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Free Entrance to All National Parks Today to Celebrate the Great American Outdoors Act

News National Parks
by Eben Diskin Aug 5, 2020

To celebrate the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, which allocates $9.5 billion in funding for public lands, all national parks and public lands will be free to the public on August 5.

Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced that August 4 would officially be known as “Great American Outdoors Day,” and August 5, 2020, would be a free entrance day to commemorate the landmark legislation signed by President Trump yesterday on August 4, 2020.

The Act will enable national parks and other federal lands to maintain infrastructure and facilities that enhance the visitor experience and increase access.

According to Secretary Bernhardt, “President Trump has just enacted the most consequential dedicated funding for national parks, wildlife refuges, public recreation facilities and American Indian school infrastructure in U.S. history. I’ve designated August 4th as Great American Outdoors Day and waived entrance fees to celebrate the passage of this historic conservation law.”

David Vela, National Park Service Deputy Director, said, “This is a truly historic commitment to revitalize and restore national parks and other public lands in order to expand recreational opportunities and address long overdue infrastructure and modernization challenges. This enormous investment will enhance national parks for present and future generations.”

Typically, out of the 419 national parks in the nation, 109 charge entrance fees ranging from $5 to $35. On August 5 these entrance fees will be waived, though fees associated with park amenities or activities — like camping, boat launches, and transportation — will remain in effect. Entrance will be free every August 4 for years to come. Before Bernhardt’s announcement, there were only five free entrance days to US national parks every year: January 20 (Martin Luther King Day); April 18 (First day of National Park Week); August 25 (National Park Service’s birthday); September 26 (National Public Lands Day); November 11 (Veterans Day).

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