A trend seems to be developing in the West against higher entrance fees in the national parks. Already Yosemite and Crater Lake national parks and Lava Beds National Monument have had fee increases spiked, and now the folks around Olympic National Park are complaining about a proposed increase there.
In the case of Yosemite, backlash from businesses surrounding the park led Park Service Director Mary Bomar to table a proposal to boost the entrance fee from $20 to $25. At Crater Lake, it seemed like politics and local opposition helped shelve plans to double the entrance to $20.
Now there's a story out of Seattle that the locals are not happy at all with plans to boost the entrance fee at Olympic to $25 from its current $15 rate beginning in 2009.
"People are concerned that the pricing could keep people away," park spokeswoman Barb Maynes told the Seattle Times. "People are concerned that it would particularly lead to a pretty stratified sort of visitation where only the wealthier members of our society could come."
The story, which you can find here, also points out that plans to boost entrance fees at nearby Mount Rainier National Park have been put on hold while Director Bomar and her management team judge public opposition to these increases.
Is this growing resentment to higher entrance fees a regional phenomenon? It doesn't seem to have reached the Rockies, where higher fees encountered little resistance at Zion, Yellowstone and Grand Teton.