National Park Pass for Seniors to Cost More

For just $10, older Americans /react-text have been able to access all of the country’s national parks for the rest of their lives.
But come Aug. 28, that fee will raise to $80, according to Money Magazine.
On Monday, July 10, the National Park Service announced that it would be increasing prices for senior lifetime passes later this summer.
The agency has offered its $10 lifetime senior park pass for American citizens who are 62 or older since 1994, and the price increase comes as a result of legislation approved by Congress in Dec. 2016 as a result of the National Park Service’s centennial.
The pass grants lifetime entry to more than 2,000 sites and parks across the country. Those who purchase the passes while they are $10 will still be able to use them without an additional charge, the National Park Service said.
The Park Service believes that even with the price increase, the pass is still a bargain for seniors. National parks like Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and others each charge $30 for entry for visitors.
“If a senior visits three of the $30 parks, she or he has already saved money,” Kathy Kupper, a spokesperson for the National Park Service, told MONEY last month. “Plus, the pass allows those traveling with seniors to enter the park with them.”
Under the Obama administration, Congress approved the National Park Service Centennial Act, which raised park fees and addressed infrastructure issues in national parks.
The legislation also created a new annual pass for seniors, which can be purchased for $20. If seniors buy four of the new annual passes, they can get a lifetime pass for no additional cost, the Park Service said.
Overview of Updates
• The price of the America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass, is increasing as result of the Centennial Legislation P.L. 114-289 passed by the U.S. Congress on December 16, 2016.
• The Senior Pass has been $10 since 1994.
• The lifetime Senior Pass will increase from $10 to $80.
• The legislation states that the cost of the lifetime Senior Pass be equal to the cost of the annual America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, which is currently $80.
• The legislation also establishes an annual Senior Pass for $20. That pass is valid for one year from the date of issuance. Four annual Senior Passes purchased in consecutive years can be traded in for a lifetime pass. Additionally, access to the majority of National Park Service sites remains free – only 118 of 417 National Park Service sites have an entrance fee.
• The current passes are lifetime passes and will remain valid.
• No. All benefits of the current Senior Pass stay the same.
• Passes are non-refundable, non-transferable and cannot be replaced if lost or stolen. If lost or stolen, a new pass will need to be purchased.
• U.S. citizens or permanent residents 62 years or older are eligible for the Senior Pass.
• The annual and lifetime Senior Passes provide access to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by six Federal agencies.
– National Park Service
– U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
– Bureau of Land Management
– Bureau of Reclamation
– U.S. Forest Service
– U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
The passes cover entrance and standard amenity (day use) recreation fees and provide discounts on some expanded amenity recreation fees.
• Travelling companions can also enter for free. The Senior Passes admit pass owners and passengers in a noncommercial vehicle at per-vehicle fee areas and pass owner plus three adults, not to exceed four adults, where per-person fees are charged. (Children under 16 are always admitted free.). Also, at many sites, the Senior Passes provide the pass owner (only) a discount on Expanded Amenity Fees (such as camping, swimming, boat launching, and guided tours).
• Senior Passes can be purchased at any federal recreation site that charges an entrance or standard amenity (day use) fee. Proof of age and residency is required. A complete list of sites where the pass is available can be found at https://store.usgs.gov/sites/default/files/PassIssuanceList.pdf. Please note that USGS field offices DO NOT issue passes.
They can also be purchased online or through the mail from USGS. An additional $10 processing fee will be added to the price. For more information go to https://store.usgs.gov/recreational-passes
• The funds from all Senior Passes purchased in a national park will go to a National Park Foundation Endowment and a National Park Centennial Challenge Fund, both authorized by the Centennial Legislation.
• The first $10 million collected by the National Park Service in each fiscal year from Senior Pass sales will be deposited in the Second Century Endowment managed by the National Park Foundation.
The foundation is the congressionally authorized philanthropic partner, or official charity, of the National Park Service. Funds within the Second Century Endowment will be expended on projects and activities approved by the Secretary of Interior to further the mission and purpose of the National Parks Service.
• All revenues collected from sales by the National Park Service of National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes, including the Senior Pass, that are in excess of $10 million will be deposited in the National Park Centennial Challenge Fund.
The funds will be used for projects and programs approved by the Secretary of the Interior to the mission of the National Park Service and to enhance the visitor experience in National Park System units.
Projects and programs will require at least a one-to-one match by non-federal donations.
• Eighty to one hundred percent of funds from Senior Passes sold by the other five agencies will be retained by the site where they are sold and spent on visitor-related projects and programs.

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