Park Service unveils new entrance fee plan

The sign at the entrance to the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station in Talkeetna, Alaska. Photo by Phillip Manning – KTNA

Correction:  The original version of this story stated that the increased fees for Denali National Park and Preserve will go into effect June 1, 2018.  The National Park Service has since updated that date.  The actual date that the fee increase will take place is May 1, 2019.

The National Park Service will be raising its entry fees, but not to the degree that many feared.

On Thursday, the Park Service announced the new fee schedule, which goes into effect May 1st of next year.

The old plan would have seen entry fees for some parks go from $25 to $70. Denali National Park’s entrance fee during peak season would have tripled, from $10 to $30, and annual passes would have almost doubled.

The new rate structure will mean an increase from $10 to $15 for a single-person pass to Denali National Park and Preserve. The plan unveiled Thursday references the strong public backlash to the original plan.  The new fees apply to those entering the park by any means, including air taxi flights.

The plan to increase park entry fees came in response to a multi-billion dollar infrastructure and maintenance backlog. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says, “The $11.6 billion maintenance backlog isn’t going to be solved overnight and will require a multi-tiered approach as we work to provide badly needed revenue to repair infrastructure.”

Last year, the National Park system brought in just under $200 million in entry fee revenue. Once the new fee structure is fully implemented, the Park Service estimates it will generate an additional $60 million per year.

 

 

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