New Pass Program Offered By National Parks

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Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett and Undersecretary of Agriculture Mark Rey today announced a new interagency recreation pass that will benefit visitors to national public lands. The new pass, authorized by the Congress in 2004, combines the benefits of existing recreation passes from five federal agencies into one comprehensive pass, the "America the Beautiful -- National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass."

The new pass covers recreation opportunities on public lands managed by four Department of the Interior agencies -- the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the Bureau of Reclamation, and by the Department of Agriculture's U.S. Forest Service.

Access to most public lands remains free. The pass applies to those locations that currently have entrance or standard amenity fees.

The new program replaces the Golden Eagle, Golden Age, and the Golden Access Passports as well as the National Parks Pass. Existing passes will remain valid until expired, lost or stolen.

Sales of the new pass will begin in January 2007 and will be available at federal recreation sites that charge entrance and standard amenity fees, through government internet sites, through select third-party vendors, and at all Ranger District offices on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.

The new interagency pass is good at vehicle-based entry sites for all occupants in a single, noncommercial vehicle. At walk-up sites, the pass is good for the pass holder and three adults (total of four adults). There is no charge for children under 16. The passes will be durable and plasticized.

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