Yellowstone National Park managers have extended the window for accepting public comments on a proposed hike in entrance fees, as well as offering the option for taking comments online.
The move comes after the National Park Service faced criticism via social media networks and coverage in the news media for not allowing comments to be submitted by email or via online comment forms.
The move was made “in response to public requests,” according to a statement released this week by Yellowstone’s public affairs office.
Powell Tribune reporter CJ Baker earlier this month detailed how the proposed fee hike notice did not include an option for public comments to be submitted online or by email. It was the first such park proposal in eight years to lack an option for electronic comment, Barker reported. Yellowstone Gate republished the Tribune’s report.
Along with many other national parks, Yellowstone is proposing to raise entrance fees as annual budgets for most parks have shrunk over the past few years.
The park is proposing to offer a 3-day Yellowstone only pass for $30. A 7-day pass good for both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks would be available for $50. An annual pass to Yellowstone only will be $60.
Additionally, the park is proposing to institute a fee for overnight backcountry permits to help recover costs associated with operating the park’s backcountry program.
The public comment period has now been extended to midnight MST on December 20, 2014.
More information on the fee proposals and an electronic form to submit comments on the proposal are available on the National Park Service’s Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) Web site at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/fees.
Comments may also be hand-delivered during normal business hours to the mailroom in the park’s Administration Building in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming, or mailed to: Management Assistant Office, Attn: Entrance Fee Proposal, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, WY, 82190.
Comments will not be accepted by fax, e-mail, or in any other way than those specified above.