Last month, the National Park Service proposed a dramatic increase of entrance fees to 17 national parks, including the Grand Canyon. Now, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has joined 10 of his counterparts in other states across the country in opposition to the price hike.
In a letter addressed to the acting director of the National Park Service, the attorneys general quote naturalist John Muir, who once wrote that people need “beauty as well as bread.” People may have to choose between the two, the letter said, if entrance fees are more than doubled to $70 per car during peak months.
“[Parks] shouldn’t be the playground just for the wealthy or those that can afford to go,” Brnovich told KJZZ. “We need to make sure that any sort of fees or assessments don’t prevent people from being able to afford to go to our national treasures.”
Brnovich also said the fee increase could hurt communities in Northern Arizona that rely on tourism to the Grand Canyon. NPS said the higher prices are needed to address a maintenance backlog – and has extended a public comment period on the issue until Dec. 22.
This story originally aired on KJZZ.