|Above, Grand Canyon National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
Last February, I got my National Parks Lifetime Senior Pass when I turned 62.
The pass itself only cost me $10, but there were associated processing fees that boosted the bill to around $20. Still, this was a good deal and I have used it at Yosemite National Park (twice) and at Grand Canyon National Park. The savings (around $30) at Grand Canyon were more than the total amount I paid for the pass, so it essentially paid for itself.
At the Grand Canyon, all I had to do to enter the park was to hand them my pass and drivers license at the gate to look over and verify that I am the person on the pass and that the signatures matched.
Now, the National Park Service is considering raising the Lifetime Senior Pass fee to raise more money to help with the maintenance backlog that has been mounting.
According to RV Life:
Millions of Americans are still celebrating the centennial America’s National Parks. With nearly $12 billion in deferred maintenance projects as of February 2016, the National Park Service is examining every angle to raise additional funds for 2017. While there have been certain National Park Service fund raising tactics proposed recently, one strategy they are now considering is raising the National Parks Lifetime Senior Pass Fee.
In addition to the annual $3 billion in routine operations costs the National Park System must fund every year, it must also find a way to pay for critical fixes in each location. According to the National Parks Conservation Association, the maintenance backlog is long. It includes everything from fixing leaky roofs at the Santa Fe National Historic Trail Landmark, to adding ADA access at Valley Forge National Historic Park. Advocates for the parks argue that one way to make the work happen is by boosting the National Park Service Lifetime Senior Pass fee from $10 to $80.Ouch! If this passes by an act of Congress, raising the fee from $10 to $80 is quite a jump. I am glad that I got mine when I did.
To read more, go here.