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Take it from Iceland and other places battling overtourism. One way to thin the crowd is to jack up the price, and while that might annoy some tourists, it will help protect the parks.

Democratic senators are harshly criticizing a National Park Service plan to impose steep increases in entrance fees at 17 of its most popular parks, including the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone and Zion.

The senators say the plan would exclude many Americans from enjoying national parks and call the proposed fee levels “arbitrary and unjustifiable.”

Under a plan announced this week, visitors to many national parks would be charged $70 per vehicle during the peak summer season, up from $25 or $30 per vehicle now. Officials say the higher fees are needed to address a backlog of maintenance and infrastructure projects.

Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell and other Democrats say the proposal is especially egregious because the Trump administration is recommending severe budget cuts for the park service.

This article was written by Matthew Daly from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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Tags: fees, national parks, overtourism

Photo Credit: The Zion Christmas Bird Count. This park is one of the nation's most popular. National Park Service