NIC Federal and Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Launch Digital Passes

Release Date: Feb 14, 2017  

Contact(s): Rachel Pawlitz, 541-308-1744


“Your Pass Now” program allows visitors to pay by smartphone

Hood River, Ore. – Visitors to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area this spring will find a convenient new way to pay their day use fees.

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and digital government services provider NIC Inc. (NASDAQ: EGOV) are offering a new paper-free, smartphone-enabled method that allows visitors to pay the recreation fees on Forest Service sites in the Gorge through a program called “Your Pass Now.”

The National Scenic Area is the first Forest Service unit to offer the new service. It is the fourth federal recreation site 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.

“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 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 http://www.yourpassnow.com for no additional cost using their personal computer or mobile device. Passes can be purchased onsite using their smartphone, and no paperwork is required, thanks to a digital technology that allows rangers to validate license plates online.

 “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” 

The online system also allows visitors the same option, currently available through Discover Your Northwest’s ePass, to purchase passes online in advance which can then be printed and placed on their dashboard.

“There are still benefits to paying for a pass online before you head out to one of our recreation sites. Reception may be spotty and in general we encourage people to plan ahead and avoid relying on cell phones and GPS for navigation. That said, you can’t beat the convenience of having this option once you reach the site,” said Rachel Pawlitz, public affairs officer for the scenic area.

Fees collected pay for recreation enhancement projects and visitor-related services specific to Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. 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.

###

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area encompasses 292,500 acres of Washington and Oregon, where the Columbia River cuts a spectacular river canyon through the Cascade Mountains. The USDA Forest Service manages National Forest lands in the National Scenic Area and works with the Gorge Commission, states, counties, treaty tribes, and partners to protect and enhance scenic, natural, cultural, and recreational resources of the Columbia River Gorge while encouraging local economic development consistent with that protection. Learn more about Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area 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.

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.





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/crgnsa/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD532535