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Montana State Parks seeks public input on proposed fee changes

The agency will accept comments through Dec. 22
Posted at 3:47 PM, Nov 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-23 17:47:01-05

HELENA — Montana State Parks leaders are asking for public input on proposed changes to state park fees.

The agency has released a draft fee schedule for 2020 and 2021. Leaders say some increases are needed to keep up with rising operations costs.

Leaders have proposed raising the daily entrance fee for non-residents from $6 to $8, and the cost of a non-resident annual pass from $35 to $50. They have also proposed a seven-day pass for non-residents at $35.

The draft schedule also increases the RV dumping fee from $4 to $5, raises the price of firewood from $24 a cord to $40 and increases a number of fees for cave tours at Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park.

Hike and bike camping fees are currently $6 per person for residents and $10 per person for non-residents. The draft schedule would change that to $8 per person for everyone.

Leaders say the changes would bring in about $200,000 more for park operations.

You can find a full breakdown of the proposed changes and provide public comment at the Montana State Parks website .

The agency will accept comments through Dec. 22. The new fees are set to take effect Jan. 1.

State park entrance fees are waived for residents who pay a voluntary fee on their vehicle registrations. Earlier this year, the Montana Legislature approved a bill to raise that fee from $6 to $9. The money supports state parks, as well as fishing sites, trails and historical sites in Virginia City and Nevada City.