Popular US Federal parks to hike Prices to £ 35, not $70


Some parks, such as Mesa Verde National Park will see gradual increases.

The plan announced Thursday would boost fees at 17 popular parks by $5, up from the current $30.

In 2017 Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park logged more than 2 million visitors, and visitors in 2016 spent more than $159.2 million in communities near the park, supporting 1,917 jobs in the area, according to the National Park Service.

The additional funds will help with maintenance projects across the 417 parks.

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The national park entrance fee structure.

The proposal marks a significant turn from a plan in December to increase peak-season entrance fees at 17 popular parks from $25 to $70 - the largest hike since World War II - to help pay for the National Park Service's almost $12 billion infrastructure backlog. They estimate that once fully implemented, the new fee structure will grow annual entrance fee revenue by about $60 million.

"An investment in our parks is an investment in America", said Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in a statement Thursday.

Federal law requires that 80 percent of revenue generated at a national park remains where it is collected. Zinke said that 80 percent of increased admission revenue will be funneled back into the same park where it was collected, and all revenue from the increase will remain within the system of national parks. The news comes as a relief to many who were against the huge increase. More than 100,000 people submitted comments on the controversial proposal, and the National Park Service said the newly announced fee chances come as a result of pubic input.

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"Congress should commit to increasing park funding in future spending bills", she said.

Yellowstone National Park has had an entrance fee since 1916. "It also needs to go one important step further by enacting legislation like the National Park Service Legacy Act that would make substantial, sustainable and dependable investments in our parks".

But tens of thousands of people wrote to the Park Service, saying the move was unfair, especially to lower income families and would devastate the economy in places like Columbia Falls, West and East Glacier, where businesses survive on the tourism economy.

Last year, nearly 330.9 million people visited the 379 park service sites that reported attendance figures.

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