PUBLIC LANDS -- For the third consecutive year, visitors will enjoy free admission to national parks on 17 days in 2012, the Department of Interior has announced. Some of those freebies include three-day holiday weekends and even a week-long celebration of National Parks Week.
National forests, national wildlife refuges and BLM areas that charge fees are offering a slightly reduced schedule of free admission days.
National parks and public lands serve as an economic engine for many local communities, supports jobs and driving tourism, he said.
National Park fee-free dates for 2012 are Jan.14-16 (Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend), April 21-29 (National Park Week), June 9 (Get Outdoors Day), Sept. 29 (National Public Lands Day), and Nov. 10-12 (Veterans Day weekend).
Other freebies: Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service will waive their entrance and standard amenity fees Jan.14-16, June 9, Sept. 29, and Nov. 10-12. The Bureau of Reclamation will waive standard amenity fees on Sept. 29 and Nov. 12.