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Active Duty U.S. Military Personnel Offered Free Entrance to All National Parks

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Date: May 21, 2012
Contact: Mary Wilson, 435-719-2140

To show appreciation for those who serve in the U.S. Military the National Park Service is now offering an annual pass good for free entrance to all 397 national parks for active duty military members and their dependents.

Active duty members of the U.S. Military and their dependents can pick up their pass at the Arches and Canyonlands National Park entrance stations, and at the Hovenweep and Natural Bridges National Monument visitor centers. They must show a current active military identification card to obtain their pass. More information is available at www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm.

This military version of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass also permits free entrance to sites managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Forest Service. The pass is also available at these locations.

"Through the years, military members, especially those far from home in times of conflict, have found inspiration in America's patriotic icons and majestic landscapes, places like the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon that are cared for by the National Park Service and symbolize the nation that their sacrifices protect," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "This new pass is a way to thank military members and their families for their service and their sacrifices."

Kate Cannon, Superintendent of the Southeast Utah Group of parks, expressed "We're grateful to the men and women of the armed forces who protect our country, and welcome them to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Hovenweep and Natural Bridges National Monuments."

National parks and the military have strong ties going back to the establishment of Yellowstone as the world's first national park in 1872. The U.S. Cavalry watched over America's national parks and did double duty, serving as the first park rangers until the National Park Service was created 44 years later. During World War II, many parks were set aside for the training and care of military personnel. Today, dozens of national parks commemorate military battles and achievements.

Did You Know?

Detail of petroglyph panel

Native Americans never inhabited Arches on a year-round basis, though they certainly roamed the area searching for wild game, useful plants and rocks for tool-making. Petroglyphs near Wolfe Ranch are thought to have been created by Indians from the Ute/Paiute cultures. More...