Is it just me or does $70 seem a little to high to pay to visit Yellowstone National Park? Don't worry, it's still only $30, but the Park Service is thinking about trying to raise the price to $70.

On Dominick In The Morning, I spoke with Lesley Gilmore she is a licensed architect and director of CTA's Historic Preservation services and has worked on the preservation of historic properties in Yellowstone. Her new book Canyon Village in Yellowstone: The Model for Mission 66 is about how, by 1955, our national parks were facing a crisis - heavy use and lack of funding.

The year 1966 was the date set to get our National Parks in order. It worked. But now it seems the parks need more funding and the idea of charging visitors $700 a car-load is being floated. Soon the public will be asked to give their input on the price change. I am amazed at how we Montanans and Americans just seem to accept paying money to use OUR land, our parks.

I am worried about this, because it seems like the wonderful parks may soon be only something people with money can enjoy. I am thinking about football and baseball games. A dad could take his son or daughter to a major league baseball game. Tickets were like $10, parking was about $5, a hot dog maybe $2. So, like $40. Not cheap in those days but not mind boggling. Now, I am not a baseball fan, but this is what America is all about. Even going camping with my dad, uncle and cousins was fun, we got a tent went in the woods and camped.

I think national parks should be free. We, as Americans, own the parks. Our taxes paid for them. What's next? Paying for the air? Air is free. God gave us air and rivers and trees. Seventy dollars to go to a park is just wrong.


courtesy of FWP
Yellowstone River

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