PUBLIC LANDS -- The Interior Department has announced 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 admission.
The fee waiver does not cover expanded amenity or user fees for things such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.
Tourism and outdoor recreation also are economic engines in communities across the country, the agency noted in a release. Recreation on federal lands in 2009 provided 440,000 jobs and contributed $55 billion to the economy.
Some groups don't have to wait for a holiday to get special rates for visiting federal public lands.
- 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 Pass Program also offers a free lifetime pass for people with disabilities, a $10 lifetime senior pass for those age 62 and older and a $80 annual pass for the general public.
But the fee-free days will give both first time and repeat visitors a good reason to spend time in these extraordinary places, Interior officials said.
2013 fee free days
Here is a breakdown of the days and which agencies are offering free admission:
Jan. 21: Martin Luther King Jr. Day - 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.
April 22-26: National Park Week - National Park Service.
June 8: Get Outdoors Day - U.S. Forest Service
Aug. 25: 97th birthday of the National Park Service.
Oct. 13: National Wildlife Refuge Day - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Sept. 18: National Public Lands Day - National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service.
Nov. 9-11: Veterans Day weekend - National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Reclamation.