I found the news of proposed large entrance fee increases at some of the nation's busiest national parks very disturbing. I believe the national park service has suffered from insufficient funding for many years and I encourage citizens to contact our representatives and senators and urge them to not only re-think funding cuts to national park budgets but also to oppose such large increases in park entrance fees as those proposed Oct. 23, 2017. The increase of a cost per car from $25-$30 to $70 per vehicle will prohibit many families from being able to enjoy the parks.
While Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains National Park is not involved in the fee situation, many other beautiful parks that Chattanoogans visit (Rocky Mountain National Park, Yosemite, and Yellowstone) are on the list for increased fees. A modest increase of a few dollars per vehicle (or motorcycle or person) might be appropriate but the proposed increases are too large, particularly when Congress can reduce funding cuts.
The large fee increase proposal offers a very brief 30-day public comment period. I encourage all those who enjoy the national parks to express opposition to this proposal via the national parks website.