NPS Backs Off Exorbitant Entrance Fee Increases

After targeted advocacy from climbers and other recreation groups, we’re happy to report that the National Park Service (NPS) has backed off the exorbitant increase to park entrance fees proposed last fall.

Acadia National Park | Photo courtesy of Elodie Saracco

In October, the NPS proposed a 350% spike in entrance fees during the peak seasons at 17 national parks—including world-class climbing destinations like Mount Rainier, Grand Teton, Joshua Tree, Acadia, Shenandoah, Zion, Rocky Mountain, and Yosemite.

Access Fund asked climbers to speak up and tell the NPS that such an exorbitant increase in entrance fees would mean that many Americans could no longer afford to visit their national parks. We also encouraged Congress to legislate appropriate long-term funding for the National Park Service and other land management agencies instead of burdening visitors with high fees during peak seasons.

The NPS just announced today that fees will only increase by $5 per car (as well as slight increases to person and yearly passes) at 117 national parks. The NPS estimates that these fee increases will generate an extra $60 million in revenue, although no studies or grassroots public outreach were conducted, which is typical of past national park fee increases.

To further address the significant NPS maintenance backlog, Secretary Zinke is working with Congress on bipartisan legislation to use revenue derived from energy produced on federal lands and waters to establish a special fund within the Treasury specifically for National Park restoration.

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