Charging for access to nature

Charging for environmental access
Pay to view nature
Admission charges for national parks

Increasingly in recent years national agencies in charge of public lands, national parks and nature reserves have begun charging various entry and access fees for the right to enter wild-life refuges, historic sites and other areas of environmental importance.


In the United States of America access to more than 500 million acres of public land is now by entrance fee. Recreational users of public land, back-packers, campers, hunters, those interested in wild-life, sports men and women and mountain bikers now contribute their access fees to development funds established to maintain, protect and improve the natural sites they use. For 1997, the first year of the fee-entry system, the Forest Service expects to collect about $13 million; the Bureau of Land Management, $3.8 million and the Fish and Wildlife Service, $2.5 million.

Counter Claim:

Free use of public land is the essence of the American West, some critics of the new policy have said. A river that belongs to everyone should not have an admission charge. Local people particularly complain about new fees charged for access to areas they have enjoyed free access to all of their lives. The revenues raised by charging recreational users provides only a very small fraction of agency maintenance budgets while the bulk of those budgets are still used to subsidize logging, grazing and mining operations.

Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 15: Life on Land