'Thinning the blood' of the national park system

Monday, December 29, 2014
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Dream Lake at Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Would you pay more to visit your favorite national park? The National Park Service hopes so. The agency is proposing to increase entrance fees at many national parks across the country in an attempt to raise more revenue from visitors to help cover the cost of park operations and maintenance.

The proposal comes at a time when Congress just authorized the largest expansion of the national park system in nearly three decades — but with no plan for how to fund it.

The defense authorization bill, recently signed by President Obama, creates seven new national parks and expands nine existing parks, adding roughly 120,000 acres to the park system. The legislation, however, provides no additional funding for the expansion, which includes Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument in Nevada, the Coltsville National Historic Park in Connecticut and the Harriet Tubman National Historic Park in New York.

Meanwhile, the National Park Service faces a $12 billion backlog in deferred maintenance projects…

Read the remainder of the post on The Hill's Contributors blog.

Shawn Regan is a research fellow at PERC and the director of outreach and publications. He holds a M.S. in Applied Economics from Montana State University and degrees in economics and environmental science from Berry College. His writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Quartz, High Country News,...
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