January 12, 2018 - WASHINGTON – In order to increase recreational access to public land, the Bureau of Land Management will waive recreation-related fees for visitors to public lands on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 15, 2018.
"On Monday, to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the BLM invites families to spend the day together enjoying America's rich public lands heritage," said Brain Steed, BLM Deputy Director. "Most of these lands are just a short drive from your community. Our fee-free days are a way to encourage our neighbors to enjoy a family outing while reflecting on the American values that have made America great."
(Left) Merced River in Mariposa County - Credit: Bob Wick, BLM
Site-specific standard amenity and individual day-use fees at BLM-managed recreation sites and areas will be waived for the day. Other fees, such as overnight camping, cabin rentals, group day use and use of special areas, will remain in effect.
BLM-managed public lands offer more recreational opportunities than any other federal agency, including camping, hunting, fishing and horseback riding, to boating, whitewater rafting, off-highway vehicle driving and many more activities. About 67 million visits are made annually to BLM-managed lands and waters, supporting more than 48,000 jobs nationwide and contributing almost $7 billion to the country’s economy.
The BLM will waive recreation-related fees for visitors to public lands on four additional occasions this year— Presidents Day (February 19), National Get Outdoors Day (June 9), National Public Lands Day (September 22) and Veterans Day (November 11).
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America's public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $75 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2016 - more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 372,000 jobs.