2018 National Park Fees To Jack Tourists
UPDATE: In response to public outcry, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has backed off doubling national park fees and settled on a “more modest $5 increase” for most entrances. Annual passes, however, will jump $10. Starting June 1, they will go up from $60 to $70. BTW, the NPS wants you to know that nearly two thirds of the park system is free. Fee schedule.
I’m not an activist per se. I don’t march on the Capitol nor handout leaflets at the Save Our Canyons rallies but when it comes to jacking fees that would have a detrimental effect on the admiration, inspiration and appreciation of our public lands I can’t just ignore it and hope the greenies do their job.
The National Park Service announced Tuesday that it plans to nearly TRIPLE the entrances fees to some of our most popular parks during peak season (i.e. Summer). * Maybe if you’re a senior with a lifetime pass, big whup but this increase to National Park fees is outrageous and lame. Seventy dollars to take a drive through Zion? Most people would start going to Disneyland. The per vehicle charge would more than double at four of Utah’s five NPs.
The new fee schedule would also charge $50 per motorcycle (WTF?!) and $30 per person not in a personal vehicle. They claim that all of the funds would be used to “improve facilities, infrastructure, and visitor services, with an emphasis on deferred maintenance projects.”
I get that the National Parks are woefully underfunded – all of our public lands actually — but this hike is counterintuitive. What’s the point in protecting the lands for the people if the people can’t or won’t afford to visit them?! In addition, the Department of Interior plans to cut $1.5 billion in funding and proposes to massively ramp up energy development and they expect the public to pick up the slack if we want to keep our open space protected? Bullshit. Trump strikes again.
And, really, the logic behind this hike is skewed. If you increase entrance fees to a single park to $70 hoping to have money for improvements at all NPs, what’s to stop guests from purchasing the $80 season pass? But if visitors do that, 80 percent of the money from a season pass stays with the Park where it was purchased. And what about parks considering a reservation system like Zion and Arches? There won’t be nearly as much gain hiking peak season prices if fewer guests are allowed into the parks or are steered toward offseason visits.
The fee hike is proposed to go into effect during the high-season of 2018 at Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Denali, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Olympic, Sequoia & Kings Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion, Acadia, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain, Shenandoah, and Joshua Tree national parks.
The 30-day comment period on the proposed fee increase ends on November 23, 2017. Please take a moment to let Secretary Zinke know that you believe national parks should remain accessible — and affordable — for all by clicking “Comment Now”.
*The peak season for each park is defined as the busiest contiguous five-month period and would be as follows:
– May 1-September 30 for Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Denali National Park, Glacier National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Olympic National Park, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, Zion National Park
– June 1-October 31 for Acadia National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Shenandoah National Park
– January 1-May 31 for Joshua Tree National Park
The NPS will still be doing their fee-free days –
- September 22: National Public Lands Day
- November 11: Veterans Day