Health Care

State attorneys general bash plan to hike national park fees

State attorneys general bash plan to hike national park fees

Under the proposal, the price of seven-day passes would rise dramatically from $30 to $70.

"Our goal as a nation should be to make our national parks supremely inviting and encourage more families to visit them".

A group of 11 attorneys generals are urging the National Park Services to scrap their plan of increasing entrance fess at 17 national parks. Motorcycle fees would double or triple in some cases, from the current $15 to $25, to $50.

The top government lawyers from 10 states and the District of Columbia sent a letter Wednesday saying they don't want national parks to be "places only for the wealthy". Individual entry fees would go up from $15 to $30.

California is home to some of the 17 parks slated for the increase, including Yosemite, Joshua Tree and Sequoia & Kings Canyon.

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"The infrastructure of our national parks is aging and in need of renovation and restoration", Zinke said in an October 24 statement.

Becerra blasted the Trump administration for seeking a fee increase while also proposing in his 2018 budget request a roughly $300 million cut to national parks. Under the peak season fee proposal, the NPS would raise an additional $70 million in annual revenue. He and other attorneys general from states affected by proposed increases, including Arizona, Oregon and Washington, said if adopted, the move would further exacerbate funding shortfalls by reducing park visitation.

The National Park Service has added 30 days to the public comment period on proposed entrance fee increases that would more than double the cost of visiting Glacier or Yellowstone national parks, among others. It is not known whether the same thing would happen if fees are raised again. The new deadline is Friday, Dec. 22.

The NPS argues a fee hike is needed to address the agency's maintenance backlog, valued at $12 billion.


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