The Department of Interior and Dr. Jill Biden today announced plans to offer free National Parks and Federal recreation lands passes to active duty service members and their families. Beginning on Armed Forces Day the passes will be valid on all public lands.
In response, Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, issued the following statement:
“The Sierra Club applauds the Obama administration for giving service members and their families free access to our National Parks and public lands. This investment helps lower the financial barriers standing between our military heroes and the benefits of reconnecting with their family and friends on land that they have fought to protect.
“America is home to some of the most beautiful and inspiring landscapes in the world. Our public lands offer essential opportunities for military members and all American families to bond, unwind, heal or simply enjoy.
“We’re honored to support the administration’s Joining Forces initiative and build on today’s announcement. Through our Missions Outdoors program, the Sierra Club has helped get over 50,000 military kids outdoors, and we’re working to improve outdoor services and expand opportunities for service members, veterans, and their families. The Sierra Club is also working with the University of Michigan to research the effects of the outdoors on veterans’ mental health. We believe strongly in the benefits of getting outside and are pleased that the Obama administration has recognized those benefits as well.”