Public Meetings seeking input on Park Fee Increase
Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
Contact: Debbie Lane, 305-242-7730
National Park Service Seeking Public Input on Proposed Entrance Fee Increases
Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks Superintendent Dan Kimball announced today that the National Park Service is requesting comments on proposed entrance fee increases for both Parks. The comment period runs through April 23, 2007. There will be two public meetings this week for the public to discuss these changes with park service staff.
The National Park Service has analyzed entrance fees across all units of the National Park System in an attempt to simplify and standardize entrance fees. The analysis resulted in a pricing structure that used a tier grouping system for parks based on their enabling legislation, comparability of size and services available, visitation statistics, current revenues, and benchmark comparisons with state and local park facilities. The proposed fees for Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks align with fees charged at other similar national park areas.
The proposed entrance fee increases at Everglades National Park for both the Main Entrance Station and Shark Valley are:
from $5.00 per person to $10.00 per person;
from $10.00 per vehicle to $20.00 per vehicle, and
an increase in the annual pass from $25.00 per year to $40.00 per year.
The proposed entrance fee increases at Dry Tortugas National Park are:
from $5.00 per person to $10.00 per person; and
an increase in the annual park pass from $25.00 per year to $40.00 per year.
In order to keep entrance fees aligned with cost increases, beginning in 2011, entrance fees will be adjusted based on changes to the cumulative Consumer Price Index (CPI) calculated from 2007 to 2011. This same analysis will be conducted every three years thereafter and fees adjusted accordingly. This will help to keep entrance rates in alignment with changes in the value of the dollar, cost increases, and other financial considerations over time. The entrance fee at the Main Entrance Station at Everglades National Park has not increased in 10 years. The entrance fees will continue to be valid for seven days and accepted at all Park entrance fee areas.
A large portion (80 percent) of national park entrance and other user fees are returned directly to the parks where they are collected. The fees provide direct benefits to park visitors such as improving the condition of facilities, natural and cultural resource preservation, and interpretation of the park’s resources.
"We invite everyone to comment on these proposed entrance fee increases" stated Kimball. "Public participation is vital to the NPS planning and decision making processes".
Following the comment period, a recommendation on fee increases will be developed and submitted to the National Park Service Washington D.C. office for final review and action.
Written comments may be mailed to: Proposed Fee Increase, Superintendent, Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks, 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, FL 33034-6733. Comments may also be emailed to: EVER_Ranger Activities@nps.gov. Comments must be received by close of business April 23, 2007. Further information or questions can be directed to 305-242-7730
Two public meetings have also been scheduled to provide the public the opportunity to discuss these proposed fees.
Did You Know?
The Ten Thousand Islands area of Everglades National Park composes part of the largest stand of protected mangrove forest in the Western Hemisphere. South Florida's coast serves as a vital nursery ground for many of our most prized commercial and recreational marine species.