Modest Fee Increase Adopted for National Parks this Year

April 24, 2018

You may remember late last year AMC and other conservation groups raised the alarm about a proposed increase to National Park fees across the country. Back in November, the Department of Interior proposed a $45 increase to entry fees for 17 of the most iconic National Parks.

Good news – thanks to the more than 100,000 public comments received on the proposed fee hikes, the National Park Service (NPS) has decided to scale back this dramatic fee increases to a much more modest plan.

According to the NPS website:

Most seven-day vehicle passes to enter national parks will be increased by $5 and will be implemented in many parks beginning June 1, 2018. Yosemite National Park, for example, will increase the price of a seven-day vehicle pass to the park from $30 to $35. More than two-thirds of national parks will remain free to enter. A complete list of park entrance fees may be found here.

All of the revenue from the fee increases will remain in the National Park Service with at least 80 percent of the money staying in the park where it is collected. The funds will be used for projects and activities to improve the experience for visitors who continue to visit parks at unprecedented levels. Increased attendance at parks, 1.5 billion visits in the last five years, means aging park facilities incurring further wear and tear. 

This modest $5 increase is much more reasonable and justifiable than the initial 180% price hike proposed by the National Park Service. This victory is a great example of how public involvement in the planning process can make real, substantive change. AMC will continue to follow conservation policy issues like this and will send timely alerts through our Conservation Action Network when your voice can have its greatest impact.

A ranger speaking at Beech Cliff above Echo Lake at Acadia National Park. Photo courtesy NPS.

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Kaitlyn Bernard

As the Maine Policy Manager, Kaitlyn Bernard tracks AMC’s key policy issues at the state and federal level. Her current policy priorities include the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), Maine’s stateside conservation fund the Land for Maine’s Future program, and wind power siting.