Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to increase visitor fees

Glen Canyon NRA Increases Entrance Fee

The price hikes are moderate in comparison to the initial amounts proposed in October a year ago by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who suggested that entrance fees for 17 of the most visited parks across the country be increased from $25 to $70.

In fiscal year 2016, the National Park Service collected $199 million in entrance fees. The $80 annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, which allows access to all national parks and more than 1,000 other federal recreation areas for one year.

Its proposal, issued in October, called for much higher peak-season entrance fees for some of the systems most-visited parks, including Glacier.

Increasing entrance fees will help the park service address a almost $12 billion backlog of maintenance projects, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has said.

Said Diane Regas, president of The Trust for Public Land: "Everyone deserves great outdoor experiences, and we're relieved that the administration has scrapped its plan to more than double fees at many of our nation's most spectacular national parks".

The Yosemite National Park posted this image of the Ahwahnee Meadow on February 25, 2017.

"The funds will be used for projects and activities to improve the experience for visitors who continue to visit parks at unprecedented levels", the NPS said. The current rate of $25 per vehicle or $20 per motorcycle has been in effect since June 1, 2017.

Shenandoah National Park has had an entrance fee since 1939. Here in Shenandoah National Park, 80 percent of entrance fees stay in the park and are devoted to spending that supports the visitor.

Increased park attendance has put significant wear and tear on aging park facilities.

Rangers at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park celebrate the free day on August 25, 2015.

The maintenance backlog "isn't going to be solved overnight and will require a multi-tiered approach as we work to provide badly needed revenue to fix infrastructure", Zinke added. The $35 fee applies mostly in the West and will affect such popular parks as Yellowstone, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain and Grand Teton parks, among others.

Critics of the original proposal cited concerns that ordinary Americans would be priced out of visiting the parks. The NPS estimates that once fully implemented, the new fee structure will increase annual entrance fee revenue by about $60 million.

In setting the new fee structure, the NPS grouped fee-charging parks into four categories based on size and type.

Daines said he has introduced legislation to help provide another source of funding for the needed maintenance work.

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