BLM Waives Recreation-related Fees for Veterans on Veterans Day
BLM Director Jim Caswell, a Vietnam veteran, encouraged veterans and members of the U.S. Armed Forces to recreate on BLM-managed or other Federal lands on November 11, saying, “We want to thank the men and women who have served or are serving our country through military service. This is a small, but special way in which we can express our gratitude and our appreciation to them.”
The waiver of entrance and/or standard amenity fees on Veterans Day applies annually, starting in 2006, to public recreation lands under the management of the BLM, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Reclamation (all agencies of the Department of the Interior), along with the U.S. Forest Service (part of the Department of Agriculture).
The Veterans Day fee waiver takes place on November 11, even if the Federal observance of the holiday should occur on a different day. This year, the Federal observance of Veterans Day falls on Tuesday, November 11.
Recreation fee-setting and waiver authority for the BLM and other Federal agencies is based on the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, passed by Congress as part of a Fiscal Year 2005 appropriations bill that was signed into law by President Bush on December 8, 2004.
The BLM manages more land – 258 million surface acres – than any other Federal agency. Most of this public land is located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on the public lands.