A new bill under consideration in Congress would give Gold Star families free access to national parks.
The proposal, backed by Maine lawmakers Rep. Jared Golden and Sen. Angus King, seeks to honor the families of those who died during military service with free entrance to all National Park Service locations and other federally managed public lands.
The bill would do this by making the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Program free for those who qualify, meaning no entrance fees or standard amenity fees.
“After a constituent came to us with the idea for this legislation, I went to work with Senator King to make it a reality,” Golden said in a joint statement with King. “Our bill is common sense: families of fallen servicemembers should have free access to our country’s most treasured places. It’s a simple gesture, but it can make a difference in the lives of Gold Star Families and that’s important. Senator King and I worked across the aisle with Senators Alexander and Daines and Congressman Wittman to introduce our bill in the House and Senate.”
The bill, H.R. 5998, was introduced in the House by Golden and Rep. Rob Wittman of Virginia. King introduced the Senate version, S. 3366, with Senators Lamar Alexander (Tennessee) and Steve Daines (Montana).
According to Congress.gov, H.R. 5998, the Gold Star Families Parks Pass Act, was introduced on Feb. 27 and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Agriculture.
S. 3366, which has the same title, was also introduced Feb. 27 and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.