Interior Department backing off steep national park fee hikes: report

Interior Department backing off steep national park fee hikes: report
© Greg Nash

The Interior Department is backing off from substantially raising the entrance fee for national parks after more than 100,000 Americans wrote to complain about the proposed hikes, The Washington Post reported on Monday.

Last October, Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeTrump administration weakens methane pollution standards for drilling on public lands Big-game hunters infuriated by Trump elephant trophy debacle Interior moves ahead with opening wildlife refuge next to contaminated nuclear site MORE proposed raising the entrance fee for 17 major parks from $25 to $70, a change that would mark the largest price increase since World War II.

However, after a deluge of public comments opposing the price increase, the Interior Department reconsidered. Prices will allegedly remain unchanged for now, though price increases are nonetheless likely to happen in the near future.

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For every comment the department got that was supportive of the price increase, it got substantially more that expressed opposition.

An Interior official also told the Post there was concern that a price hike might cause people to skip visits to the parks, keeping much-needed funds from parks like Yosemite, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone.

Parks with no entrance fees will stay that way, the official told the Post.

Officials have not said what the revised rates being considered are but have said the department will aim for a more modest change to the fees, which haven’t gone up in a decade.