Senators ask to have national park fee increase proposal withdrawn

Senators ask to have national park fee increase proposal withdrawn”

The National Park Service has proposed raising entrance fees to some of its most popular parks [ "Park Service explores dramatic entrance fee hike", news, October 27].

The senators are asking for an analysis and the justification used to establish the proposed rate increase that will let Congress see the rationale and need for it. The current fees range from $25-$30.

Beginning in 2018, entrance fees would jump at Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Denali, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Olympic, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion, Acadia, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain, and Joshua Tree national parks as well as SNP.

Park service officials estimate the new policy would bring in an extra $68 million. It will push our national parks out of reach for many Americans.

The administration is also failing to take into account the contribution the parks make to local economies, the senators wrote.

These steps would assure that funds will be available to address maintenance issues without undermining the very objective of our national parks: "to welcome the American people to the lands set aside for their "use, resort, and recreation", as promised in the original Yosemite Charter of 1864".

I understand the Department's concerns over revenues, and our sub-committee stands ready to assure that revenues generated in our parks through visitations and attendant commerce stay in our parks.

I support a nominal increase in visitor entrance and other park fees for everyone, but not the doubling or more being contemplated.

"The administration should stop subsidizing oil, gas, and coal companies for the exploitation of public resources and instead work to ensure that taxpayers receive a fair value for the commercial use and development of public resources", the senators continued.

Public comment on this proposal is open through November 23, 2017.

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