A free, lifetime pass is available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States that have been medically determined to have a permanent disability (does not have to be a 100 percent disability). It provides access to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by five Federal agencies.
At many sites the Access Pass provides the pass owner a discount on Expanded Amenity Fees (such as camping, swimming, boat launching, and guided tours).
The Access Pass admits pass owner/s and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per-vehicle fee areas and pass owner + 3 adults, not to exceed 4 adults, where per-person fees are charged. (Children under 16 are always admitted free.)
Photo identification will be requested to verify pass ownership. One pass covers the vehicle at sites that charge “per vehicle”. At “per person” sites, the applicable fee will be charged for each additional person
Holders of the lifetime Golden Age Passports need not obtain the new access pass until theirs physically wear out or a replacement is needed.
You can obtain at http://store.usgs.gov/pass/PassIssuanceList.pdf an Access Pass in person, with proper documentation, from a participating Federal recreation site or office. Issue locations are identified at.
Access Passes may also be obtained via mail order from USGS. Mail-order applicants for the Access Pass must submit a completed application (http://store.usgs.gov/pass/access_pass_application.pdf), proof of residency and documentation of permanent disability (does not have to be a 100 percent disability), and pay the document processing fee of $10 to obtain a pass through the mail.
Once the application package is received, the documentation will be verified and a pass, with the pass owner’s name pre-printed on it, will be issued to the applicant.
Access Pass applications are usually processed and shipped within 3-5 business days from the day they arrive at USGS. Transit time varies, and is dependent upon the service selected.
Access Passes may be used for free entrance to areas under the management of The Forest Service, the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, USACE, and Bureau of Reclamation honor the Access Pass at sites where Entrance or Standard Amenity Fees (Day use fees) are charged.
In addition, the Tennessee Valley Authority may honor the Access Pass for entrance or camping discounts.
• Bureau of Land Management http://www.blm.gov
• Bureau of Reclamation http://www.usbr.gov
• Fish and Wildlife Service http://www.fws.gov
• USDA Forest Service http://www.fs.fed.us
• National Park Service http://www.nps.gov
• US Corps of Engineers http://www.usace.army.mil
For more information refer to http://store.usgs.gov/pass/access.html (Source: NCOAdvocate | July 1, 2016)
Thomas Crisp is a retired military officer from Whitmire. His veterans updates can be found weekly in The Newberry Observer.