04.12.18

Daines Statement on National Park Fee Announcement

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today released the following statement after the Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke responded to the public’s request that the National Park Service not move forward with a proposal to raise national park entrance fees at 17 parks from $25 to $70. Under today’s proposal, most park fees will increase by approximately $5 dollars among other changes.

Secretary Zinke extended the public comment period following a letter Daines sent Acting Director of the National Park Service Mike Reynolds.

NPS Fees

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“Montana’s national parks must remain affordable and accessible to all visitors,” said Daines. “It's critical that the National Park Service take steps to address the maintenance backlog affecting many of our parks, but making it more costly for American families to visit these public lands won’t solve the problem alone.”

Daines introduced the bipartisan, bicameral National Park Restoration Act, which will use revenues from energy production on federal lands to help pay for the over $11 billion maintenance backlog at U.S. national parks. The bill will help restore and rebuild roads, buildings, campgrounds, trails and water systems in the country’s national parks for the next generation of visitors.

Background:

On March 7, 2018, Daines joined a group of eight senators and two representatives to introduce a bipartisan, bicameral bill that will use revenues from energy production on federal lands to help pay for the over $11 billion maintenance backlog at U.S. national parks.

On February 9, 2018, Senate Western Caucus members led by Chairman Steve Daines (MT) sent a letter to President Trump following his State of the Union Address, urging him to include a set of core western principles and concepts in the President’s planned infrastructure proposal.

On November 21, 2017, Daines secured a 30-day extension to the comment period of proposed fee increase for our National Parks, following a letter sent to the Acting Director of the National Park Service, Mike Reynolds.

On November 14, 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. 

In Apri1 2017, Daines secured recognition of National Parks Week, to increase awareness for the importance of preserving our national parks for a second century and address the maintenance backlog.

On March 17, 2017, Daines congratulated Secretary Zinke for his appointment and urged him to address the nation’s national park maintenance backlog.

On January 21, 2017, Daines announced that he would take the gavel of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks and outlined his goals as Subcommittee Chair, including reducing the maintenance backlog.

On January 5, 2017, Daines met with Secretary Zinke to discuss his priorities, including the National Park Service’s maintenance backlog.

 

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