Thanking the Armed Forces of America - Active Duty US Military Offered Free Entrance to National Parks

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Date: May 24, 2012
Contact: leslie Reynolds, Chief Ranger, 508-771-2144

Cape Cod National Seashore Superintendent George Price announced today that the Department of the Interior and other federal agencies will be offering an annual pass to active duty service members and their dependents that will grant free access to more than 2,000 national parks, wildlife refuges, national forests, and other public lands around the nation in coming years.

On Saturday, May 19, 2012 - Armed Forces Day - the Cape Cod National Seashore began issuing an annual pass offering free entrance to all 397 units of the National Park System for active duty military members and their dependents.

Active duty members of the U.S. Military and their dependents can pick up the new pass at Salt Pond Visitor Center located in Eastham, MA and the Province Lands Visitor Center located in Provincetown, MA and at beach entrance stations--Nauset Light Beach, Race Point Beach, Herring Cove Beach and Little Creek Staging Area beginning Memorial Day weekend.Those wishing to obtain a pass must show a current, valid military identification card. More information is available at

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. The pass does not apply to interpretive program fees at Cape Cod National Seashore, such as for ranger-guided canoe trips, surfcasting lessons, and historical reenactments.

"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."

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, serving as the first park rangers until the National Park Service was established in 1916. 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.

For information on visiting Cape Cod National Seashore, please go to the park's web site at

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 395 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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