Everglades National Park Extends Public Comment Period for Proposed Fee Increase for Backcountry Camping
Contact: Debbie Lane, Fee Program Manager, 305-242-7745
Contact: General Park Information, 305-242-7700
Contact: Media Contacts: Mary Plumb, Public Affairs Officer (Acting), 305-242-7714
Everglades National Park Superintendent Dan Kimball announced today that the public comment period has been extended to allow interested parties more time to comment on a proposed fee increase for all backcountry camping. The public comment period was originally scheduled to end on March 15, but to facilitate public involvement it has been extended an additional thirty days, to April 16, 2013.
"We invite everyone to comment on these proposed backcountry camping fee increases," stated Kimball. "Public participation is vital to the National Park Service planning and decision making processes. Everglades National Park is an important recreational, ecological and economic contributor to our communities in south Florida, and we appreciate the importance of obtaining public input in considering increased backcountry camping fees."
Backcountry fees have not changed since 1996. In 2012, a comparability review with neighboring state and county parks indicated the proposed increase is substantially lower than those collected at similar sites in the area.
The proposed fee increases include: 1) the per trip backcountry permit fee will increase from $10.00 to $12.00, and 2) the nightly per person backcountry fee will increase from $2.00 to $5.00.
Other park fees will remain the same, including commercial tour fees, boat launch fees, and park entrance fees.
Currently 80 percent of national park user fees collected in national parks go back to the parks where they are collected. These important sources of fee funds are used by the parks to provide a variety of direct benefits to park visitors, including backcountry site maintenance, protection of resources and visitors, search and rescues, and monitoring of backcountry sites to ensure a wilderness experience.
The public is invited to participate in several ways. Comments can be mailed to: Proposed Fee Increase, Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks, 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, Florida 33034-6733. Comments can also be emailed to: Debbie_Lane@nps.gov, or sent by FAX to: 305-242-7716.
Public comment will be accepted until close of business on April 16, 2013. Following the comment period, a recommendation on the fee increases will be developed and submitted to the National Park Service, Washington Office, for final review and action.
For more information, contact Everglades National Park Fee Program Manager, Debbie Lane at 305-242-7745 or by email to Debbie_Lane@nps.gov.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 395 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.
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Everglades National Park hosts nearly 15,000 students every year on a variety of ranger-guided tours, e-field trips and special events. We look forward to seeing your class soon!