The Senate has approved legislation that will allow veterans with service-connected disabilities free lifetime entry to all 419 national parks in the United States. 

The Wounded Veterans Recreation Act was authored by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and passed by the Senate. It now needs approval from the House of Representatives before taking effect. The new bill would amend the current eligibility standards and allow millions of more veterans free access to parks and national land attractions. 

“The brave men and women who have served in our military and have been wounded defending our nation should have free access to our national parks and recreational areas — the American land they fought to protect,” said Senator Collins.

Senator Jon Tester ( D-MT), the top-ranking member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, who for years has been pushing the agenda for freer access to national parks for veterans, was thrilled with the news.