Publicado: Sáb, Abril 14, 2018
Espectáculos | Por Manuelo Venegas

Popular national parks still raising fees - but not to $70

Popular national parks still raising fees - but not to $70

The Interior Department is increasing fees at 17 popular national parks, including Glacier and Yellowstone, to $35 per vehicle, backing down from an earlier plan that would have forced visitors to pay $70 per vehicle. But the price increases are much lower than what was initially proposed a year ago. An annual pass for the Grand Canyon will climb by $10 to $70, according to the park service numbers. The price for one-time entry per private vehicle or motorcycle will increase by $5. The fee-hike proposed last fall had been projected to increase that revenue by $70 million per year. A seven-day vehicle pass, which now costs $30, would have increased to $70.

However, Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico, the Democrat sitting on the committee that oversees federal funding for the National Park Service, said he did not believe that the increase was justified, CNN noted. That increase would have been almost three times the current rate for some parks. "The American people raised their concerns, participated in the public comment period and made sure that the Trump White House knew the proposal was unpopular". The agency received more than 109,000 comments on the plan, a lot of them opposed. It's clear when combing through these comments that park lovers were split on the increases.

The new plan boosts fees at 117 parks by $5, up from the current $30 but half the figure the Interior Department proposed in October for peak-season visitors at 17 heavily visited parks, it said in a statement. "In order for families with young kids, elderly grandparents, or persons with disabilities to enjoy the parks, we need to rebuild basic infrastructure like roads, trails, lodges, restrooms and visitors centers".

Entrance fees collected by the National Park Service totaled $199 million in Fiscal Year 2016.

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An attempt to address the national park system's roughly $11 billion maintenance backlog.

The money generated from the increase will go straight back into the NPS, with about 80 percent of the revenue being redistributed into the park that collected the money. And one price that won't change?

Significantly more than twothirds of federal parks will stay absolutely free to input, and also the new charges go in effect on June 1, " said.

"The public spoke, and the administration listened", she said, noting that the plan to almost triple fees at popular parks was opposed by a range of businesses, gateway communities, governors, tourism groups, conservation organizations and the public. For example, Mount Rainier National Park began charging an entrance fee in 1908.

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