More National Parks and Monuments Pushing Fee Increases At Direction Of Interior Secretary

Every week, it seems like another park is asking the public for input on increasing its entrance fees. Turns out, there’s a simple explanation: The Interior Department is telling them to.

And at one park, Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming, that means implementing two rate increases, ultimately doubling the cost of a seven-day vehicle pass, in just 12 months.

The National Park Service received direction in May that all parks not aligned with their designated fee group, based on park type, must begin civic engagement to raise fees to compliance by 2018, according to one park release. Another cited the Interior Department, and in particular Secretary Ryan Zinke, as the source: “All fee-collecting parks … have been instructed by the Secretary of the Interior to raise entrance fees to the full level of their assigned tier by January 1, 2018.”

In 2006, the Park Service developed a fee structure to standardize rates across the country. Four groupings were created based on park designation. However, in 2008, then-Director Mary Bomar imposed a moratorium that froze entrance fees at 2007 levels. That freeze continued until late in 2014.

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