The Game, Fish and Parks (GF&P) Commission has moved forward with a proposal to increase state park entrance fees, for the first time since 2014. The commission also took action to raise select camping fees, many of which had also been unchanged for several years.

Pending approval from the Interim Rules Committee, fee increases will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

This year, several parks have faced significant damage from flooding, with repair costs upwards of $9 million. Additionally, revenue has been impacted by decreased visitation because of weather and weather-related damage. Some campgrounds had to be closed as a result of flooding.

Annual passes to state parks will be $36 — up from $30 — with a daily fee of $8. A seven-day motorcycle pass to Custer State Park will be $20 — up from $10.

In campgrounds, prime campsites increase to $26, preferred sites to $23 and modern to $20. Fees for non-electric, tent-only sites will be going down in some cases. These sites will now be $15 statewide to ensure park opportunities are affordable for everyone.

The increase is in line with the rate of inflation and with fees in surrounding states. The revenue raised from this increase will directly support repairs and upkeep in state parks.

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