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Park changes entrance fees to address infrastructure needs

By Staff | Apr 26, 2018

Since 1997, fee revenues have funded over $42 million in Haleakala National Park projects.

KULA – The National Park Service (NPS) announced that Haleakala National Park will modify its entrance fees to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance needs to enhance the visitor experience.

Starting June 1, 2018, the Tri Park Annual Pass will go from $30 to $50 to align with other national parks that have similar visitation.

The Tri Park Annual Pass allows visitors unlimited entry for one year to the three fee-charging national parks in Hawaii: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Haleakala National Park, and Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park.

Effective Jan. 1, 2020, Haleakala National Park entrance fees will be raised by $5 to the following: $30 per vehicle, $25 per motorcycle and $15 per pedestrian or bicyclist.

These fees allow entry for three days, with receipt. The Tri Park Annual Pass will cost $55.

The nationwide America the Beautiful Annual Pass and the Lifetime Senior Pass will each remain at $80.

There is no change to the National Park Service’s current policy regarding Kanaka Maoli who wish to conduct traditional practices in the park.

The current National Park Service fee program began in 1997 and allows parks to retain 80 percent of monies collected.

The remaining 20 percent supports park units where fees are not charged.

Prior to 1997, all national park fee monies went back into the General Treasury.

Since 1997, fee revenues have funded over $42 million in Haleakala National Park projects.

In response to public comments on a fee proposal released by NPS in October 2017, the changes reflect a modest increase for all fee-charging parks, rather than the higher peak-season fees initially proposed for 17 highly visited national parks on the Mainland.

National parks have experienced record-breaking visitation with more than 1.5 billion visitors in the last five years.

Throughout the country, the combination of an aging infrastructure and increased visitation has put a strain on park roads, bridges, campgrounds, waterlines, bathrooms and other visitor services and led to an $11.6 billion deferred maintenance backlog nationwide.

The maintenance backlog at Haleakala is $21,107,902.

Some current Haleakala National Park projects paid for with entrance fees include transportation costs for public school field trips ($50,000 annually); repairs and improvements to the Headquarters Visitor Center’s HVAC, hot water system and outdoor lighting system ($213,983); and scaling work on the Pools of ‘Ohe’o to remove vegetation, loose debris and rocks likely to fall ($98,634).

Some past examples of work fully funded with entrance fees include restoring park trails ($500,000 annually); Headquarters Visitor Center entrance improvements ($56,038 in 2016); control of invasive species ($299,000 in 2013); restoration of native landscapes ($113,000 in 2013); and building new restrooms, providing potable water to visitors and building a parking lot in the park’s Kipahulu District ($2.75 million in 2000).