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Popular national parks to raise fees, but far short of previous proposal

By: MATTHEW DALY , Associated Press
April 12, 2018 Updated: April 12, 2018 at 5:05 pm
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Hikers fight the wind as they as climb the Alpine Ridge Trail from the Alpine Visitor Center Monday, June 15, 2015, in Rocky Mountain National Park. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

WASHINGTON — The Interior Department is increasing fees at the most popular national parks to $35 per vehicle, backing down from an earlier plan that would have forced visitors to pay $70 per vehicle to visit the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and other iconic parks.

A plan announced Thursday would boost fees at 17 popular parks by $5, up from the current $30 but far below the figure Interior proposed last fall.

The plan by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke drew widespread opposition from lawmakers and governors of both parties, who said the higher fees could exclude many Americans from enjoying national parks. The agency received more than 109,000 comments on the plan, most of them opposed.

The fee increases apply to Yellowstone, Zion, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain and Grand Teton parks, among others.

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