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Quirky Cabins Get Up Close and Personal with America's National Forests

This year marks the 100th anniversary of a little-known U.S. Forest Service program that has allowed families — sometimes multiple generations — to enjoy National Forests in a unique way: by owning permitted cabins on public lands. The Recreation Residence Program started in 1915 when National Forests were still new and the Forest Service was looking for ways to entice visitors to them. The program faced its biggest challenges in the past couple decades, but now, with Congress establishing a new system for the yearly permit fees cabin owners must pay, the 14,000 or so remaining cabins in National Forests near Mt. Hood, Lake Tahoe and across the West have a more certain future.

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