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NM senators oppose proposal to increase national park fees

29 October 2017

Sure, it's still less than the cost of one ticket to Disneyland. "But regular taxpayers - and especially working families - shouldn't have to bear the burden for lawmakers' inaction".

We believe that it is especially problematic for your department to propose fee increases at the same time that the Trump administration is recommending slashing National Park Service funding levels and holding virtual fire-sales on our public resources at below market value.

The proposal comes less than two years after numerous parks that charge entrance fees became more costly.

Traffic is at a standstill and visitors are out of their cars on the valley floor while a bus lane is empty and off-limits to visitors at Yosemite National Park in this undated photo.

"This proposal for drastic price increases came as a surprise to me, and I worry about the negative impact it will have for attracting tourists to the park and preventing Mainers from enjoying its beauty", Poliquin said in an email this week.

"Public comments are being accepted on the proposals from now until November 23, 2017". And it would take a whopping 161 years for the revenue from the fee increase to pay for the $11.3 billion maintenance backlog at the parks (and that's not including the cost of new maintenance that would be required during those 161 years), the Post calculated. Why not increase fees a little in all of the parks instead of a lot in a few of the parks? In 2016, over 47 million park visitors generated an estimated $6.5 million in economic output in the local economies that would be affected by the fee increase. "For years, Congress has underfunded the National Park Service, creating a $1.3 billion backlog in vital fix and infrastructure projects".

If the annual passes stay priced at $80, it will make more sense for a visitor to purchase an annual pass than a day pass. Congestion could actually increase as more people buy annual passes and visit multiple times.

Denali Park alone has a backlog of 50 point 3 million.

Maureen Finnerty is the chairman of the Coalition to Protect America's National Parks, and she has suggested that mere fee increases to enter National Parks are not a permanent solution to the budget problems faced by the government and the Trump administration. There are better ways.

NM senators oppose proposal to increase national park fees