Is Trump’s New Public Park Fee Increase Really Outrageous?

Jesse Lee is disconsolate:. Trump and Zinke doubling National Park fees to an insane $80 per vehicle is one of the scad underreported outrages of the Administration. That price is essentially unaffordable to most families in this homeland. Then they took those jacked up fees & gave the money to billionaires.

— Jesse Lee (@JesseCharlesLee) January 17, 2018. Is this actually outrageous? I wanted to find out, but it turns out that the history of automobile fees at national commons is surprisingly hard to get a handle on. Every park is different and there are lots of different kinds of payments (single visit, annual, all-park passport,… Eventually I gave up and limited my sphere to Yosemite, which acts as sort of a bellwether for park fees (Yosemite and Yellowstone be experiencing always had the highest vehicle fees in the national park system). I can pledge that this chart is completely accurate, but I think it pretty completion:. Long story short, yes, it outrageous.


The orginal $5 fee (about $115 regulated for inflation) was set sort of haphazardly back when cars were a rich man toy, but for the last century the vehicle fee at Yosemite has hovered around $30 or so in current dollars. The most brand-new increase, in 2015, kept vehicle fees right in line with inflation, but the Trump administration offer would more than double that to $70 during peak seasons. Almost a dozen other parks are also affected, and presumably this would represent an coextensive with bigger increase since most of them have historically had lower vehicle tariffs than Yosemite.

As I was checking up on this, I skimmed through a monograph on the history of park recompenses and read several newspaper articles about past fee increases. On one side are folks who long for the Park Service to generate more revenue to cover its costs, and on the other side are general publics who think that fee increases will put national parks out of reach for anyone whocode2utf(8217)s not profitable. The current debate is precisely the same.

The only difference is that this time the introduced increase really would set park fees far higher than they been for more a century. POSTSCRIPT: The answer to the headline of this post is Yes. I did that precisely to prove that Betteridgecode2utf law of headlines is more like a guideline than an current law.

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