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The National Park Service calls the Chaco Culture National Historic Park—140 mile from Placitas—the center of the Center of the Ancient World. Home to the ancestors of the modern pueblo cultures, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge on the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington. An 11-mile roundtrip beach hike leads to the Dungeness Spit Lighthouse on the longest natural spit in the country.

Olympic National Park on the northwest coast of Washington covers multiple climate zones from Pacific beaches and rainforests to peaks rising nearly 8,000 feet above sea level. Perpetual snow fields and 15 major glaciers crown the mountains.

Seniors face deadline to save on Federal park passes

~Signpost Staff

It's been brewing for a while, but last month it became official: on August 28, 2017, the cost of a lifetime Senior Pass to more than two thousand federal parks, refuges, and recreation sites is going up by eight hundred percent.

The change, authorized by Congress in December, boosts the price of the $10 lifetime pass to $80. Passes bought before August 28, including the previously discontinued Golden Age Pass, will remain valid for admission, day-use, and discounts on some amenity fees at sites operated by six federal agencies. Those are the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers.

The pass covers a driver and passengers in a single vehicle or up to four adults where fees are per-person.

The increased revenue estimated at $37 million the first year will be applied to improving park and site experiences. That will help address the backlog of maintenance projects, according to the National Park Service

The last price increase for the lifetime Senior Pass came in 1994.

To be eligible you must be at least 62 and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and present proof of age and residency. The passes are sold at most federal recreation sites that charge entrance or day-use fees—nearly sixty in New Mexico—and in some regional offices such as the Forest Service and BLM offices in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

They also are available by mail (postmarked before August 28) and online for an additional $10 processing fee with a current wait time of about 12 weeks due to increased demand. Separately $20 buys an annual Senior Pass, which, collected over four years, can be turned in for a lifetime pass.

Additional information on various passes, mail and online ordering, how fees are used, and sites and offices where passes are sold can be found online at www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.
 
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