December 15, 2006
For Immediate Release
David Eaker 435 772-7811
Shelagh Forester 435 772-0816
Zion National Park Announces Fee Increases for 2007
New Interagency Recreation Passes also Available
Zion National Park Superintendent Jock Whitworth has announced that the park is increasing its entrance fees effective January 1, 2007. On that date, Zion National Park will also begin selling the "America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass." This new interagency recreation pass will benefit visitors to national public lands.
The park entrance fee for a private, non-commercial vehicle will increase from the current rate of $20 to the new rate of $25. The individual fee (pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, etc. 16 years or older) will increase from $10 to $12. Both of these entrance fees are good for seven days. The fee for the Zion Annual Pass will also increase from $40 to $50. "The monies that the park collects from these increased entrance fees will go directly toward benefiting the visitors through improved services and facilities", stated Whitworth.
Two information workshops were held in April 2006 to receive input on the park’s proposed plan to increase entrance fees. These workshops provided the public with information regarding the proposed fee increases and gave them an opportunity to express in writing any thoughts or concerns they may have. These comments were all taken into consideration before the park made the decision to increase its entrance fees. This is the first time that the park has increased its fees since 2000 and will bring Zion into line with other parks in the country, many of which increased their fees in 2006.
Under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004, a multi-agency fee authority was created for the National Park Service (NPS) and four other federal land management agencies. The legislation allows the NPS to collect entrance fees and "expanded amenity fees" for services, facilities, or equipment and use the funds for projects directly benefiting the visitors. Up to 80% of the fees collected, stay in the park and go directly into improving visitor facilities and services. Without fee revenues, many projects could not be completed because they cannot be funded from the park’s existing base budget.
Fee revenues collected in the past at Zion have financed projects to rehabilitate Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, construction of the shuttle bus maintenance and operations building, rehabilitation of the Nature Center, and replacement of outdated park wayside exhibits. These are just a few of many projects that the park has completed or that would not be possible without the fees collected at the entrance stations.
The new interagency recreation pass combines the benefits of existing recreation passes from five federal agencies into one comprehensive pass, the "America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass." The new program replaces the Golden Eagle, Golden Age, and the Golden Access Passports as well as the National Parks Pass.
Sales of the new interagency recreation pass will begin January 1, 2007. The passes will be available at federal recreation sites that charge entrance and standard amenity fees, through government internet sites, and through select third-party vendors. Officials note that 100 percent of the revenue derived from passes sold at federal recreation sites will directly benefit the selling agency and no less than 80 percent of the revenue will remain at the site where the pass was sold.
The four different passes in the new interagency program are:
1) A new annual interagency pass costing $80--For visitors to multiple federal sites, the pass offers unlimited coverage of entrance and standard amenity recreation fees for 12 months from date of purchase.
2) A $10 lifetime senior pass for U.S. citizens 62 or over;
3) A free lifetime access pass for U.S. citizens with permanent disabilities;
4) A new, free annual volunteer pass for volunteers acquiring 500 hours of service on a cumulative basis.
For more information regarding the increased fees in Zion National Park, please call 435-772-3256 or write to; Superintendent, Zion National Park, Springdale, UT 84767.
For more information on the new interagency pass, please contact DOI’s U.S. Geological Survey at https://store.usgs.gov/pass
or phone 1-888-275-8747