Park Service extends comment period for proposed fee hike

Close to 5 million tourists, like these, visited the Grand Canyon National Park last year. The National Park Service wants to double entry fees during peak season at the park, along with 16 others, to raise money for much-needed maintenance projects. (Photo by Sophia Kunthara/Cronkite News)

Close to 5 million tourists, like these, visited the Grand Canyon National Park last year. The National Park Service wants to double entry fees during peak season at the park, along with 16 others, to raise money for much-needed maintenance projects. (Photo by Sophia Kunthara/Cronkite News)

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (AP) — The National Park Service is giving people more time to weigh in on a proposed fee increase at 17 of its most popular parks.

Visitors would be charged $70 per vehicle, up from the current $30 fee, during the five busiest months of the year. At others, the hike is from $25 to $70.

The comment period had been scheduled to end Thursday. The new deadline is Dec. 22.

The Park Service said it wanted to accommodate interest from Congress and the public. More than 65,000 comments already have been submitted.

Most of the 17 sites are in the West, including Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion and Mount Rainier.

The Park Service says it would raise $70 million annually under the proposal. The revenue would fund maintenance and infrastructure projects.

Click here to view NPS Public Comment Page

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