National Parks and Recreational passes for senior citizens to increase 800 percent


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It will soon cost more for senior citizens to buy the lifetime pass to access more than 2,000 sites and National Parks.

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers announced today the price of the America the Beautiful- National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass will increase from $10 to $80.

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The change takes effect August 28.

The Senior pass has cost $10 since 1994, but new legislation passed by Congress requires the price of the pass to be the same as the Interagency Annual Pass, which is currently $80.

Up until the change goes into effect next month, citizens and permanent residents who are 62 years or older can still purchase the lifetime Senior Pass for $10. All previously purchased lifetime passes will be honored for the lifetime of the pass holder.

The Senior Pass can be used at sites managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Forest Service, and the USACE. Funds from passes are used to enhance the visitor experience and support priority projects and programs.

You can buy the pass at a national parl or other federal recreation area that charges an entrance or standard day use fee. You can also get a pass by mail or online for $10 before August 28 but there will be an additional $10 charge for processing, for a total of $20. Due to expected high order volume, there could be delays with online and mail order processing of up to several months.

The legislation also introduces a new annual Senior Pass that can be purchased for $20. Seniors who purchase annual Senior Passes for four years can trade them in for a lifetime Senior Pass at no additional charge.

The Senior Pass covers all entrance fees and standard amenity (day use) fees and may provide senior discounts for things such as tours or campsites. The pass also
waives the entrance fee for travelling companions. At per-vehicle fee sites, the pass admits the pass holder and all passengers in a noncommercial vehicle.