The National Park Service (NPS) has extended the comment period on a proposed rule to double entry fees for 17 national parks.
Originally planning to stop taking comments after Thanksgiving, the NPS has set a new date of Dec. 22, extending the comment process by a month, according to an NPS press release.
The NPS said the date was changed to “accommodate interest in this issue from members of Congress and the public.”
Most of the parks selected for fee increases are located in the West. While the vast majority of the national parks will remain free to enter, the added charge hits well-known sites with large annual crowds such as the Grand Canyon, Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks.
Fees will increase from $25 and $30 to $70 for a week-long pass for a private vehicle during peak months of the year.
NPS estimates the move could raise annual park profits by $70 million a year, a small step to overcoming the agency’s $11.9 billion maintenance backlog.
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