The Bureau of Land Management has temporarily suspended the collection of all entrance fees to encourage outdoor recreation during the coronavirus outbreak.
Other fees — such as overnight camping, cabin rentals, group day use, and use of special areas — will remain in effect.
In an effort to support social distancing, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other states and municipalities recently made similar announcements to temporarily suspend entrance fees at parks, refuges and other public recreation sites.
The announcements drew a rebuke from a representative of a group for national park retirees.
“We should not be encouraging more visitation to our national parks,” said Phil Francis, chair of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks, in a press release. “It is irresponsible to urge people to visit national park sites when gathering at other public spaces is no longer considered safe.”
Francis said his group is concerned that waiving entrance fees may lead to overcrowding and a greater risk of coronavirus transmission to park workers and visitors.
The BLM is encouraging the public to adhere to public health guidance and noted that many indoor facilities may be closed.