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Contact: Capitol Reef National Park , 435-425-3791
Capitol Reef National Park and other National Park Service (NPS) units that collect entrance fees from park visitors are beginning public engagement seeking comments on possible changes in park fees beginning in 2015.
National park sites are authorized to consider modest increases in entry fees, which in most cases are being updated for the first time since 2006. Additional funds would be used to enhance visitor services and facilities as the Park Service approaches its centennial anniversary in 2016. Of the 401 parks, monuments, recreation areas and other units of the National Park System, 131 collect entrance fees - about one-third of all units. As part of civic engagement, the park will be accepting comments via an online system.
Beginning in 2015, parks are authorized to change recreation fees to align with the NPS's new standard entrance-fee schedule, which was last updated in 2006. They may not do so, however, until after actively engaging the public about proposed fee changes and their effects. The public includes park users and local communities as well as Congressional delegations, state and local elected officials and other interested "stakeholder" groups. Decisions to adjust fees will be made locally and only after considered community feedback from the public outreach. Parks also have the option not to raise fees.
Each park, including Capitol Reef National Park, also must document its outreach efforts, and results must be approved by the director of the Park Service before any fee increase can take effect. Although new fees may begin in 2015, in some cases parks may choose to raise them gradually over several years. Individual park changes can vary, but fees authorized for possible revision include visitor entry fees, expanded amenity fees (campgrounds, guided tours, etc.), transportation fees and special recreation permits.
"We are committed to providing the best possible experience for visitors," said Leah McGinnis, superintendent of Capitol Reef. "And we are also committed to using funds from entrance, camping and other fees, to improve and maintain our facilities and provide valuable visitor services."
Recently, fee revenue has been used to rehabilitate the Cedar Mesa campground and to plant new fruit trees in the park's historic orchards. Additional revenue raised by a fee increase would help the park to renovated the group campsite in Fruita and install water bottle filling stations.
Capitol Reef National Park is proposing the following recreation fee changes:
- 7-day single vehicle entrance fee (for Scenic Drive) from $5.00 to $15.00
- Nightly campsite at Fruita Campground from $10.00 to $20.00
- Group campsite in Fruita from $3.00 per person ($50.00 minimum) to $4.00 ($75.00 minimum)
- Capitol Reef specific annual pass will be $30.00 (new)
Capitol Reef National Park is a strong economic engine for the surrounding area. In 2012, more than 673,345 park visitors contributed $44,636,700.00 to the local economy and supported 554 jobs related to tourism.
National park entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years of age or to holders of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass - Senior (lifetime), Military (free annually), Access (permanently disabled) and Volunteer. These passes, as well as the Annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass for frequent park visitors, are available at the parks.
For further information about the 2012 National Park Visitor Spending Effects, visit https://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm.