On October 24, 2017, the Administration announced a proposal to raise entrance fees in our National Parks. Through a public comment process, OAK has urged the Administration to protect access to America’s national parks and public lands for all children, youth, and families by withdrawing its proposal to increase entrance fees at 17 national parks.
National Poll Results
In December 2017, OAK commissioned a bipartisan national poll to better understand views of raising national park entrance fees. The bipartisan poll results demonstrate that the public has major concerns with the proposal. The proposed fee increase would affect some of the U.S.’s most beloved parks including Yellowstone, Shenandoah, and Joshua Tree. Entrance fees would more than double, increasing to $70 per vehicle. The poll found that:
- Nearly seven-in-ten Americans (68%) oppose the proposed fee increase, including majorities across all political and major demographic groups
- Sixty-four percent of Americans say they would be less likely to visit a national park if fees were increased
- Among Americans with household incomes under $30,000 per year, who would be most impacted by the fee hike, 71% say they would be less likely to visit a national park if fees were increased
- When it comes to funding national parks, Americans overwhelmingly believe that increasing federal funding is a better approach than increasing entrance fees (72% versus 28%, respectively)
- An overwhelming 92% of Americans agree that access to national parks provides kids with valuable opportunities to be active outdoors and learn about the natural world
Today’s young people are growing up inside, spending less time in nature than any generation in history, with profound consequences for their health and the health of our economy. Raising fees to the proposed rate of $70 per vehicle may price middle- and low-income families out of our parks and reverse important strides the National Park Service (NPS) has made over the years to expand equity and access to nature for all Americans. Instead of raising fees to address the maintenance needs in our parks, OAK urges the Administration to work with Congress to identify adequate funding for our national parks, public lands, and their ongoing maintenance.
View OAK’s formal comments on the proposal here.