Daines: National Parks Must Be Accessible to All

U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines sent a letter to the Acting Director of the National Park Service, Mike Reynolds, asking for an extension of the public comment period for fee increases at 17 National Parks.  

On October 24, 2017, the National Park Service announced it is considering raising the entrance fees during peak season for 17 National Parks, including Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park in Montana. Under the proposal, the price per vehicle will be raised from $30 to $70; the price per person from $15 to $30; and the park specific annual pass from $50 (Glacier) and $60 (Yellowstone) to $75. The current public comment period is scheduled to end on November 23, 2017.

“Glacier and Yellowstone National Park – are national treasures that belong to Montanans and Americans across the country” said Daines. “Fee increases of this magnitude could prohibit families from enjoying the great outdoors and need to be considered carefully. Their voices must be heard and our National Parks must remain accessible to all Americans.”

Daines is Chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks.

A copy of the letter is available to download HERE and below:

Mike Reynolds
Acting Director
National Park Service
1849 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20240-0001

RE: Request for Extension of Comment Period for the Proposed Entrance Fee Increase and Changes to Commercial Use Authorizations at 17 National Parks

Dear Mr. Reynolds:

We write to request an additional 30-day extension of the public comment period for both the proposed targeted fee increases at 17 National Parks and the proposed changes to road-based commercial tour commercial use authorization (CUA) requirements and fees, which is set to close on November 23, 2017. Given the large volume of responses from [Alaskans/other states] and constituents across the United States, and the impact of this new policy, it is important that you provide more than thirty days for the public to participate in the comment periods on these issues.  

Although [I/we] respect the National Park Service’s attempt to find solutions to the deferred maintenance backlog, raising entrance fees to this degree could unfairly burden the public and create new barriers to the visitors that you hope to reach and inspire. Likewise, the many small business owners and operators that will be impacted by increased CUA operator fees need to be provided an opportunity to assess the implications of this new policy on their businesses, employees, and customers.  

I know we [both/all] believe that our National Parks are treasures that must be accessible to everyone. Given the concerns with these new proposals, it is my hope that the Park Service will provide [Alaskans/other states] and all Americans the opportunity for additional time to comment on this issue. Thank you again for consideration of this matter and [I/we] look forward to working with you on this issue moving forward.