The man who is working to open public lands to oil and mineral extraction thinks parks should pay more for their upkeep. Congress has been underfunding the National Park Service for years; the parks have a $12 billion maintenance backlog -- broken bathrooms, aging campgrounds, and roads pitted with potholes. The Trump budget proposal aims for a $300 million cut in their operating budget.
So the administration is proposing "surge pricing" -- jacking up the prices at the 17 most popular NPS destinations during their high seasons, mostly from May through October. You know, let's run our parks like Uber, squeezing the highest dollar out of "customers."
But park users are not "customers". We, collectively, are owners. There are many who protest the Zinke plan:
The Mercury News (San Jose) denounces the new charges and promotes an alternative:
Fossil fuels should stay in the ground if we want any hope of mitigating climate change. But at the very least, the current government take from mining and drilling could be used for the benefit of us all.
The National Park Service has opened up a website for citizen comments on the park price increases which will remain open until November 23.