Attorney General Janet Mills opposes Trump Administration?s proposal to dramatically increase entrance fees at national parks

November 27, 2017


CONTACT: Andrew Roth-Wells Telephone: (207) 626-8887

Attorney General Janet Mills opposes Trump Administration?s proposal to dramatically increase entrance fees at national parks

AUGUSTA ? Attorney General Janet Mills joined a bipartisan coalition of 11 attorneys general to express her strong opposition to the National Park Service?s (NPS) proposal to dramatically increase entrance fees at 17 national parks, including Acadia National Park in Maine. Under the proposal, the per vehicle entrance fee during the five-month peak season would increase to $70 from $25 or $30. Motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian entrance fees would also increase by double or more. The attorneys general sent a comment letter to NPS opposing the increased fees.

?Acadia is a national treasure that brings over 3 million people a year to Maine,? said Attorney General Mills. ?Every effort should be made to encourage more families to visit and enjoy our nation?s natural beauty that is protected in our national parks. Unfortunately, this proposal by the Trump Administration will make it more difficult for working class families to afford this experience.?

While the Trump Administration claims the increased funding is needed to deal with the backlog of necessary maintenance work at the national parks, it is also proposing to cut almost $300 million from the National Park Service?s budget.

?Acadia National Park injected over $270 million into our local communities last year,? said Attorney General Mills. ?It is incumbent upon all of us to take action to oppose this dramatic increase in park entrance fees and to protect communities that rely on national parks as important economic engines.?

In the comment letter to the NPS, Attorney General Mills and her fellow attorneys general make three main points:

? NPS?s stated justification for the fee increase is to address the serious maintenance backlog facing the national park system. However, the proposal could well reduce revenue by lowering visitation rates, and it comes at the same time that the Trump Administration is proposing to cut NPS?s budget by far more than any increased fees might generate;

? NPS has failed to consider or provide any data to support the criteria it must consider pursuant to the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004, including the ?aggregate effect of recreation fees on recreation users? or ?the public policy or management objectives served by the recreation fee?;

? NPS?s Washington-centric approach, announcing the proposed fees for 17 parks without any detailed analysis or prior outreach to impacted communities and setting a short comment period that includes major holidays, is designed to minimize input from the American public to whom the national parks belong.

Joining Attorney General Mills in sending the comment letter were the Attorneys General of Arizona, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and the District of Columbia.


Supporting documents

NPS entry fee letter