Mazie K. Hirono

Democrats condemn proposed fee hikes at national parks

Democratic senators on Thursday criticized a National Park Service plan to impose steep increases in entrance fees at 17 of its most popular parks, including the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone and Zion, calling the proposed rates "arbitrary and unjustifiable."

Under a plan announced this week, visitors to many national parks would be charged $70 per vehicle during the peak summer season, up from $25 or $30 per vehicle now. Officials say the higher fees are needed to address an $11 billion backlog of maintenance and infrastructure projects that have been put off for years.

Senators said the plan would exclude many Americans from enjoying national parks. Sen....

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