Popular U.S. national parks to hike fees to $35, not $70

FILE PHOTO - A car is stopped by a herd of bison crossing the highway in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, U.S. on June 8, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart/File Photo

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Interior Department will hike fees at the most popular national parks to $35 a vehicle, backing off a plan that would have cost visitors $70 a vehicle to visit Yellowstone and other well-known parks, the agency said on Thursday.

The new plan boosts fees at 117 parks by $5, up from the current $30 but half the figure the Interior Department proposed in October for peak-season visitors at 17 heavily visited parks, it said in a statement.

The fee increase would help finance a $11.6 billion backlog of maintenance and improvements. The proposal generated a wave of protests, and the Interior Department had to extend its comment period by 30 days to accommodate the more than 100,000 responses it received.

"This new fee structure addresses many of the concerns and ideas provided by the public regarding how to best address fee revenue for parks," the department's statement said.

The new charges go into effect on June 1, and more than two-thirds of national parks will remain free to enter, it said.

Federal law requires that 80 percent of revenue generated at a national park remains where it is collected. The remaining funds can be funneled to other projects within the system.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; editing by Diane Craft)

You may also interested in

Junk food fight: Science tests how birds compete...

Aug 12, 2016

It's the early bird that gets the Cheetos but it's the bigger bird that steals it away, scientists...

APNewsBreak: California may beef up electric...

Aug 13, 2016

California lawmaker to introduce legislation requiring 15 percent of all new vehicles be zero...

Webcam whale research buoyed by viewers around...

Aug 15, 2016

Canadian researchers are turning to internet to learn about the social behavior thousands of beluga...

Southern California fire burns at least a dozen...

Aug 17, 2016

A wildfire broke out Tuesday and spread at a staggering pace in every direction through...

Congress receives FBI notes from Clinton interview

Aug 17, 2016

Congress has received FBI documents related to the investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a...

The Next Daily is the new generation of online publication, serving you the most recent discoveries made in science and technology on a daily basis. At The Next Daily, we believe in the power of consistent and reliable reporting to inspire and move mankind forward.

Contact us: sales[at]thenextdaily.com