ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and digital government services provider NIC Inc. (NASDAQ: EGOV) are offering a new paper-free, smartphone-enabled method for visitors to pay recreation fees in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area through a program called “Your Pass Now.”
The National Scenic Area, which protects the scenic, recreational, natural, and cultural resources along an 80-mile stretch of the spectacular Columbia River Gorge, is the first Forest Service unit to offer the new service. It is the fourth location nationwide to allow visitors to pay their fees using Your Pass Now, joining three National Park Service locations – Acadia National Park, Colorado National Monument, and Theodore Roosevelt National Park – that also sell passes using the Your Pass Now online service.
The new pilot program simplifies the process of paying day use fees at Forest Service recreation fee sites in the National Scenic Area by allowing visitors to purchase a pass at www.yourpassnow.com for no additional cost using their personal computer or mobile device. Passes can be purchased directly onsite using their smartphone, and no paperwork is required, thanks to a digital technology that allows rangers to validate license plates online.
“This new method provides the first paper-free, onsite payment option, adding to the diversity of ways that our visitors can pay at fees sites. This makes it more convenient than ever for people to connect with their public lands with the added benefit of streamlining our administrative process,” said National Scenic Area Manager Lynn Burditt.
The online system also allows visitors the option to purchase passes in advance for a specified date, which can then be printed and placed on their dashboard. Fees collected pay for recreation enhancement projects and visitor-related services specific to Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.
“NIC is pleased to work with the U.S. Forest Service to offer passes through Your Pass Now,” said Robert Knapp, NIC’s Chief Operating Officer. “Columbia River Gorge’s inclusion in Your Pass Now is an example of federal agencies working together efficiently to expand the service to visitors through government digital services. We are excited that NIC can assist both the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service with their passes, which help fund conservation and improvement projects.”
Your Pass Now promotes understanding about how fees are used to protect and maintain our nation’s important landmarks. Since Your Pass Now’s launch in January 2016, visitors have purchased thousands of passes using the system. Their purchases contribute to the preservation and maintenance of protected outdoor places throughout the United States.
About NIC Inc.
Founded in 1992, NIC (NASDAQ: EGOV) is the nation's leading provider of official government websites, online services, and secure payment processing solutions. The company's innovative eGovernment services help make government more accessible to everyone through technology. The family of NIC companies provides eGovernment solutions for more than 4,500 federal, state, and local agencies in the United States. Forbes has named NIC as one of the “100 Best Small Companies in America” six times, and the company has been included four times on the Barron’s 400 Index. Additional information is available at http://www.egov.com.
About the U.S. Forest Service
The U.S. Forest Service manages and protects 154 national forests and 20 grasslands in 43 states and Puerto Rico. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Learn more about the USFS at http://www.fs.fed.us/. The Forest Service manages National Forest lands in the National Scenic Area. Learn more at www.fs.usda.gov/crgnsa or follow us on social media at facebook.com/crgnsa or www.twitter.com/crgnsa.
About Your Pass Now
“Your Pass Now” is a pilot program with the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service that allows visitors the opportunity to purchase entrance passes electronically. Your Pass Now streamlines a paper-based purchase process that was previously only available at physical locations or approved resellers. Your Pass Now provides a new level of convenience and flexibility to federal lands’ visitors by delivering entrance passes at the click of a button. For more information, please visit www.yourpassnow.com and follow Your Pass Now on Facebook at www.facebook.com/yourpassnow and Twitter at www.twitter.com/yourpassnow.