National park units across the nation, including Guadalupe Mountains National Park, are inviting public input on possible fee increases proposed for 2018. Fees have not increased at Guadalupe Mountains National Park since 2003. With few exceptions, fees have not changed across the National Park Service (NPS) since 2006.
Fees are collected under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) authority to ensure recreation fees collected are reinvested to improve visitor services, and to maintain and provide experiences for future visitors to federal lands. These "fee monies" are used for a variety of park projects that improve and enhance visitor enjoyment and safety.
The National Park Service manages 417 sites throughout the country, of which less than half charge fees under FLREA. Between 80 -100% of recreation fees collected at sites stay at those sites. The remainder of these funds support sites that do not collect recreation fees, or do not collect sufficient fees to maintain recreational opportunities.
The NPS released an updated entrance fee rate schedule for all NPS units that charge fees. Under the new pricing model, Guadalupe Mountains' entrance fees and camping would change as shown below.
Person (7 days) $ 5 (Current); $ 7 (Proposed)
Annual Pass for Guadalupe Mountains NP $ 20 (Current); $ 30 (Proposed)
Camping (Tent or RV) per night $ 8 (Current); $ 15 (Proposed)
Entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years of age or holders of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, Senior Pass, Access or Military Passes. These passes are available at the Park Visitor Center. Holders of the Senior Pass still receive a 50% discount on camping.
"We are committed to keeping parks affordable, but we also understand the importance of providing visitors with the best possible experience," said Eric Brunnemann, Superintendent of Guadalupe Mountains National Park. "The money from visitor fees are used to improve and maintain visitor facilities, trails, roads, and visitor centers."
In the past several years, fee monies have been used to upgrade campground amenities, installation of filtered water stations, and construction of the Frijole Ranch picnic area. Additional revenue raised by a fee increase would help the park to address its deferred maintenance backlog.
In 2016, 181.8 thousand park visitors spent an estimated $11.2 Million in local gateway region while visiting Guadalupe Mountains National Park. These expenditures supported a total of 169 jobs, $4.2 million in labor income, $7.4 million in value added, and $13.5 million in economic output in the local gateway economies surrounding the park.
The public is invited to comment on this proposed increase and may email the park directly at GUMO_public_comment@nps.gov, contact park social media at www.facebook.com/guadalupe.mountains or submit comment through the Planning Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) site at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/parkHome.cfm?parkID=69
. Comments will be accepted until December 15, 2017. In addition, a public meeting will be held at the National Cave Karst Research institute (NCKRI) in Carlsbad, New Mexico on Wednesday, November 8th from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. to discuss the proposed fee increase. The NCKRI is located at
400-1 Cascades Ave., Carlsbad, NM 88220.
Tom Schaff, 915-828-3251 x 2500 or
Elizabeth Jackson, 915-828-3251 x 2300