Park advocacy groups say they are surprised by the new proposed fee increases for 17 of the National Park Service’s most popular sites, including Acadia.
The NPS said in a written statement Tuesday that it is accepting public comments on its proposed new “peak season” fee of $70 per private, noncommercial vehicle. Weekly passes at Acadia are currently $25 and $50 for an annual entrance pass.
Martha Searchfield, executive director of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, says her organization will likely be weighing in on any plan that could have economic implications for her community.
“I do think members are going to have some concerns,” she said. “I really haven’t had a chance to talk with anybody yet, because we just found this out, but I do think there is going to be some concern with the rate increase.”
David MacDonald, president and CEO of the Friends of Acadia conservation group that advocates for Acadia National Park, said his organization opposes entrance fee increases if they make it more likely that Congress will reduce federal appropriations that support the parks.