WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Carol Miller (R-WV) joined House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-AR) and 133 of her House colleagues to introduce the bipartisan Veterans in Parks (VIP) Act. This legislation would grant current military service members, veterans, and Gold Star Families free annual and lifetime America the Beautiful Passes so they can access America’s national parks at no cost.
“I am honored to join my colleagues to introduce the VIP Act in support of America’s heroes and Gold Star Families,” said Congresswoman Miller. “Service members and military families represent the best of this nation. They bravely answer the call to service and all too often pay the ultimate price for our freedoms. I can think of no groups more deserving than our veterans and Gold Star Families to enjoy lifetime access to America’s national parks, including the beautiful New River Gorge National Park in southern West Virginia.”
The America the Beautiful Pass provides access to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks, national forests, and wildlife refuges. In 2020, the America the Beautiful annual pass became free for veterans and Gold Star Families. However, this change has never been codified and could be undone. The VIP Act would make these lifetime passes instead of annual passes, as well as create annual passes for current service members, which can be converted into lifetime passes once they leave the military.