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Decision Coming on Fee Hike at Theodore Roosevelt National Park

PHOTO: Theodore Roosevelt National Park maintains a small group of longhorn steers in the North Unit as a historic demonstration herd. Park fees are likely to be going up in 2015. Photo courtesy of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
PHOTO: Theodore Roosevelt National Park maintains a small group of longhorn steers in the North Unit as a historic demonstration herd. Park fees are likely to be going up in 2015. Photo courtesy of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
December 30, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. - A decision on whether entrance and camping fees will be going up at North Dakota's Theodore Roosevelt National Park is expected to come in January, and it appears the proposed hikes will be approved.

Chief Ranger Dean Wyckoff says the plan is now being reviewed by the National Park Service, along with the public comments submitted that he says were more supportive than not.

"Most of the comments were positive for the fee increase," he says. "In fact, it was, like, two to one were in favor of the proposed fee increase."

If approved, the higher fees would begin in May and be phased in through 2017. The cost of a seven-day vehicle permit would rise from $10 to $25, while an annual pass would increase from $20 to $50. The last time the National Park Service standard fee schedule was changed was in 2006.

Wyckoff notes, 80 percent of any increased revenue from higher fees will stay local and won't go to operational expenses, but only to projects that directly benefit visitors.

"Providing enhanced visitor services, including repair and maintenance of facilities, capital improvements, enhanced amenities, resource protection and additional visitor programs and services," Wyckoff says.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park attracts around 600,000 visitors a year.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - ND