To submit written comments, mail comments to National Park Service, Recreation Fee Program, 1849 C Street, NW, Mail Stop: 2346 Washington, DC 20240.
The Trump administration's plan to shore up funding for the National Park Service by more than doubling visitor fees, while cutting the agency's annual budget, is meeting resistance from a number of Democrats, conservationists and social-justice advocates.
The park service estimated deferred maintenance across its parks at $11.3 billion as of September 2016, down from $11.9 billion in 2015.
The higher cost may keep some visitors away, but it's not clear how the new fee increases will affect overall park attendance.
"We should be encouraging more people to get outdoors and enjoy our great natural wonders instead of discouraging them by raising park entrance fees". At others, the hike is $25 to $70. Almost 6 million people visited the Grand Canyon a year ago.
Under the new proposal, each vehicle would be charged $70 to enter the park, or almost three times as much as the current $25 fee, during peak season.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement that the price bump "will help ensure that [the parks] are protected and preserved in perpetuity and that visitors enjoy a world-class experience that mirrors the wonderful destinations they are visiting".
To address the substantial maintenance backlog at many national parks, the National Park Service has announced a peak season entrance fee proposal today. But public land isn't a pure economic commodity. "Shoring up our parks' aging infrastructure will do that". "But it's important to ask whether these approaches are being done through an equity lens. At a time when there is record visitation in our National Parks, there should be adequate financial support by the Administration and the Congress".
"Our national parks are something that are treasured in our nation and at 70 bucks per vehicle you are leaving people out of the ability to enjoy our national parks", says Khan. "Glacier and Yellowstone should be accessible to all of us". The fee would allow access to the park for a year.
It might become three times more expensive to visit Mt. It'd basically be a trickle-down economic structure for the NPS. "It's like saying, Well, you're already poor, so you weren't going to come anyway", he says.
"We're doing the best that we can to monitor maintenance.to prioritize to fix what needs to be fixed most", he said.
For instance, Zion National Park's proposal of a reservation system could help alleviate numbers and could be an option for many other overcrowded parks during their peak seasons.
This runs counter to goals laid out by the NPS's Office of Relevancy, Diversity, and Inclusion.
What's behind the potential price hike? "These are public lands; they're not amusement parks".
However, many Montanans are angry about the increase saying it will make the parks less accessible for locals and the funding to fix parks should come from Congress. Putting the onus on visitors won't solve it, either. National Park Service officials said the cuts would lead to service reductions for visitors and increase the workload of its employees. And that's just 10 percent of the total maintenance backlog.