Fees Could Double at Most Popular National Parks

Revenue increase needed for aging infrastructure: NPS
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2017 9:06 AM CDT
Fees Could Double at Most Popular National Parks
This Jan. 14, 2015 file photo shows El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, Calif.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

With the Trump administration planning to slash the National Park Service's budget, a new proposal could see entrance fees for 17 of the most-visited national parks in the country more than double during peak months. In an effort to boost revenue to pay "for improvements to the aging infrastructure of national parks," the Department of Interior has proposed increasing entrance fees from $25 to $30 for a private non-commercial vehicle to $70 during the busiest five-month period at parks including Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Glacier, Denali, and Mount Rainier, reports KTLA. Pedestrians would be charged $30, up from $10 to $15, increasing revenue by an estimated $70 million per year, according to a release.

Under the proposal, which would be instituted beginning in 2018, an annual park pass would cost $75, while a pass permitting entry to all US national parks would remain at its current $80 fee. The park service is accepting public comments on the proposal until Nov. 23 but has already come under fire. 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." The costs of repairs to a park "cannot and should not be largely shouldered by its visitors," she adds in a statement, per CNN, expressing concern that the change would make parks "unaffordable." (More National Park Service stories.)

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