The law firm of Tycko & Zavareei LLP is investigating reservations fees charged on the website recreation.gov.
Based on our investigation, when a reservation is made on recreation.gov, there are two fees charged. A “use fee” (often free) paid to the applicable federal agency (e.g., the National Park Service) and a “reservation fee,” that is paid to the for-profit federal contractor Booz Allen. As at least one federal court has recognized, “[n]o part of the [reservation] processing fee is remitted to [the federal agency].” Kotab v. Bureau of Land Mgmt., No. 220CV01957JADEJY, 2022 WL 972416, at *1 (D. Nev. Mar. 31, 2022).
Based on our investigation to date, we believe that the reservation fees may be unlawful for at least three reasons. First, as at least one federal court has already found, Booz Allen is not authorized to charge the fees under federal law. Second, Booz Allen operates recreation.gov to create the false and deceptive impression that the reservation fees are paid to the federal agencies that actually administer the federal land. Finally, the reservation fees may deprive veterans and others of free access to national parks, in violation of federal law.
If you’ve made reservations through recreation.gov and are interested in speaking with an attorney about the fees charged by Booz Allen, please fill out our questionnaire below or email us at [email protected].
Tycko & Zavareei is a class action law firm that frequently investigates the fees that companies charge consumers. Many of its attorneys are also dedicated to spending time in the backcountry and believe that litigation, in the right circumstances, can be an effective tool to shape policy.
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