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Jackson objects to national park fee hike

The Jackson Town Council says it was caught by surprise when it got a look at the National Park Service plan to more than double entrance fees at Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

And, in a letter to Grand Teton National Park Superintendent David Vela, the council said the proposal came after no public process.

The council stated it opposed the proposed rate increase and the associated impacts it would have on the community and access to public lands.

The town pointed out that a public process preceded a deliberative 2014 process that reviewed entrance fees at both parks. That increase of $5 was the first in many years and only came after a public meeting in Jackson and consultation with local government.

In the letter approved by the council Monday, Mayor Pete Muldoon said, “The culture of our community and many of our livelihoods depend on a healthy, functioning public lands system that is accessible to all Americans. Because of this, we are deeply concerned about the proposal to raise the entrance fee of 17 of America’s most visited national parks to $70 per vehicle during peak season.”

A public comment period was originally scheduled to close this Thursday but has now been extended to December 22. The Associated Press reported that the National Park Service has already received 65,000 public comments.

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