National Park Service formalizes reduced hike in entrance fees

  • National Park Service formalizes reduced hike in entrance fees

National Park Service formalizes reduced hike in entrance fees

NPS will also be keeping 80 percent of the revenue from the fee increases within each national park that collects it.

Theresa Pierno, president and CEO of the National Park Conservation Association, hailed the revised plan.

Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell, top Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said she was glad Zinke "abandoned his reckless plan to nearly triple park fees on American families", but said the new plan lacks transparency or a full analysis of the impact fee hikes will have on park visitation and local economies.

The plan announced Thursday sets a $5 increase for all parks that charge entrance fees.

Instead, the Park Service will spread a more modest increase out across 117 parks, instead of charging more at the 17 most-visited parks like Glacier and Yellowstone. "The administration's move to abandon its original proposal in favor of more measured fee increases will put additional funds into enhancing park experiences without threatening visitation or local economies".

In January of 2020, it will go up another $5.

The price of the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass and Lifetime Senior Pass will remain $80. In his statement Thursday, Zinke thanked those provided feedback: "Your input has helped us develop a balanced plan". In response to questions from concerned committee members, he said the agency was undecided about the rates and looking at various alternatives.

"This new fee structure addresses numerous concerns and ideas provided by the public regarding how to best address fee revenue for parks", the department's statement said.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area will see its seven-day entry fee go from $20 to $25 for passenger vehicles, from $15 to $20 for motorcycles, and from $10 to $15 for individuals on foot, bicycle or horseback. NPCA was among the first groups to denounce it in October.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat, said in a statement that the relatively minor fee hikes were a result of activism. "The American people raised their concerns, participated in the public comment period and made sure that the Trump White House knew the proposal was unpopular". "If it wasn't for the power of the people, Secretary Zinke would have gone ahead with his ridiculous proposal".