Tester Asks Zinke to Support Lifetime National Park Pass for Veterans
Senator Highlights Bill to Create Veteran Lifetime Pass As Interior Department Seeks Entrance Fee Hike at National Parks
(U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester is asking Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to support the creation of a lifetime national park pass allowing America's veterans to enter all of the nation's National Park Service sites.
Tester has introduced a bipartisan bill with Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) to allow veterans to purchase a lifetime pass good for all federal sites for a discounted, one-time fee.
Tester's request to Zinke comes on the heels of the Interior Department's controversial proposal to dramatically increase entrance fees at national parks across the country next year.
"It is critically important that we reduce the barriers veterans face when accessing our National Parks and public lands," Tester and Risch wrote to Zinke. "We look forward to working with the Department of Interior as your advance initiatives to ensure that more veterans are able to experience these treasured places."
In his letter, Tester shares Zinke's sentiment that National Park Service sites and public lands provide veterans with a "healing opportunity for their physical and emotional wounds" from their service.
Tester last week blasted the Interior Department's plan to more than double national park entrance fees for Glacier and Yellowstone, and encouraged Montanans to weigh in during the public comment period that runs until November 23rd.
Montanans wishing to offer public comment can do so HERE.
Tester's letter to Zinke is available HERE.