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In celebration of President Trump’s signing of the Great American Outdoors Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced August 5, 2020, as a fee-free day for national wildlife refuges, joining other public lands administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior. U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt also announced that every August 4 will be designated “Great American Outdoors Day,” which will be a free entrance day to celebrate the signing of this landmark legislation.

“President Trump has just enacted the most consequential dedicated funding for national parks, wildlife refuges, public recreation facilities and American Indian school infrastructure in U.S. history,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “I’ve designated August 4 as Great American Outdoors Day and waived entrance fees to celebrate the passage of this historic conservation law.”

“What better way to celebrate President Trump’s historic conservation achievement than enabling millions of Americans the opportunity to experience wildlife and to enjoy the outdoors for free at our national wildlife refuges every year on August 4,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith.

Across America, national wildlife refuges offer unparalleled opportunities to experience the great outdoors amid scenic beauty. The nation’s refuges are awe-inspiring landscapes that range from Oregon’s rocky cliffs to Texas’ lagoons, from Maine’s wilderness to woods and fields inside the city of Philadelphia. The 33 refuges that normally charge entrance fees will now offer free admission annually on August 4 to commemorate this historic achievement. The remaining fee-free days during 2020 on these refuges are September 26, National Public Lands Day; October 11, the first Sunday of National Wildlife Refuge Week; and November 11, Veterans Day.

The fee-free days do not cover concessionaire or permit fees for some activities such as hunting, fishing or special tours. Every state and U.S. territory has at least one national wildlife refuge, and there is one within an hour’s drive of most major metropolitan areas. Use the online zip code locator to find one close to you.

The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the world’s largest network of conservation lands, encompassing 568 refuges and 38 wetland management districts. Nearly 500 national wildlife refuges and wetland management districts are open to the public, hosting some 53 million visits every year.

For more information about your local refuge and other upcoming fee-free days and to plan your visit, check out https://www.fws.gov/refuges/find-a-wildlife-refuge/.  

The Department of the Interior and the Service continue to urge visitors to do their part when visiting a refuge or hatchery to follow CDC guidance by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other people; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwshq, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq.  

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