Alaska raises visiting, activity permit fees for state parks
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska park officials have announced visiting and recreational activity costs at state parks increased this week.
The state Department of Natural Resources filed a public notice Thursday announcing a price increase is in effect for annual parking passes, boat launch passes and some public-use cabins, Anchorage Daily News reported Friday.
Prices are increasing because “we’ve been asked by the Legislature and the governor to become more self-sustaining,” said Matt Wedeking, division operations manager for Alaska State Parks.
More than half of the state parks’ operations budget is covered by the fees, officials said.
Annual parking passes increased from $50 to $60, annual boat launch passes increased from $100 to $150 and daily boat launches increased from $20 to $25, department officials said.
In addition, the cost to rent the Beluga, Kokanee and Yuditnu Creek cabins in Chugach State Park has increased from $90 a night to $100 a night, officials said.
Regulations cap the amount the state can charge, and all of the increased fees are in compliance with state laws, Wedeking said.
“We don’t want to price people out of parks. It’s their land, and we want them to come to visit,” he said. “Every dollar you put into the fee box or the electronic fee station goes right back into the parks, and we get to invest that into the maintenance and staffing and trail clearing, and plowing in the winter.”