Trump administration wants to double the entrance fees at 17 popular national parks
The National Park Service is proposing to raise peak-season entrance fees at 17 of its most visited parks—including the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Yosemite—in order to generate revenue for maintenance projects. There’s no doubt that the park system’s infrastructure needs some serious TLC; the NPS is staring down a nearly $12 billion backlog of deferred maintenance (thanks in part to Congress's shoestring budget allocations). But that’s also why the Trump administration shouldn’t be proposing to slash the NPS budget by 13 percent, which would be the largest cut to the agency since World War II. Our national parks belong to all Americans, not just the ones with money to burn, and we already have a lot of work to do to make our public lands more diverse and accessible. Depending on the park, noncommercial vehicles currently pay between $25 and $30 to get in. If the increase takes effect, that cost would skyrocket to $70. Motorcyclists would pay $50 (up from $15 to $25), and visitors on foot or bicycle would shell out $30, instead of the usual fee of $10 to $25. NPS is accepting public comments on the proposal through November 23. If social media is an indication, many commenters will be telling the agency to, well…take a hike.