Park Service extends comment period for proposed fee hike

Park Service extends comment period for proposed fee hike

Park Service extends comment period for proposed fee hike

California moved Wednesday to block the Trump administration's proposal to more than double entrance fees at popular national parks, including Yosemite and Joshua Tree National Parks, arguing the fee increases would limit public access for low-income people and communities of color.

Under the proposal, the price of seven-day passes would rise dramatically from $30 to $70. Deferred maintenance at Glacier National Park totals more than $148 million.

A group of 11 attorneys generals are urging the National Park Services to scrap their plan of increasing entrance fess at 17 national parks.

"Although we respect the National Park Service's attempt to find solutions for the deferred maintenance backlog, raising entrance fees to this degree could unfairly burden the public and create new barriers to the visitors that you hope to reach and inspire", the senators wrote on November 14. The entrance fees for motorcycles would go from $25 to $50. Individual entry fees would go up from $15 to $30.

"We need to have a vision to look at the future of our parks and take action in order to ensure that our grandkids' grandkids will have the same if not better experience than we have today", Zinke said in a 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.

Petitioners include California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and 10 other attorneys general of Arizona, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington. The NPS said it would help pay for a backlog of maintenance for parks. "For every dollar the punitive fee increase raises from families, the Trump Administration intends to cut more than 4 dollars from the National Park Service's budget", Becerra said in a statement. However, the NPS extended it until December 22.

Federal parks officials announced the proposed fee hikes in late October as part of a proposal to raise money to fix roads, bridges, campgrounds and bathrooms.

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