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Shaheen, Collins Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill to Increase Access to National Parks & Federal Lands for Disabled Veterans

(Washington, DC) – Yesterday, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) reintroduced their bipartisan bill, the Wounded Veterans Recreation Act, which would make all veterans with service-connected disabilities eligible for a free, lifetime entry to United States national parks and other federal lands. 

“Our veterans deserve access to the public lands they sacrificed to protect,” said Senator Shaheen. “This bipartisan bill would allow our brave military men and women living with service-related disabilities the opportunity to experience our federal parks and lands, which can play an important role in their rehabilitation. New Hampshire is home to a number of these beautiful spaces, and this legislation would help open the door for more of our veterans to visit and enjoy our state’s natural beauty.” 

“The brave men and women who have served in our military and have been wounded defending our nation should 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 would allow disabled veterans to more easily access our country’s national treasures for outdoor recreation, which can help heal both the visible and invisible wounds of war.” 

Under the 2004 Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA), veterans need to be classified as having a 100 percent permanent disability in order to be eligible for a free National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. Shaheen and Collins’ bill would amend this law so all veterans with service-related disabilities would be eligible for a free, lifetime pass to national parks and federal lands. 

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