National Wildlife Refuges Announce Fee-Free Days For 2014

Monday, December 23, 2013

Seeing wildlife conservation in action just gained even more appeal. America’s national wildlife refuges will offer free admission to visitors on these days in 2014:

  • Jan. 20: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Feb. 15-17: Presidents’ Day weekend
  • Sept. 27: National Public Lands Day
  • Oct. 12: The first day of National Wildlife Refuge Week
  • Nov. 11: Veterans Day

The fee holiday is an annual inducement to visit public lands. National wildlife refuges are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, part of the Department of the Interior.

National wildlife refuges protect many iconic species, such as alligators and bison, whooping cranes, moose and puffins. And they do it on awe-inducing landscapes that range from Oregon’s rocky cliffs to Texas lagoons, from Maine wilderness to woods and fields inside the city of Philadelphia. There’s at least one national wildlife refuge in every state…and one within an hour’s drive of most major metropolitan areas. Find one close to you here.

You can plan a refuge visit around a bird festival, wildlife tour or other special event listed on individual refuge websites or on a master event calendar. Or plan your own outing by hiking a refuge trail or taking a drive along a wildlife viewing route. Experience seasonal wonders, such as the arrival of monarch butterflies or great flocks of migratory birds. Hear elk bugle for a mate or endangered red wolves howl in the night. Many refuges also offer great recreational opportunities such as fishing, hiking and paddling.

National wildlife refuges also help support local communities, pumping $2.4 billion into the national economy and supporting more than 35,000 jobs, according to a recent federal report. More than 45 million people visit refuges every year.

Of the nation’s 562 national wildlife refuges, 460 are open to the public. Of those, only 35 refuges charge an entrance fee, generally ranging from $3 to $5. Admission to the others is free. The entrance fee waiver does not cover concessionaire or license fees for some activities such as hunting, fishing or special tours.

Other federal land management agencies that will offer fee-free days in 2014 are: the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Forest Service and the Army Corps of Engineers. Contact each for details.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Forest Service also participate in the America the Beautiful National Parks Pass and Federal Recreational Lands Pass programs. These passes provide access to more than 2,000 national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, grasslands and other federal lands.

Four passes are available:

  • free annual pass to current military members and their dependents
  • free lifetime pass for people with permanent disabilities
  • $10 lifetime senior pass for those aged 62 and over
  • $80 annual pass for the general public.

Learn how you can buy a pass here.

Tennessee Aquarium To Open Southeast's Only Independent Freshwater Science Center Oct. 27

The Tennessee Aquarium will open the Southeast’s only independent freshwater science center next Thursday at 10 a.m. This new home for the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute will be the base of operations for their research scientists, and a central location for other freshwater scientists to convene. (click for more)

TWRA Announces Availability Of Riparian Tree Planing Grants For 2017

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency announces the availability of grant dollars to assist cities, schools, community organizations, civic groups, watershed organizations, and conservation groups, etc., with riparian tree planting projects.  All seedlings must be purchased through the Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry. Tree planting season in Tennessee is ... (click for more)

Fire Displaces Family Of 7; Blaze Ruled Accidental

No injuries were reported in connection with a house fire on Saturday afternoon that displaced a family of seven. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at 4:11 p.m. and responded to 3308 Dodson Ave. with five fire companies. Captain Wadie Suttles with Engine 4 said heavy fire was showing when the first firefighters arrived on the scene. As additional firefighters ... (click for more)

Clarence Ross, Leshawn Witherow Shot On Walden Avenue Friday Afternoon

Chattanooga Police are investigating a shooting that happened early Friday afternoon at the 6300 block of Walden Avenue.  Clarence Ross, 41, And Leshawn Witherow, 40, suffered non-life threatening injuries.  Hamilton County EMS transported both victims to a local hospital for treatment.  There is no suspect information at this time.  Investigators with ... (click for more)

Where Is The Highway Patrol? - And Response

I am teaching my 15-year-old to drive in the North Georgia and Chattanooga area. I have warned her of the dangers of exceeding the speed limit both as a hazard to herself and in terms of receiving a ticket. What a liar I am.  Have you driven on the local freeways and highways recently? I never see any highway patrolmen helping to reduce speeding or pulling over those who ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Vol Is Worth $521,854

The definition for the term “fair market value,” this from the IRS tax code, “is the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts.” So a recent article in Business Insider has just revealed a University of Tennessee scholarship ... (click for more)