State lawmakers okay with bumping fees at national parks

Happy belated birthday to Grand Teton NP. President Calvin Coolidge signed it into the park pool on February 26, 1929. (NPS)

WYOMING – State lawmakers moved forward with a resolution last week that would signal the legislature’s support for increased gate fees at Yellowstone and, perhaps, Grand Teton national parks.

The proposal advocates for the collection of a fee to enter the national parks that would fund wildlife conservation efforts in the states surrounding Yellowstone. The resolution passed the state House Travel, Recreation, Wildlife & Cultural Resources Committee on a 9-0 vote last Wednesday. It now advances to the floor of the full Wyoming House for debate.

The resolution would be nonbinding. The state legislature does not have the authorization to impose fees at national parks. The hopes is it would start a dialogue between the three states (Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho), the US Interior Department, and the National Park Service about a method of collecting and sharing gate entrance fees at Yellowstone and Grand Teton.

Rep. Albert Sommers is the primary sponsor of the resolution that did not specify an amount or how it would be collected.

The National Park Service has already proposed steep increases of its own at 17 of its most popular parks, including Yellowstone and Grand Teton, to help pay down a backlog of maintenance and infrastructure projects.

Would you not pay extra to see this? We could watch this slow TV all day…