Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill Led by Shaheen & Collins Ensuring Access to National Parks for Disabled Veterans Signed into Law

December 04, 2020

 **The Wounded Veterans Recreation Act ensures lifetime National Parks passes for all veterans with service-related disabilities**

(Washington, DC) – The Wounded Veterans Recreation Act – bipartisan, bicameral legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) – was signed into law yesterday. The Wounded Veterans Recreation Act will ensure free lifetime entry to U.S. national parks and other federal lands for all veterans who incurred or aggravated disabilities while serving in the U.S. military. 

Under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA), individuals must be classified as having a permanent disability in order to be eligible for a free National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, leaving uncertainty as to whether all wounded veterans have access to this program. The Wounded Veterans Recreation Act clarifies the current statute to ensure that these heroes always have access to America’s outdoor recreational lands.

“This new law is just one way to show our appreciation for our veterans, who have sacrificed so much for this country. Access to our parks and lands is helpful to many veterans with rehabilitation, so I’m very happy to see our bipartisan effort to ensure that access – free of charge – become law,” said Senator Shaheen. “We owe our veterans the very best when they come home to help them build safe, healthy and happy lives. I look forward to building on the bipartisan spirit that gave way to this new law so we can continue to deliver for our veterans.”

“The brave men and women who have served in our military and have been wounded defending our nation should always have free access to our national parks and recreational areas – the American land they fought to protect,” said Senator Collins. “From Acadia to Denali, and everywhere in between, this legislation will ensure that disabled veterans can continue to access our country’s national treasures for outdoor recreation, which can help heal both the visible and invisible wounds of war.”

The text of the Wounded Veterans Recreation Act can be read here.