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Herald and News 1/2/07

Increase in fees will hurt park

I am glad to see the Klamath Falls Herald and News speaking out about the negative possibility that fees at Crater Lake National Park will soon be doubled. I personally hope this does not happen.

I believe the National Park Service should operate off of tax dollars, not on entrance station and campground fees. The proposed doubling of fees at  Crater Lake National Part would most certainly impact park visitation, at least among some residents of the local Crater Lake community. At Crater Lake, the Lost Creek Campground is maintained as a primitive site. It seems strange that a $10 per night fee is being charged by the NPS at that location.

In East Tennessee where I reside, there are no entrance fees for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The local gateway communities have most certainly prospered as the result.

A recent trip to Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg, Tenn., revealed evidence of substantial economic growth over the past 30 years. However, if the National Park Service were to begin charging fees on the Cades Cove Loop, or on US 441 through the Great Smokies, the situation would be politically untenable.

Owen Hoffman
Crater Lake Institute board member
Former Crater Lake National Park ranger/naturalist (1966-68)
Oak Ridge, Tenn

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