Bandelier back country. Photo by Sally King/NPS
Beginning in mid-January 2015, Bandelier National Monument will be seeking public comment on proposed changes in their fee schedule.
In the summer of 2014, National Park Service (NPS) areas that charge fees were authorized to consider increases in entry fees, which could be implemented as early as sometime in 2015. These changes align with the NPS’ new standard entrance-fee schedule.
At Bandelier and most other NPS areas, fees have not been updated since 2006. An increase to these fees can only be made after each park engages the public about the proposed changes and their effects. Feedback the park receives will help determine how and when a fee increase may be implemented. The results are reported to and approved by the NPS Director before any fee increase can take effect.
Individual park changes can vary, but fees authorized for possible revision include visitor entry fees, expanded amenity fees (campgrounds, guided tours, etc.), transportation fees, and special recreation permits. Additional revenue generated will be used to enhance visitor services and facilities as the NPS approaches its centennial in 2016. Of the 401 parks, monuments, recreation areas and other units of the National Park System, 131, or about a third, collect entrance fees.
The present entrance fees at Bandelier, which allow re-entry into the park for up to seven days, are $12 per private vehicle or motorcycle and $6 per person or bicycle. These fees date from 2006. The monument is proposing to change them to $20 per private vehicle, $10 per person/bicycle, and $15 per motorcycle. The annual pass, presently $30, would change to $40.
National park entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years of age. Holders of the Volunteer, Senior ($10, lifetime for US residents 62 and over), Active Duty Military (free, one year, renewable), and Access (free, lifetime for US residents who are permanently disabled) passes are admitted free. These passes, as well as the annual America the Beautiful Interagency Pass ($80 per year) are all available at the Bandelier Visitor Center.
“We are committed to providing all park visitors the best possible experience, while keeping costs reasonable and affordable” said Bandelier National Monument Superintendent Jason Lott. “Funds raised from entrance fees are used to maintain the parks and improve visitor services. This national fee review provides an opportunity for park managers to talk with our visitors about where and how fees can help with these needs.”
Bandelier National Monument provides strong economic benefits to the surrounding area. In 2012, the park had more than 128,000 park visitors; this contributed more than $7.5 million dollars to the local economy and supported 105 jobs related to tourism.