Public comment sought on proposed fee increase for Saguaro Natio - Tucson News Now

Public comment sought on proposed fee increase for Saguaro National Park

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The National Park Service is asking for public comment on the proposed increases in the entrance fee and annual pass for the Saguaro National Park, both east and west district.  

“Saguaro National Park has long been a popular destination for those who enjoy the park through hiking, bicycling, attending interpretive programs, picnicking, wilderness backpacking, scenic drives, wildlife viewing, and more,” said Superintendent Leah McGinnis in a recent news release.  “The park is committed to ensuring that we continue to be an affordable option for outdoor recreation and enjoyment.” 

If the fee increases are approved they will go into effect on May 1, 2018 and would bring SNP fees into alignment with entry costs at other national parks.  

Here are the proposed increases: 

Comments will be accepted from January 9 – February 9 by either mail to the following address - Superintendent; Saguaro National Park; 3693 South Old Spanish Trail, Tucson, AZ  85730 or via the website: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/saguarofeeincrease.
 
Entrance fees are not charged to those under the age of 16, or to owners of the following passes - America the Beautiful-The National Parks and Federal Recreational Annual, Senior, Access, Military, or Volunteer. These passes may be obtained at the park and are not included in the proposed fee increase.

Annual passes or other national passes are recommended for those who use the park more than a couple of times a year, and are a good economical alternative to the weekly entrance fee. 

All fees that are collected at Saguaro National Park, stay in the park to improve visitor services and facilities, according to the NPS news release. 

The potential revenue from the increased fees would enable the park to address ongoing park-wide trail maintenance, like resurfacing the Desert Ecology and Desert Discovery Trails so they remain accessible, rehabilitating the rutted trail surface near Pink Hill, and repairing other frequently used park trails and visitor use areas.

Following the comment period, feedback will determine how, or if, a fee increase would be implemented.

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