Friday, 15 December, 2017

NPS Extends Public Comment Period for Fee Increase

Crane lifting a vault toilet station to move on top of an exposed concrete foundation NPS Extends Public Comment Period for Fee Increase
Sammy Stanley | 24 November, 2017, 01:07

A group of state attorneys general is urging the National Park Service to scrap its proposed entrance fee hike at 17 popular national parks.

The agency proposed a $70 fee for each private, noncommercial vehicle, up from the current fares of $25 to $30.

"Our goal as a nation should be to make our national parks supremely inviting and encourage more families to visit them. All Americans should have access to these lands, especially communities that the Service's surveys show have often been underrepresented, including inner city children and Hispanic-American and African American populations", they said.

A bipartisan coalition of attorneys general on Wednesday called the Trump administration's plan to hike entry fees at national parks a "cruel deception", contending higher prices could force Americans to choose between "beauty and or bread".

Becerra said the fee increase would greatly impact modest-income families.

Park service staff says they wanted to accommodate interest from congress and the public.

According to the proposal of the National Park Service, vehicle entrance fees at popular national parks, including the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite and Joshua Tree National Parks, would increase from 25 or 30 US dollars to 70 usa dollars during the five-month peak season. If approved, the increases would go into effect in 2018.

According to a news release from the National Park Service, the fee increases would be targeted to the five busiest consecutive months of the year.

"The infrastructure of our national parks is aging and in need of renovation and restoration", Zinke said in an October 24 statement. He and other attorneys general from states affected by proposed increases, including Arizona, Oregon and Washington, said if adopted, the move would further exacerbate funding shortfalls by reducing park visitation. It is not known whether the same thing would happen if fees are raised again.

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