Published: Fri, November 24, 2017
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

National Parks Fee Input

National Parks Fee Input

The attorneys general urged the Service to scrap the proposed fee increases and instead seek adequate funding from U.S. Congress and support existing bipartisan legislative proposals, such as the National Park Service Legacy Act, which would provide more revenues for national parks without increasing park fees.

The agency proposed a $70 fee for each private, noncommercial vehicle, up from the current fares of $25 to $30. Deferred maintenance at Glacier National Park totals more than $148 million.

"All Americans should have access to these lands, especially communities that.have often been under-represented, including inner city children and Hispanic American and African American populations".

Becerra said the fee increase would greatly impact modest-income families.

California is home to some of the 17 parks slated for the increase, including Yosemite, Joshua Tree and Sequoia & Kings Canyon.

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Critics of the proposal say raising fees this dramatically and this quickly would price people out of the nation's most popular national parks. The fee for a motorcycle would more than double to $50 from $15 to $25. Individual entrance fees would go from today's cost of $10 to $15, to $30. If approved, the increases will go into effect in 2018.

"The infrastructure of our national parks is aging and in need of renovation and restoration", Zinke said in an October 24 statement. He argued the agency has not done the necessary outreach to those who could be affected, and slammed it for not undertaking an economic analysis, saying the fee increases are "unlikely" to achieve the stated goal of addressing deferred maintenance backlog. They also question the rationale, saying President Donald Trump has proposed reducing the service's overall budget.

Other attorney generals who have joined Attorney General Becerra in the letter are the Attorneys General of Arizona, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and the District of Columbia. It is not known whether the same thing would happen if fees are raised again.

A public comment period on the proposal runs until November 23, 2017 on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website. Nationwide, national park deferred maintenance totals more than $11.3 billion.

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