Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced dates in 2013 when more than 2,000 national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, and other federal lands will offer free admittance to everyone.
“Our national parks, wildlife refuges, forests and other public lands offer every American a place to get outdoors, learn about our nation’s history and culture, and restore our spirits,” Salazar said. “By providing free admission, we are rolling out the welcome mat for Americans to visit and enjoy these extraordinary treasures that belong to all of us.”
Tourism and outdoor recreation tied to public lands are powerful economic engines in communities across the country. Recreation on federal lands provided 440,000 jobs and contributed $55 billion to the economy in 2009. Each year, over 280 million national park visitors pump $31 billion into local economies, supporting 258,000 jobs.
The Fee Free Days in 2013 include:
* January 21: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
* April 22-26: National Park Week
* August 25: National Park Service Birthday
* September 28: National Public Lands Day
* November 9-11: Veterans Day weekend
Additionally, active duty military members and their dependents are eligible for a free annual pass that provides entrance to lands managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Forest Service. The America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Program also offers a free lifetime pass for people with disabilities, a $10 lifetime senior pass for those age 62 and over, and an $80 annual pass for the general public.