Proposed NPS Fee Increase--Update--Public Comments Lead to Modest Increase
In November 2017, the PATC joined many in commenting on a National Park Service proposal to raise the entrance fees to 17 parks, including the Shenandoah National Park, to $70. Apparently, we (and others) were heard! On April 12, the NPS announced that it would raise the cost of a seven-day vehicle pass by $5 at most parks. There will be other modest increases in pedestrian, motorcycle, and other entrance fees. The new fees are outlined on the NPS press release. There is more information on the National Parks Conservation Association website.
Here is what we said in November:
Entrance to Shenandoah National Park
The National Park Service (NPS) has
proposed an increase in entrance fees at 17 parks, including
Shenandoah, during the “peak” season. The peak season for SNP would be June
1-October 31. At that time, it would cost $70 for a car to enter the
park. Entrance fees the rest of the year would remain at $25 per
vehicle. The annual pass for SNP, currently $50, would be increased
to $75. The “America the
Beautiful” annual pass for all parks would remain at $80.
[PATC Comment Filed with National Park Service - pdf]
is deeply concerned about this proposal. We will be sharing those
concerns with the Park Service. We urge anyone who has similar concerns or
who would be impacted by the increased fees to review the proposal
and then comment before November 23. The comment process starts here. To
make your comment, you should end up here.
The PATC maintains the Appalachian Trail and most blue-blazed side trails
in the Shenandoah National Park. The club has been doing volunteer trail work for 90
years in the area which is now the Shenandoah National Park, planning
and building many of those trails. The club also maintains and rents
six primitive cabins in the park.
concerns about the NPS proposal, include:
Fall in the Shenandoah National Park
Secretary Ryan Zinke said that the fee increases were targeted to
“our most-visited parks.” Shenandoah is not among the most
visited parks. It ranked 58th
out of all national parks in recreational visits in 2016.
hopes Shenandoah National Park will identify and publicize its
maintenance needs, since the club could potentially increase trail
and cabin maintenance efforts there. Meeting shortfalls with
volunteer labor in lieu of a huge fee increase would seem to be
consistent with the ethic of the national parks. The PATC recognizes
that the parks need greater funding. We are not against increased
revenue or larger user fees. But before we make entrance to the
Shenandoah National Park more expensive than going to Kings Dominion,
let’s see what the real maintenance needs are and how we can
Club members are encouraged to comment to the Park Service and their elected representatives. If you have a
question or comment about the club’s position on this matter, contact Anstr
Davidson, Supervisor of Communications; Communications@patc.net
or any other elected officer.
Sunset from Rock Spring Cabin