 Compliance is not practicable due to terrain.
2 Compliance cannot be accomplished with the prevailing construction practices.
3 Compliance would fundamentally alter the function or purpose of the facility or the setting.
4 Compliance is limited or precluded by any of the following laws, or by decisions or opinions issued or agreements executed pursuant to any of the following laws: Endangered Species Act; National Environmental Policy Act; National Historic Preservation Act; Wilderness Act; or other federal, state, or local law the purpose of which is to preserve threatened or endangered species; the environment; or archaeological, cultural, historical, or other significant natural features.

The final rule allows exemptions for an entire trail or beach access route when an entity determines that is impracticable for a trail to comply with the technical requirements for trails or to provide a beach access route complying with the technical requirements for beach access routes.  This determination is made after the entity applies the exceptions for specific provisions in the technical requirements for trails or beach access routes to portions of the trail or route.

1.4  Outdoor Developed Areas Administered by Federal Agencies

The number of recreation sites at outdoor developed areas administered by the federal agencies and their components and the number of annual visits to the sites are shown below.[4]  The number of camping facilities, picnic facilities, trail miles, and beaches at the outdoor developed areas administered by the federal agencies is shown in Appendix A.  The line items in the FY 2013 budget justifications for the federal agencies that include funds for recreation site improvements are summarized in Appendix B.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

The Forest Service has 17,900 recreation sites at 175 national forests and grasslands on 192 acres in 44 states.  The national forests and grasslands receive 171 million visits annually.

U.S. Department of Defense

The Army Corps of Engineers has about 4,500 recreation sites at 422 lake and other water projects on 12 million acres of public lands and waters in 43 states.  The recreation sites receive 370 million visits annually.

U.S. Department of the Interior

The Bureau of Land Management has 380 special recreation management areas where outdoor recreation is a high priority and over 3,650 recreation sites on 248 million acres primarily in 11 western states.  The recreation sites receive 59 million visits annually.

The Bureau of Reclamation has 289 developed recreation areas, which may have multiple recreation sites, on 6.5 million acres of public lands and waters in 17 western states.  The recreation areas receive 90 million visits annually.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has 556 wildlife refuges on 150 million acres of public lands and waters in 52 states and territories.  The wildlife refuges receive 45 million visits annually.

The National Park Service has 397 national parks, monuments, seashore sites, battlefields, and other historic or cultural sites on 85 million acres in 53 states and territories.  The national parks and other sites receive 281 million visits annually.

1.5  Federal Agency Accessibility Policies and Practices

The federal agencies have adopted accessibility policies and practices for their outdoor developed areas pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in federally assisted and federally conducted programs.[5]  See 29 U.S.C. 794.  The Forest Service has issued the Forest Service Outdoor Recreation Accessibility Guidelines (FSORAG) and Forest Service Trails Accessibility Guidelines (FSTAG).[6]  The National Park Service has issued a Director’s Order on Accessibility for Visitors with Disabilities in National Park Service Programs and Activities.[7]  The Army Corps of Engineers has issued a policy on universal accessibility for its outdoor developed areas.[8]  The final rule is generally consistent with the federal agencies accessibility policies and practices and would not have a significant impact on their programs.

1.6  Baseline Design Guidelines and Standards

We compared the final rule to the guidelines and standards shown in Table 5 that are used by the federal agencies for the design of outdoor developed areas without regard to accessibility to determine whether the final rule would result in additional costs.  These baseline guidelines and standards address visitor convenience, resource protection, and sustainability.  There are no baseline guidelines or standards for the design of viewing areas to compare with the final rule.

Table 5.  Baseline Guidelines & Standards for Design of Outdoor Developed Areas

Camping Facilities

Picnic Facilities

Army Corps of Engineers Recreation Facility and Customer Service Standards[9]

Bureau of Reclamation Recreation Facility Design Guidelines[10]

Bureau of Land Management Guidelines for a Quality Built Environment[11]

Trails Forest Service Hiker/Pedestrian Trail Design Parameters[12]
Beaches Army Corps of Engineers Recreation Facility and Customer Service Standards

CHAPTER 2 - CAMPING FACILITIES

2.1  Camping Units With Mobility Features

The final rule requires camping facilities to provide a minimum number of camping units with mobility features based on the total number of camping units in the camping facility in accordance with Table F244.2 reprinted below.[13]  Where camping units are altered or added, the table applies only to only to the camping units that are altered or added until the number of camping units with mobility features complies with the minimum number required in table.  The final rule also requires that camping units required to provide mobility features provide choices of camping units comparable to, and integrated with, those available to others.

Table F244.2 Camping Units with Mobility Features
Total Number of Camping Units Provided in Camping Facility Minimum Number of Camping Units with Mobility Features Required
1 1
2 to 25 2
26 to 50 3
51 to 75 4
76 to 100 5
101 to 150 7
151 to 200 8
201 and over 8, plus 2 percent of the number over 200

The final rule requires at least one of each type of outdoor constructed features and other elements provided within camping units with mobility features to comply with the applicable technical requirements.  Where more than one of the same type of outdoor constructed feature or element is provided, the final rule requires at least two of the same type to comply with the applicable technical requirements.

As discussed below, the technical requirements for camping units with mobility features would not result in additional costs when compared to the baseline guidelines and standards used by the federal agencies for the design of camping facilities without regard to accessibility shown in Table 6.

Table 6.  Baseline Guidelines & Standards for Design of Camping Facilities
  Army Corps of Engineers Recreation Facility and Customer Service Standards Bureau of Reclamation Recreation Facility Design Guidelines Bureau of Land Management Guidelines for Quality Built Environment
Camping Unit Pad 400 - 625 sq. ft. 650 sq. ft. (without tent pad); 800 sq. ft. (with tent pad) 900 sq. ft.
Vehicle Spur 12 ft. wide by 70 ft. long 14 ft. wide by 60 ft. long 16 ft. wide by 52 ft. long
Tent Pads and Tent Platforms 16 ft. by 16 ft. 12 ft. by 12 ft. No size specified
Outdoor Constructed Features Picnic table
Fire ring or grill
Utility hook-ups
Picnic table
Fire ring or grill
Utility hook-ups
Picnic table
Fire ring or grill
Utility hook-ups
Surface Crusher run or graded aggregate base rock for vehicle spur; fine crushed stone or other hard surface for camping unit pad and tent pad Compacted road base, asphalt, or concrete for vehicle spur; compacted sand or aggregate road base over landscape fabric over compacted earth for camping unit pad and tent pad Durable materials
Slope Relatively flat area 1.5 percent 2 percent
Picnic Tables

The final rule requires picnic tables within camping units with mobility features to provide at least one wheelchair space for each 24 linear feet of usable table surface perimeter.[14]  A picnic table surface that is 8 feet long by 2 ½ feet wide needs to provide at least one wheelchair space.  Wheelchair spaces typically are provided at the ends of the picnic table to minimize loss of seats.  Picnic tables with wheelchair spaces generally cost less than picnic tables without wheelchair spaces because less material is used for seats.[15]

Fire Rings and Grills

The final rule requires fire rings and grills within camping units with mobility features to have a fire building surface 9 inches minimum above the ground, and cooking surfaces 15 inches minimum and 34 inches maximum above the ground.[16]

Fire rings in camping units without mobility features are typically 7 inches to 11 inches high.  Fire rings that are 16 inches to 18 inches high cost $25 to $50 more.[17]  The cost difference is offset by the savings for picnic tables with wheelchair spaces.

Grills are mounted on posts, and the fire building and cooking surfaces are typically within the range specified in the final rule.  There is no cost difference for grills in camping units with mobility features and in camping units without mobility features.

Utility Hook-Ups

The final rule requires the operable parts on utility hook-ups, other than sewage hatches, within camping units with mobility features to be within reach ranges and to comply with the technical requirements for operation.[18]  Water utility hook-ups are required to comply with the technical requirements for operation to the extent practicable.  Water spouts at water utility hook-ups are required to be 28 inches minimum and 36 inches maximum above the ground.  These requirements generally do not add to the cost of providing utility hook-ups.

Clear Ground Spaces

The final rule requires clear ground spaces to be provided on the usable sides of outdoor constructed features within camping units with mobility features as follows:

  • Picnic Tables: 36 inches minimum measured from the back of the benches;
  • Fire Rings and Grills: 48 inches minimum by 48 inches minimum; and
  • Utility Hook-Ups: 30 inches minimum by 60 inches minimum with the long side of the space adjoining or overlapping the recreational vehicle parking space.

The clear ground space provisions do not apply where individual outdoor constructed features are altered and the ground surface is not altered.

The clear ground space provisions generally can be accommodated within the camping unit pad and vehicle spur sizes specified in the baseline guidelines and standards for the design of camping facilities.[19]  In alterations to existing camping facilities, when an entity determines that the conditions listed in Table 3 do not permit full compliance with the clear ground space provisions, compliance is required to the extent practicable.

Parking Spaces for Recreational Vehicles

Where parking spaces are provided within camping units for recreational vehicles, the final rule requires the parking spaces to be 20 feet wide minimum in camping units with mobility features to accommodate recreational vehicles equipped with a lift.  Recreational vehicles are typically 8 feet wide.  Recreational vehicles equipped with a lift need an additional 8 feet of space on the passenger side of the vehicle to deploy the lift and for persons who use mobility devices to enter and exit the lift.  Utility hook-ups for recreational vehicles are typically located on the driver side of the vehicle.  An additional 4 feet of space is needed on the driver side of the vehicle for persons who use mobility devices to access the utility hook-ups.

Vehicle spurs in camping units for recreational vehicles are typically 12 feet to 16 feet wide and are designed for either back-in or pull-through parking.  The camping unit pad is located on the passenger side of vehicle for back-in or pull through parking, or the rear of the vehicle for back-in parking.  Where the camping unit pad is located on the passenger side of the vehicle, the vehicle spur and camping unit pad typically provide 20 feet of unobstructed space to accommodate recreational vehicle slide-outs.[20]  Parking spaces for recreational vehicles can overlap the camping unit pads provided the space is unobstructed.  With proper design and lay-out of the vehicle spur and camping unit pad in camping units with mobility features, parking spaces 20 feet wide can be provided for recreational vehicles without increasing the size of the vehicle spur and camping unit pad beyond what is specified in the baseline guidelines and standards for the design of camping facilities.

Parking Spaces for Vehicles Other Than Recreational Vehicles

Where parking spaces are provided within camping units for vehicles, other than recreational vehicles, the final rule requires the parking spaces to be 16 feet wide minimum in camping units with mobility features to accommodate vans equipped with a lift.  The parking spaces can overlap vehicle spurs and camping unit pads provided the space is unobstructed.  With proper design and lay-out of the vehicle spur and camping unit pad in camping units with mobility features, parking spaces 16 feet wide minimum can be provided for vehicles, other than recreational vehicles, without increasing the size of the vehicle spur and camping unit pad beyond what is specified in the baseline guidelines and standards for the design of camping facilities.[21]

Tent Pads and Tent Platforms

Where tent pads or tent platforms are provided within camping units, the final rule requires a clear ground space 4 feet wide minimum to be provided on all usable sides of tent pads and tent platforms to enable individuals who use wheeled mobility devices to set up and take down the tent.[22]  The final rule does not specify any minimum size for tent pads and tent platforms.  The final rule also requires tent platforms to be 19 inches high maximum measured from the clear ground surface to the tent platform surface for persons who use mobility devices to transfer from the mobility device to the tent platform surface.

Tent pads and tent platforms are either included in the camping unit pad or located in a separate area within the camping unit.  Tent pads and tent platforms are typically 144 square feet to 256 square feet.  Additional space is provided around tent pads and tent platforms to enable campers to set up and take down the tent.  The final rule generally does not require an increase in the size of the area provided for tent pads and tent platforms.  In alterations to existing camping facilities, when an entity determines that the conditions listed in Table 3 do not permit full compliance with a specific provision for tent pads and tent platforms, compliance with the provision is required to the extent practicable.

Camp Shelters

Where camp shelters are provided within camping units, the final rule requires either transfer access or roll-in access to be provided at the entrance to camp shelters in camping units with mobility features.[23]  Where transfer access is provided, the final rule requires a clear ground space 36 inches minimum by 48 inches minimum at the entrance to the camp shelter, and the camp shelter floor at the entrance to be 19 inches high maximum measured from the clear ground space.[24]  Where roll-in access is provided, the final rule requires a level or sloped entry route complying with the technical requirements for an outdoor recreation access route or a trail, as applicable, at the entrance to the camp shelter, and a turning space within the camp shelter.  The final rule generally does not require an increase in the size of camp shelters.  In alterations to existing camping facilities, when an entity determines that the conditions listed in Table 3 do not permit full compliance with a specific provision for camp shelters, compliance with the provision is required to the extent practicable.

Surfaces and Slopes

The final rule requires the surface of clear ground spaces, parking spaces, tent pads and tent platforms, and camp shelter floors to be firm and stable and to slope not more than 1:48 in any direction.[25]  Where the surface is other than asphalt, concrete, or boards, slopes not steeper than 1:20 are permitted when necessary for drainage.  These requirements are consistent with the provisions for surface and slope in the baseline guidelines and standards for the design of camping facilities.

2.2  Common Use and Public Use Areas

Visitor centers, toilet and bathing facilities, and drinking fountains provided at camping facilities are currently required to comply with the applicable accessibility standards for these facilities and elements.

The final rule requires at least 20 percent of trash and recycling receptacles, water hydrants, and other outdoor constructed features provided at each location in common use and public use areas serving camping units with mobility features to provide a clear ground space that adjoins or overlaps an outdoor recreation access route or trail, as applicable, or another clear ground space.  The final rule requires the surface of clear ground spaces to be firm and stable and to slope not more than 1:48 in any direction.  Where the surface is other than asphalt, concrete, or boards, slopes not steeper than 1:20 are permitted when necessary for drainage.  The clear ground space provisions do not apply where individual outdoor constructed features are altered and the ground surface is not altered.  These requirements generally do not add to the cost of providing the outdoor constructed features.

The final rule also requires the operable parts on outdoor constructed features, other than dumpster type trash and recycling receptacles and sewage hatches, to be within reach ranges and to comply with the technical requirements for operation.[26]  Trash and recycling receptacles with hinged lids and controls to keep out large animals and water hydrants are required to comply with the technical requirements for operation to the extent practicable.  Water spouts at water utility hook-ups are required to be 28 inches minimum and 36 inches maximum above the ground.  These requirements generally do not add to the cost of providing the outdoor constructed features.

The final rule requires pull-up spaces for recreational vehicles at dump stations to be 20 feet wide minimum and to have firm and stable surfaces that slope not more than 1:48 in any direction.[27]  These requirements generally do not add to the cost of constructing dump stations.

2.3  Outdoor Recreation Access Routes

The final rule requires outdoor recreation access routes to connect:

  • Accessible elements, spaces, and facilities provided within camping units with mobility features;
  • Camping units with mobility features to common use and public use areas serving the units;
  • Accessible elements, spaces, and facilities provided within common use and public use areas serving camping units with mobility features; and
  • Camping units with mobility features to an accessible route serving adjacent recreation facilities, where a circulation path connects camping facilities and adjacent recreation facilities.

The final rule does not require outdoor recreation access routes at camping facilities provided on trails.

The technical requirements for outdoor recreation access routes require the routes to be 36 inches wide minimum and to provide passing spaces at intervals of 200 feet minimum where the routes are less than 60 inches wide.[28]  The surface of outdoor recreation access routes, passing spaces, and resting intervals are required to be firm and stable.[29]  The other technical requirements for outdoor recreation access routes are less stringent than the requirements for accessible routes in that running slopes steeper 1:20 (5%) but not steeper than 1:12 (8.33%) are allowed for 50 feet maximum segments, and running slopes steeper than 1:12 (8.33%) but not steeper than 1:10 (10%) are allowed for 30 feet maximum segments.  Where the running slope of a segment of an outdoor recreation access route is steeper than 1:20 (5%), resting intervals are required at the top and bottom of the segment, but handrails are not required.  Where the surface of the outdoor recreation access route is other than concrete, asphalt, or boards, cross slopes not steeper than 1:20 (5%) are permitted when necessary for drainage, and obstacles such as tree roots and rocks are permitted to not exceed 1 inch in height measured vertically to the highest point.

Where outdoor recreation access routes are provided within vehicular ways, the outdoor recreation access routes are not required to comply with the technical requirements for running slope and cross slope, resting intervals, and passing spaces.

In existing camping facilities, where elements or spaces are altered and the circulation path to the altered element or space is not altered, the circulation path is not required to comply with the technical requirements for outdoor recreation access routes.  When an entity determines that the conditions listed in Table 3 do not permit full compliance with a specific provision on a portion of an outdoor recreation access route in alterations to existing camping facilities, the portion of the route is required to comply with the provision to the extent practicable.

The federal agencies typically construct camping facilities on sites with gently sloping terrain to reduce construction and maintenance costs.  Elements provided within camping units are located on the vehicular spur and camping unit pad, which adjoin each other or are connected by a circulation path.  The federal agencies typically construct circulation paths to connect camping units, common use and public use areas, and adjacent recreation facilities.  The final rule generally does not require the federal agencies to provide outdoor recreation access routes where they would not otherwise construct circulation paths and does not add to the construction costs.

2.4  No Additional Costs Due to Final Rule

As summarized in the Table 7, the final rule would not result in additional costs for camping facilities.

Table 7.  No Additional Costs for Camping Facilities
Camping Facility Elements Final Rule
Outdoor constructed features provided within camping units with mobility features Picnic tables with wheelchair spaces cost less than picnic tables without wheelchair spaces.

Fire rings 16 inches to 18 inches high cost $25 to $50 more than fire rings 7 inches to 11 inches high.  Cost difference offset by savings for picnic tables with wheelchair spaces.

No cost difference for grills.

No additional costs for utility hook-ups.

Clear ground spaces on usable sides of outdoor constructed features generally can be accommodated within the camping unit pad and vehicle spur sizes specified in baseline guidelines and standards for design of camping facilities.

In alterations to existing camping facilities, when an entity determines that the conditions listed in Table 3 do not permit full compliance with the clear ground space provisions, compliance is required to the extent practicable.
Parking spaces provided for recreational vehicles within camping units with mobility features With proper design and lay-out of the vehicle spur and camping unit pad in camping units with mobility features, parking spaces 20 feet wide can be provided for recreational vehicles without increasing the size of the vehicle spur and camping unit pad beyond what is specified in the baseline guidelines and standards for the design of camping facilities.
Parking spaces provided for vehicles, other than recreational vehicles, within camping units with mobility features With proper design and lay-out of the vehicle spur and camping unit pad in camping units with mobility features, parking spaces 16 feet wide minimum can be provided for vehicles, other than recreational vehicles, without increasing the size of the vehicle spur and camping unit pad beyond what is specified in the baseline guidelines and standards for the design of camping facilities.
Tent pads and tent platforms provided within camping units with mobility features Generally does not require an increase in the size of the area provided for tent pads and tent platforms.

In alterations to existing camping facilities, when an entity determines that the conditions listed in Table 3 do not permit full compliance with a specific provision, compliance with the provision is required to the extent practicable.
Camp shelters provided within camping units with mobility features Generally does not require an increase in the size of camp shelters. In alterations to existing camping facilities, when an entity determines that the conditions listed in Table 3 do not permit full compliance with a specific provision, compliance with the provision is required to the extent practicable.
Common use and public use areas serving camping units with mobility features No additional costs for trash and recycling receptacles, water hydrants, other outdoor constructed features, or recreational vehicle dump stations.
Outdoor recreation access routes Generally does not require federal agencies to provide outdoor recreation access routes where they would not otherwise construct circulation paths and does not add to the construction costs.

In alterations to existing camping facilities, when an entity determines that the conditions listed in Table 3 do not permit full compliance with a specific provision on a portion of an outdoor recreation access route, the portion of the route is required to comply with the provision to the extent practicable.

CHAPTER 3 – PICNIC FACILITIES

3.1  Final Rule

Where picnic facilities contain two or fewer picnic units, the final rule requires each picnic unit to provide mobility features.[30]  Where picnic facilities contain more than two picnic units, the final rule requires at least 20 percent, but not less than two, of the picnic units to provide mobility features.  Where picnic units are altered or added, the minimum number of picnic units with mobility features is based on the total number of picnic units altered or added.  The final rule also requires that picnic units required to provide mobility features provide choices of picnic units comparable to, and integrated with, those available to others.

The other requirements in the final rule for picnic facilities are similar to the requirements for camping facilities.  At least one of each type of outdoor constructed features and elements provided within picnic units with mobility features is required to comply with the applicable technical requirements.  Where more than one of the same type of outdoor constructed feature or element is provided, at least two of the same type are required to comply with the applicable technical requirements.  At least 20 percent of trash and recycling receptacles, water hydrants, and other outdoor constructed features provided at each location in common use and public use areas serving picnic units with mobility features are required to comply with the applicable technical requirements.  Outdoor recreation access routes are required, except at picnic facilities provided on trails.

3.2  No Additional Costs Due to Final Rule

As discussed below, the final rule would not result in additional costs for picnic facilities when compared to the baseline guidelines and standards for the design of picnic facilities used by federal agencies shown in Table 8.

Table 8.  Baseline Guidelines and Standards for Design of Picnic Facilities
  Army Corps of Engineers Recreation Facility and Customer Service Standards Bureau of Reclamation Recreation Facility Design Guidelines Bureau of Land Management Guidelines for Quality Built Environment
Picnic Unit Pad Not specified 600 sq. ft. Not specified
Outdoor Constructed Features

Picnic table

Grill

Picnic table

Grill

Picnic table

Grill

Surface Concrete Hard surface Hard surface
Slope Relatively flat area 1.5 percent Locate on gently sloping terrain to minimize grading
Parking Spaces Locate parking spaces 40 ft. to 200 ft. from the picnic site Not specified Provide parking spaces for range of vehicle sizes

As discussed in Chapter 2, picnic tables with wheelchair spaces generally cost less than picnic tables without wheelchair spaces.  There is no cost difference for grills in picnic units with mobility features and in picnic units without mobility features.  The clear ground space requirements on the usable sides of picnic tables and grills generally can be accommodated within the picnic unit pad.  The surface and slope requirements for clear ground spaces are consistent with the provisions for surface and slope in the baseline guidelines and standards for the design of picnic facilities.

Parking areas serving picnic facilities are currently required to comply with the accessibility standards.  Where parking spaces are provided within picnic units with mobility features, the final rule requires the parking spaces to be 16 feet wide minimum to accommodate vans with a lift.  With proper design and lay-out of the vehicle spur and picnic unit pad in picnic units with mobility features, parking spaces 16 feet wide minimum can be provided without increasing the size of the vehicle spur and picnic unit pad.

The technical requirements for trash and recycling receptacles, water hydrants, and other outdoor constructed features in common use and public use areas serving picnic units with mobility features generally do not add to the cost of providing the outdoor constructed features.

The final rule generally does not require the federal agencies to provide outdoor recreation access routes where they would not otherwise construct circulation paths and does not add to the construction costs.  In alterations to existing picnic facilities, when an entity determines that the conditions listed in Table 3 do not permit full compliance with a specific provision on a portion of an outdoor recreation access route, the portion of the route is required to comply with the provision to the extent practicable.

CHAPTER 4 – VIEWING AREAS

4.1  Final Rule

A viewing area is an outdoor space developed for viewing landscapes, wildlife, or other points of interest.  The final rule requires the following spaces to be provided within viewing areas:

  • A clear ground space 36 inches by 48 inches minimum at each distinct viewing location positioned for either a forward or parallel approach to the viewing location; [31]
  • An unobstructed viewing space adjacent to the clear ground space through which the point of interest is viewable;[32] and
  • A turning space.

The final rule requires the surface of the clear ground spaces and turning spaces to be firm and stable and to slope not more than 1:48 in any direction.[33]  Where the surface is other than asphalt, concrete, or boards, slopes not steeper than 1:20 are permitted when necessary for drainage.  The final rule generally does not increase the size of the viewing area or add to the cost of constructing the viewing area.  In alterations to existing viewing areas, when an entity determines that the conditions listed in Table 3 do not permit full compliance with a specific provision for clear ground spaces, viewing spaces, or turning spaces, compliance with the provision is required to the extent practicable.

The final rule requires at least 20 percent of each type of outdoor constructed feature provided within viewing areas to meet the applicable technical requirements for the feature.  Benches and viewing scopes are types of outdoor constructed features that may be provided within viewing areas.  The final rule requires a clear ground space 36 inches by 48 inches minimum to be positioned near the bench.  This requirement does not add to the cost of providing the bench, and generally does not increase the size of the viewing area or add to the cost of constructing the viewing area.  As discussed in the next section, the technical requirements for viewing scopes add to the cost of providing this feature.

Parking areas serving viewing areas are currently required to comply with the accessibility standards.  The final rule requires at least one outdoor recreation access route to connect accessible parking spaces or other site arrival points serving the viewing area with accessible elements within the viewing area, except at viewing areas provided on trails.  The federal agencies typically construct circulation paths to connect parking areas or other site arrival points to the viewing areas, and the surfaces of viewing areas are typically firm, stable and relatively flat.  When an entity determines that the conditions listed in Table 3 do not permit full compliance with a specific provision on a portion of an outdoor recreation access route at a viewing area, the portion of the route is required to comply with the provision to the extent practicable.  The final rule generally does not require the federal agencies to provide outdoor recreation access routes where they would not otherwise construct circulation paths and does not add to the construction costs.

4.2  Additional Costs Due to the Final Rule

The final rule requires a clear ground space 36 inches by 48 inches minimum to be provided at the base of viewing scopes.  The clear ground space is required to be positioned for a forward approach to the viewing scope so that the eyepiece is centered on the space, and knee and toe clearance is required under the base of the viewing scope.  The eyepiece is required to be 43 inches minimum and 51 inches maximum above the ground.  Dual base viewing scopes that provide a viewing scope at a standing height and viewing scope at a wheelchair height, including knee and toe clearance, are available on the GSA Supply Schedule.[34]  The additional cost for the dual base viewing scopes is $2,176 for binocular scopes and $3,382 for telescopes.

Scenic overlooks typically do not provide viewing scopes.  Wildlife life refuges may provide viewing scopes at observation platforms for spotting birds and other wildlife.  If the 556 wildlife refuges managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service provided a viewing scope over the next five years to enhance visitor experiences, the average annual additional cost due to the final rule for dual base binocular scopes would be $241,971.

CHAPTER 5 – TRAILS

5.1  Final Rule

The final rule requires new trails to comply with the technical requirements for trails where the trail is designed for use by hikers or pedestrians and directly connects to a trailhead or another trail that substantially meets the technical requirements for trails.[35]  The final rule requires existing trails to comply with the technical requirements for trails where the original design, function, or purpose of the trail is changed and the altered portion of the trail directly connects to a trailhead or another trail that substantially meets the technical requirements for trails.  Routine or periodic maintenance activities that are performed to return an existing trail to the condition to which the trail was originally designed are not required to comply with the technical requirements for trails.

The final rule permits exceptions to the technical requirements for trails based on the conditions listed in Table 3.  When an entity determines that a condition does not permit a portion of a trail to fully comply with a specific provision in the technical requirements, the portion of the trail is required to comply with the specific provision to the extent practicable.  Federal agencies are required to document the basis for not fully complying with a specific provision on a portion of a trail and to maintain the documentation with the project records.

The final rule also provides an exemption for an entire trail.  When an entity determines, after applying exceptions to portions of a trail, that it is impracticable for the entire trail to comply with the technical requirements for trails, the entire trail is exempted from complying with the requirements.  Federal agencies are required to notify us when an entire trail is exempted.

Where trail information signs are provided at trailheads on newly constructed or altered trails, the final rule requires the signs to include the following information: trail length, surface type, typical and minimum tread width, typical and maximum running slope, and typical and maximum cross slope.  This information is routinely collected for newly constructed and altered trails and does not add to the cost of providing trail information signs.[36]

The final rule requires at least 20 percent of each type of outdoor constructed feature provided within trailheads and on trails to meet the applicable technical requirements for the feature.[37]  Benches and trash and recycling receptacles are types of outdoor constructed features that may be provided within trailheads and on trails.  As discussed in the previous chapters, the final rule does not add to the cost of providing these outdoor constructed features.

The final rule requires at least one outdoor recreation access route to connect accessible parking spaces or other site arrival points serving trailheads with the starting point of the trail and accessible elements within the trailhead.  The federal agencies typically construct circulation paths to connect parking areas or other site arrival points to trailheads.  In alterations to existing trailheads, when an entity determines that the conditions listed in Table 3 do not permit full compliance with a specific provision on a portion of an outdoor recreation access route at trailheads, the portion of the route is required to comply with the provision to the extent practicable.  The final rule generally does not require the federal agencies to provide outdoor recreation access routes where they would not otherwise construct circulation paths and does not add to the construction costs.

5.2  Additional Costs Due to Final Rule

The technical requirements for trails are consistent with construction practices for sustainable trails, which use side hill terrain, gentler grades, and firm and stable tread surfaces to promote good sheet flow or drainage, reduce erosion and tread deformation, and decrease maintenance costs.[38]  The technical requirements for trails are compared to the Forest Service Hiker/Pedestrian Trail Design Parameters to identify requirements that may result in additional costs.[39]  This document specifies values for design tread width, design surface, design grade, design cross slope, design clearing, and design turn for 5 Trail Classes based on the level of development.  Trail Class 1 and 2 trails are the least developed and are intended to provide increased challenge.  Trail Class 1 and 2 trails typically are located in areas with steep terrain.  Trail Class 1 and 2 trails have narrow passages, and obstacles such as rock outcroppings are common and substantial.  The exceptions to the technical requirements for trails based on the conditions listed in Table 4 are more likely to be used on Trail Class 1 and 2 trails.  Trail Class 3, 4 and 5 trails are the most developed.  The technical requirements for trails are compared to the Forest Service Hiker/Pedestrian Trail Design Parameters for Trail Class 3, 4 and 5 trails in Table 9.

Table 9.  Baseline Design Parameters for Trail Class 3, 4 and 5 Trails
Technical Requirements Forest Service Design Parameters

[40]  Surface protrusions are trail tread imperfections, such as rocks, roots, holes, stumps, steps, and structures that are within the acceptable range of tread roughness and challenge level for the trail and that do not obstruct the managed uses of the trails.  Surface obstacles are trail tread imperfections, such as rocks, roots, holes, stumps, steps, downed logs, and structures that are beyond the acceptable range of tread roughness and challenge level for the trail and that obstruct one or more of the managed uses of the trails.

[41]  The final rule requires passing spaces to be 60 inches minimum by 60 inches minimum, or the intersection of two trails providing a T-shaped space.  The vertical alignment at the intersection of the trails that form the T-shaped space is required to be nominally planar (i.e., as flat as possible).

[42]  The design parameters specify narrower tread widths for trails in areas designated by Congress as wilderness.  Wilderness areas are undeveloped federal lands that are protected and managed to preserve the natural condition and primeval character of the settings.

[43]  The final rule requires resting intervals to be 60 inches long minimum and at least as wide as the widest segment of the trail segment leading to the resting interval where the resting interval is within the trail tread, and 36 inches wide minimum where resting the interval is adjacent to trail tread.  The final rule requires the resting interval to slope not more than 1:48 in any direction.  Where surface is other than asphalt, concrete, or boards, slopes not steeper than 1:20 are permitted where necessary for drainage.  The final rule requires a turning space where the resting interval is adjacent to trail.  The vertical alignment between trail tread, turning space, and resting interval is required to be nominally planar (i.e., as flat as possible).

[44]  The target grade is the trail grade that is determined to be appropriate over most of a trail to accommodate its managed uses.  The short pitch maximum is the steepest grade that is determined to be appropriate based on the managed uses of a trail that generally occurs for a distance of no more than 200 feet and does not exceed the maximum pitch density.  The maximum pitch density is the maximum percentage of a trail with grades that exceed the target grade and that are less than or equal to the short pitch maximum, which is determined to be appropriate based on the managed uses of the trail.

Surface

Firm and stable

Tread Obstacles

Obstacles not exceed ½ inch in height

Obstacles not exceed 2 inches in height where surface is other than asphalt, concrete, or boards

Design Surface[40]

Trail Class 5: Fully Developed
Likely imported material, and routine grading
Uniform, firm, and stable
No protrusions or obstacles

Trail Class 4: Highly Developed
Native with improved sections of borrow and imported material, and routine grading
Minor roughness
Protrusions ≤ 3 inches, uncommon, not continuous
Obstacles Maximum Height: 8 inches

Trail Class 3: Developed
Native, with some on-site borrow or imported material where needed for stabilization and occasional grading
Intermittently rough
Protrusions ≤ 3 inches, may be common, not continuous
Obstacles Maximum Height: 10 inches

Clear Tread Width

36 inches minimum

Passing Spaces

Passing spaces are required at 1,000 feet maximum intervals

where clear tread width is less than 60 inches[41]

Design Tread Width[42]

Trail Class 5: Fully Developed (Non-Wilderness)
Single Lane: 36 inches – 72 inches
Double Lane: 72 inches – 120 inches

Trail Class 4: Highly Developed (Non-Wilderness)
Single Lane: 24 inches – 60 inches
Double Lane: 48 inches – 72 inches

Trail Class 3: Developed (Non-Wilderness)
Single Lane: 18 inches – 36 inches
Double Lane: 36 inches – 60 inches

Running Slope

Not more than 30 percent of total length of trail has running slope steeper than 1:12 (8.33%)

Where running slope is steeper than 1:20 (5%), resting intervals are required at top and bottom of each trail segment [43]

Where running slope is steeper than 1:20 (5%) but not steeper than 1:12 (8.33%), maximum length of trail segment is 200 feet

Where running slope is steeper than 1:12 (8.33%) but not steeper than 1:10 (10%), maximum length of trail segment is 30 feet

Where running slope is steeper than 1:10 (10%) but not steeper than 1:8 (12%), maximum length of trail segment is 10 feet

Design Grade[44]

Trail Class 5: Fully Developed
Target Grade: 2% - 5%
Short Pitch Maximum: 5%
Maximum Pitch Density: 0% to 5% of trail

Trail Class 4: Highly Developed
Target Grade: 2% - 10%
Short Pitch Maximum: 15%
Maximum Pitch Density: 5% to 20% of trail

Trail Class 3: Developed
Target Grade: 3% - 12%
Short Pitch Maximum: 25%
Maximum Pitch Density: 10% - 20% of trail

Cross Slope

Not steeper than 1:48

Not steeper than 1:20 (5%) when necessary for drainage where surface is other than asphalt, concrete, or boards

Design Cross Slope

Trail Class 5: Fully Developed
Target: 2% - 3%
Maximum: 3%

Trail Class 4: Highly Developed
Target: 3% - 7%
Maximum: 10%

Trail Class 3: Developed
Target: 5% - 10%
Maximum: 15%

The values in the Forest Service Hiker/Pedestrian Trail Design Parameters are expressed as ranges.  Specific trail values are based on topography, soils, hydrological conditions, use levels, erosion potential, and other factors contributing to surface stability and overall sustainability of the trail.  For Trail Class 5 trails, all the design surface, tread width, grade, and cross slope values meet the technical requirements for trails and the final rule does not add to the costs of constructing Trail Class 5 trails, other than providing passing spaces at 1,000 feet maximum intervals where the clear tread width is less than 60 inches.

For Trail Class 4 trails, the mid-range to high-end values for the design tread width, the target values for design grade, and the mid-range to low end values for design cross slope meet the technical requirements for trails.  For Trail Class 3 trails, the high-end value for design tread width, the target values for design grade, and the low-end value for design cross slope meet the technical requirements for trails.  In areas with steep terrain, exceptions to the technical requirements for running slope and cross slope based on the conditions listed in Table 4 may be used for portions of the trail.  The final rule will add to the construction costs for some Trail Class 3 and 4 trails where:

  • The trail is lengthened to meet the technical requirements for running slope, or additional structures are needed to meet the technical requirements for running slope and cross slope;
  • The trail tread is widened to meet the technical requirements for clear tread width, or passing spaces are provided at 1,000 feet maximum intervals where the clear tread width is less than 60 inches;
  • Rocks and tree roots are covered up or removed to meet the technical requirements for tread obstacles; and
  • Additional imported material is needed to stabilize the trail tread surface.

For the proposed rule, the regulatory assessment used different methodologies to estimate the additional costs for the Forest Service and the other federal agencies.  As discussed below, the same methodologies are used to estimate the additional costs for the final rule.

Forest Service – Trail Miles That Incur Additional Costs Due to Final Rule

When the Forest Service issued the Forest Service Trail Accessibility Guidelines (FSTAG) in 2006, it prepared a regulatory assessment based on FY 2005 budget data and case studies of 13 national forests and a national scenic trial that included trail projects funded in FY 2003.[45]  The Forest Service spent $35,407,100 in FY 2005 to improve 1,378 trail miles.  The Forest Service estimated that 18 to 19 percent, or 254 to 267 miles, of the improved trail miles are designed for use by hikers and pedestrians.[46]  Based on the case studies, the Forest Service estimated that:

  • The FSTAG applied to 11 percent, or 28 to 30 miles, of the improved hiker or pedestrian trail miles because they were new trails or existing trails whose original design, function, or purpose was changed, and they directly connected to a trailhead or another accessible trail.
  • About 19 percent, or 5.3 to 5.6 miles, of the improved hiker or pedestrian trail miles to which the FSTAG applied would not otherwise meet the technical requirements in the FSTAG if accessibility were not required and incur additional costs due to the FSTAG.

The Forest Service plans to spend $18,761,100 in FY 2013 to improve 1,165 trail miles.  See Appendix B.  The National Forest System Infra Database shows that the Forest Service has 155,569 trail miles as of the end of FY 2011, and that 25,722 of the trail miles, or about 17 percent, are designed for use by hikers and pedestrians.  See Appendix A.  Using the same methodology used by the Forest Service to estimate the number of trail miles that incur additional costs due to the FSTAG, we estimate that 192 miles of the trail miles planned to be improved in FY 2013 are designed for use by hikers and pedestrians; the final rule applies to 21 miles of the improved hiker or pedestrian trail miles; and 4.2 miles the improved hiker or pedestrian trail miles to which the final rule applies would not otherwise meet the technical requirements for trails if accessibility were not required and incur additional costs due to the final rule.

Other Federal Agencies – Trail Miles That Incur Additional Costs Due to Final Rule

For the proposed rule, the other federal agencies made data requests to their regions and districts and reviewed records to identify trail projects to which the proposed rule applied.[47]  The other federal agencies identified 44 new trails and existing trails whose original design, function, or purpose was changed that directly connected to a trailhead or another accessible trail.[48]  Additional data was collected for 22 of the trail projects plus 4 Forest Service trail projects.[49]

The additional trail projects data showed that:

  • Thirteen (13) projects were new trails; 10 projects were existing trails whose original design, function, or purpose was changed; and 3 projects were both new trails and existing trails whose original design, function, or purpose was changed.
  • The projects ranged in size from 150 feet for a trail segment to a prominent feature to 6 miles.  Approximately half of the projects were one-half mile or less.
  • The projects ranged in cost from $12,177 plus volunteer labor to construct 0.7 miles of new trail and alter 1.3 miles of existing trail, to $800,000 to construct a new trailhead and 0.5 miles of new trail.  Approximately half of the projects cost less than $100,000.
  • All but one project met all the technical requirements for trails or used the exceptions.[50]
  • Six projects (6) used exceptions for specific provisions in the technical requirements for trails and 1 project used the exceptions to exempt the entire trail from the technical requirements for trails.
  • Over 80 percent of the projects responded that, if accessibility were not required, the tread surface would be firm and stable for sustainability.
  • Over 50 percent of the projects responded that, if accessibility were not required, the clear tread width would be 36 inches minimum because the trails are heavily used.

Based on the above data, we assume that the proposed rule would apply to 44 trail projects annually and that the trail projects are one-half mile.  Thus, the proposed rule would apply to 22 trail miles per year.

The FY 2013 budget justifications for the other federal agencies list two trail projects in the capital improvement line items.[51]  See Appendix B.  However, trail projects may be funded under other line items.  The other federal agencies indicated that the number of trail projects does not vary significantly from year to year.  We assume that the final rule applies to 22 trail miles per year and that 50 percent of the trail miles, or 11 trail miles per year, would not otherwise meet the technical requirements for trails if accessibility were not required, and the exceptions to the technical requirements for trails would not apply to the trails.  The final rule will result in additional costs for these 11 trail miles per year.

Additional Cost per Trail Mile Due to Final Rule

The Forest Service estimated that the additional annual cost per trail mile due to the FSTAG was $29,700 based on case studies of trail projects funded in FY 2003, or $37,040 per trail mile adjusted to 2012 dollars.  The other federal agencies estimated that the additional cost for a one-half mile trail project due to the proposed rule was $20,000, or $40,000 per trail mile, in FY 2007, or $44,270 per trail mile adjusted to 2012 dollars.  The average of these cost estimates is $40,655 per trail mile adjusted to 2012 dollars.

The total additional annual cost due to the final rule for 4.2 trail miles per year for the Forest Service and 11 trails miles per year for the other federal agencies is $617,956.

CHAPTER 6 – BEACH ACCESS ROUTES

6.1  Final Rule

The final rule requires at least one beach access route to be provided for each ½ mile of beach shoreline administered by an entity where the entity that administers or manages the beach does any of the following:

  • Constructs or alters circulation paths, parking facilities, toilet facilities, or bathing facilities serving the beach; or
  • Undertakes a beach nourishment project.

The entity is not required to spend more than 20 percent of the cost of constructing or altering the beach facilities or beach nourishment project to provide beach access routes.  Beach access routes are required to coincide with or be located in the same general area as pedestrian access points to the beach.[52]  The number of beach access routes is not required to exceed the number of pedestrian access points provided by the entity to the beach.  Beach access routes are not required where pedestrian access to the beach is not permitted.

Beach access routes can be permanent or removable.  Removable beach access routes can be moved to a protected storage area during storms and other periods when the routes are subject to damage or loss.

The final rule requires beach access routes be firm and stable, and to connect an entry point to the beach to the high tide level at tidal beaches; mean high water level at river beaches; and normal recreation water level at lake, pond, and reservoir beaches.  The final rule requires the clear width of beach access routes to be 60 inches minimum to accommodate persons traveling in opposite directions and to enable persons who use mobility devices to pass persons traveling in the opposite direction.[53]  The final rule also includes technical requirements for obstacles, openings, running slope, cross slope, resting intervals, and protruding objects.  Where the slope of a beach access route at a dune crossing is steeper than 1:20 (5%), the final rule requires handrails and curbs or barriers to be provided at the dune crossing.  Removable beach access routes are not required to comply with the technical requirements for running slope, cross slope, resting intervals, and dune crossings.

The final rule permits exceptions to the technical requirements for beach access routes based on the conditions listed in Chapter 1.  When an entity determines that a condition does not permit a portion of a beach access route to fully comply with a specific provision in the technical requirements, the portion of the beach access route is required to comply with the specific provision to the extent practicable.  Federal agencies are required to document the basis for not fully complying with a specific provision on a portion of a beach access route and to maintain the documentation with the project records.

The final rule also provides an exemption for a beach access route.  When an entity determines, after applying exceptions to portions of a beach access route, that it is impracticable to provide a beach access route complying with the technical requirements for beach access routes, a beach access route is not required.  Federal agencies are required to notify us when a beach access route is not provided.

6.2  Additional Costs Due to Final Rule

There are 1,247 beaches on recreation sites administered by the federal agencies.  See Appendix A.  The Army Corps of Engineers has 889 beaches.  The Army Corps of Engineers Recreation Facility and Customer Service Standards recommend that a firm and stable path be provided from parking areas, restrooms, and shower facilities to the ordinary high-water mark at the beaches to allow users to cross the sand and other obstacles.  We assume that 25 percent of the Army Corps of Engineers beaches follow the recommended practice and currently provide beach access routes.  For the other 1,025 beaches, we assume that beach access routes will be provided over a 20 year period as parking areas, toilet facilities, bathing facilities, and circulation paths serving the beaches are altered or replaced with new facilities.  We assume that the distance from the entry point to the beach to the appropriate water level is approximately 100 feet.

Various products can be used to provide beach access routes.  One type of product consists of roll-out mats that are easy to install and remove.  The roll-out mats come in lengths of 32 to 33 feet and 50 feet.  A roll-out mat can be installed by two persons in 10 minutes.  We priced two different roll-out mats and the prices ranged from $4,497 to $6,528 for a beach access route approximately 100 feet long.[54]  The average annual cost for purchasing roll-out mats to provide beach access routes at the 1,025 beaches over a 20 year period based on the above prices ranges from $230,471 to $334,560.

The roll-out mats have permeable surfaces that allow sand to filter through the mat.  The roll-out mats are generally low maintenance.  Excess sand can be removed from the mat surface by sweeping with a broom or leaf blower.  At beaches exposed to strong winds, drifting sands can accumulate under the mat surface and the mats may need to be rolled-up and re-installed periodically so the sand and around under the mats can be regraded.  Most of the beaches administered by federal agencies are on lakes and reservoirs that are not exposed to strong winds and drifting sands.

CHAPTER 7 - NON-FEDERAL ENTITIES

7.1  Introduction

The Architectural Barriers Act requires facilities constructed or altered by or on behalf of federal agencies to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.  See 42 U.S.C. 4151 (1).  Thus, non-federal entities that construct or alter camping facilities, picnic facilities, viewing areas, trails, and beach facilities on federal land on behalf of federal agencies are required to comply with the Architectural Barriers Act.  This chapter discusses the use of concessions, leases, and partnership arrangements at outdoor developed areas administered by federal agencies.

7.2  Concessions

Federal agencies use concessions at outdoor developed areas to provide commercial goods and services for which user fees typically are collected.  Federal agencies generally use concessions for camping facilities and marinas, which may include picnic facilities and beaches for swimming.[55]  There are different types of concession arrangements.  In some arrangements, the concessioner operates and maintains facilities constructed by the federal agencies.  In other arrangements, the concessioner constructs, operates, and maintains the facilities.  There may be combinations of these arrangements where some facilities are constructed by the federal agencies and other facilities are constructed by the concessioner, or where facilities constructed by the federal agencies are sold to the concessioner.

Where facilities are constructed by the concessioner, the plans are subject to review and approval by the federal agencies.  Facilities constructed on federal land by concessioners may be removed when the concession contract ends.  Facilities that are not removed from federal land become federal property.

Concessions are awarded on a competitive basis.  Concessioners pay a fee to the federal agencies for use of the land and any facilities provided by the federal agencies.  Concessioners who make capital improvements to the land include the cost of the improvements, including any additional costs due to the final rule, in their bids and the costs are offset in the fees paid to the federal agencies.

Appendix C shows available data on the total number of concessions at outdoor developed areas administered by federal agencies.  We only have data on the number of camping facility concessions for the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service.  We do not have data on the number of concessioners who construct camping facilities, picnic facilities, and beach facilities.

7.3  Leases

The Army Corps of Engineers leases land to public and private entities for recreational purposes.[56]  The public and private entities submit plans to the Army Corps of Engineers to develop the land for recreational purposes.[57]  Construction of facilities is subject to approval by the Army Corps of Engineers.  The Army Corps of Engineers may share in the cost of constructing facilities.[58]  Public and private entities manage about 2,000 outdoor recreation sites under leases with the Army Corps of Engineers.[59]

The Bureau of Land Management leases land to public and private entities for recreational purposes.[60]  The public and private entities submit plans to the Bureau of Land Management to develop the land for recreational purposes.[61] Construction of facilities is subject to approval by the Bureau of Land Management.  We do not have data on the number of public and private entities that manage outdoor recreation sites under leases with the Bureau of Land Management.

Leases typically are long term and can be renewed.  Facilities constructed on federal land by public and private entities may be removed when the lease ends.  Facilities that are not removed from federal land become federal property.[62]

We do not have data on the number of public and private entities that construct camping facilities, picnic facilities, viewing areas, trails, and beach facilities on federal lands under leases with the federal agencies.

7.4  Partnership Arrangements

Federal agencies use various types of partnership arrangements with public and private entities to manage and maintain outdoor recreation sites.[63]

The Bureau of Reclamation has partnership agreements with 66 public entities to manage 159 developed recreation areas.[64]  Construction of facilities is subject to approval by the Bureau of Reclamation.  The Bureau of Reclamation may share up to one-half the costs for planning, developing, constructing, operating, maintaining, and replacing facilities.[65]

The Forest Service and National Park Service use partnership arrangements with non-profit volunteer organizations to maintain trails on federal lands.  The Forest Service estimates that non-profit volunteer organizations contributed 392,504 hours and $1,385,000 for materials in FY 2011 to maintain and improve national scenic and historic trails.[66]  The final rule permits exceptions to the technical requirements where compliance cannot be accomplished with the prevailing construction practices.  Non-profit volunteer organizations typically use hand tools to construct trails and may use exceptions to the technical requirements based on the prevailing construction practices.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, a non-profit volunteer organization that manages the Appalachian Trail under cooperative agreements with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior, has developed a design guide for increasing opportunities for access on the Appalachian Trail.[67] The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has constructed several miles of accessible trails since 2008.

We do not have data on the number of public and private entities that construct camping facilities, picnic facilities, viewing areas, trails, and beach facilities on federal lands under partnership arrangements with the federal agencies.

CHAPTER 8 – BENEFITS

The final rule would increase opportunities for individuals with mobility disabilities to participate in outdoor recreation activities with their families and friends.  Participation in outdoor recreation activities provides the following benefits:

  • Physical health benefits, including reduces obesity, diminishes risk of chronic disease; and increases life expectancy;
  • Mental health benefits, including reduces depression, relieves stress, and improves quality of life; and
  • Community and social benefits, including unites families and promotes stewardship.[68]

The benefits are difficult to quantify, but include important national values recognized in Executive Order 13563 such as equity, human dignity, and fairness.

The 2010 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) sponsored by the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that among the civilian non-institutionalized population aged 15 and older, 30.6 million persons (12.6%) had limitations associated with ambulatory activities of the lower body.[69]  This number includes 23.9 million persons (9.9%) who had difficulty walking a quarter of a mile; 22.3 million (9.2%) who have difficulty climbing a flight of stairs; 11.6 million persons (4.8%) who used a cane, crutches, or walker to assist with mobility; and 3.6 million persons (1.5%) who use a wheelchair or scooter.  Not all these persons are likely to directly benefit from the final rule because some may not participate in outdoor recreational activities.  We do not have information to estimate the number of individuals with mobility disabilities who would directly benefit from the final rule.


End Notes

[1]  The Architectural Barriers Act requires the following agencies to adopt accessibility standards: Department of Defense and United States Postal Service for their facilities; Department of Housing and Urban Development for residential facilities; and General Services Administration for all other facilities.

[2]  The Architectural Barriers Act also covers facilities leased by federal agencies; facilities financed by a federal grant or loan; and facilities constructed by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.  The final rule does not apply to these facilities.

[3]  The Department of Defense and United States Postal Service are required to adopt accessibility standards for their facilities; the Department of Housing and Urban Development is required to adopt accessibility standards for residential facilities; and the General Services Administration is required to adopt accessibility standards for all other facilities covered by the Architectural Barriers Act.

[4]  The number of recreation sites and annual visits are from the federal agencies’ FY 2013 budget justifications, except for the Bureau of Reclamation.  The number of developed recreation areas and annual visits on recreation sites administered by the Bureau of Reclamation is from the agency’s website at: http://www.usbr.gov/recreation/.

[5]  The federal agencies have issued regulations to implement Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act for their programs.  The regulations require the federal agencies to make new facilities accessible and to make structural changes to existing facilities where other methods are not effective in making their programs and activities, when viewed in their entirety, readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.  See 7 CFR part 15e for the U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations; 32 CFR part 56 for the U.S. Department of Defense regulations; and 43 CFR part 17, subpart E for the U.S. Department of the Interior regulations.

[6]  FSORAG and FSTAG are available at: http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/accessibility/.

[7]  The Director’s Order is available at: http://www.nps.gov/policy/DOrders/DOrder42.html.

[8]  The policy is available at: http://corpslakes.usace.army.mil/employees/access/pdfs/memo-15jan93.pdf.

[9]  The Recreation Facility and Customer Service Standards are available at: http://www.publications.usace.army.mil/Portals/76/Publications/EngineerManuals/EM_1110-1-400.pdf.

[10]  The Recreation Facility Design Guidelines are available at: http://www.usbr.gov/pmts/architecture/recfac/index.html.

[11]  The Guidelines for a Quality Built Environment are available at: http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/wo/Planning_and_Renewable_Resources/recreation_images/national_programs/VRM.Par.62809.File.dat/GQBE_WEB.pdf.

[12]  The Hiker/Pedestrian Trail Design Parameters are available at: http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/trail-management/trail-fundamentals/.

[13]  A camping facility is a site, or a portion of a site, developed for outdoor recreational purposes that contains camping units.  A camping unit is an outdoor space in a camping facility used for camping that contains outdoor constructed features, parking spaces for recreational vehicles or other vehicles, tent pads or tent platforms, or camp shelters.

[14]  The final rule also requires the top of picnic tables in camping units with mobility features to be 28 inches minimum and 34 inches maximum above the ground.  Picnic table tops typically are 30 inches above the ground.

[15]  We compared prices on GSA Schedule 78, SIN 192-37B, for the following picnic tables with 8 feet long tops made from recycled plastic by RJ Thomas Manufacturing Company:

  • A-Framed Tables: The model with wheelchair spaces (AT/N-6PC/E1) is $419.61, and the model without wheelchair spaces (AT/N-8PC) is $455.82.
  • U-Framed Extra Heavy Duty Tables:  The model with wheelchair spaces (XT/G-6PC/E) is $452.98, and the model without wheelchair spaces (XT/G-8PC) is $469.31.
  • Rectangular Two Pedestal Table: The model with wheelchair spaces (APT/CB-6PC/E1) is $541.73, and the model without wheelchair spaces (APT/CB-8PC) is $604.92.

We also compared prices for the following picnic tables with 8 feet long tops made from recycled plastic by Belson Outdoors Inc. (the models are not listed on the GSA Schedule):

  • A-Framed Tables:  The model with wheelchair spaces (RPS8H) is $900.00, and the model without wheelchair spaces (RPS8) is $905.00.
  • U-Framed Tables:  The model with wheelchair spaces (PMB-HP) is $998.00, and the model without wheelchair spaces (PMB-8P) is $1,030.00.

[16]  The final rule also requires operable parts on fire rings and grills to be within reach ranges and to comply with the technical requirements for operation to the extent practicable.

[17]  We compared prices on GSA Schedule 78, SIN 192-37I, for fire rings with an inside diameter of 30 inches and a single level cooking grate made by RJ Thomas Manufacturing Company.  The 9 inches high model (FS-30/9/TB) is $107.92, and the 18 inches high model (FS-30/18/PA) is $157.32.  We also compared prices for fire rings with an inside diameter of 30 inches and a single level cooking grate made by Belson Outdoors Inc. (the models are not listed on the GSA Schedule).  The 8 inches high model (FR-30G) is $228.00, and the 16 inches high model (FR-3217-M-/PA) is $256.00.

[18]  The technical requirements for operable parts specify that they be operable with one hand without tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist and with not more than 5 pounds force.

[19]  The Army Corps of Engineers standards specify that picnic tables be located so that back edge of the bench is 4 feet away from the edge of camping unit pad or other obstacles and 10 feet away from the fire ring or grill.

[20]  See Drawings No. C-4 and C-6 in the Army Corps of Engineers Recreation Facility and Customer Service Standards at: http://www.publications.usace.army.mil/Portals/76/Publications/EngineerManuals/EM_1110-1-400.pdf for examples of camping units with back-in parking and pull-through parking that provide 20 feet of unobstructed space to accommodate recreational vehicle slide-outs.

[21]  The drawings of typical camping units in footnote 20 show examples of parking spaces for vehicles, other than recreational vehicles, that are 16 feet wide minimum.

[22]  Tent pads and tent platforms are defined spaces with prepared surfaces for setting up and securing tents.

[23]  A camp shelter is a partially enclosed structure that provides campers and hikers cover from weather and that does not contain plumbing fixtures or kitchen appliances.

[24]  The final rule requires the clear ground space to be positioned for a parallel approach to the camp shelter, and one full unobstructed side of the clear ground space to adjoin or overlap an outdoor recreation route or trail, as applicable, or another clear ground space.

[25]  The final rule also requires drainage grates and other openings in the surface of clear ground spaces to comply with the technical requirements for openings.

[26]  The technical requirements for operable parts specify that they be operable with one hand without tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist and with not more than 5 pounds force.

[27] The Army Corps of Engineers standards specify oversize spaces at recreational vehicle dump stations and level or slightly sloped parking areas so that the vehicle tilts toward the sewage pipe to help empty the holding tank.  The Bureau of Reclamation guidelines specify that the parking areas be paved and slope 2 percent toward the sewage drain, and provide 5 feet minimum clear space around the sewage drain.

[28]  The Army Corps of Engineers standards and Bureau of Reclamation guidelines specify that circulation paths within camping facilities be 60 inches wide minimum.

[29]  The Army Corps of Engineers standards specify that circulation paths within camping facilities be constructed of concrete or other hard surfaces.  The Bureau of Reclamation guidelines specify that circulation paths within camping facilities be surfaced with decomposed granite or aggregate base course.

[30]  A picnic facility is a site, or a portion of a site, developed for outdoor recreational purposes that contains picnic units.  A picnic unit is an outdoor space in a picnic facility used for picnicking that contains outdoor constructed features.

[31]  Viewing areas can provide more than one distinct viewing location.  For example, a viewing area can provide a distinct viewing location for observing a mountain range, and another distinct viewing location for observing a river.  Distinct viewing locations within a viewing area can be designated by signs or other markers.

[32]  The final rule requires the unobstructed viewing space to be 32 inches maximum and 51 inches minimum high above the ground and to extend the full width of the clear ground space.  Guards or similar safety barriers are permitted to obstruct the viewing space to the extent the obstruction is necessary for the guard or safety barrier to serve its intended purpose.

[33]  The final rule also requires drainage grates and other openings in the surface of clear ground spaces to comply with the technical requirements for openings.

[34]  Pictures of the dual base viewing scopes are available at: http://www.seecoast.com/bases.php.  The prices for viewing scopes manufactured by SeeCoast Manufacturing Company on GSA Schedule 67, SIN 67-100, are as follows:

  • $2,131 for the Mark II Binocular and Standard Base and $4,307 for the Mark II Binoculars and Dual Base; and
  • $3,328 for the Mark I Telescope and Standard Base and $6,710 for the Mark I Telescopes and Dual Base.

[35]  A trail is a pedestrian route developed primarily for outdoor recreational purposes.  A pedestrian route developed primarily to connect elements, spaces, and facilities within a site is not a trail.  A trailhead is an outdoor space that is designated by an entity responsible for administering or maintaining a trail to serve as an access point to the trail.  The junction of two or more trails or the undeveloped junction of a trail and a road is not a trailhead.

[36]  Examples of trail information signs with the information required by the final rule are available at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian/publications/sidewalk2/sidewalks213.cfm.

[37]  Camping facilities, picnic facilities, and viewing areas provided on trails are required to comply with the requirements for those facilities, except for outdoor recreation access routes.  Routes that connect a trail complying with the technical requirements for trails to camping facilities, picnic facilities, and viewing areas provided on the trail are required to comply with the technical requirements for trails.

[38]  Construction practices for sustainable trails are described in the Trail Construction and Maintenance Notebook available at: http://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/htmlpubs/htm07232806/toc.htm.

[39]  The final rule also requires drainage grates and other openings in trail surfaces to comply with the technical requirements for openings, and constructed elements on trails, passing spaces, and resting intervals to comply with the technical requirements for protruding objects.

Notes [40] through [44] appear in the last row of Table 9.

[45]  The regulatory assessment is available at: www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/accessibility/accessibility_ria.doc.

[46]  The Forest Service estimated that it had 125,000 to 150,000 trail miles in FY 2005, and that 23,000 to 30,000 of the trail miles are designed for use by hikers and pedestrians.  The other trail miles are equestrian trails, bicycle trails, off-highway vehicle trails, motorcycle trails, watercraft trails, snowmobile trails, snowshoe trails, or cross country ski trails.

[47]  The trail projects were funded in FY 2004 or were funded in a prior fiscal year and the work was completed in FY 2004.

[48]  The Army Corps of Engineers identified 4 trail projects; the Bureau of Land Management identified 1 trail project; the Bureau of Reclamation identified 3 trail projects; the Fish and Wildlife Service identified 3 trail projects; and the National Park Service identified 33 trail projects.

[49]  Additional data was collected for 11 of the trail projects identified by the National Park Service and all the trail projects identified by the other agencies.

[50]  One project did not meet the technical requirements for running slope and resting intervals, and did not indicate whether exceptions were used for these specific provisions.

[51]  The Fish and Wildlife Service Deferred Maintenance and Capital Improvement Plan lists two trail projects for FY 2013:

  • A project for $159,000 to replace several sections of a boardwalk damaged by fire and to make structural repairs to the observation platform;
  • A project for $426,000 to replace 340 linear feet of boardwalk and 945 linear feet of boardwalk rails on a 0.5 mile loop trail.

[52]  Pedestrian access points to a beach include parking facilities that serve beaches, dune crossings, and stairways or ramps leading from boardwalks to the beach.

[53]  At dune crossings, the clear width of beach access routes that are not removable are permitted to be reduced to 48 inches minimum.

[54]  We compared prices for Access Rec PathMat (http://accessrec.com/) and Mobi-Mat RecPath (http://www.mobi-mat-chair-beach-access-dms.com/prod_recpath.php).  A 32 feet section of Access Rec PathMat costs $1,449.  A 33 feet length section of Mobi-Mat RecPaths (grade A2X) costs $2,176 on GSA Schedule 56, SIN 563-30.  Three 32 or 33 feet sections of the roll-out mats are needed for a beach access route approximately 100 feet long.

[55] Concessions are not used for viewing areas and trails since user fees are not collected for these facilities.

[56]  The Flood Control Act of 1944 authorizes the Secretary of the Army to grant leases of land at water resource development projects for such purposes as he may deem reasonable in the public interest.  See 16 U.S.C. 460d.

[57]  See ER 1130-2-550, Recreation Operations and Maintenance Guidance and Procedures, Chapter 16 at: http://planning.usace.army.mil/toolbox/library/ERs/ER1130-2-550_15Nov1996.pdf.

[58]  See ER 1165-2-400, Water Resources Policies and Authorities – Recreational Planning, Development, and Management Policies at: http://planning.usace.army.mil/toolbox/library/ERs/ER1165-2-400_9Aug1985.pdf.

[59]  Recreation sites on Army Corps of Engineers lands, including sites managed by public and private entities, are listed by lake at: http://corpslakes.usace.army.mil/visitors/.

[60]  The Recreation and Public Purposes Act of 1954 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to lease or sell public land for recreational or public purposes to state and local governments and to nonprofit organizations.  See 43 U.S.C. 869 et seq.  The Recreation and Public Purposes Act of 1954 does not apply to land within national forests, national parks and monuments, national wildlife refuges, Indian lands, and certain other lands.

[61]  See Application for Land for Recreation or Public Purposes at: http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/noc/business/eforms.Par.40491.File.dat/2740-001.pdf.

[62]  The Bureau of Reclamation may compensate public and private entities for the value of the facilities that become federal property.  See Reclamation Manual Directives and Standards LND 01-03, Recreation Program Management at: http://www.usbr.gov/recman/lnd/lnd01-03.pdf.

[63]  Partnership arrangements used by the Army Corps of Engineers are described at: http://corpslakes.usace.army.mil/partners/partners.cfm.  Partnership arrangements used by the National Park Service are described at: http://www.nps.gov/idp/interp/320/choosing.htm.

[64]  Public entities that manage developed recreation areas on Bureau of Reclamation land are listed at: http://www.usbr.gov/recreation/partners.html.  At least 13 of the local government entities have a population of less than 50,000.  There are 3 special districts for which population data is not available.

[65]  See Reclamation Manual Directives and Standards LND 01-01, Implementing Cost Sharing Authorities for Recreation and Fish Wildlife Enhancement Facilities at: http://www.usbr.gov/recman/lnd/lnd01-01.pdf.

[66]  Forest Service FY2013 Budget Justification available at: http://www.fs.fed.us/aboutus/budget/2013/fy2013-justification.pdf.

[67]  The design guide is available at: http://www.appalachiantrail.org/docs/appalachian-trail-club-leaders/2011/04/14/increasing-opportunities-for-access-on-the-appalachian-trail_a-design-guide.pdf.

[68]  These benefits are documented in California State Parks, The Health and Social Benefits of Recreation, 2005 at: http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/795/files/health_benefits_online_6-1-05.pdf and Geoffrey Godbey, Outdoor Recreation, Health, and Wellness: Understanding and Enhancing the Relationship, 2009 at: http://www.rff.org/rff/documents/rff-dp-09-21.pdf.

[69]  Americans with Disabilities: 2010 available at: http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf.


APPENDIX A – RECREATION FACILITIES ON FEDERAL LANDS

Agency Camping Picnic Trail Miles Beaches
Facilities Units Facilities Units All Trails1 Hiker-Pedestrian
Not available (na)

Notes:

  1. Includes hiker-pedestrian trails, equestrian trails, bicycle trails, off-highway vehicle trails, motorcycle trails, watercraft trails, snowmobile trails, snowshoe trails, cross country ski trails, and other miscellaneous trails.
  2. Includes 25,722 trail miles with a designed use of hiker-pedestrian, and an additional 49,219 trail miles with a managed use of hiker-pedestrian.
  3. Includes hiking, fitness, interpretive, and multipurpose trails.

Sources:

The number of recreation facilities on Forest Service land is from its National Forest System Infra Database as of the end of FY2011.

The number of camping facilities and picnic facilities on Army Corps of Engineers land is based on a count of the facilities listed at: http://corpslakes.usace.army.mil/visitors/.  The number of camping units, picnic units, trail miles, and beaches is from its Operations and Maintenance Business Information Link as of July 2012.

The number of camping facilities, picnic facilities, and beaches on Bureau of Land Management land is from its Recreation Management Information System as of January 2012.  The number of trail miles is from BLM Trail Systems at: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/Recreation/recreation_national/blm_trails_system.html.

The number of picnic facilities and trail miles on Bureau of Reclamation land is from its Recreation Use Data Reports as of July 2012.  The number of camping facilities and beaches is from its Recreation Fast Facts, February 17, 2012 at: http://www.usbr.gov/recreation/facts.html.

The number of recreation facilities on Fish and Wildlife Service land is from its Service Asset Maintenance Management System and the Federal Land Highway Road and Trail Asset Inventory as of June 30, 2012.  The Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 established hunting, fishing, photography, wildlife observation, environmental education, and interpretation as priority public uses for the wildlife refuges.  The Fish and Wildlife Service does not maintain data on recreation facilities such as picnic facilities and beaches that are not priority public uses.

The number of recreation facilities on National Park Service land is from its Facility Management Software System as of July 2012, except beaches are as of the end of FY 2011.

Department of Agriculture
Forest Service 4,960 91,876 1,301 10,023 155,569 74,9412 129
Department of Defense
Army Corps of Engineers 1,358 93,016 1,776 32,113 6,909 4,4533 889
Department of Interior
Bureau of Land Management 558 na 136 na 16,000 na 11
Bureau of Reclamation 637 16,780 642 na 982 982 140
Fish and Wildlife Service 27 na na na 1,930 1,930 na
National Park Service 1,367 27,829 723 5,110 30,585 26,183 78
Total 8,620 212,721 3,936 47,246 210,993 107,507 1,247

APPENDIX B – FY 2013 BUDGET JUSTIFICATIONS: RECREATION SITE IMPROVEMENTS

Sources:

Forest Service FY2013 Budget Justification at: http://www.fs.fed.us/aboutus/budget/2013/fy2013-justification.pdf.

Army Corps of Engineers, FY 2013 Budget StrongPoint - Recreation

Bureau of Land Management FY2013 Budget Justification at: http://www.doi.gov/budget/appropriations/2013/upload/FY2013_BLM_Greenbook.pdf.

Bureau of Reclamation FY2013 Budget Justification at:

http://www.doi.gov/budget/appropriations/2013/upload/FY2013_BOR_Greenbook.pdf.

Fish and Wildlife Service FY2013 Budget Justification at: http://www.doi.gov/budget/appropriations/2013/upload/FY2013_FWS_Greenbook.pdf.

National Park Service FY2013 Budget Justification at: http://www.doi.gov/budget/appropriations/2013/upload/FY2013_NPS_Greenbook.pdf.

Forest Service
Facilities Capital Improvement and Maintenance $99,463,000
Maintain Facilities $81,189,000
Improve Facilities $18,274,000
The Forest Service has 17,900 recreation sites and approximately 23,100 recreation, research, and fire, administrative and other facilities.  Approximately $43 million of these funds are allocated to 39 national and regional priority projects costing more than $250,000, including 7 camping facility projects.  Two of the camping facility projects are bathhouse, and water and wastewater improvement projects.
Trails Capital Improvement and Maintenance $81,985,000
Maintain Trails $63,224,000
Improve Trails $18,761,000
The Forest Service has over 155,600 trail miles.  These funds are to maintain approximately 46,780 trail miles to standard and to improve approximately 1,165 trail miles.
Deferred Maintenance and Infrastructure Improvement 7,113,000
These funds are for 11 major deferred maintenance and infrastructure improvement projects, including 2 camping facility projects.
Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Fund $65,000,000
The Forest Service collects approximately $65 million annually from user fees for certain recreation sites.  These funds are used for the operation, maintenance, and improvement of recreation sites.
Army Corps of Engineers
Recreation $252,000,000
The Army Corps of Engineers directly manages about 2,500 recreation sites and provides management oversight to an additional 2,000 recreation sites that are out-granted to partners.  This line item includes funds for the maintenance and improvement of recreation sites.
Bureau of Land Management
Deferred Maintenance and Capital Improvements $31,066,000
The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for maintaining 2,686 recreation sites with 2,942 buildings, in addition to camping units, picnic units, and boat ramps.  The Bureau is also responsible for a portion of the maintenance on facilities jointly held with other federal, state, county, or private entities.  The Bureau has 642 administrative sites with 2,016 buildings and ancillary structures.  Lands administered by the Bureau have 53,400 miles of roads, 11,600 miles of trails, and 843 bridges.  The Bureau manages and maintains 688 dams designated with a hazard classification.  There are 45 deferred maintenance projects and 6 capital improvement projects scheduled for FY 2013.  Specific projects are not described in the FY 2013 budget.
Recreation Fee Program $18,000,000
The Bureau of Land Management collects approximately $18 million annually from user fees for certain recreation sites.  These funds are used for the operation, maintenance, and improvement of recreation sites, including $721,000 for deferred maintenance and capital improvements.
Bureau of Reclamation
Obligations by Function for Operating Projects – Recreation
Pacific Northwest Region
Federal $3,921,000
Water-Users $103,000
Non-Federal $0
Total $4,024,000
Mid-Pacific Region
Federal $3,965,000
Water-Users $0
Non-Federal $0
Total $3,965,000
Lower Colorado Region
Federal $0
Water-Users $0
Non-Federal $0
Total $0
Upper Colorado Region
Federal $1,982,000
Water-Users $943,000
Non-Federal $518,000
Total $3,443,000
Great Plains Region
Federal $8,510,000
Water-Users $0
Non-Federal $1,173,000
Total $9,683,000
The Bureau of Reclamation directly manages 33 developed recreation areas and cooperatively manages another 9 developed recreation areas with another federal agency or non-federal entity.  The other 247 developed recreation areas on Bureau of Reclamation lands are managed by other federal agencies, Indian tribes, or state and local governments.  The Bureau of Reclamation shares up to 50 percent of the costs of developing, constructing, operating, and maintaining developed recreation areas managed by non-federal entities.
Fish and Wildlife Service
Line Item Construction Projects $8,195,000
The Fish and Wildlife Service has 5,189 buildings; 7,340 water management structures; 6,923 other structures; and 12,125 miles of roads, bridges, and trails.  There are 21 construction projects scheduled for FY 2013, including 2 boardwalk projects.  The Five Year Deferred Maintenance and Construction Plan lists an additional 50 projects for FY 2014 through FY 2017, including 8 visitor facility enhancement projects.
National Wildlife Refuge System Maintenance $139,263,000
Approximately $39 million of these funds are for deferred maintenance projects, including the repair, rehabilitation, disposal, and replacement of facilities.
National Wildlife Refuge System Visitor Services $74,777,000
Approximately $1 million of these funds are for visitor facility enhancements.
Recreation Fee Program $5,000,000
The Fish and Wildlife Service collects approximately $5 million annually from user fees for certain recreation sites.  These funds are used for the operation, maintenance, and improvement of recreation sites, including $1,369,000 for deferred maintenance and capital improvements.
National Park Service
Line Item Construction Projects $52,420,000
The National Park Service administers 397 park units, 23 national scenic and national historic trails, and 58 wild and scenic rivers alone or in cooperation with other federal agencies. The FY 2103 budget does not propose any new construction.  There are 10 projects costing more than $1 million scheduled for FY 2013.  The projects do not include any camping facilities, picnic facilities, viewing areas, trails, or beaches.  The Five Year Deferred Maintenance and Construction Plan lists an additional 36 projects costing more than $1 million for FY 2014 through FY 2017, including 1 beach and 1 trail project.
Facility Maintenance $344,080,000
Approximately $71 million of these funds are for the repair and rehabilitation program that is used for projects such as camping facility and trail rehabilitation, roadway overlay, roadway reconditioning, bridge repair, and wastewater and water line replacement.
Recreation Fee Program $170,313,000
The National Park Service collects approximately $170 million annually from user fees for certain recreation sites.  These funds are used for the operation, maintenance, and improvement of recreation sites, including $74,500,000 for deferred maintenance and capital improvements.  There are 8 projects costing more than $500,000, including a shared use path.

APPENDIX C – CONCESSIONS

Agency Total Concessions Camping Facilities Picnic Facilities & Beach Facilities
Notes:
  1. The Forest Service FY2013 Budget Justification notes that 54 percent of the camping facilities in the national forest system are operated by concessioners.
  2. The total concessions on Army Corps of Engineers land is from Recreation Program Statistics as of February 25, 2010 at: http://www.funoutdoors.com/files/02-U.S.%20Army%20Corps%20of%20Engineers%20Recreation%20Program%20Statistics%20FY08.pdf.
  3. The number of concessions at recreation sites managed by the Bureau of Land Management was provided by the National Accessibility Coordinator for the Bureau.
  4. The number concessions on Bureau of Reclamation land is from Recreation Fast Facts at: http://www.usbr.gov/recreation/facts.html.
  5. The total number of concessions on National Park Service land is from Frequently Asked Questions at: http://www.nps.gov/faqs.htm.  The number of camping facility concessions is from Authorized Concessioners at: http://www.concessions.nps.gov/authorized_concessions.htm.
Department of Agriculture
Forest Service Not available Not available1 Not available
Department of Defense
Army Corps of Engineers 5002 Not available Not available
Department of Interior
Bureau of Land Management 163 153 Not available
Bureau of Reclamation 2254 Not available Not available
Fish and Wildlife Service Not available Not available Not available
National Park Service 6305 135 Not available