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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    South FL for now, but in June 2007 - the Pacific NW!
    Posts
    23

    Default New National Parks Pass!

    I was reading the March 2007 issue of Budget Travel magazine, and they had a blurb about the revamp to the National Parks Pass program.

    The blurb says:

    "The old $50 pass covering a year's entrance to national parks has been replaced by a new $80 parks pass that also includes forest-service and federal recreation areas."

    I don't know how I feel about this. I don't think I have ever visited a forest-service or federal recreation area. Surely I can't be the only one? I wish they would offer both options, the $50 and the $80.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Interesting

    I hadn't heard about this. I know they used to have a National Parks pass and a Separate Golden Eagle pass good for pretty much all federal land, which seems to be what this new plan is.

    I know personally, the years I've purchases a NPP I've used it enough just to break even, or maybe come out a bit ahead, but at $80 it would certainly have been a losing proposition.

    This sounds like something worth digging into a bit deeper.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Living in the west -- it is actually a deal

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernOracle View Post
    I don't know how I feel about this. I don't think I have ever visited a forest-service or federal recreation area. Surely I can't be the only one? I wish they would offer both options, the $50 and the $80.
    I hadn't heard about this change either, but for me this will actually be a dicounted rate, because I always paid for the extra sticker for entrance to Federal recreation areas (lake Mead is 1/2 hour from my office). It actually is a pretty good deal for anyone in the south as well, since there are plenty of lakes under federal supervision in the region.

    Mark

  4. Default Interesting.. replaces the annual Forest Service Adventure Pass?

    Interesting.. wonder if this will replace the annual Forest Service Adventure Pass?

    Around here, the usual pass is the $30/ year or $5/ day "Adventure Pass" that the National Forest Service charges for parking in the national forest? (Usually the Angeles National Forest.) Wonder if the additional $30 covers that?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default That Adventure Pass always chafed me a bit

    Quote Originally Posted by Larrison View Post
    Around here, the usual pass is the $30/ year or $5/ day "Adventure Pass" that the National Forest Service charges for parking in the national forest? (Usually the Angeles National Forest.) Wonder if the additional $30 covers that?
    I wonder too -- I really disliked that pass -- I know all of the good reasons for getting one -- but I hated having to post it when I would stop for a photo or whatever. The ANF was and always will be my "home" forest, having worked as a firefighter for two seasons in the 1970s. I don't really see how a pass that I carry in my wallet will work as the windshield Adventure Pass --- but if it does, I would be happier about it.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    South FL for now, but in June 2007 - the Pacific NW!
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Here is some text from nps.gov:

    America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass
    The National Park Service is an important participant in the new Interagency Pass Program which was created by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act and authorized by Congress in December 2004. Participating agencies include the National Park Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture - Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. The pass series, collectively known as the America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, is shown below with a brief explanation of each. The new passes are scheduled to go on sale January 1, 2007.

    Of course, the text "shown below" is non-cut and pasteable. Here is the link:
    http://www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm

    This is from their FAQ section:

    What is the America the Beautiful - the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Program?
    A national pass program authorized by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004, that provides access to, and use of, Federal Recreation Lands. The program launched in January 2007.

    Which Agencies will honor the new America the Beautiful - the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes?
    The Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation will honor all three passes at sites where Entrance or Standard Amenity Fees are charged. In addition, the Corps of Engineers and Tennessee Valley Authority may honor the Senior and Access Passes.

    What passes and collateral materials are included in the new program?
    The Interagency Annual Pass (anyone can purchase); Interagency Senior Pass (62+ older); and Interagency Access Pass (requires documentation of permanent disability); Hangtags (as a means of display); and Decals (for open-top vehicles in un-staffed areas only). There are separate FAQs for each type of pass, the Hangtags, and the Decals.

    Why are the new passes being developed? Aren't the new passes just the same as the Golden Eagle, Golden Age, and Golden Access Passports?
    The new passes were mandated by Congress. They will be similar to the old passes, but we hope to build on the lessons learned in all of our previous Federal recreation pass programs. We expect that the new passes will incorporate technological characteristics that will make the passes convenient to use and purchase.

    What will happen to all the existing passes i.e. National Parks Pass, Golden Eagle, Golden Age, and Golden Access Passports?
    Once the new passes are introduced the existing passes will no longer be sold or issued, but they will continue to be honored for as long as they are valid.

    Does the legislation that authorized the new Interagency Passes affect the Federal Duck Stamp?
    No. A valid Federal Duck Stamp will still provide entry into FWS National Wildlife Refuges that charge an entrance fee.

    Who can I contact for specific information about an agency or a site that participates in the Interagency Pass program?
    For information on BLM sites visit http://www.blm.gov
    For information on Reclamation sites visit http://www.usbr.gov
    For information on FWS sites visit http://www.fws.gov
    For information on USDA FS sites visit http://www.fs.fed.us
    For information on NPS sites visit http://www.nps.gov
    For information on Federal Recreation lands visit http://www.recreation.gov

    What will the new passes cover?
    The passes admit pass holder/s and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas and pass holder + 3 adults, not to exceed 4 adults, at per person fee areas. (Children under 16 always admitted free). The Senior and Access Passes will allow entry as described above, as well as provide the pass holder a 50 percent discount on some Expanded Amenity Fees. Senior and Access Passes may only be signed by the qualified individual.

    Will there be any changes in the way that the new passes are honored?
    Yes. Pass holders will be allowed to access a recreation site that charges a per person fee with a specified number of persons, rather than specified family members (spouse, parents, children). Additionally, according to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), motorcycles are vehicles. At sites with per vehicle entrance fees the Annual Pass will cover access or use for the pass holder/s (individuals who signed the pass) on two motorcycles. The Lifetime Passes will cover access or use for the pass holder for one motorcycle.

    Where can I obtain an Interagency pass?
    The passes can be obtained in person from a participating Federal recreation site or office. The Annual Pass will also be available to the public via 888-ASK USGS, ext 1; fedrecpass@usgs.gov; or via the Internet at http://store.usgs.gov/pass or http://www.recreation.gov. Additionally, it is expected that the Annual passes will be available through some third-party partners.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Government-speak

    I reckon that whoever wrote this text thinks it all makes sense. But I still have some questions of logistics. It will be interesting to hear what folks discover actually applies as they make their way around the USA.

    Thanks

    mark

  8. #8

    Default

    As a visitor to the West last year I found the pass ridiculously good value for money. Even with this increase it is stupidly cheap. Even if I only plan on visiting one park, after it has expired, I will still buy another pass. It just lets me feel I am giving something back, I guess.

  9. #9

    Default

    It is a really good deal for those that choose to enjoy their federal lands. This is definatly a savings over paying for a National Parks annual sticker and a daily or annual pass for the National Forests. I actually prefer the National Forests and spend a lot of time at them hiking and camping. They are generally a bit less crowded.

  10. #10

    Default New Pass good or not?

    I just received the America the Beautiful Parks Pass for my next trip I use to have the old pass from the NPS. I will let you all know how it works out on my trip West.

    One of the first changes I noticed was that my old NPS pass was activated when I went to my first park.

    IE I got my first pass in June but did not go to a park until July, so when I entered through the gates the rangers clipped out a hole over July so I had until next July to use it. This pass has the dates already punched. So even though I will not start using the pass until June its marked as starting in May. I know its a little thing but I liked the flexability of the old system.

    Has anyone used the new pass at the parks yet??

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