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Black bear

Would you pay $5 more to make sure this beautiful black bear can still live in Yellowstone National Park?

The National Park Service is thinking about raising their entrance fees in 2015. This will be the first raise in fees since 1997. In a time where it seems like everyone is raising their prices, it is a breath of fresh air that the National Park Service is actually inviting people to discuss the potential rise of entrance fees, instead of just doing it.

It costs money to keep preserve
our parks and other natural wonders

When you hear that fees are going to be raised, your immediate response will probably be “What!! That’s not cool. I don’t want to pay more”, but let’s take a minute to see what the National Park Service is actually proposing for 2015. Of the 401 parks, mountains, forests, nature preserves, etc. that the National Park Service oversees, only 115 are thinking of raising their entrance fees for individuals and vehicles. Most National Parks do not even charge an entrance fees and won’t begin any time soon. And 15 parks that do charge a fee are also not thinking of raising the costs of a visit.  So we are basically only talking about an handful of national parks that are thinking of a minimal raise in entrance fees. Feel a little better? Let’s look at one of the parks that is thinking of bumping up the cost of admission.

Hiking in the Grand Canyon should be something we can continue to do for generations to come

Hiking in the Grand Canyon should be something we can continue to do for generations to come

The Grand Canyon is thinking about rasing their entrance fees in 2015

The Grand Canyon, as it stands right now, will run you about $25 for a single vehicle to enter for 7 days. The proposed entrance fee for 2015 is (maybe) going to go up to a whopping $30. Per car. For a seven day pass! If you squeeze four friends into our passenger vehicle, that’s less than the cost of a movie per person. And if you haven’t been to the Grand Canyon, I can personally guarantee you that seeing it is more incredible, and will fill you with more emotions and create longer lasting memories than any movie can or will. I don’t care how good that movie is. The same goes for Yellowstone, and Yosemite National Parks who are thinking of similar changes.

Yosemite National Park is one of the few parks that is thinking about raising entrance fees in 2015. Totally worth it!!

NPS.org photo: Yosemite National Park is one of the few parks that is thinking about raising entrance fees in 2015. Totally worth it!!

What is the National Park Service spending the extra money on?

80% of your entrance fees will go directly back into the individual parks. The other 20% is split between all the parks that do not charge an entrance fee. The tiny bit extra they will make can put them on a path to catch up on some much needed improvements and upgrades.

According to an August memo written by Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, we the people have 60 days to express our opinion on the proposed increase. So, let your voice be heard.

My Impressions on the National Park Service entrance fee increase proposal

Personally I can’t believe they haven’t just raised the prices. I can’t believe they are actually asking for our opinion on the matter. But since they asked, let me tell you; I would gladly pay $5 more to make sure the Grand Canyon doesn’t become one big garbage dump. Think of how much it must cost to maintain all the trails and keep the park safe for the millions of visitors a year. Not to mention the cost of picking up after the millions of visitors have left. I can’t even imagine how much time and money is spent just to clean up all the garbage that each visitor leaves. I know everyone says they clean up after themselves, but we all know that isn’t true, and giving you that scenic, clear and clean view of the grand canyon without a million plastic bottles and chip bags stuck between every rock is worth $30 alone.

For an extra $5, this natural wonder at Yellowstone National Park can be preserved and protected.

For an extra $5, this natural wonder at Yellowstone National Park can be preserved and protected.

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