The Interior Department is rethinking its proposal to increase entrance fees at some of its national parks by nearly 300 percent after hearing the public's stance on the matter.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has proposed to drastically hike fees at 17 of the nation's most popular parks, a list that includes Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Zion. In some cases, the fee would jump from $25 to $70 during peak season.
The Washington Post, however, cited an official at the agency as saying the hikes will not likely be as dramatic as first proposed after Americans sent tens of thousands of comments.
"We're working to respond to those . . . thoughtful and well-put comments," the official told the Post. "Our ultimate goal when it comes to entrance fees is to make sure the parks get 80 percent of that revenue . . . but we also don't want to put a burden on our visitors. We believe there is room to increase the fees and the annual passes."
An annual pass is $80. Last month during Congressional testimony, Zinke called that "the greatest bargain in America."
The Interior Department needs almost $12 billion to make repairs at its national parks. The 2019 budget proposal includes $11.7 billion total for the department.
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