Deseret News
Letter to the Editor

National parks are one of the few places in our world that people come from so many walks of life to experience the beauty of nature together. If the law to raise fees for national parks goes through, this will affect the culture of the National Park Service severely. Our administration is proposing a raise in entrance fees to national parks during peak season (June-October) in 17 of our most popular parks, with fees doubling from $15-35 to $30-70-plus. This will affect Zion, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands and Arches National Park. Because of this huge raise in prices, many families and travelers will be priced out of the parks, especially when a majority of people can only take vacation during the peak season.

The main issue of this proposal is that local businesses depend on revenue from peak-season visitors. The National Park Service noted that in 2016 alone, park visitors contributed about $18.4 billion to the economic regions surrounding parks. More than half of this spending came in the form of hotels and restaurants. This entrance fee raise could cause a huge decline in the tourism industry, a huge decline in the appearance of surrounding towns and many jobs that will be lost due to a decline in the amount of visitors.

Emma Chalmers

St. George