Secretary of the Interior and fellow Montanan Ryan Zinke defended the agency’s plan to double fees to enter national parks from $25 to $30 to a proposed $70 per week pass per car.
In remarks to a Senate committee, Zinke said many people aren’t paying to enter parks.
““When you give discounted or free passes to elderly, fourth graders, veterans, disabled, and you do it by the carload, there’s not a whole lot of people who actually pay at our front door,” Zinke said. “So, we’re looking at ways to make sure we have more revenue in the front door of our parks themselves.”
Last year the agency raised the price of a lifelong senior pass from $10 to $80. An $80 annual pass will get you into all the nation’s national parks.
Zinke called the cost of the pass “the greatest bargain in America.”
He claimed that a trip to the movie theater is more expensive.
““I just took my kids to the theater, and after paying the ticket to the theater and having popcorn, it’s more than $80,” Zinke said.