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The Trump administration is proposing massive fee increases in 17 national parks — increases that could see entrance fees almost jump from $25 to $70. And while the administration claims this fee hike will help address the growing maintenance needs in our parks, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke estimates that the new fees could raise just a tiny fraction of the current $11.3 billion maintenance backlog!
Our parks and the American people deserve better.
Please sign our petition today to tell the Administration to work with Congress to come up with long-term, meaningful solutions to the national parks maintenance backlog that don't put the burden on American families.
I do not support the drastic proposed fee increases at 17 national parks because it will make these places — protected for all Americans to experience — unaffordable for many American families to visit.
The solution to the parks' repair needs should fall to Congress, and cannot and should not be shouldered by its visitors. The National Park Service Legacy Act is a bill pending in Congress that addresses the National Park Service maintenance backlog and it deserves the Department of the Interior's support. This bipartisan legislation would provide a more substantial — and sustainable — investment in our parks.
Proposed fee increases at each park should be evaluated at the local level with abundant opportunity for public input to determine the proposed uses of fee increases. Potential impacts on park visitation and gateway communities should also be examined.
If done appropriately, fees could be a part of the solution to address the $11.3 billion National Park Service backlog. However, given the scale of the backlog, increasing fees alone cannot be the answer to this enormous challenge.
Thank you for considering my comments.