Many families in this county have less than fond memories of the creation of the Shenandoah National Park. Displaced families were not always treated well.
Still, at this point in history, we must agree that the park system is a national treasure for the enjoyment of all. Also, many Rappahannock businesses derive their income from park visitors. The dramatic fee increases proposed by this Republican administration will discourage visitors, particularly those not in the 1 percent. This not only belies the original purpose of the national parks but will negatively impact local business that depend on park visitors.
This summer, the fee for a vehicle will go from $25 to $70. When I bought my senior pass in 1994, the cost was $10. Now, it will cost $80. Many families will be priced out of this market to the detriment of all. This is part of a Republican effort to transfer tax supported maintenance costs to users in order to provide tax breaks for the very wealthy.
Next year, there will be four days when there is no admission fee to the Shenandoah. In 2017 there were 16 free days.
Next, we may see turnstiles at the Smithsonian.
Our representative, Tom Garrett, has thus far refused to meet with local constituents. Perhaps he will reconsider to explain his support for this fee hike. The last time he sent a representative here, the man was so fearful of local citizens that he came armed with a gun. Perhaps our sheriff would provide an armed guard if Mr. Garrett is similarly fearful.