High fees, short comment period shortchange parks, visitors.
WASHINGTON – The Trump Administration today proposed massive fee increases in 17 national parks, including Yellowstone, Yosemite, Arches and Rocky Mountain, allowing only a 30-day comment period to consider public input.
Over 100 parks currently charge entrance fees, many which were raised by the National Park Service in 2015 and 2016 after an extensive public process. Entrance and recreation fees help support parks and improve the visitor experiences. If done appropriately, fees could be a part of the solution to address the $11.3 billion National Park Service deferred maintenance backlog. However, given the scale of the backlog, fees alone cannot be the answer to this enormous challenge.
The following is a statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO of National Parks Conservation Association:
“We should not increase fees to such a degree as to make these places – protected for all Americans to experience – unaffordable for some families to visit. The solution to our parks’ repair needs cannot and should not be largely shouldered by its visitors.
“The administration just proposed a major cut to the National Park Service budget even as parks struggle with billions of dollars in needed repairs. If the administration wants to support national parks, it needs to walk the walk and work with Congress to address the maintenance backlog.
“A proposal before Congress now, the National Park Service Legacy Act, would establish a more substantial and sustainable investment in our parks. The administration should urge Congress to put this bill on the president’s desk and pass a budget that puts more money, not less, into our national parks.”
About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historic, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.
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Eric BontragerFormer Senior Manager, Communications