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Stefan

Gauthier: Why are some NPs free?

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Hey Mike, do you know why some NP installations have free entrance fees and others are not? I am not complaining. Just wondering what the policy is.

 

For example, I don't recall paying for the Pearl Harbor thing--which is they way it should be for this facility. I know there are other NP's around the country that you don't have to pay for, I just can't remember their names. Not sure about the Statue of Liberty.....

 

I know the money collected from the entrance(s) of MRNP goes into the general fund of all NP's. What's the policy why some NP's charge and some don't for entrance fees?

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Some of the areas that you are wondering about got specific exclusion in the authorizing legislation. Likely some politicians decided that some should be exempt for some reason. Check out the attachment to this posting for the full text of a document that this comes from.

 

 

 

"UNITED STATES CODE SERVICE

Copyright © 2003 Matthew Bender & Company, Inc.,

one of the LEXIS Publishing companies

All rights reserved

*** CURRENT THROUGH P.L. 108-30, APPROVED 5/29/03 ***

TITLE 16. CONSERVATION

CHAPTER 1. NATIONAL PARKS, MILITARY PARKS, MONUMENTS, AND SEASHORES

OUTDOOR RECREATION PROGRAMS

LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND

 

 

GO TO CODE ARCHIVE DIRECTORY FOR THIS JURISDICTION

16 USCS § 460l-6a (2003)

 

 

§ 460l-6a. Admission and special recreation use fees

 

......

(9) No admission fee may be charged at the following units of the National Park System: U.S.S. Arizona

Memorial, Independence National Historical Park, any unit of the National Park System within the District

of Columbia, Arlington House--Robert E. Lee National Memorial, San Juan National Historic Site, and

Canaveral National Seashore.

 

(10) For each unit of the National Park System where an admission fee is collected, the Director shall

annually designate at least one day during periods of high visitation as a "Fee-Free Day" when no

admission fee shall be charged."

 

 

 

 

Here is a very interesting note at the bottom of this document:

 

"INTERPRETIVE NOTES AND DECISIONS

Department of Interior is enjoined from charging fee under 16 USCS § 460l-6(a)(4) to those residents traveling roadway through Colorado National Monument but not using Monument for recreation purposes where (1) action of Secretary of Interior in authorizing 36 CFR § 71.13(d) for payment of fees by residents using roads solely for transportation and not recreation exceeds his statutory authority, and (2) charging fee constitutes arbitrary and capricious regulation since Interior could place fee collection stations at another location so as not to interfere with those not making recreational use of Monument. Wilkenson v Department of Interior (1986, DC Colo) 634 F Supp 1265."

Merely driving through national forest area was not recreational "use" of area subject to exaction of user fee under 16 USCS § 460l-6a, where statute allowing Forest Service to collect user fees did not repeal existing legislation that prohibited Service from charging toll fees. United States v Maris (1997, DC Or) 987 F Supp 865.

Climber who hiked into recreational fee area in national forest and who camped within area overnight was engaged in recreational activity so as to require payment of user fee under 16 USCS § 460l-6a, notwithstanding his contention that he entered fee area for purpose of engaging in some type of religious ritual, and that hiking and climbing activities were collateral. United States v Morow (2002, ED Cal) 185 F Supp 2d 1135."

205978-Public_Law_108-30.doc

Edited by mtnnut

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The only Nation park that I can think of that is free is the north cascades. I heard he would donate the land as long as they never charged admission to it. Don't know how true that is, but what I heard.

 

Also don't get confused with all the other nation sites out there. There are national parks, national monuments, national forests, nation recreation areas, national memorials, cemetary's, battlefields,..... Don't know if they are under the same rules.

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chris_w said:

The only Nation park that I can think of that is free is the north cascades. I heard he would donate the land as long as they never charged admission to it. Don't know how true that is, but what I heard.

 

Who?

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Alpinfox said:

chris_w said:

The only Nation park that I can think of that is free is the north cascades. I heard he would donate the land as long as they never charged admission to it. Don't know how true that is, but what I heard.

 

Who?

 

God

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Here is some correspondence I just had with someone "in the know":

 

 

Hi,

Someone told me that a significant portion (perhaps all?) of the NCNP was

once privately owned and was donated to the US Park Service under the

condition that entrance fees never be charged. Is that true?

 

If you could give me some details about the ownership history of the park,

I would appreciate it. No particular reason, just curious.

-ME

 

 

That is not really true. The majority of today's national park was and

always has been federally owned, first as public domain, then as US Forest

Service lands, and now as a national park. There are sections within the

park complex, such as the Stehekin Valley, that were and are still in

private ownership, as well as some scattered mining claims. The reason for

not charging entrance fees stems from an agreement with Washington State,

which owns highway 20. The highway, also known as the North Cascades

Highway, is the main route through the park complex. I hope this helps.

 

Kind regards,

(Name Removed)

 

 

******************************

(Name Removed), Ph.D.

History Program

National Park Service, Seattle

 

 

 

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This doesn't make sense. California State Route 120 is the main east/west route through Yosemite Nat'l Park, CA State Route 41 also passes through and it still costs $20 just to drive through the park. madgo_ron.gif

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My understanding is that it has more to do with logistics than anything else. When you consider start up costs to open booths and gate entranvces and then the cost to man them, the visitorship has to AT LEAST support those costs.

 

You can drive through the main road in the tetons for free (can't remember the number), but you must pay to enter the inner drive to get to any park services. I actually think that there are portions of the Smokies that you can enter without payment as well, but they also have no services. bigdrink.gif

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Here is a funny one. When we were paying our climbing permit fees for denali, I asked if we needed to pay to enter the national park. They were not sure and eventally said no. Then I asked does our climbing fee include entrace to the park. They were not sure. So Denali NP is free if you fly in.

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i think death valley is free, or you have to stop, and go into a fee station, they really dont' have any checkpoints as far as i know.

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Climber who hiked into recreational fee area in national forest and who camped within area overnight was engaged in recreational activity so as to require payment of user fee under 16 USCS § 460l-6a, notwithstanding his contention that he entered fee area for purpose of engaging in some type of religious ritual, and that hiking and climbing activities were collateral.

 

So if I go to Mt. Rainier and say my religion is to pray from the top of the mountain never taking the same path twice, it sounds to me that they can't charge that retarded climbing fee.

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I vote for logistics as the most likely reason. Usually what you're paying for, really, is access to a contiguous paved road network (i.e, the Yellowstone loop roads, or the connected Rainier NP road system). NCNP has no such road system: the highway is in the NRA, not the park. All it's got is a couple of unconnected odd short bits of dirt road--the stehekin road, the last bit of the N Fk cascade river road.

 

Also visitorship seems to enter into it. NCNP, since it doesn't have its own roads, has pretty low visitorship numbers. (most NP visitors do not leave the vicinity of their cars.

 

I'd be hugely surprised if Katmai, Gates of the Arctic, or Misty Fjords have entrance fees, but I'll bet Denali does.

 

Another case in point, of all the national parks in southern Utah, only Capitol Reef is free. Zion, Arches, Bryce, and Canyonlands all have their own paved road networks. Capitol reef is bisected by a state highway for about 4 miles, has a few high-clearance dirt roads, but that's it. And it is, by a wide margin, the most obscure, least heard-of Utah national park. Great place.

 

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good question, but i'm hestiant to respond in this forum as i don't really know the best/accurate answer. in fact, it's probably better for all if i don't respond such debates on this web site... some can't distingush between "mike the climber and author" and "mike the NPS ranger." it's not that i don't want to help, but i'd best watch out. what if want to run for office some day?? rolleyes.gifyellaf.gif

if you want an official answer, write your NPS folks at:

Mount Rainier National Park

Tahoma Woods, Star Route

Ashford, WA 98397

you can also find an email link on the park website (don't know that address offhand.) www.nps.gov/mora. generally speaking, they will respond to emailed questions there too.

good luck, post your answer, i'm curious to see what you get.

mike

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I can decipher between Mike the Ranger and Mike the Sprayer.

 

Mike the Ranger wears a uniform and does not know anything about the website cc.com...... grin.gif

 

Thanks for the info. I might contact them.

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Hey Cheapsters! Why don't you just buy the doggone annual pass and not worry about it. Money well-spent. Cheaper than going to dinner and a movie with your favorite girlie. $50 at the Park or $39.95 at REI. Look at this guy...he's very pleased with his purchase!

 

ParkPass2.jpg

 

BUY IT NOW!!! For yourself!!!

park_pass.gif

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Dwayner said:

Hey Cheapsters! Why don't you just buy the doggone annual pass and not worry about it. Money well-spent. Cheaper than going to dinner and a movie with your favorite girlie. $50 at the Park or $39.95 at REI. Look at this guy...he's very pleased with his purchase!

 

I just want to know why some parks are free and others are not. Logistics makes sense. I think the White House is also part of the NPS but not sure, and I don't know if they charge for the tour there also.

 

Dwayner....you know as well as I do, that if you enter MRNP park BEFORE 7:00a.m. and AFTER 6:00p.m. THEN IT'S FREE!

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Stefan said:

Dwayner....you know as well as I do, that if you enter MRNP park BEFORE 7:00a.m. and AFTER 6:00p.m. THEN IT'S FREE!

Really? No wonder I don't remember paying to get in my first time at MR NP.

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Kiwi said:

Stefan said:

Dwayner....you know as well as I do, that if you enter MRNP park BEFORE 7:00a.m. and AFTER 6:00p.m. THEN IT'S FREE!

Really? No wonder I don't remember paying to get in my first time at MR NP.

 

Always been that way. Git your arse outta bed and git in there early.

 

Or sneak in the night before and sleep in yer truck in one of the pullouts. If you get caught in a pull-out, just tell 'em that you were gittin' tired trying to make it to the campground, and not wanting to hit any little park critterz, you thought the wisest choice was to pull 'er over and catch 40 winks. But OMFG! I overslept, Mr. Park Ranger! Sorry! I'll be movin' along now.

 

Works ever' time! thumbs_up.gif

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Stefan said:

Dwayner said:

Hey Cheapsters! Why don't you just buy the doggone annual pass and not worry about it. Money well-spent. Cheaper than going to dinner and a movie with your favorite girlie. $50 at the Park or $39.95 at REI. Look at this guy...he's very pleased with his purchase!

 

I just want to know why some parks are free and others are not. Logistics makes sense. I think the White House is also part of the NPS but not sure, and I don't know if they charge for the tour there also.

 

Dwayner....you know as well as I do, that if you enter MRNP park BEFORE 7:00a.m. and AFTER 6:00p.m. THEN IT'S FREE!

 

there is no tour anymore.. frown.gif

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