To honor America’s service men and women, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has announced that areas managed by the department will not charge entrance fees on Veterans Day, next Thursday, November 11th.
This includes public recreation lands managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation.
“The Department of the Interior is honored to offer this fee free day to thank our nation’s service men and women,” said Salazar said “The sacrifices and achievements of the brave men and women of our armed forces can never be understated. We invite all of our visitors to enjoy this fee free day and take time out on this national holiday to remember our service men and women who are currently serving overseas in harm's way.”
What better way to honor America’s Veterans on Veteran’s Day than to visit a National Park that commemorates where they fought and served their country. The National Park Service has a relatively new website that lists the battlefields, military parks, and historic sites that commemorate and honor the service of American veterans. This is a great place for discovering and researching a new park you may not have ever visited.
Not yet included on this website is the newest national park in the system, the River Raisin National Battlefield Park in Monroe, Michigan.
U.S. Forest Service waives fees:
The U.S. Forest Service has also recently announced that they will be offering national fee waivers on recreation sites.
"The Forest Service is working to ensure as many visitors as possible have the opportunity to experience the great outdoors and take advantage of the many recreational activities national forests have to offer," said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. "By waiving fees, everyone will have the opportunity to enjoy the wonder and rejuvenation of recreation on national forests and grasslands."
These fee waivers are offered in cooperation with other federal agencies under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. Day use fees will be waived at all standard amenity fee sites operated by the Forest Service and concessionaire operated day-use sites may be included in the waiver if the permit holder wishes to participate.
Traditionally, fees are not charged on 98 percent of national forests and grasslands and over two-thirds of developed recreation sites on National Forest System lands can be used for free. Many recreation opportunities such as camping, sightseeing and hiking can be enjoyed throughout the year at no cost.
The Forest Service operates approximately 17,000 recreation sites nationwide. Of those, approximately 6,000 require a fee, generally used to help offset the costs of visitor services, repairs and replacements, and facilities maintenance.