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.


Star Party At Cloudland Canyon Park Is Nov. 1

The Barnard Astronomical Society is conducting Star Party at Cloudland Canyon State Park on Saturday, Nov. 1. The event  is hosted by Friends of the Park and Cloudland Canyon Park Staff. The first part of the program will be at the Canyon overlook, near the Interpretative Center, beginning at 4 p.m., where there will be at least 1 telescope for solar observations. ... (click for more)

TWRA Introduces Tackett Creek Unit Of North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area

The TWRA has entered into a lease agreement with Molpus Timberlands Management, LLC to lease 43,000 acres, which is being utilized as the Tackett Creek unit of the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area. Located in both northeastern Campbell and northwestern Claiborne counties, the property, which has been historically used as a Public Hunting Area, is now in a five-year lease ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Firm Gets $1,010,000 Contract For Overseeing VW Expansion For New SUV Line

A Chattanooga firm is getting the contract for overseeing the construction work for the new SUV line at the Volkswagen plant. Officials said the EMJ Corporation has been selected for the project that will give a new surge of activity and employment at the plant at the Enterprise South Industrial Park. The work includes additions to the body shop and tech center and adding ... (click for more)

Man Airlifted To Erlanger After Early Morning Crash In Bradley County

Bradley County EMS responded to an early morning crash Thursday at 7 a.m. at the intersection of Lauderdale Memorial Highway and Walker Valley Road in Charleston. Three ambulances and an EMS supervisor responded to the scene. There were three vehicles involved and one car left the roadway.   One adult man suffered serious injuries and it was determined that he needed ... (click for more)

Chairs Cost How Much?

Many times while growing up, I would go to the store with my parents. More often than not, I would see something I wanted, and ask my parents to buy it for me. More often than not, they said no. “Why?” I asked. “Son, money doesn’t grow on trees.” That’s a phrase I’m sure many of us have heard more than once over the course of our lives. However, I have since learned that they were ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Dear Friend Luther

One sunny morning in June years ago, the renowned radio icon Luther Masingill was on his way back to the WDEF studios on South Broad Street when he stopped for a red light and noticed a young couple in a car idling next to his familiar light blue Ford pickup. “What caught my eye was a buck-toothed boy eating a banana in the back seat,” he explained in an aside to that day’s lunchtime ... (click for more)