National parks tourism pumped nearly $36 billion into the U.S. economy last year, and communities just outside the parks benefited the most. That’s where more than 330 million visitors dropped more than $18-billion-dollars and supported 255 thousand jobs.
WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.
Americans love their national parks. But the agency that oversees them, the National Park Service, is facing budget cuts. And, worse, they’re $12 billion behind on a growing to-do list that includes repairing guard rails on steep cliffs and replacing broken campsite toilets. Their solution? Higher entrance fees. But KUER's Judy Fahys explains it's not that simple.
Brooke and Randy Levin are money people. They know about investments and cash flow. He handles finances at a physical therapy company in Atlanta. She does real estate deals. They know about the parks’ money problems. And at the Arches National Park visitors center, they share some ideas, like ranger-guided tours.
State air-quality officials have updated plans to clean up haze in the skies around Utah’s national parks, and they’re sending it to federal regulators for their approval over the objections of environmental advocates.
The Utah Symphony and Opera will be taking their show on the road this summer, pairing live classical music with Utah’s natural landscape. In a new partnership with the Office of Tourism, the Symphony announced Tuesday it will be offering free open-air concerts at Utah’s Mighty 5 national parks this August.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told students at Weber State University today she wants to get more young people involved in the outdoors. She was the keynote speaker at Weber State’s Sustainability Summit.
Jewell says recent budget cuts and the government shutdown really hurt the National Park Service and other agencies in her department.