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Free Admission to National Parks for Active Duty Military Families

06/06/2012 Published by: Suzanne

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Categories: Moving to a New School, Your Child's Ages & Stages, Special Topics

As of Armed Forces Day, May 19, 2012, active duty military personnel and their family members can enjoy free entrance to all 397 national parks.  As part of the Joining Forces Initiative and in an effort to thank service members and their families for the sacrifices they make, the Department of Interior’s “America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Annual Pass”, normally available at a cost of $80 and valid for one year, is now available free of charge to service members.  These families will now enjoy access to more than 2,000 national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands.

Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said, "Our nation owes a debt of gratitude to our service men and women who make great sacrifices and put their lives on the lines to protect our country and preserve our freedom. In recognition of their contributions and service, we are putting out a welcome mat for these brave men and women and their families at America's most beautiful and storied sites."

Highlights of the Program:

  • Free!
  • Available to active duty US military personnel and dependents with proper identification (CAC Card or DD Form 1173).
  • Obtained in person at Federal recreation sites that charge entrance or standard amenity fees.
  • Covers entrance to Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service sites that charge Entrance Fees, and Standard Amenity Fees at Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation sites.
  • Admits the pass owners and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle at per-vehicle fee areas, or the pass owner and up to additional 3 adults at sites that charge per-person.
  • Non-transferable.

More detailed information is available at the U.S. Geological Survey web site.

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