Park Service Extends Comment Period for Proposed Fee Hike - NBC4 Washington

Park Service Extends Comment Period for Proposed Fee Hike

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    The National Park Service is giving people more time to weigh in on a proposed fee that would nearly triple the entrance fee at Shenandoah National Park, raising the price per car from $25 to $70 during peak times of the year.

    The increased fees would apply at 17 national parks across the country, including Grand Canyon National Park and Yellowstone National Park. 

    The fee for motorcyclists would jump from $20 to $50. For individuals who hike or bike in, or arrive on tour buses, the fee would jump from $10 to $30. 

    The 30-day comment period had been scheduled to end Thursday. The new deadline is Dec. 22. The public can submit comments online and by mail. No public meetings on the matter are scheduled.

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    The Park Service says it wanted to accommodate interest from Congress and the public. More than 65,000 comments already have been submitted.

    The proposal comes less than two years after many of the parks that charge entrance fees became more costly. The rationale is the same this time around -- the funds are needed address a maintenance backlog and infrastructure projects, officials say. 

    The Park Service says it expects to raise $70 million a year with the latest proposal for parks mostly in the West. The revenue would fund maintenance and infrastructure projects.

    The higher fees would apply during the five busiest, contiguous months. For most, that means May through September.

    Overall, there are 59 sites that included "National Park" in their name. Go to the National Park Service website to learn more.