The fee schedule announced Thursday sets a $5 increase for all parks that charge entrance fees. "Can assist reinforce the entry communities that depend upon park for economic vitality", Secretary Zinke Stated. Currently, Congress is considering the National Park Service Legacy Act, a bipartisan bill that would address the full maintenance backlog using royalties from current federal onshore and offshore energy production, and the National Park Restoration Act, which could collect up to $18 billion from energy-production royalties (although the exact amount is speculative based on the market).
June 1, because the changes go into effect, more than Two Thirds of domestic parks Will Stay free to enter. "I want to thank the American people who made their voices heard through the public comment process on the original fee proposal".
Beginning June 1, the park entrance fee will be $30 per vehicle (up from $25), or $25 per motorcycle (up from $20), for a one-week pass.
National parks have experienced record breaking visitation, with more than 1.5 billion visitors in the past five years.
"An investment in our parks is an investment in America", said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. Your input has helped us develop a balanced plan that focuses on modest increases at the 117 fee-charging parks as opposed to larger increases proposed for 17 highly-visited national parks. "Fee monies have enabled us to acquire a temporary visitor contact station in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, install roadside interpretive exhibits in all units of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, improve audio visual accessibility for the park film at Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, and provide an all-weather access road to Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site". "Not all visitors to our parks have the ability to hike with a 30-pound pack and camp in the wilderness miles away from utilities".
Entrance fees collected by the National Park Service totaled $199.9 million in Fiscal Year 2016. The money helps fund maintenance projects, which this year includes the rehabilitation of the Hulls Cove Visitor Center, removal of trees knocked over by winter storms, the re-striping of park roads and parking spaces and the replacement of power lines in the Schoodic area, Anastasia said.More news: Country music returns to Vegas with ACM Awards after mass shooting
Last fall, the Yakima Herald-Republic Editorial Board thought the National Park Service's proposal to steeply raise entry fees into national parks wasn't a great idea for what has been deemed America's Best Idea. The NPS estimates that once fully implemented, the new fee structure will increase annual entrance fee revenue by about $60 million.
Crater Lake National Park has had an entrance fee since the early 1900s.
The $70, seven-day fee - or one-day fee if that's your only visit - would have compared poorly with the $80 lifetime pass for seniors.
Over the two months following the park service's announcement, the Interior Department - which oversees national parks - received more than 109,000 comments, most to say that it was a bad idea.
Many said the new fees would make them unable to visit the parks and they would choose other places to visit on vacations.