Business

3 Hawai‘i National Parks Seek Input on Proposed Fee Increase

February 1, 2018, 3:36 PM HST
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Visitors enjoy a view the summit eruption from Kīlauea Volcano’s Halema‘uma‘u Crater from a new vantage point just south of Jaggar Museum. The viewing area was funded by entrance fee revenue, and enhances visitor experience at the park’s most popular destination. PC: NPS/Janice Wei.

The public is invited to comment on a proposed fee increase from $30 to $50 for the Tri-Park Pass, an annual pass that allows visitors unlimited entry to the three fee-charging national parks in Hawai‘i: Hawai‘i Volcanoes and Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park on Hawai‘i Island and Haleakalā National Park on Maui.

The proposed Tri-Park Pass fee increase would start May 1, 2018, and ensure the Hawai‘i parks have the same pricing structure as other national parks with similar visitor amenities.

The comment period begins Feb. 1 and ends March 2.

The public can submit comments online. Select the “Proposed Tri-Park Pass Fee Increase for Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park” link. Then click on the link to the left, “Open for Comment,” and click on the document name. You can then download the document. You can also comment from the same screen using the link near the top—“Comment on Document.” The comment link is only valid during the comment period.

The public can also submit comments in writing, addressed to:

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Superintendent, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park
P.O. Box 52
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718

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Comment cards are also available at Kīlauea Visitor Center seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Your entire comment, including your personal identifying information (such as address, phone number, email address) may be made publicly available at any time. Although you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

The current National Park Service fee program began in 1997 and allows parks to retain 80% of monies collected. The remaining 20% has gone into a fund to support park units where fees are not charged (six of the nine national park units in Hawai‘i do not charge entrance fees).

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In 2017, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park collected $6,787,910 in fee revenue, and sold 13,413 Tri-Park Passes. Recent projects funded by fees include wheelchair-accessibility improvements at Mauna Loa Lookout; a new summit eruption viewing area at Jaggar Museum; the replacement of the lighting system in Thurston Lava Tube; a new exhibit to protect and share ancient Hawaiian footprints preserved in the Ka‘ū Desert; and the restoration of the 1932 Administration Building (‘Ōhi‘a Wing) into a cultural museum. Entrance fees also fund ongoing projects to protect Hawaiian plants and animals, improve trails, provide visitor safety and more.

Entrance fees are not charged to children under 16 years old, or holders of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Senior, Access, or Military passes. These passes are available at the park or online.

An NPS report shows that 1,887,580 visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park in 2016 spent $159,195,500 in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,917 jobs on island, and had a cumulative benefit to the local community of $199,923,400.

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