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Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks Superintendent Dan Kimball announced recently that the National Park Service is requesting public comment on a proposal to establish camping fees for 40 campsites in T Loop within the Flamingo campground, once these sites are upgraded with electrical hook-ups. The popular Flamingo campground is located at the extreme southern tip of the park approximately 38 miles south of the Homestead main entrance.
The park plans on providing electrical hook-ups for 40 of the 65 sites in T Loop as the first step in implementing the recently completed Commercial Services Plan/Environmental Assessment. Currently no campsites in Everglades National Park have hook-ups and all sites have a nightly fee of $16.00. The park is proposing to increase the nightly fee for the 40 sites after the hook-ups are in place to $30, in Fiscal Year 2010 (9/30/09 - 10/1/10). Fees for the remaining sites in T Loop and the rest of the campsites in both park campgrounds will remain at $16 per night. The park completed a survey of nearby campgrounds and found that the nightly fee for sites with electrical hook-ups range from $22 to $74, and after further comparisons of amenities identified $30 as an appropriate fee. Visitors that have a Senior Pass (U.S. Citizens 62 or over) or an Access Pass (permanently disabled) will continue to camp for half price.
The park will be accepting public comments on the proposed increase in camping fees until April 30, 2009. Comments can be provided several ways:
Comments on the fee increases can be mailed to:
Proposed Fee Increase
Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks,
40001 State Road 9336
Homestead, FL 33034-6733
Emailed to: EVER_Ranger_Activities@nps.gov
Faxed to: 305-242-7716
Visitors to the park can fill out comment forms which are available at park visitor centers and campground kiosks.
Funds to upgrade the 40 T-Loop sites with electrical hook-ups will come from revenues the park receives from entrance, camping and backcountry user fees. 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 process”.
Following the comment period, a recommendation on fee increases will be developed and submitted to the National Park Service Washington office for final review and approval.