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Ryan Zinke

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke defended his plan to increase the entrance fees for national parks, saying they need to charge more because too many people get in for free, including military members and the disabled.

As reported by The Hill, Zinke testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday (March 13), saying he proposed raising entrance fees because too many visitors don’t have to pay to enter. 

“When you give discounted or free passes to elderly, fourth graders, veterans, disabled, and you do it by the carload, there’s not a whole lot of people who actually pay at our front door,” Zinke said. “So, we’re looking at ways to make sure we have more revenue in the front door of our parks themselves.”

Currently, active military members and those with permanent disabilities can receive a free annual pass, but Zinke assured the Senate committee that he would not impose new fees on them. 

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