DOINews: NPS: Outdoor Recreation Information Center Staff Distribute Military Passes at Local Base

Last edited 09/05/2019
A soldier signing up for a pass to visit public lands.
A soldier signs up for a pass to visit public lands. Photo by NPS.

The Outdoor Recreation Information Center in Seattle, an interagency public lands office comprising staff from the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Washington State Parks, had another successful outreach event this year at Joint Base Lewis-McChord for Armed Forces Day on Saturday, May 17.

David Minaglia represented the NPS and was joined by Kai Bauer from Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Bauer is a former soldier who was once at stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The pair issued 132 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Military Passes at the event and had more than 300 direct contacts for the seven hours they were there. At last year's event they issued 200 passes.

In conversations with soldiers, Minaglia and Bauer found that many of them already had their interagency military pass from recent visits to other national parks and forests.

Everyone was happy to see the team from ORIC and talk about the many public lands in Washington state. The State Department of Fish & Wildlife also joined the event and provided excellent information on hunting and fishing opportunities, along with some information on state park passes.

The turnout at the event was high, estimated to be about 15,000 people. The venue had a great variety of diversity across generations, genders, and ethnicities.

The recreation staff at the base were very accommodating and generous, offering their tent canopy space and providing tables and chairs. They continue to help spread the word about the military pass on a day-to-day basis with the work they do.

This story by Jacqueline Ashwell appears in the June 3 edition of InsideNPS.

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