By Samantha Brooks
HNN Spring Intern
MAKAWAO (HawaiiNewsNow) - The National Park Service is debating whether to increase the fee for an annual pass that offers unlimited access to Haleakala National Park, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park.
The tri-park pass costs $30 currently, but would go up to $50 on May 1 under a proposed fee increase.
The proposal comes on the heels of an increase last year, which bumped up the cost for the pass from $5 to $30. Fees for other types of passes into Halekala National Park have also gone up.
Haleakala National Park will hold a public meeting on the planned hike Monday from 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. at Pukalani Community Center.
Attendees will be able to comment on the proposed increase and hear how the park service plans to use the proceeds for park improvements.
"The revenue from entrance fees is used to improve visitor facilities, including visitor centers and restrooms; restore recreational trails; sustain our native wildlife species and landscapes; and provide important visitor services such as brochures, exhibits, web-based museum exhibits and cultural demonstrations," Haleakala National Park Superintendent Natalie Gates said.
The National Park Service fee program allows parks to keep 80 percent of monies collected.
Since 1997, fees have funded over $42 million in projects at the park.
Public comments on the proposed fee increase can also be submitted national park visitor centers, online, by mail or email through March 2.
Online comments can be posted here.
Emailed comments must have the subject line reading, "Comments re: Fee Increase," and may be submitted here.
All mailed comments can be addressed to: Haleakala NP, Fee Increase, Attention: Greg Page, P.O. Box 369, Makawao, HI, 96768
Anyone submitting written comments should be aware their entire comment can be made public.