Both our state and regional newspapers want you to believe that the cost of getting into 17 National Parks is going to increase beyond the middle-class American can afford. Fortunately, that’s not the case.
If you review the actual notice, you’ll find that the higher price for peak season is for a 5-day pass and/or an annual pass. That means that families across America can visit their favorite National Park for just $75.00 a year, and that includes the car full of kids and adults. Or, if you like, you can purchase a 1-day pass for $30.00 – the same price (or close to it) as is currently being charged.
Why the hue and cry? Because National Environmental groups think they own and operate the parks. They have huge memberships and lobby groups that are happy to “pay to play” just at what they think is “reasonable”. This proposal is not going to keep less affluent citizens and guests from visiting our National treasurers, it’s just going to cost the folks that like to hike, bike, and camp a little more on an annual basis.
And since the parks get to keep 80% of the fees, they stand to benefit much more than places like Cedar Breaks and the Grand Staircase, because they are monuments managed by the BLM, whose budget is controlled line-by-line by Congress.
At a time when our parks are overrun with people, human waste, cars, and one-time visitors, isn’t it time to invest in them? Perhaps it’s time to do what Utah has done, run ads and try and channel some of those visitors to State Parks and special places rather than just Utah’s “Mighty Five”.
I’ll be commenting in the affirmative on this proposal. I hope you’ll join me. Comment Here