Page images
[blocks in formation]

In response to your letter of July 9, 1985, enclosed are our

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]


Question 1:

in the

How can you meet the proposal contained President's 1986 Budget to increase recreation fees to recover 25% of the cost of Federal outdoor recreation programs?


We cannot meet this proposal under existing law. Furthermore, we believe that, should legislation be enacted to permit us to increase fees to levels that would enable us to meet that proposal, the fee levels would be unrealistically high. have recommended that this 25 percent goal not be applied to the fee program of the National Park Service.


Question 2: You said in your statement that you believe the American people would support the fee increases assumed by the President's Budget and the Senate Budget Resolution if they knew their contributions would be used to maintain park resources and to provide services to park users. What kind of fund might be established to ensure this result and how would it be




Answer: We envision a two-tiered system wherein each park that collects fees (whether user fees or entrance fees) would establish its own receipts account, into which would be covered all fees collected. The collecting park would retain an amount sufficient to pay for the costs of collection and an additional amount to supplement its budget for needed maintenance, research, interpretation, and resources management. This supplemental amount would be determined in advance in the regular budget and priority-setting process. A11 amounts remaining, if any, would

be transferred

to an account at headquarters. This headquarters account would be used to supplement the maintenance, research, interpretation, and resources management needs of other parks in the System, including those with little or no income from fees and those with special funding needs.

Question 3:
additional revenues resulting from increased

Mr. Mott, you indicated in your remarks that
park entrance fees

should be used to "increase our ability to maintain park facilities, buildings and equipment and for research and If these fees are raised, will we see a corresponding decrease in future Administration budget requests for these facilities and programs?




to the


Answer: No, not under the proposal we have recommended Secretary. As I indicated in the response to Question 2, we proposing that fees be used to pay for additional work in the parks that is needed but that is not now provided for in the Administration's future year planning allowances for the National

Park Service.


Question 4: Are you concerned over the ability of park managers institute new entrance fees? What kinds of costs would be associated with start-up? Do you have adequate personnel to handle fee collection? If not, how would you propose to collect these new fees?


Park managers have indicated that new entrance fees would be feasible at about 100 parks where they are not now collected. Start-up costs will be principally for construction of a collection building or other facility to shelter the collection personnel and salaries of

some instances additional

collecting personnel.


personnel would have to be hired;

however, we would recommend that any fee legislation also permit collecting by volunteers.



Question 5:

Do you feel that the criteria contained in the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act for charging user fees are too stringent? If so, how would you modify them?

Answer: The National Park Service charges user fees primarily for campgrounds. The user fee criteria in the Land and Water broad enough to allow for fee charges

Conservation Fund Act are

according to the level of Service.

services offered by the National Park

« PreviousContinue »