U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt today announced at the Iowa Gold Star Museum that U.S. Military veterans and Gold Star families will be granted free access to national parks, wildlife refuges, and other federal lands managed by the Department of the Interior beginning on Veterans Day (November 11) this year and every day thereafter.

Secretary Bernhardt’s announcement, made on behalf of the Trump Administration, came following the signing of a Presidential Executive Order. The Secretary was accompanied at the Museum in Des Moines by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

The move means free access for blinded veterans to approximately 2,000 public areas spread out across more than 400 million acres. The public lands provide opportunities that fit a variety of lifestyles from serene to high energy, including hiking, fishing, paddling, biking, hunting, stargazing, climbing, and simply experiencing the natural wonders of the United States.

An Interior Department press release provides additional information about the announcement and comments from spokespersons for veterans as well as organizations such as Team River Runner, the latter of which has hosted several BVA Operation Peer Support kayaking activities for blinded veterans throughout the years in many locations. Please click here to access the release.