Fees at Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park will likely experience a steep increase as new federal regulations go into effect. The Department of the Interior will take comments until Nov. 23 on the proposal which will increase the fee for a car from $30 to $70 in 17 of the most popular national parks. (Entrance fees to most national parks will remain free.)
Lifetime Senior Pass fee will increase from $10 to $80, although a one-year senior pass can be purchased for $20.
The increase in revenues will address a backlog of maintenance and infrastructure projects. It is expected to raise $70 million a year more, at a time when national parks repeatedly have been breaking visitation records and putting a strain on park resources. Both Yellowstone and Glacier have been reporting record breaking visitations.
The Park Service estimates deferred maintenance across its parks at $11.3 billion as of September 2016.
Typically entrance fees to Yellowstone collect $8.8 million annually, 80 percent of which is retained to fund critical projects that improve services and protect resources.
“We need to have a vision to look at the future of our parks and take action in order to ensure that our grandkids’ grandkids will have the same if not better experience than we have today,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement. “Shoring up our parks’ aging infrastructure will do that.”