SOUTHERN UTAH– Several national parks in Southern Utah are raising fees in order to fund important maintenance and improvement projects within the parks, a National Parks release issued Thursday said.
In 2014, the National Park Service issued the call for parks nationwide to conduct stakeholder outreach through civic engagement to gauge support for possible fee changes to entrance, expanded amenity and special recreation permit fees authorized by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004.
Entrance fees had not been raised since 2007.
Public comments; use of revenue
Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks and Cedar Breaks National Monument started the discussion of raising fees in December 2014 by calling and visiting with state, federal and local legislative offices and staff. The three parks also issued press releases, posted proposed fee increase information on park websites and Facebooks and attended a variety of public meetings to gather feedback.
“During the public comment period, very few of the comments were negative,” Cedar Breaks Superintendent Paul Roelandt said. “Politicians, visitors and local community members alike seemed to understand the need for additional funding to help with deferred maintenance projects at parks, especially with the increases in visitation we have seen recently.”
“By law, these funds can only be used to help cover costs that are directly related to providing visitor services,” Bryce Canyon Superintendent Lisa Eckert said. “For example, entrance fees have supported a wide range of projects that improve the park and visitor experiences, including rehabilitating trails, developing and installing exhibits in visitor centers, improving park water systems and other infrastructure and improving ADA (federal Americans with Disabilities Act) accessibility.”
“This modest increase in fees will allow us to continue to improve facilities and services important to visitors,” Zion Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh said. “After carefully considering the impact of a fee increase on visitors and community members, we came to the conclusion that this is the right course of action to help us protect, preserve and share these special places with current visitors and future generations.”
Fee exemptions, passes
Entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years of age or holders of the America the Beautiful National Parks, federal recreational annual, senior, access or military passes. These passes may be obtained at the park.
The interagency passes, honored at all federally managed land units, are not affected by the entrance fee increase and will remain at $80 for the interagency annual pass, $10 for the senior pass, and free for the access or military passes.
Learn more about the various passes available here.
- National Park Service: website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube
- Zion National Park: Aly Baltrus, email | telephone 435-703-3836
- Bryce Canyon National Park: Kathleen Gonder, email | telephone 435-834-4703
- Cedar Breaks National Monument: Paul Roelandt, email | telephone 435-586-9451
- Grand Canyon National Park increases entrance, backcountry permit fees – effective June 2015
- Enjoy intimate park access, great value at Bryce Canyon, historic Ruby’s Inn
- Park officials discuss fee increases at Open House
- Zion National Park invites comments on proposed increase in fees
- Nearly 100-year-old trails get major rehab, Zion National Park
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