THE MATT SCHUBERT COLUMN: Something we Americans can agree on: free entry into national park

CHEAPSKATES OF THE North Olympic Peninsula — unite!

The National Park Service is footing the bill this weekend for anyone looking to enjoy a taste of federally-funded fun at Olympic National Park.

So, thrifty Peninsulites too chintzy to lay down the $30 it takes to purchase an Olympic National Park annual pass, or $15 per vehicle for a single visit (with that fee good for up to seven days of consecutive visits to any park entrance), get their chance to view the Peninsula’s unmatched Eden free of charge.

That’s because the park is waiving all entrance fees on Saturday and Sunday, thanks in part to legal immigration and our country’s undeniable desire to ascribe “Days” to everything under the sun.

In this particular case, Saturday is National Public Lands Day, while Sunday is entrance fee-free in honor of newly naturalized U.S. citizens.

Finally, an immigration policy we can all agree on.

“We invite our neighbors and visitors — and especially any of our newest citizens — to enjoy Olympic during this special weekend,” park superintendent Karen Gustin said in a statement.

“We hope these two days will create lasting memories for our visitors, and the inspiration to enjoy Olympic and other national parks, again and again.”

It should be noted that newly naturalized citizens that identify themselves at entrance stations or visitors centers will receive a welcome packet to the national parks.

There will also be ranger-led education programs will be offered each of these days at Hurricane Ridge, Hoh, Kalaloch and Mora.

Of course, all of the above really shouldn’t matter to anyone reading this column space, given that the $30 annual park pass should be a required purchase for any self-respecting Peninsula resident.

Now, if you’ll kindly allow me to step off my soap box, I’ll proceed with the rest of the column.

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