A new plan was made public this week by the Interior Department to increase entrance fees by a much smaller amount than first proposed earlier. Under the new proposal, the 117 parks that charge fees will raise car entrance fees between $5 and $10. The first proposal had suggested fees that would have more than doubled the current admission charges.

More money is needed to address a severe $12 billion maintenance backlog in the park. The new price increase is expected to raise about $60 million this year, officials say. The move was made after over 65,000 comments were received in the first month after the first price hike proposal.

Montana Senator Jon Tester, who had lobbied the Park Service to not raise the prices, said in a news release:

"Doubling entrance fees would have priced too many Montana families out of our public lands and undercut our state's thriving outdoor economy. We need to find better, more effective ways to address the pressing maintenance backlog that don't nickel-and-dime Montana families."

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