Medicine

Comment period extended on proposed national park fee increase

Comment period extended on proposed national park fee increase

"Our goal as a nation should be to make our national parks supremely inviting and encourage more families to visit them".

Fee increases are expected to generate an additional $70 million in park revenue per year, according to the National Park Service. Motorcycle fees would double or triple in some cases, from the current $15 to $25, to $50.

The National Park Service will give people an extra month to comment on a proposal to increase park entrance fees. Individual entry fees would go up from $15 to $30.

In addition to Glacier and Yellowstone, parks on the list include Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Denali, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Olympic, Sequoia & Kings Canyon, Yosemite, Zion, Acadia, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain, Shenandoah and Joshua Tree National Parks.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke introduced the proposal on October 24, saying the hike would be a boon to the park service's estimated $11.3 billion deferred-maintenance shortfall.

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There's more comment time on a proposed fee increase at 17 of the most popular national parks.

"We need to have a vision to look at the future of our parks and take action in order to ensure that our grandkids' grandkids will have the same if not better experience than we have today", Zinke said in a statement.

Other attorney generals who have joined Attorney General Becerra in the letter are the Attorneys General of Arizona, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

A public comment period on the proposal runs until November 23, 2017 on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website. The NPS said it would help pay for a backlog of maintenance for parks.

NPS's stated justification for the fee increase is to address the serious maintenance backlog facing the national park system. It is not known whether the same thing would happen if fees are raised again.