Sen. Cantwell, others rallying to stop national park visitor fee hike

Sen. Cantwell, others rallying to stop national park visitor fee hike

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

SEATTLE — Senator Maria Cantwell, outdoor enthusiasts and small businesses are calling on the Trump administration and Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke to withdraw the National Park Service's proposal to nearly triple national park entrance fees.

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On October 24, the National Park Service announced a proposal to nearly triple the entrance fees beginning in 2018 for 17 of its most popular parks during their five-month-long peak seasons.

Under the proposed plan, fees will increase from $25 per vehicle to $70 per vehicle for Olympic and Mount Rainier National Parks beginning May 1, 2018.

Cantwell said according to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation is a major economic driver. In Washington state, outdoor recreation accounts for more than 201,000 direct jobs, $26.2 billion in annual consumer spending, $7.6 billion in wages and salaries, and $2.3 billion in state and local tax revenue.

In 2016, nearly 3.4 million people visited Olympic National Park, putting it in the top ten most visited parks. Mount Rainier National Park had more than 1.4 million visitors in 2016.

The rally will be held at the PACCAR Pavilion at the Olympia Sculpture Park in Seattle on Monday at 11 a.m.