In the News
Editorial: Reliable source needed for national park funding
For families hauling out and checking the condition of their camping and hiking gear this spring, the news Thursday was welcomed: The Department of Interior has dropped its earlier plans to nearly triple its entrance fees to $70 a vehicle at 17 of the most popular national parks, including Rainier and Olympic in Washington state.
Instead, the current fees at most national parks and facilities, which now range from $15 to $25, will increase by a more affordable $5.
The announcement followed widespread criticism of the earlier fee increase proposed last year, including more than 109,000 comments to the agency, most opposed to the hefty jump in fees.
The downside is that the modest fee increase, while it will help, won’t come close to closing an estimated $11.6 billion backlog in maintenance at U.S. national parks. But then, the $70 fee wouldn’t have done that either.