State forests are moving to a cash-free system to protect workers and visitors from the coronavirus. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Forest Service announced the change on Monday.
"Cash will no longer be accepted for Florida State Forest recreation sales," said a forest service release, which noted that checks and money orders will still be accepted for items not available for purchase online.
The new system comes as more state parks are reopening, and in anticipation of the Independence Day holiday.
"We look forward to transitioning Florida State Forest recreation sales to a digital platform," said Erin Albury, State Forester and Director of the Florida Forest Service. "The online system not only streamlines the payment process for Floridians and visitors but reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19."
Starting Wednesday, $45 annual Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) passes will be available for purchase, and are good until June 30, 2021.
On July 1, visitors can begin purchasing day-use passes for recreation areas, including trailheads and OHV riding areas. Then, on July 10, group campsites, picnic pavilions and group recreation areas will reopen, with capacity set at 50 people.
You can visit FloridaStateForests.ReserveAmerica.com or call 877-879-3859 for information and to make purchases. The service will place QR-style bar codes inside all state forest day-use areas, so visitors with smartphones may more easily use it.
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