Higher Park Fees Attract Media Attention In Colorado
Is anyone out there keeping track of the mainstream media outlets that are starting to sit up and notice the uptick in national park entrance fees? If so, you can add The Denver Post to the list.
In a story running today, the Post points out that, The cost of annual passes to national parks in Colorado could increase anywhere from 43 percent to 167 percent by 2009 in a rate-structure alignment being implemented by the National Park Service.
Sure, the relatively large percentage-wise jump in fees is largely the result of the relatively low fees being charged. I mean, when the fee goes fro $10 to $20, that's a 100 percent increase. But the larger question that reporters should be asking and exploring is what's behind these increases? Could it be that Congress is not adequately funding the parks?
If you look at what the Park Service is doing with these additional revenues -- building facilities, fixing roads, etc. -- you'll see that a large number of these projects should be funded out of the agency's operations budget, not placed on the back of the general public whose taxes already supposedly go to supporting the national park system.