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.


New York Peace Monument Receives Preservation Facelift

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park announced that the New York Peace Monument is currently receiving a long overdue preservation facelift.   This iconic Civil War memorial located within Point Park, atop Lookout Mountain, last received a thorough cleaning in 1988.  The monument was originally erected in 1907. Gordon Ponsford, a conservator from Acworth, ... (click for more)

Guided Walking Tour Of Snodgrass Hill/Horseshoe Ridge On May 2

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park invites the public to participate in a 2-hour, 2-mile guided walking tour of Snodgrass Hill/Horseshoe Ridge on Saturday, May 2, at 9:30 a.m. The tour will begin at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center and caravan to Snodgrass Hill/Horseshoe Ridge. Officials said, "As the right flank of the Union army collapsed under the ... (click for more)

Pedestrian Struck And Dragged An Estimated 4 Blocks Early Friday Morning Was Levi S. Youster, 22

Early Friday morning the Chattanooga Police Department responded to reports of a pedestrian struck near 400 Cherry Street.   Once on scene, officers found Levi S. Youster, 22,  suffering from serious injuries caused by being dragged by the vehicle an estimated four blocks.   He was transported to a local hospital and is expected to live. Investigators ... (click for more)

Flash Flood Warning Issued For Hamilton County; Cancellations And Road Closings Announced

A flash flood warning has been issued for Hamilton County for Thursday afternoon. It was reported t ramp from I-24 West to Cummings Highway was closed, due to flooding. The Chattanooga Fire Department reported  roads were underwater at 3rd and Roanoke. UTC softball’s Thursday doubleheader with non-conference foe UAB at Frost Stadium has been cancelled due to the ... (click for more)

Proud Of Hometown Boy Turned Global Leader, Bob Corker

Time Magazine has it right.  Not only is Chattanooga’s own U.S. Senator Bob Corker one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World,” but he is probably now the most prominent leader in the history of our city.   At a time of extreme frustration with Washington and Congress in general, Bob continues to rise above the division and rancor to build consensus and solve ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Celebrate Autism’s Victories

As I was getting my salad during lunch at the sixth annual Chattanooga Autism Conference on Friday, a simple question from a friendly kid on the other side of the buffet gave me the answer I was seeking. “Do you have Asperger’s (syndrome),” he asked in a friendly way. I told him no, but that a growing number of folks I admire did, and that’s why I joined a turn-away crowd of ... (click for more)