[CMCEmail] NPS Proposes Targeted Fee Increases at Parks

CMCEmail@Californiamountaineer.com cmcemail at californiamountaineer.com
Sun Oct 29 12:52:50 EDT 2017

National Park Service Proposes Targeted Fee Increases at Parks to Address
Maintenance Backlog

Three employees or volunteers working on a section of trail in the Grand
CanyonRehabilitation of a trail in Grand Canyon National Park by NPS and
American Conservation Experience personnel was funded in part by entrance

NPS Photo

News Release Date: October 24, 2017 

BB5959B1DBFEA59ACA250&r=/orgs/1207/10-24-2017-fee-changes-proposal.htm> NPS
Office of Communications, 202-208-6843

Public invited to provide comments on proposed peak season fee increases at
17 highly visited parks


WASHINGTON - As part of its commitment to improve the visitor experience and
ensure America's national parks are protected in perpetuity, the National
Park Service (NPS) is considering increases to fees at highly visited
national parks during peak visitor seasons. Proposed peak season entrance
fees and revised fees for road-based commercial tours would generate badly
needed revenue for improvements to the aging infrastructure of national
parks. This includes roads, bridges, campgrounds, waterlines, bathrooms, and
other visitor services.

"The infrastructure of our national parks is aging and in need of renovation
and restoration," said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. "Targeted
fee increases at some of our most-visited parks will help ensure that they
are protected and preserved in perpetuity and that visitors enjoy a
world-class experience that mirrors the amazing destinations they are
visiting. 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. Shoring up our parks'
aging infrastructure will do that."

Under the proposal, peak-season entrance fees would be established at 17
national parks. The peak season for each park would be defined as its
busiest contiguous five-month period of visitation. 

The proposed new fee structure would be implemented at: Arches, Bryce
Canyon, Canyonlands, Denali, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Olympic,
Sequoia & Kings Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Zion National Parks with
peak season starting on May 1, 2018; in Acadia, Mount Rainier, Rocky
Mountain, and Shenandoah National Parks with peak season starting on June 1,
2018; and in Joshua Tree National Park as soon as practicable in 2018.

A public comment period on the peak-season entrance fee proposal will be
open from October 24, 2017 to November 23, 2017, on the NPS Planning,
Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website
https://parkplanning.nps.gov/proposedpeakseasonfeerates. Written comments
can be sent to 1849 C Street, NW, Mail Stop: 2346 Washington, DC 20240.

If implemented, estimates suggest that the peak-season price structure could
increase national park revenue by $70 million per year. That is a 34 percent
increase over the $200 million collected in Fiscal Year 2016. Under the
Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, 80% of an entrance fee remains in
the park where it is collected. The other 20% is spent on projects in other
national parks.

During the peak season at each park, the entrance fee would be $70 per
private, non-commercial vehicle, $50 per motorcycle, and $30 per person on
bike or foot. A park-specific annual pass for any of the 17 parks would be
available for $75. 

The cost of the annual America the Beautiful- The National Parks and Federal
Recreational Lands Pass, which provides entrance to all federal lands,
including parks for a one-year period, would remain $80. Entrance fees are
not charged to visitors under 16 years of age or holders of Senior,
Military, Access, Volunteer, or Every Kid in a Park (EKIP) passes. The
majority of national parks will remain free to enter; only 118 of 417 park
sites charge an entrance fee, and the current proposal only raises fees at
17 fee-charging parks 

The National Park Service is also proposing entry and permit fee adjustments
for commercial tour operators. The proposal would increase entry fees for
commercial operators and standardize commercial use authorization (CUA)
requirements for road-based commercial tours, including application and
management fees. All CUA fees stay within the collecting park and would fund
rehabilitation projects for buildings, facilities, parking lots, roads, and
wayside exhibits that would enhance the visitor experience. The fees will
also cover the administrative costs of receiving, reviewing, and processing
CUA applications and required reports.

In addition, the proposal would include a peak-season commercial entry fee
structure for the 17 national parks referenced above. All proposed fee
adjustments for commercial operators would go into effect following an
18-month implementation window. 

Information and a forum for public comments regarding commercial permit
requirements and fees is available October 24, 2017 to November 23, 2017 on
the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at
http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commercialtourrequirements. Written comments can
be sent to National Park Service, Recreation Fee Program, 1849 C Street, NW,
Mail Stop: 2346 Washington, DC 20240.


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