Trump Administration Proposes High Fees at Yellowstone, Yosemite and Other National Parks

Trump Administration Proposes High Fees at Yellowstone, Yosemite and Other National Parks

Denali National Park spokeswoman Katherine Belcher said under the proposal the Denali entry fee would jump threefold.

The National Park Service is considering implementing "peak season pricing" in 17 of the country's most popular parks, proposing an increase to $70 per vehicle.

The five-month contiguous periods would be implemented in three separate phases.

The proposal applies to Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands and Zion in Utah; Yosemite, Sequoia & Kings Canyon and Joshua Tree in California; Grand Teton and Yellowstone in Wyoming; Mount Rainier and Olympic in Washington; Shenandoah in Virginia; Acadia in Maine; Rocky Mountain in Colorado; the Grand Canyon in Arizona; and Denali in Alaska.

A public comment period opens Tuesday and will close on November 23.

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The new fees have reached costs comparable to amusement parks.

Admission prices at certain national parks across the country increased in 2015 after a six-year moratorium on fee increases, PBS reported at the time.

The National Park Service is also proposing entrance and permit fee adjustments for commercial tour operators. A modest increase of a few dollars per vehicle (or motorcycle or person) might be appropriate but the proposed increases are too large, particularly when Congress can reduce funding cuts.

Flagstaff resident Brittany Montague said the proposed increase is "completely unreasonable", especially for young families and those making a day trip to national parks.

Theresa Pierno, president and CEO of National Parks Conservation Association, said the fee hikes would make these popular parks "unaffordable for some families".

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"Targeted fee increases at some of our most-visited parks will help ensure that they are protected and preserved in perpetuity and that visitors enjoy a world-class experience that mirrors the unbelievable destinations they are visiting", Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said in a statement. At others, the hike is $25 to $70.

So on Wednesday, NPS unveiled its latest effort to fill that hole-higher entrance fees at 17 of the most visited sites in the system.

The proposal is aimed at reducing the backlog of maintenance projects at parks all over the United States. "The solution to our parks' fix needs can not and should not be largely shouldered by its visitors", Theresa Pierno, President and CEO of National Parks Conservation Association, said in a statement.

Currently, it costs $20 per vehicle to get into Rocky Mountain National Park, and $10 for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcycles. The cost of the annual America the handsome pass, which provides entrance to all federal lands, would remain $80.

The news of the possible increase did not sit will people who frequent the park.

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Yet, it is impossible to specify inadequate entry procedures without designating the responsible and high risk countries. French wrote that the judges' "job is to assess whether a policy is constitutional, not whether it's prudent or wise".

In fact, in 2016 NPS had a record-breaking 331 million visits, almost eight per cent more than the year before.

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