ICYMI: National Parks Might Raise Entrance Fees To Fund Maintenance Projects
Outdoor Industry Association is concerned the move could leave some visitors priced out of the parks.
Several sources, including CNN and The Denver Post are reporting this week that The National Park Services could more-than double the per-vehicle entrance fee at many of 17 iconic parks—including Yellowstone and Zion—from $20 to as much as $70 during peak season. According to a statement by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke: “The infrastructure of our national parks is aging and in need of renovation and restoration.” He added that the visitor-supported maintenance will protect and preserve the parks. “We need to have the vision to look at the future of our parks and take action in order to ensure that our grandkids’ grandkids will have the same if not better experience than we have today,” Zinke added.
According to the statement from the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Park Service has opened a 30-day public comment period and has created this website where people can submit their comments.
Outdoor Industry Association has been and will continue advocating for full and appropriate funding of our national parks and recreation infrastructure to once and for all alleviate the more than $12 billion maintenance backlog. Following the news of the potential entrance-fee increase, OIA issued the following statement:
“Congress and the administration should prioritize funding for outdoor recreation infrastructure like our parks and other public lands. Outdoor Industry Association will continue to fight for funding in support of the $887 billion recreation economy. The unmet infrastructure needs, however, and $12 billion maintenance backlog in our national parks must be considered. Outdoor Industry Association supports evaluating national park entry fees and asks that the administration seriously consider the comments they will receive over the next month. While fees may be appropriate to support funding for the places we play, it is imperative that Americans are not priced out of outdoor experiences.” Jessica Wahl, OIA Government Affairs Manager