Forest Service Decides Not to Reduce Senior
Citizens’ 50 Percent Discount to Campgrounds
Senior Pass costs just $10 for lifetime of
discounts at all Federal recreation sites that charge
March 23, 2010 – Senior citizens and the disabled
will continue to receive a discount at Forest Service campgrounds run by
private concessions after USDA Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell decided
not to implement proposed changes to fees charged to holders of passes.
The Forest Service had proposed changes to
discounts provided to holders of Golden Age and Golden Access Passports
and Senior and Access Passes.
Under the proposal, discounts at
concession-operated campgrounds would have changed from the current 50
percent to 10 percent. Officials of the Forest Service argued originally
argued that the reduction in the discount was necessary to keep
concessionaires from raising fees for other campground users as the
number of senior citizens continues to increase. They said it would
ensure access stays fair for all Americans.
After considering many public comments, the Chief
determined the proposed changes are not the best way to address growing
challenges regarding services provided by private businesses at Forest
Service recreation facilities.
“Each year more than 175 million people enjoy
recreational opportunities on National Forests and Grasslands, and that
includes more than 15 million visits to our campgrounds,” said Forest
Service Chief Tom Tidwell.
“Particularly in these difficult economic times, it
is very important to maintain affordable access to our National Forests
and Grasslands, giving people easy ways to recreate and find respite in
the great outdoors.”
The Chief’s decision leaves in place a 50 percent
discount at campgrounds run by private concessions for holders of Golden
Age and Golden Access Passports and Interagency Senior and Access
Passes. Concessioners are not required to accept passes at day use
Seniors age 62 and older pay a one-time $10 fee
for the Senior Pass. Lifetime Access Passes for people with disabilities
The Forest Service conducted a 60-day public notice
and comment period on the proposed changes. More than 4,000 comments
About Senior Discount Cards
The senior discount card (Interagency Senior Pass)
is only $10 and is good for your lifetime. It is honored at all Forest
Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of
Reclamation, and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging entrance or
standard amenity fees.
It is for U.S. citizens or permanent residents age
62 or over.
The pass provides access to, and use of, Federal
recreation sites that charge an Entrance or Standard Amenity. The pass
admits the pass holder and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per
vehicle fee areas and pass holder + 3 adults, not to exceed 4 adults, at
per person fee areas (children under 16 are admitted free).
The pass can only be obtained in person at a
The Senior Pass provides a 50 percent discount on
some Expanded Amenity Fees charged for facilities and services such as
camping, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services.
In some cases where Expanded Amenity Fees are charged, only the pass
holder will be given the 50 percent price reduction.
The pass is non-transferable and generally does NOT
cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by
About Senior Discount Card
About other Discount Cards
There are various discount cards offered by Forest
Service and other government organizations and one of the other cards
may better suit the needs of some senior citizens. >>
Compare Discount Cards
About the Forest Service
The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to
sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests
and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The
agency manages 193 million acres of National Forest System land,
provides stewardship assistance to non-federal forest landowners, and
maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. For
more information, visit: