Ticket to paradise? Crowded national parks try reservations, fees

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“At national parks from Maine to California, Americans are adjusting to a myriad of new rules sparked by a year of record crowds. The throngs of tourists have spurred a season of experimentation for the National Park Service, mainly with new reservation systems and parking fees aimed at taming traffic at Acadia and a dozen or so other large parks. For some, though, the new tactics are raising questions about who can access the natural wonders of the nation’s parks, with critics saying tickets and fees threaten to cut off low-income families or less-savvy travelers (Greenwire, Sept. 7).

The advocacy group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility said last month that the problem would take care of itself if parks were forced to follow the National Parks and Recreation Act, a 1978 law that required parks to have general management plans that included “carrying capacities for all areas” to prevent damages to park resources. The law also required an annual report to Congress.”

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