Should national parks’ entrance fees be raised?

Screenshot from USA Today's YouTube video: National park fees could double

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One of the most precious things in our country, to many people, are the national parks. Recently, it was announced the National Parks Service is proposing a large increase to the fees of 17 of our most popular parks including the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Yellowstone, during peak season. The fees will be raised more than double their current prices to $75 per carload and $30 per person. The fee increase is to raise revenue for the $12 billion in deferred maintenance costs for the parks. This raises the question: Should we support the national parks’ entrance fees increase or should the government raise the money some other way?

Those who support the fee increases feel that people pay a lot more to go to places like Disneyland, so the national parks are still a bargain. Plus, they have no problem paying more if it will be used to improve the parks. Also, people will pay more for a new television or cell phone, so there shouldn’t be a problem paying a little more to go to a national park. Finally, businesses have no problem raising their prices. Why shouldn’t the national parks be able to?

People against the increased fees see this as a money grab by the federal government at the expense of the people. Plus, by raising the prices you are taking yet another thing from poor people. Most of them could not afford a place like Disneyland, but they could afford a national park and, with the fee increase, the government is making that more difficult. Finally, there are many out there that feel not only should you not raise the fees, but the parks should be free because they belong to the American people, not the government.

Our national parks are really a national treasure. They are filled with stunning beauty and are enjoyed by millions of Americans every year. We must do what it takes to preserve them for future generations. Will the fee increase help do that? We shall see.

USA TODAY video showing what parks could be effected by the fee raise:

The Issue

Should the national parks’ entrance fees be raised? Is the increase in price necessary to help maintain them for the future, or is this just another money grab by the government at the people’s expense?

In support of the raise in fees

Those who support the raise in fees say that people pay much more for things like phones or video games, so why not pay a little more to enjoy a national park?

In opposition to the raise in fees

Those against the raise in fees say that the national parks belong to the people, and charging them more money to enjoy them is wrong. They feel that the government is taking another thing from the poorest among us by making it too expensive.

Are you okay with the national parks’ entrance fees being raised?

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