Cedar Breaks superintendent speaks to proposed fee increase for the park; public comment period open

Composite image. Background: Cedar Breaks National Monument, Southern Utah, undated | Photo by Don Gilman, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — In May 2017, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke released an updated entrance fee rate schedule based on designation and visitation levels for all National Park Service units that charge fees, which includes Cedar Breaks National Monument.

Under the proposed nationwide pricing model, Cedar Breaks would increase entrance fees from $6 to $7 per person and from $25 to $30 for the Cedar Breaks annual pass. Campground fees would increase from $20 to $24 per night. While the per-person fee was raised in 2017 from $5 to $6, the annual pass and camping fees haven’t changed since 2015.

The proposed fee increase is open to public comment until Feb. 10.

We are committed to keeping Cedar Breaks affordable, but we also understand the importance of providing visitors with the best possible experience,” Paul Roelandt, superintendent of Cedar Breaks National Monument, said in a press release.

Fees are collected under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act 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, which improve and enhance visitor enjoyment and safety.

Cedar Breaks
A stand of Silvery Lupine (Lupinus argenteus), one of the many wildflowers visitors will see at Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Sam El Halta, St. George News

According to the press release, in the past several years, fee monies collected at Cedar Breaks have been used to upgrade campground amenities, build the new accessible Sunset Trail, add restrooms and improve picnic areas. Additional revenue raised by a fee increase would help the park to address the backlog of maintenance.

Entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 or holders of the America the Beautiful-The National Parks and Federal Recreational Annual, Senior, Access, Military, Every Kid in a Park or Volunteer passes, which may be obtained at National Park Service units nationwide.

For more information on the proposed fee increase and to submit comments, go to the Planning Environment and Public Comment website. Comments will be accepted through Feb. 10.

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