Legislation Authored by Senators Collins, Shaheen to Increase Access to National Parks & Federal Lands for Disabled Veterans Advances

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) announced today that the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources has voted to advance the Wounded Veterans Recreation Act, legislation they introduced earlier this year that would make all veterans with service-connected disabilities eligible for a free, lifetime entry to United States national parks and other federal lands.  Their bill now heads to the floor for consideration by the full Senate.

 

“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. The Wounded Veterans Recreation Act 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.