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Old 01-18-2018, 05:53 PM   #1
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National Park Fees going up?

I have been seeing stories today about proposals of NP fees going up a considerable amount. Like from $30 to $70 a vehicle. I have a senior pass, so it may not affect me. I can understand increases, but more than double?
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Old 01-18-2018, 06:10 PM   #2
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If the Feds have the same philosophy as our Wisconsin state legislators, then they will expect the National Parks to be completely self sustaining financially. In Wisc, no other state money goes to funding the parks anymore, so entry and camping costs have to rise to try to maintain them.
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Old 01-18-2018, 06:18 PM   #3
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I have been seeing stories today about proposals of NP fees going up a considerable amount. Like from $30 to $70 a vehicle. I have a senior pass, so it may not affect me. I can understand increases, but more than double?
It's for 17 of the busier parks.
Here is an article from when they were first proposing it.

https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1207/11-21-...e-proposal.htm
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Old 01-18-2018, 06:24 PM   #4
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Even though we reside in Wisconsin , we camp in Minnesota. Iowa and Michigan State Parks . Wisconsin doesn't want our business or deserve our money.

For those members who live in the Midwest , Iowa has some beautiful State Parks with nice campgrounds and at a fair price.
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Old 01-18-2018, 06:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wetzk View Post
It's for 17 of the busier parks.
Here is an article from when they were first proposing it.

https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1207/11-21-...e-proposal.htm
I can only draw one conclusion. I did not vote for HIM.
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Old 01-18-2018, 06:42 PM   #6
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I can only draw one conclusion. I did not vote for HIM.
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I think the parks have been bleeding for a long time. Like the post office and Amtrak they are expected to pay for themselves while being starved.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:01 PM   #7
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The emphasis appears to be to shift users to the "private sector". Make the fees high as or higher than them. Same old scam. It's money, honey.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:25 PM   #8
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It's a big increase from $30 to $70 for sure, but that's mitigated somewhat by the fact that we are talking about a 7 day pass, not a daily fee, and it will be a peak season increase, not year round. Also, 80 percent of the fees will be used at that particular park to improve facilities. The other 20 percent will be shared with other national parks.

I don't see it as a scam at all. Things cost money. Federal funding or budget priorities are a separate issue. One can argue the merits of whether or not the NPS should be fully funded (I believe it should), but that doesn't address the current reality the NPS faces. Unless the federal government decides to fully fund the operational and infrastructure costs of the NPS, fees will increase, or the facilities and services will degrade.
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Old 01-18-2018, 08:46 PM   #9
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I recently retired from the NPS after 30 years. I watched the real budgets adjusted for inflation continue to fall over the course of 20 of the 30 years.
Always good for photo ops with politicians, the parks have been woefully underfunded.
One park in Ohio where I worked, maintenance staff declined by 50 to 60 percent with more work and properties to maintain. I was glad to retire as my it work went from a 3 person operation to one.

I won’t get into politics on this very wonderful forum, but read about the mass resignations of the advisory council for the nps and draw your own conclusions.

I myself will be upping my advocacy of our marvelous resources and urge all of us who utilize the resources to pay attention and support the public resources that we all enjoy.

Our 21 will be heading out this summer for cross country number 2 as well as visiting old friends in NPS sites.
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:06 PM   #10
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Well said Oldwave and thank you for your service.
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:17 PM   #11
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I've read several articles on the NPS advisory board concerning there mass resignation . It says a lot about our public priorities and the people we choose to lead this nation.
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:22 PM   #12
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Dilly Dilly!
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:24 PM   #13
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If the funding has dropped for decades then the maintenance can has been kicked down the road by both parties. The resignation story in reality is that of the twelve members who resigned two of their terms had already expired and nine of them were going to expire in three months.

We all know the definition of insanity; I for one am open for something new- without expecting any overnight miracles.
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:19 AM   #14
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Please watch the Ken Burns series on the National Parks. It has a good history of the creation of the park system and the many battles fought over how this national treasures would be acquired and maintained. A few people made great personal sacrifices and twisted a lot of arms to get what we have today. A number of very rich people contributed millions to acquire much of the land. The issues of maintenance and use are not new

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Old 01-19-2018, 08:23 AM   #15
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You’ve drawn your conclusions, mine are quite different. See who gets appointed.
No more comments on this thread by me as it’s a slippery slope to to political clashes.
Thanks for the comments.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:25 AM   #16
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Whenever we travel in our National Parks, it is visitors from other countries who frequently remind me what national treasurers they all. No matter who I have met, the universal comment has been how magnificent they are and how lucky we are as a nation to have preserved them for everyone to be able to enjoy.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:33 AM   #17
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Thanks, Teddy & Gifford!
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:53 AM   #18
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It might be worth looking at a couple of realities concerning the increases & budgets. First, the estimate is the increased fees will bring in $70 million additional dollars. Second, the Deferred Maintenance as of 2016 is $11.331 billion dollars. Third, the proposed budget for 2018 is $2,553 million dollars, a $297 million dollar decrease from 2017.

Somehow I don't see the additional $70 million dollars from the proposed fee increase even making up for the proposed 2018 decrease, let alone having much effect on the National Park System's operating budget, and, let alone do much for the deferred maintenance problems. Instead, It will hurt those that make one day stops at the parks with the increased fees, likely cut down the number of visitors, and make it more difficult for low income families.
Personally, I don't have to pay the increase since I have a Senior Pass, however even if I had to pay the full fare, I wouldn't complain since I can afford the increase, and far prefer going to our National Parks rather than Disney Land. Still, I don't believe the additional revenues will have much effect on the problems of the National Park System.
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:58 AM   #19
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I have to agree with that. 70 mil won't put much of a dent in the shortfall overall. But, since 80 percent of the additional fees collected would be designated for that particular park, it will make some difference for that park.

Long term, the answer is people and their elected officials who believe National Parks are a national treasure, and who fund them as such.
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:05 PM   #20
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It doesn't take a genius to spot the winners and looser in the Federal budget proposal . Some areas of the budget are scheduled for budget increases well beyond the rate of inflation and others are scheduled for funding cuts . From what I see and read , the NPS is not on the winning side.
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