National Wildlife Refuge System

Fee Free Days in 2012

Kayaking on Laguna Atascosa Refuge, TX
Kayaking on Laguna Atascosa Refuge, TX
Credit: Ty D. Hume

To encourage Americans to explore America’s natural beauty, rich history and culture, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced fee free days in 2012, including Martin Luther King Jr. weekend January 14 – 16.

On these fee-free days and weekends, national wildlife refuges that charge a fee – as well as other public lands within the Department of the Interior – will waive entrance fees.

    • January 14-16 (Martin Luther King Jr. weekend),
    • June 9 (Get Outdoors Day),
    • September 29 (National Public Lands Day),
    • October 14 (in recognition of National Wildlife Refuge Week) and
    • November 10-12 (Veterans Day weekend).

“From Independence Hall to our newest national park, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, our national parks tell the story of America, from the beauty of our land to our struggle for freedom and justice,” Secretary Salazar said. “Whether or not it’s during one of the 17 fee free days next year, I encourage everyone to visit a park near them and enjoy the remarkable landscapes and historical and cultural sites that are unique to our great country.”

Salazar emphasized that our national parks and public lands serve as an economic engine for many local communities, supports jobs and driving tourism. Recreation in national parks, refuges, and other public lands fueled nearly $55 billion in economic activity and supported 440,000 jobs in 2009.

Many park-related hotels, restaurants, gift shops, and tour operators will offer specials on fee free days. Refuges and hatcheries have the option to waive use fees.

Last updated: January 13, 2012