JACKSON, Wyo. — Grand Teton National Park in northwest Wyoming will increase fees for various permits, including backcountry camping, weddings and motor boats.
Park spokesman Andrew White said the fee adjustment is part of the park’s annual review of programs.
“It’s not a response to any sort of budget issue,” White said. “We’re just making sure we’re recovering the cost associated with these programs.”
On Jan. 1, the fee for a backcountry permit will rise from $25 to $35. Add $10 for advanced registration and the total will be $45.
In 2014, when Teton Park initiated a $25 fee for a backcountry permit, there was no “adverse effect on the number of people camping in the backcountry,” White said.
More than 40,000 people spent a night in the park’s backcountry this year, the Jackson Hole News & Guide reported .
Wedding permits will increase from $100 to $125, special event permits will rise from $175 to $200, and non-motorized boat permits will increase by $2 to $12. The cost to operate each program differs, White said.
Backcountry permit fees cover the cost of free bear-canister use, an educational video, trail use and site maintenance. But the big driver of the cost is the use of the Recreation.gov website.
The website is used by the park to manage reservations. It’s operated by a private contractor, White said, and it recently changed hands. The fees the park pays increased after that.
“That fee increased rather significantly this year,” White said, “from $2 to $10 a permit.”
Permits for special events and weddings require extra site monitoring and cleanup, White said.
Information from: Jackson Hole (Wyo.) News And Guide, http://www.jhnewsandguide.com