- Bob Falcone
National Parks newsNational Park Week kicks off on Saturday, April 21st, with waived entry fees to all National Park Service sites all day.
Speaking of the the NPS, the department recently proposed a significant entry fee increase to its most popular sites, as well as increasing daily entry fees at its 17 most popular sites like Rocky Mountain, Arches, Yosemite, and Yellowstone National Parks. In Rocky's case, the proposed $30 per-car 7-day pass would have risen to as much $70. But facing strong opposition from the public, outdoor recreation groups, and those that depend on those tourism dollars, the NPS has since announced much smaller entry fees of around only $5 in most of the 117 NPS sites that charge a fee — those that are free will remain so.
In Colorado, Rocky Mountain, Dinosaur, Florissant Fossil Beds, Great Sand Dunes, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison have announced fee increases that have either already taken effect, or will take effect by summer. Colorado National Monument will not raise it's entry fees until 2019.
Outdoors bills move closer to becoming lawIn other news, on April 19, Senate Bill 143, the "Hunting, Fishing and Parks for Future Generations Act" that will allow Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to have the flexibility to adjust state park entry fees and the cost of hunting licenses to cover projected shortfalls, passed through the state legislature and now awaits Governor Hickenlooper's signature to go into effect.
Meanwhile, Senate Bill 66 that would re-authorized the Colorado Lottery for another 25 years is awaiting a signature from the governor before becoming law. Lottery proceeds go to fund the Conservation Trust Fund, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Great Outdoors Colorado and rural public schools.
Bob Falcone is a retired firefighter, photographer, hiker, college instructor, business owner and author of Hiking Bob's Tips, Tricks and Trails, available via his website. He has lived in Colorado Springs for more than 26 years. Follow him on Twitter (@hikingbob), Facebook (Hiking Bob), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO) or visit his website (Hikingbob.com). E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Bob: firstname.lastname@example.org.