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Contact: Kate Kuykendall, 805-370-2343
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – As of October 1, the National Park Service (NPS) will end the sale of federal lands passes at the Santa Monica Mountains Visitor Center. The federal lands passes, including versions for seniors, active military and the disabled, cover entrance fees at national parks and other federal lands.
There is no fee to enter federal lands in the Santa Monica Mountains, but NPS has been selling the passes as a courtesy to visitors traveling to other locations.
Although some national parks sell hundreds of passes per day and invest a percentage of sales into the park, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area averages just over one sale per day and is not generating any funds for park improvement projects.
Superintendent David Szymanski explains that selling federal lands passes requires an NPS ranger to be on duty at all times. "Running a well-managed fee or pass program requires training, inventories, audits and oversight," said Szymanski. "Discontinuing the sale of these passes gives us greater flexibility to put our staff where the demand for programs and public services are greatest."
NPS will still maintain a strong presence at the visitor center, but rangers from partner agencies and from the volunteer program will now be able to fill in gaps as needed.
Most passes can be purchased either online, by phone or by mail – more information is available at www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm. Military passes must be purchased in person and are available at Channel Islands National Park's visitor center in Ventura or at Angeles National Forest headquarters in Arcadia.
For more information, please contact 805-370-2301.
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) is the largest urban national park in the country, encompassing more than 150,000 acres of mountains and coastline in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. It comprises a seamless network of local, state and federal parks interwoven with private lands and communities. As one of only five Mediterranean ecosystems in the world, SMMNRA preserves the rich biological diversity of more than 450 animal species and 26 distinct plant communities. Learn more at www.nps.gov/samo.