Sen. Cantwell, others rallying to stop national park visitor fee hike

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The original comment deadline was November 23. Visitors are now charged 30-dollars per vehicle to enter the park. That's almost triple the current rate for some parks. They also argue that the raised revenue from this round of fee hikes systemwide is not enough to make a dent in the maintenance backlog. During the five busiest months of the year, the entry fee would rise to 70-dollars a vehicle.

Because of funding reductions, the Park Service was forced to hand over camping services to commercial concessionaires who, of course, increased the camping fees exorbitantly. "Raising park fees to such a degree could limit families' ability to enjoy our parks, harm local businesses and will not even keep the fix backlog from growing".

Comments can be submitted to the park service online until December 22 at parkplanning.nps.gov/proposedpeakseasonfeerates or mailed to National Park Service, Recreation Fee Program, 1849 C Street, NW, Mail Stop: 2346 Washington, D.C. 20240. "Colorado's National Parks are one of our greatest resources, and keeping them open and accessible to the public is one of my top priorities". "American families should not be forced to pay today for what Congress and the administration have failed to do". The public can submit comments online and by mail.

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Overall, there are 59 sites that included "National Park" in their name.

Senator Cantwell joined a chorus of voices from outdoor enthusiasts to small businesses to call on the Trump Administration and Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke to withdraw the proposed increases.

The announcement of the proposed rate increases sparked intense criticism.

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"It is simply disingenuous for the Trump Administration to claim that this proposal to charge families more is needed to help address the maintenance backlogs at our lovely national parks".

"I have spent 15 years working to connect children and families with nature and am all too familiar with the barriers that prevent many communities from feeling welcomed in their public lands", said Jackie Ostfeld, associate director of Sierra Club's Outdoors campaign.

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