Park Service extends comment period for proposed fee hike

Park Service extends comment period for proposed fee hike

In a separate statement, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra suggested he and his colleagues could take legal action if the Park Service moves ahead with the plan, which would boost the entrance fee to $70 per vehicle at the targeted parks, up from $25 or $30. The entrance fees for motorcycles would go from $25 to $50. Visitors on foot or bicycle would pay $30, up from the $10 to $15.

Becerra and his counterparts, including those in New York, Oregon and Arizona, argue the plan could reduce revenue by lowering visits and comes as the Trump administration is proposing far greater cuts to the park agency's budget than the revenues the plan is expected to bring in.

The National Park Service is planning on increasing fees during its busiest months, but has sought public comment on the matter. "It's a cruel deception for millions of hardworking families".

Parks supporters are urging Congress to consider the National Park Service Legacy Act, which would establish long-term funding for repairing parks. Bicyclist and pedestrians entrance fees would double to $30. "The Department of the Interior should use this extended time to get out to these parks and listen to community members, elected officials and local businesses that would be most impacted by these fee hikes just as it did during the last major, but modest fee increase in over 100 parks". Already, more than 65,000 comments have been received on the proposals.

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However, the cost of an Interagency Annual Pass, which grants access to any national park in the United States, would stay the same at $80.

Fees have always been an important source of revenue used to improve the visitor experience and recreation opportunities in national parks and on other federal lands.

"The infrastructure of our national parks is aging and in need of renovation and restoration", Zinke said in an October 24 statement. The NPS is also proposing raising permit fees for commercial tour operators. "As corporate tax breaks are also being discussed, I don't know why park fees then have to be raised".

The admission hike would start in Joshua Tree National Park as soon as practicable in 2018.

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