If you're planning on visiting a National Park this summer, you may have to pay higher entrance fees. The National Park Service is planning to increase user fees at approximately one-third of National Parks over the next three years, according to this story.
The NPS has not done much to publicize the move, likely due to fears of public complaints. This is a shame, because increasing park user fees is a good policy move, particularly insofar as individual park units can retain the extra revenues for park maintenance and improvements. Too often, when money is allocated to Washington, D.C., it gets spent on new acquisitions and other priorities that only increase the operating costs of the system. Given the tremendous maintenance backlog throughout the system, it makes more sense to devote resources to taking care of the parks we already have -- and who better to pay for this maintenance than those who derive the primary benefit, i.e. park users like me.