Glacier National Park is accepting public comment for a proposal to increase the price of the annual pass from $50 to $60.
If approved, the entrance fee for a one-year pass would increase by $10. The funds would address facility and infrastructure needs, according to the National Park Service. The fee increase comes as the NPS faces proposed budget cuts. The Trump administration is proposing to slash nearly $380 million from the NPS budget, including $956,000 from Glacier specifically.
Glacier’s passes have increased in recent years. In January 2016, the NPS increased the cost of an annual pass from $35 to $45, and then increased it to $50 in January 2017. The cost hikes marked the first time Glacier Park had increased entrance fees since 2006.
No other entrance fees are proposed for change at this time.
“The funds raised through entrance fees including passes are critical to improve facilities and infrastructure, and to provide an enhanced level of visitor service,” said Park Superintendent Jeff Mow.
Park entrance and campground fees have supported a number of important projects in the park including a portion of the Many Glacier Hotel restoration, new interpretive exhibits at visitor centers, trail repairs, and winter snowshoe walks.
Entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years of age or holders of the America the Beautiful-The National Parks and Federal Recreational Annual, Senior, Access, Military, or Volunteer Passes. These passes may be obtained at the park.
Glacier National Park is in the midst of record-breaking attendance and attracted more than 1 million visitors in a single month for the first time in history last month. In 2016, more than 2.9 million park visitors spent $250 million in the local economy and supported over 4,000 jobs related to tourism, according to a recent report.
The public can submit comments at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/ GNP_fee_proposal_2017. Comments may also be submitted via mail to Glacier National Park, Attention: Glacier National Park Annual Pass Fee Increase, P.O. Box 128, West Glacier, MT 59936. The comment period will be open until Sept. 30.
Following the public comment period, feedback will determine how, or if, a fee increase would be implemented.
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