Mark Your Calendar For 2015 Fee Free Parks Days


 

It’s always nice to get a break. The U.S. Forest Service just posted their calendar to encourage your visits next year. They’re waiving fees at most of its day-use recreation sites several times in 2015, beginning with Jan. 19, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. “These fee-free days are our way of thanking our millions of visitors but also to encourage more people to visit these great public lands,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “These lands belong to all Americans, and we encourage everyone to open the door to the great outdoors.”

The 2015 scheduled fee-free days observed by the Forest Service are:

  • Jan. 19: the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which honors the legacy of the civil rights leader and encourages Americans to participate in the MLK Day of Service
  • Feb.
    16: Presidents Day, honoring our nation’s Presidents with particular attention towards commemorating President Washington and President Lincoln.

  • June 13:
    National Get Outdoors Day, a day when federal agencies, nonprofit organizations and the recreation industry encourages healthy, outdoor activities.

  • Sept. 26:
    National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort in support of public lands

  • Nov. 11:
    Veteran’s Day, commemorates the end of World War I and pays tribute to all military heroes past and present.

This year parks are free Nov. 8-11 in honor of Veteran’s Day.

America’s national forests offer more than 150,000 miles of hiking, biking, equestrian and motorized trails trails and more than 10,000 developed recreation sites. Visitors can choose a wide variety of recreational activities using more than 57,000 miles of streams, 122 alpine ski areas, 338,000 heritage sites, 9,100 miles of National Scenic Byways, 22 National Recreation Areas, 11 National Scenic Areas, seven National Monuments, one national preserve and one national heritage area.

The fee-free program is in cooperation with other federal land management agencies under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. Fees are waived generally for day-use areas, such as picnic grounds, developed trailheads and destination visitor centers. Concessionaire operated sites might also be free depending on the operator. Contact your local national forest or grassland to learn if your destination requires a fee and if that fee is waived.

Protected lands are meant to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands for future generations. The Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.

They’re also money makers; contributing more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year.

Check Recreation.gov to see if your destination charges a fee. Fees are used to help cover the cost of safe, clean facilities. Use the Forest Service map to find a national forest or grassland near you.

 

 

 

DATES

EVENT

PARTICIPATING AGENCY

Jan. 19 Martin Luther King Jr. Day U.S. Forest Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

National Park Service

Bureau of Land Management

Feb. 15-17 President’s Day Weekend U.S. Forest Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

National Park Service

Bureau of Land Management

June 13 National Get Outdoors Day U.S. Forest Service
April 18-19 First Weekend of National Park Week National Park Service
Aug. 25 National Park Service Birthday National Park Service
Sept. 26 National Public Lands Day U.S. Forest Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

National Park Service

Bureau of Land Management

Oct. 11 First Sunday of National Wildlife Refuge Week U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Nov. 11 Veterans Day U.S. Forest Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

National Park Service

Bureau of Land Management

*The Forest Service will offer fee-free day on Feb. 16 only


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