by Megan Medeiros
Last week, the Trump administration proposed dramatic fee increases at 17 of the country’s most popular national parks, to be charged during peak seasons. Fees for individual and group entrants would double from current rates. The public has a 30-day window to comment on this proposed fee increase, which would take effect in 2018.
Please leave a public comment for the National Park Service objecting to this scheme that would create a serious financial barrier for many families.
Here are the 17 parks where fees could skyrocket next year:
Acadia National Park, ME Arches National Park, UT
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT Canyonlands National Park, UT
Denali National Park, AL Glacier National Park, MT
Grand Canyon National Park, AZ Grand Teton National Park, WY
Joshua Tree National Park, CA Mount Rainier National Park, WA
Olympic National Park, WA Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
Shenandoah National Park, VA Yellowstone National Park, ID, MT, WY
Yosemite National Park, CA Zion National Park, UT
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, CA
Why this is important:
Our national parks belong to the people, and need to remain accessible to all. These precious public lands, famously described by Wallace Stegner, as “America’s Best Idea,” are at risk of becoming open only to the wealthy. The rights of each and every American is represented by keeping the gates to our national parks open no matter what one’s income level.
Visitors should not be forced to shoulder the burden resulting from years of inadequate federal funding that led to a massive backlog of improvements in our parks. Drastically raising fees will disproportionately affect lower-income families and people of color.
The fundamental mandate for the National Park Service is to conserve the Parks’ scenic values and wildlife and to provide for their enjoyment by such means that will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.
Congress has a responsibility to provide adequate funding to ensure this mandate is carried out. A bill known as the National Park Service Legacy Act would establish a dedicated park maintenance fund to invest a more substantial amount towards repair and restoration of our irreplaceable national parks.
What you can do:
Submit a comment to the National Park Service by November 23, 2017. When you click on the link, you will be taken to a government document called “Fact Sheet and Current Proposed Fee Rates.” Click on the green button that says “Comment Now” and fill out the comment form, then click submit. Ask the Park Service to cancel the proposed fee increases, which are fundamentally inequitable and will only exacerbate existing inequalities in Americans’ access to outdoor recreation. There are better alternatives to address deferred maintenance.
For more information, see this San Jose Mercury News editorial. If you’d like to send your comments by mail, you can write to the National Park Service at
1849 C Street, NW, Mail Stop: 2346 Washington, DC 20240.
Thank you for writing to keep access to our national parks open for all! Your voice does make a difference!