This fee increase is part of a larger National Park Service initiative to standardize fees in similar national parks across the country. Entrance fees have been collected at Fort Vancouver NHS for more than 20 years.
At National Park Service sites where fees are collected, 80% to 100% of fees collected remain at the site to support projects with a direct visitor connection. Parks can propose projects and compete service-wide for funding from the remaining 20% of fees collected. At Fort Vancouver NHS, the additional revenue from the fee increase will be used to enhance visitor services, including repair and maintenance of park facilities, rehabilitation of visitor service buildings, and repair and replacement of equipment and materials to enhance park programming and special events.
Examples of projects funded through the fee revenue funds at Fort Vancouver NHS include replicating nineteenth century furniture for museum display and use in living history special events onsite, creating new trail maps, replacing viewing decks along the Columbia River waterfront, adding accessible trails within the reconstructed stockade, adding picnic tables and trash receptacles throughout the park, and replacing playground equipment at the popular playground near the Visitor Center.
Fort Vancouver NHS has successfully competed service-wide for projects funded through the 20% recreational fee funding source. The Visitor Center rehabilitation is an excellent example currently in progress.
A 30-day public engagement period on the proposed fee increase is open today, February 26, 2015 through March 27, 2015. Feedback will be accepted via: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/Proposed_Fee_Increase_Fort_Vancouver_NHS
and U.S. Mail at: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Attention: Proposed Fee Increase, 612 E. Reserve St., Vancouver, WA 98661.
Entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years of age or holders of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Passes. These passes may be obtained at the park's Contact Station. Interagency Passes, which are honored at all federally managed land units, are not affected by the proposed fee increase and will remain at $80 for the Interagency Annual Pass, $10 for the Senior Pass, and free for the Access or Military passes.
The new fees could be implemented in late May 2015. However, the implementation schedule may vary based on the results of civic engagement. The park will develop an implementation schedule that supports local communities and interested stakeholders. Comments received during the 30 day public comment period will inform the agency's decision on how or if a fee increase will be implemented.
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is a strong economic engine for the surrounding area. A recent report showed that 733,539 visitors to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in 2013 spent $40.4 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 610 jobs in the local area.