Posts Tagged ‘Bureau of Land Management’

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Visitors can view mountain ridges stretching to the horizon at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Dates in 2013 ranging from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day to Veterans Day when more than 2,000 national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, and other federal lands will offer free admittance to everyone.

The National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will waive their entrance fees and the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Reclamation will waive their standard amenity fees on September 28 for National Public Lands Day and from November 9 to 11 for Veterans Day weekend.

The National Park Service will also waive entrance fees on January 21 for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, from April 22 to 26 during National Park Week, and on August 25 to celebrate the agency’s 97th birthday.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will also waive entrance fees on January 21 for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and on October 13 for National Wildlife Refuge Day.

The Bureau of Land Management will also waive standard amenity fees on January 21 for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The U.S. Forest Service will also waive standard amenity fees on January 21 for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and on June 8 for Get Outdoors Day.

“National parks and other public lands are becoming increasingly important for both our mental and physical health,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “In our fast-paced world, they provide places for good, old-fashioned social networking with others – places where we can relax and unwind, where we can experience new and different things, and where we can easily share thoughts and communal activities.”

Tourism and outdoor recreation are also powerful economic engines in communities across the country. Recreation on federal lands in 2009 provided 440,000 jobs and contributed $55 billion to the economy.

The fee waiver does not cover expanded amenity or user fees for things such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.

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 a $80 annual pass for the general public.

America’s great outdoors should be experienced by everyone,” said Salazar. “Our fantastic network of public lands provides world class recreational opportunities, the chance to view abundant wildlife in natural habitats, sites that showcase our nation’s rich and diverse history, and some of the most incredible scenery found anyway. The fee free days will give both first time and repeat visitors a good reason to spend time in these extraordinary places.”

Date Event Agency Participating
January 21 Martin Luther King Jr. Day National Park Service
Fish & Wildlife Service
Bureau of Land Management
US Forest Service
April 22 – 26 National Park Week National Park Service
June 8 Great Outdoors Day US Forest Service
August 25 National Park Service Birthday National Park Service
September 28 National Public Lands Day National Park Service
Fish & Wildlife Service
Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Reclamation
US Forest Service
October 13 National Wildlife Refuge Day Fish & Wildlife Service
November 9 – 11 Veterans Day weekend National Park Service
Fish & Wildlife Service
Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Reclamation
US Forest Service
Ranger talk Rocky Mountain National Park

Ranger talk Rocky Mountain National Park

All 397 national parks will offer free entrance on Saturday, September 29 for National Public Lands Day. The 19th annual event encourages everyone to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. Visit www.nps.gov for a list of parks and information to help plan your park adventure.

“National Public Lands Day reminds all of us of the vast and diverse nature of America’s open spaces, from small neighborhood parks to large national parks, and the importance of each one,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “We are fortunate that more than 600 million acres of public land, including national parks, provide all of us with cherished places where we can go to unwind, recreate, or learn.”

Many people will lend a hand to the land and spend part of National Public Lands Day volunteering on work projects. More than 170,000 people are expected to plant trees, clean watersheds, remove invasive plants, replace signs, and otherwise beautify 2,000 public sites throughout the country. Visit www.publiclandsday.org for more information.

Some of the national parks hosting volunteer events are Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio, Fort Pulaski National Monument in Georgia, San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, and Prince William Forest Park in Virginia. Anyone who volunteers for a National Park Service work project will receive a coupon good for future entrance to a national park.

Other Federal agencies offering free admittance on September 29 include the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and the U.S. Forest Service.

Normally, 133 national parks charge entrance fees ranging from $3 to $25. The other 264 parks do not charge for admission. The National Park Service will also waive entrance fees from November 10-12 in commemoration of Veterans Day.

 

Some campgrounds in the Eastern Sierras of California managed by the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Bishop Field Office are open to the public with major upgrades completed.

The project – to renovate five campgrounds managed by the BLM – began in the spring of 2011. The upgrades were long overdue, said Jeff Yanez, BLM project manager. “These campgrounds, with the exception of Pleasant Valley Pit Campground, were constructed in the late 1960s and have long exceeded their expected lifetime. Our goal has been to upgrade the sites in order to lower maintenance costs, provide universal access and protect wildlife habitat in the area. Where feasible, we have provided potable water and RV dump stations to better serve the needs of the public.”

The camping fee will remain $5 per night and campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Tuttle Creek Campground is now open with a new state-of-the-art solar-powered potable water system and recreational vehicle dump station. It also has a new group site that is available for reservation, two walk-in tent sites and several new pull-through sites for larger RVs. It has been upgraded with new vault toilets, fire rings and picnic tables. Future plans include the installation of horse corrals.
  • Horton Creek Campground is open and should have potable water online by the middle of July. It also has a new RV dump station and pull-through sites for larger RVs. Horton has been remodeled with new vault toilets, fire rings and picnic tables. The final planned upgrade will be to pave the site road which will occur in the late fall or early spring.
  • Crowley Lake Campground is currently open, but will close July 8 to finish the installation of a potable water distribution system. When reopened in mid-September, it will have a RV dump station in addition to potable water. It will also have new vault toilets, fire rings and picnic tables.
  • Goodale Creek Campground should open by early August, with some pull-through sites for larger RV’s and new restrooms, fire rings and picnic tables. The BLM also is in the process of constructing an interpretive nature trail for the public to enjoy which will highlight various natural features found in the area including local flora and fauna.
Pleasant Valley Pit Campground eastern sierra mountail

Pleasant Valley Pit Campground – eastern Sierra Mountains of California

“Despite our best efforts, Goodale Creek Campground will remain a dry campground as attempts to drill a well have been unsuccessful due to the unstable and unpredictable nature of the local geology. We will still be able to irrigate the trees and clean the restrooms with untreated surface water but we will not be able provide potable water to the public,” he said.

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