22-072 Military Veterans and Gold Star Families have a new interagency pass option to access public lands

Published Nov. 14, 2022

AHSAHKA, Idaho – The Biden-Harris administration announced that starting on Veterans Day (Nov. 11), veterans of the U.S. Armed Services and Gold Star Families can obtain a free lifetime pass to access thousands of federal recreation day use sites spread out across more than 400 million acres of public lands, including national parks, wildlife refuges, and forests.

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and our federal teammates are proud to honor our veterans with free lifetime access to more than 2,500 federal recreation areas across the nation,” said Lt. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commanding general. “This is a small token of appreciation for veterans who have bravely dedicated their lives to defending our freedom.”

In order to obtain a lifetime pass when visiting one of the federal recreation sites, veterans can present one of the four forms of acceptable ID:

  • Department of Defense ID Card
  • Veteran Health ID (VHIC)
  • Veteran ID Card
  • Veteran’s designation on a state-issued U.S. driver’s license or ID card

The pass can also be obtained by visiting https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/pickup-pass-locations.htm. Gold Star Families can obtain information, self-certify that they qualify, and download a voucher by visiting the U.S. Geological Survey’s online store at https://store.usgs.gov.   

The lifetime Veterans and Gold Star Families pass allows for free access to day use areas at USACE and all federally managed sites. There is no discount to camping or overnight fees in federal areas with the Veterans pass. Other lifetime passes that offer camping discounts include the Senior Pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents over age 62 and an Access Pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a permanent disability. More information is available at https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm

USACE is one of the leading federal providers of outdoor and water-based recreation, hosting millions of visits annually to its more than 400 lake and river projects. It’s estimated that 90 percent of the USACE-operated recreation areas are within 50 miles of metropolitan areas, offering diverse outdoor activities for all ages close to home.

These passes will be available at the Dworshak Dam Visitor Center when they become available. For answers to questions on this new pass option or other inquiries please call 208-476-1255.


Release no. 22-071