Friendly reminder that Secretary Zinke is taking public comment on the increased park entrance fee proposal until November 23.
The increase will affect 17 of our most popular national parks, raising the entrance fee from $30 to $70. While I am personally fortunate enough to be able to pay extra money to support our national parks and will happily do so, I wholeheartedly disagree with the park fee increases, particularly amidst federal cuts to the national park budget. The decision places the burden of financially supporting the NPS on the individual rather than on the federal government. Not only does this have significant impacts on the individual, it sets a dangerous precedent for the protection of our national parks. In my opinion, the decision taps into the grander dialogue on the worth of our national parks. Simply put, passing the financial burden onto the individual declares that the government doesn't care about supporting and protecting these places. So today, I'm using my voice to speak for those less financially fortunate and I'm using my voice to speak in favor of keeping public lands publicly funded.
The fundamental core of the national parks is based on the belief that everyone deserves equal access to wilderness. Being in the wild has changed me, no doubt. It is a magical, humbling, invigorating experience. But more than that it is a human experience. It is a tenet of our very being. There is a fundamental need to be outdoors. And that right should not be limited by economic or social status. Let's keep the public in public lands- voice your opinion and keep our lands public for everyone.