Saguaro National Park looking for your input on fee increase

Saguaro National Park looking for your input on fee increase

SAGUARO NP - WEST, AZ (Tucson News Now) - When parks are free on Martin Luther King Day, there's no shortage of people around.

When there's talk of a fee increase, everyone's got an opinion.

Now Saguaro National Park is looking for the public's.

One visitor from Seattle, Deb Crespman spent MLK Day exploring the wonders of Saguaro National Park. She told Tucson News Now she isn't opposed to paying extra to experience the nation's nature.

It's something she says she's willing to pay for. To her, you can't put a price on nature.

"I support the parks. I support funding the parks. It's what I prefer, whether it's more money to come in," said Crespman.

On any other day when visitors have to pay, the price could be on its way up.

Saguaro National Park is looking to bump up the cost by $5 across the board.

The park currently charges $15 for a weekly vehicle pass, $5 per person a week, $10 per weekly motorcycle pass, and $35 for an annual pass.

One annual Arizona visitor, Debbie Paulsen, is one of many against a rate hike at the national park. She'd rather see funding come from personal donations and keep the park accessible to all.

Paulsen explained, "If you treasure this, you're going to want to take care of it. If you can't come in because of the price, you don't know what kind of a treasure this is."

These are the kinds of opinions park officials are looking for, before they make their decision.

Public comment is open until February 9. People can make their voices heard on the idea through the Saguaro National Park website or by mailing their comment to Superintendent; Saguaro National Park; 3693 South Old Spanish Trail, Tucson, AZ 85730.

If approved, the increase would take effect May 1.

Coronado National Forest also wants public comment regarding their price hikes. More information on that can be found here.

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