Under Pressure from Rep. O'Halleran, NPS Revises National Park Fee Increase
Washington, DC – Today, following pressure from Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) and other members of Congress, the National Park Service announced a revised entrance fee increase proposal that will allow the American people to continue to affordably access our public lands.
“Last year, when the National Park Service proposed a steep increase in entry fees at 17 national parks across the country, the American people were outraged,” said Rep. O’Halleran. “I sent a letter, signed by 89 members of Congress, calling on Secretary Zinke to revise this proposal, and more than 100,000 Americans expressed their disapproval through comments to the Department of the Interior. I am glad to see they listened to the concerns of the American people and reversed their misguided plan.”
Under the newly proposed fee structure, seven-day vehicle passes at 17 national parks, including the Grand Canyon, will increase by $5 beginning June 1, 2018. According to the Department of the Interior, all of the revenue from this fee increase will remain within the National Park Service. Funds will be used to improve the experience for visitors.
“Our public lands are a national treasure, and Arizona is proud to be home to some of the most beautiful natural areas in the world,” continued O’Halleran. “At a time when visits to national parks are at a record levels, this revised fee will ensure Americans can continue to affordably visit our prized public lands. I hope Interior will now work with Congress on appropriating adequate funding to address the pressing maintenance needs our public lands face, instead of relying on visitors fees, to ensure our parks can be enjoyed by future generations.”
Last year, the National Park Service proposed a new peak season entrance fee at 17 national parks across the country, including the Grand Canyon. The proposal would increase the entrance fee to $70 per vehicle, up from $30 for a weekly pass. In 2016, a record 331 million people visited national parks across the country, spending more than $18 billion in gateway communities and supporting 318,000 jobs.
Read Rep. O'Halleran's original letter, signed by 89 other members of Congress, urging Secretary Zinke to revise the fee proposal here.