Raise Entry Fees to Reduce the Maintenance Backlog at National Parks

Congress has recently passed the Great American Outdoors Act, which will appropriate $20 Billion to deal with deferred maintenance in the National Park System.

While an appropriation bill is sadly necessary at this point, I agree with the Heritage Foundation’s view, as expressed in the above editorial, that the long term solution is for fee increases within the National Park System and entry fee charges for foreign visitors to raise the necessary revenue to prevent deferred maintenance from again becoming a problem.

Entrance fees to the National Parks are currently very reasonable and in fact, TOO reasonable. As the editorial points out, a $9.00 fee increase would amount to purchasing 2 bottles of water at Disney World.

I support fee increases for the purposes of preventing future deferral of maintenance and to prevent a future need for a special Congressional appropriation such as the one that has just passed.

Less people will go.

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Not at all.

If your willing to make the effort to go to Yellowstone or some other National Park, you are not going to be put off by a very modest fee increase. I think the impact on attendance would be minimal.

Any idea on how much more they’ll be demanding? My aunt lives and works in Yellowstone, it’ll be nice to see how it pans out .

People go to Disney World and they **** you to hell and back for food, water, merchandise and everything else.

The bill that just passed does NOT raise park fees. Currently, no changes are planned in the fee structure.

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In that case, 20 billion sounds fair. We waste more on less

Less people are going already. As as youngster I learned every trail and climbed almost every mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. In the 1990s I directed a hiking and climbing camp for high school students in Rocky Mountain National Park and the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. Twenty years later I see mostly older folks on the trail. I’m afraid that the younger generation has no appreciation for untamed wilderness.


if you build it, he will come…

or simply charge the Buffalo…

charging Buffalo… wait…

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Hell no, take it out of the general fund. All we’ll do by raising park fees is discourage use by those of limited means.

For people to care about the parks and not get twisted off about “wasted tax dollars funding them” they need to be able to afford to get to and into them so they can see the real value in having them.

That sucks. My kids do, bigly.

Admission fees have purposely been kept low so that anybody can afford to go to them.

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I disagree.

The lower classes of society are unlikely to be visiting National Parks in the first place, regardless of entrance fees. Particularly parks such as Yellowstone. Getting to many of these parks requires a significant expense, either a significant automobile ride or an airline flight plus a rental car. If people are capable of getting TO the park in the first place, they are not likely to be significantly effected by what would amount to a very trivial increase in entrance fees.

The truth is that poor people are already NOT going to the National Parks, so a minor fee increase isn’t going to effect them.

And frankly, it is known that minorities are far less interested in visiting the National Parks than whites. Whites are disproportionately representative of park visitors.

And principles of justice and equity argue in favor of fee increases. The National Park System is a hybrid system, sustained partially by fees and partially by appropriations. The idea is that those that actually use the parks should bear a higher share of their upkeep than those that do not. By not raising park fees, you are unjustly shifting the burden to the very poor people or minorities who may never set foot in a National Park in their life.

As a matter of justice and equity, I favor a very modest system wide fee increase that would ensure National Park Visitors carry a fair burden in the upkeep of the National Parks and that poor people are not held excessively responsible for parks they may never visit.

And they should remain that way.

If use continues to wane eventually we’ll lose taxpayer support for all our national forests, grasslands, parks etc.

And you’re wrong. Some of those parks may be out of reach for a lot of poorer Americans but we have national parks all over the country so even poor folks can afford to get to them.

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I rented a government hotel room at Yellow Stone National Park. I kid you not, my original dorm room was nicer and larger than this teeny, weeny basic room but it was a real value at $440.00 per night. You show me where there isn’t enough money and I’ll show you another mismanaged government entity.


Brooks Lodge at Katmai National Park is $625.00 a night single occupancy, a total of $872.00 a night for a group of four. IF you can win the lottery to get the right to rent the room in the first place. :slight_smile:

Breakfast is $17.00, lunch is $24.00 and dinner is $40.00 at Brooks Lodge.

So a single day of food for a single person is $81.00.

There was a restaurant on Yellow Stone Lake that was a short distance from the lodge and that’s where we ate. As you said, it was plain and very expensive but…we saw a mother elk and her baby standing a few feet off of the road. I jest in that I went to see nature and the beautiful terrain, not the lodge but my point is that government can not run anything monetarily efficiently. They don’t have any skin in the game.

Most of the lodges, campgrounds, restaurants and stores in the National Park System are vendor run. The expensiveness can be excused due to the high cost of getting food to these remote locations and higher than usual labor costs, as it is frequently necessary for the vendor to lodge at least some employees at a below cost rate.

Katmai National Park (Brooks Lodge) is so exorbitantly expensive due to its remote location in Alaska and the fact that all food and supplies must be flown in on seaplanes.

Not the government’s fault, more a factor of circumstances that lead to high vendor prices in the National Park System.