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Contact: Vickie Carson, 270-758-2192
MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky., August 16, 2013 – Mammoth Cave National Park Superintendent Sarah Craighead announced today that the Park is seeking public comment on an increase in cave tour rates by $1 to $2, which would take effect in 2014. The authority to charge recreational fees at national parks stems from the 2004 Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.
"We would like to hear what our visitors and neighbors think about our proposal to increase the cost of the cave tour fees," said Craighead. "At present we are charging the same for cave tours as we did in 2007. The cost of doing business has gone up."
The Park proposes to raise the fee on eight cave tours that require bus transportation: New Entrance, Frozen Niagara, Grand Avenue, Great Onyx, Snowball, Wild Cave, Introduction to Caving, and the Violet City Lantern tours. The cost of bus transportation has risen $2 per tour over the past seven years.
Park staff are also required to compare the cost of Mammoth Cave tours with the cost of privately operated cave tours.
"Part of the new visitor center was funding with fee dollars, but we also use it to repair trails, roads and campsites, cover the cost of tour guides, and mitigate against the spread of White-Nose Syndrome in bats. Fee dollars also support the Park environmental education programs which work with many local schools."
Written comments may be submitted August 16 to September 16, 2013, through the National Park Service (NPS) planning website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/MACA.
It is the practice of the NPS to make all comments, including names and addresses of respondents who provide that information, available for public review. Individuals may request that the NPS withhold their name and/or address from public disclosure. Commentators must state this prominently at the beginning of their comment and check the box "keep my contact information private." NPS will honor such requests to the extent allowable by law, but may still be required to disclose a commentator's name and address pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. All submissions from organizations, businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses will be made available for public inspection in their entirety.