Proposal would increase Crater Lake fees – December 18, 2006

Proposal would increase Crater Lake fees

Mail Tribune
Medford, Oregon
December 18, 2006
By PAUL FATTIG

Comment period starts Jan. 1; fees would benefit park visitors

CRATER LAKE — The National Park Service has proposed doubling entrance fees to Crater Lake National Park.

That would mean the current $10 seven-day entrance pass, which allows a private vehicle and its passengers to access the park, would jump to $20.

The proposal, which also applies to Lava Beds National Monument in the Klamath Basin and other agency facilities, is the result of Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act approved by Congress late in 2005.
The law allows the agency to collect entrance fees and “expanded amenity fees” for services, facilities or equipment and use the funds for projects that directly benefit visitors.

A 90-day comment period on the proposal begins Jan. 1 and continues through March 31. If approved, the increases would begin in January of 2008.

The proposed entrance fee increases would provide additional funding for projects and help improve visitor facilities and services throughout the park, explained park superintendent Chuck Lundy.

“Eighty percent of the entrance fees visitors pay at Crater Lake National Park stay right here at Crater Lake where they are used for projects that directly benefit park visitors,” he said in a prepared statement released Friday.

“Visitors can now travel through the park and enjoy new and upgraded rest rooms, new boat docks at Cleetwood Cove and improved trails, including an accessible trail at Godfrey Glen,” he added.

Those improvement are the direct result of entrance fees collected by the park, he said. The fees also helped support rehabilitation of the buildings housing the new Crater Lake Science and Learning Center, he added.

Under the proposal, the seven-day pass for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists and members of non-commercial organized groups would increase from $5 to $10.

An annual pass to the park would also double in cost from $20 to $40. Staff at the park and at Lava Beds monument would continue to offer a joint annual pass, allowing the holder unlimited year-round recreation opportunities for the two areas.

Children under 16 years old would still be allowed in the park at no charge.
The $10 per night camping fee at Lost Creek Campground and commercial tour rates would remain the same.

To comment on the proposal, visit the park’s Web site at www.nps.gov/ crla or send a letter to Superintendent, Crater Lake National Park, P.O. Box 7, Crater Lake, OR 97604.
Reach reporter Paul Fattig at 776-4496 or at pfattig@mailtribune .com

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