National Parks Plan 3 Free Summer Weekends
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 2, 2009 2:28 PM CDT
A group of bison block a lane of traffic in Yellowstone National Park.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The National Park Service is looking to stimulate summer vacations, with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announcing today that entrance fees at 147 national parks and monuments—including the Grand Canyon and Yosemite—will be waived on three weekends this summer: June 20-21, July 18-19, and Aug. 15-16. “During these tough economic times, our national parks provide opportunities for affordable vacations for families," Salazar said.

"I encourage everyone to visit one of our nation's crown jewels this summer and especially to take advantage of the three free-admission weekends," Salazar continued. For the Park Service, the free weekends will mean a loss of an estimated half-million dollars a day—though a spokeswoman said that revenue should be more than offset by an increase in park tourism.