Last year, the U.S. Interior Department proposed an increase to the entry fees of some of the country’s most popular national parks. That didn’t sit too well with the general public, as more than 100,000 citizens publically commented on the proposal, almost all of whom were adamantly against the idea.
It seems that the U.S. Interior Department took those complaints to heart and it’s pulling back on the proposal.
The proposal, which was brought forth last October, would raise the entrance fees from $25-$30 per car to $70 for the day. That’s a pretty substantial jump, and many local businesses that depend on national park tourism fear that could have a major impact on their own livelihoods.
The bump would affect 17 national parks across the country and it wouldn’t just be the cars that would pay extra. The proposal also highlighted an increase for motorcycles from $15-$25 to $50, and foot traffic would increase from $10-$15 to $30.
While the drastic increases outlined in the original proposal likely won’t happen now, we should still expect some kind of increase. The Interior Department says that the reason for the increased fees is to help address $12 billion in park maintenance that has been backlogged. Many citizens believe that the current administration has a tremendous lack of respect for the country’s national parks and feel that the parks need more funding from Congress. It’s still unknown just how much the prices will actually increase.
A very few actually supported the proposed price increase. They felt that $70 per visit is still a good deal given the opportunity to experience a lifelong memory like strolling through one of the country’s great national parks. However, most of the folks that visit national parks are getting older, and the park service is working on marketing to a younger generation. A price increase that heavy could be a tough hurdle to overcome. It could also have a tremendous impact on the local businesses that depend on park visitation to survive.
While we’ll still see an increase of some kind, we can thank the concerned citizens who voiced their opinions for squashing the proposed 100% increases.