WASHINGTON, D.C. — Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis introduced a new bill on Thursday, Sept. 21, that would require national parks to accept cash at entrance booths.
The “Protecting Access to Recreation with Cash Act (PARC)” is intended to ensure access to national parks “without hassle,” according to the bill.
“Having a credit card should not be a requirement to enjoy the great outdoors,” Lummis said in a statement. “America’s national parks system offers an unmatched window into the natural beauty and history of our land. Allowing the most universal form of money to be used is the best way to maximize the amount of people who visit and enjoy these one-of-a-kind icons.”
Yellowstone National Park accepts cash at its entrance booths. Grand Teton National Park accepts cash at its entrance booths except for the Granite Canyon entrance station, which takes credit and debit cards only. More than 20 national parks have gone cashless, or are in the process of doing so.
Fellow Wyoming Senator John Barrasso co-sponsored the bill, along with Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jim Risch (R-ID), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK).
“America’s national parks showcase some of the most beautiful places on earth. We must make sure these national treasures remain accessible for all visitors,” Barrasso said in a statement. “Senator Lummis’ PARC Act will ensure that visitors have more options for admission to experience our incredible National Parks.”
Lummis’ press release aligns cash payment with “small government principles.”
“The government should not interfere in the lives of citizens more than necessary,” the release says. “By requiring visitors to pay with credit or debit, the government is effectively forcing them to use a particular form of payment.”
Other reasons to protect cash payments cited in the release include the possibility of credit card fraud, malfunctioning card readers and the convenience of not involving a bank account in a transaction.