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NPS Proposes Targeted Fee Increases at Parks to Address Maintenance Backlog

NPS Proposes Targeted Fee Increases at Parks to Address Maintenance Backlog

Next summer, if you drive into Olympic National Park or Mount Rainier, you may have to pay a new $70 entrance fee. The proposed increase per person is from $10 to $30. An annual America The Beautiful pass would still cost $80.

The park service counted a record number of crowds during its 100th anniversary in 2016.

All CUA fees stay within the collecting park and would fund rehabilitation projects for buildings, facilities, parking lots, roads, and wayside exhibits that would enhance the visitor experience.

The increased fees would apply at 17 national parks across the country, including Grand Canyon National Park and Yellowstone National Park. "Our concern is that we don't want to price people out of the parks". Noting the Trump administration "just proposed a major cut to the National Park Service budget", the president of the National Parks Conservation Association says administration officials must "work with Congress to address the maintenance backlog".

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"At this funding level, almost 90 percent of parks would reduce their current staffing levels, leading to a reduction in services to the public", officials said in their 2018 budget justifications document. To submit written comments, mail comments to National Park Service, Recreation Fee Program, 1849 C Street, NW, Mail Stop: 2346 Washington, DC 20240.

In a press release sent yesterday, the National Park Service (NPS) revealed it is considering increasing visitor fees at its most popular parks during peak season. "Targeted fee increases at some of our most-visited parks will help ensure that they are protected and preserved in perpetuity and that visitors enjoy a world-class experience that mirrors the incredible destinations they are visiting".

Some of the 17 parks with increased fees include are Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Shenandoah, and Joshua Tree. The proposal would increase entrance fees for commercial operators and standardize commercial use authorization requirements for road-based tours, including application and management fees. A 30-day public comment period will open October 24 and end on November 23.

People watch as waves crash against rocks at Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park.


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