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Contact: Cecilia Shields, 928-526-1157 ext.228
Flagstaff Area National Monuments
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –
Wupatki, Sunset Crater Volcano, and Walnut Canyon National Monuments to Consider an Additional Option for Proposed Fee Increases
FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA –The Flagstaff Area National Monuments-Wupatki, Sunset Crater Volcano and Walnut Canyon, is seeking public comment regarding increasing entrance fees into the three monuments and fees for the overnight Crack-in-Rock hike at Wupatki. "Originally, we had only one option being proposed," said Superintendent Kayci Cook Collins. "Based on some initial public responses, a second fee rate option is now being considered and we would like to get public feedback on both options before we move ahead," she said. To provide more time for feedback and to consider this new option, the public engagement deadline has been extended to February 8, 2015.
Option 1 -- Per person fee structure
· This is the current structure (per person) for charging entrance fees but with an increase in price.
· The proposed per person entrance fee at Walnut Canyon would change from $5 to $8 for a seven day pass.
· The proposed combined per person entrance fee at Sunset Crater Volcano and Wupatki would change from $5 to $10 for a seven day pass.
Option 2 –Institute a per vehicle fee
· Institute a per vehicle fee of $20/vehicle for Walnut Canyon and a $20 per vehicle fee for Sunset Crater Volcano and Wupatki National Monuments. This would be a "flat rate" entrance fee, regardless of the number of passengers.
· Institute a $15/motorcycle fee.
Proposed Fee changes common to both options
· The proposed monuments' annual pass would increase from $25 to $40. Note that this pass allows unlimited visits to all three monuments for one year from purchase.
· The proposed fee for Crack-in-Rock Overnight Hikes at Wupatki would increase from $50 per person to $75 per person.
The proposed timeline for increasing the fees is January 1, 2016 for the entrance fees and October, 2015 for the Wupatki Crack-in-Rock Hikes.
Entrance fees are not charged to holders of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Senior, Access or Military Passes. These passes may be obtained at the monuments. 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. For per person entry, children under 16 are not charged.
By law, revenue from entrance fees is used to support projects that directly benefit visitors. At the Flagstaff Area National Monuments, the National Park Service retains 100% of the fees collected and uses them to enhance visitor services, restore and rehabilitate monument facilities, provide additional interpretive programs, and increase resource protection. Projects that have been completed with fee revenue include: renovation of the historic ranger cabin at Walnut Canyon, stabilization of archeological sites at Wupatki and a new ADA accessible trail at Sunset Crater Volcano. Revenue generated from the proposed fee increase will be used to upgrade visitor center exhibits and redesign the Lenox Crater Trailhead. Additional revenue for Crack-in-Rock Hikes will be used to cover costs to conduct the overnight hikes.
An open house on the fee increase proposal is scheduled for Thursday, January 15, 2015 from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. at the Flagstaff Area National Monument Headquarters Building, 6400 North Highway 89 Flagstaff, Arizona, 86004. Come at any point during those two hours.
Aside from the open house, there are several ways to comment:
Via email at e-mail us
Public comment forms are also available at all three monument visitor centers and can be turned in, dropped off at or mailed to the Headquarters Building.
The public engagement period will be open through Sunday, February 8, 2015.
Following the public engagement, feedback will determine how, or if, a fee increase would be implemented.
A National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 501,010 visitors to the Flagstaff Area National Monuments –Sunset Crater Volcano, Walnut Canyon, Wupatki, in 2013 spent $27,615,500 million in communities near the monuments. This spending supported 349 jobs in the local area.