August 4, 2022 - 6:00 am
Yes, it’s true. You can go to Lake Mead and Red Rock Canyon for free today.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area and Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area are offering free admission Thursday in celebration of the two-year anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act.
All fee-collecting public lands managed by the Department of the Interior are waiving entrance fees. But fees for camping, group day use, use of special areas and cabin rentals are still in place.
— Lake Mead (@lakemeadnps) August 3, 2022
The Great American Outdoors Act is billed as the single largest investment in public land in U.S. history. The law provides funding up to $1.9 billion a year for five years for overdue infrastructure maintenance in national parks, Bureau of Indian Education-funded schools and public lands.
“The Great American Outdoors Act is essential to conserving, restoring and protecting lands and waters across the nation to help address the climate and biodiversity crises, increase equitable access to the great outdoors and strengthen the economy,” said DOI Secretary Deb Haaland in a news release. “I encourage everyone to experience the beauty and bounty of our nation’s public lands – not just on August 4 but every day of the year.”
Nevada receives more than $4 million annually for the Land and Water Conservation Fund through the GAOA for outdoor recreation and resource conservation programs in the state. The funding is almost double what the fund received in past years, according to the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
“The existing network of roads, trails, restrooms, campgrounds, water treatment systems, and visitor facilities are aging, and many exceed a capacity they were not designed to support,” Lake Mead National Park Service wrote in a Facebook post. “GAOA will fund critical infrastructure projects to support continued preservation, accessibility, and enjoyment of our national parks.”
In Fiscal Year 2021, GAOA funds supported over $1 million worth of projects in Nevada through the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund. $121,000 was invested into replacing a septic tank at Red Rock Canyon to accommodate for the increase in visitors, and $900,000 went toward radio infrastructure across the state to create a reliable communication system to support the Bureau of Land Managements’s fire suppression, emergency responses and law enforcement efforts, according to the Department of the Interior.