Entrance fees are due to rise at national parks over the next three summers, though a public outcry over specific increases could cause the government to reconsider, the Associated Press reports
Through 2009, the National Park Service (NPS) plans to phase in higher rates for annual park passes and fees paid per vehicle or person at about 130 of the 390 parks, monuments and other areas the agency manages.
The NPS, which has planned the increases for some time, did not publicize the higher fees through its headquarters in Washington, leaving that job to site managers, agency spokesman David Barna reports. The idea was to let affected communities absorb the news and see if they would go along with the increases. Park superintendents can recommend that the agency director, Mary Bomar, rescind the increases if enough people protest.
The rate increases are intended to divvy up the parks into the four categories of annual park passes that generally will be $10, $20, $30 and $40. The fees per person would range from about $5 to $12, or about $10 to $25 per vehicle.
Eight popular parks would charge $50, the highest amount, for an annual pass in 2009: Grand Canyon in Arizona; Yosemite in California; Glacier in Montana; Bryce and Zion, both in Utah; Rocky Mountain in Colorado; Olympic in Washington state; and Grand Teton in Wyoming.