Lake Mead, Purple Rock Canyon waiving charges to rejoice outdoor act

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Yes, it is 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 toll public lands managed by the Ministry of the Interior waive entrance fees. However, fees for camping, group day use, use of special areas, and cabin rentals still apply.

Thursday, August 4th is the anniversary of the #GreatAmericanOutdoorsAct (GAOA). We’re celebrating this by offering free entry to the #LakeMeadNationalRecreationArea on 8/4/22!

GAOA helps national parks with major infrastructure repairs. More: https://t.co/zT2QODKMkW pic.twitter.com/vwNDAn9bWP

— Lake Mead (@lakemeadnps) August 3, 2022

The Great American Outdoors Act is considered the largest single public land investment in US history. The law provides funding of up to $1.9 billion per year for five years for overdue maintenance of infrastructure at national parks, Bureau of Indian Education-funded schools and public lands.

“The Great American Outdoors Act is essential to the conservation, restoration, and protection of lands and waters across the country to address the climate and biodiversity crises, improve equitable access to the great outdoors, and strengthen the economy,” said DOI- Secretary Deb Haaland in a news publication. “I encourage everyone to experience the beauty and bounty of our nation’s public lands — not just on August 4th, but every day of the year.”

Nevada receives more than $4 million annually through the GAOA’s Land and Water Conservation Fund for outdoor recreation and resource conservation programs in the state. Funding is nearly double what it has been in previous 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 are exceeding capacity for which they were not designed,” the Lake Mead National Park Service wrote in a Facebook post. “GAOA will fund critical infrastructure projects to support the continued conservation, accessibility and enjoyment of our national parks.”

In fiscal year 2021, GAOA funds supported over $1 million in projects in Nevada through the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund. $121,000 was invested in replacing a septic tank at Red Rock Canyon to accommodate increased visitor numbers, and $900,000 went into wireless infrastructure statewide to provide a reliable communications system to support firefighting, emergency response, and law enforcement the Bureau of Land Management efforts to establish, according to the Interior Ministry.

Contact Taylor Lane at [email protected] Follow @tmflane on Twitter.