The proposal comes less than two years after numerous parks that charge entrance fees became more costly. The parks affected would be Acadia, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Denali, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Joshua Tree, Mount Rainier, Olympic, Rocky Mountain, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Shenandoah, Yellowstone, Yosemite and Zion.
The story said there are 417 national park sites and 118 now charge an entrance fee. The agency is collecting public comment on the proposal through November 23. Visitors learn about the pursuit of gold, but the ones we spoke with Wednesday don't see anything golden about paying more for the country's most popular parks.
Mr Zinke's move comes at a time when the Trump administration has proposed increasing funding for energy projects on public lands like the Keystone XL and Dakota pipelines, but also slashing the Department of the Interior's budget by 12 per cent.
Many are condemning the proposal, saying that it's likely to backfire and would result in lower revenue for the parks, who are already contending with a reduced budget. In 2015 and 2016, the National Park Service announced modest increases to generate more revenue, promising to continue smaller increases through 2018.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has issued a statement to the Associated Press, reading, "We need to have a vision to look at the future of our parks and take action in order to ensure that our grandkids' grandkids will have the same if not better experience than we have today". "Targeted fee increases at some of our most-visited parks will help ensure that they are protected and preserved in perpetuity and that visitors enjoy a world-class experience that mirrors the unbelievable destinations they are visiting".
Critics have also taken to social media, where they outnumbered supporters of the plan by perhaps 2 to 1 on the National Park Service's Facebook page.
"It's way out of line, it's a huge increase, very sudden, with no chance to really comment on it", Smith said.
The Park Service says it expects to raise $70 million a year with the latest proposal for parks mostly in the West.
National parks are free on several government holidays throughout the year including Martin Luther Day and Veterans Day weekend. If the proposal is approved, these rates would apply during the park's busiest five-month period, from January 1 through May 31, and could go into effect as early as 2018, according to the Desert Sun. The administration just proposed a major cut to the National Park Service budget even as parks struggle with billions of dollars in needed repairs.
"It creates so many more problems they haven't thought through", he said.