Fees at 17 Popular National Parks May Soon Be Rising Sharply

On October 24, Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced a proposal to begin charging higher peak-season fees for five months per year at 17 national parks, including some of the country’s most beloved. Affected parks include Acadia; Arches; Bryce Canyon; Canyonlands; Denali; Glacier; Grand Canyon; Grand Teton; Joshua Tree; Mount Rainier; Olympic; Rocky Mountain; Sequoia & Kings Canyon; Shenandoah; Yellowstone; Yosemite; and Zion. Under the proposal, entrance fees could rise from $25 to $70 per private, non-commercial vehicle. Fees for individual motorcyclists would be $50, and per person on bike or foot, $30.

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Congress Is (Finally) Ready to Talk Driver-less Cars

In late September, the U.S. House of Representatives took a first step towards legislating self-driving vehicles. The House passed H.R. 3388, the Safely Ensuring Lives, Future Deployment and Research In Vehicle Evolution (SELF DRIVE ) Act, which lays out a basic federal framework for regulating autonomous vehicle. Many experts say this legislation is a signal that federal lawmakers are finally ready to think seriously about self-driving cars and what they mean for the future of the country.

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Leaked Memo on Limiting National Monuments

Recently, a leaked memo from Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to President Trump recommended that the boundaries of four national monuments be trimmed, including Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante in Utah, Cascade Siskiyou in Oregon and Gold Butte in Nevada. Zinke also recommended extensive changes to the way at least six monuments are managed by allowing logging, mining, drilling on monument sites, and opening up vast swaths of ocean to commercial fishing. 

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Green Infrastructure Legislation Passes Senate

Recently, the U.S. Senate passed bipartisan legislation to promote the use of green infrastructure projects in addressing stormwater, wastewater, and other water quality issues. The Water Infrastructure Flexibility Act (S. 692), introduced in the Senate by Senator Deb Fischer (NE), would allow local communities and municipalities to incorporate green infrastructure projects into integrated planning permits to meet Clean Water Act compliance.

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Karen T. Grajales
Manager, Public Relations 
tel: 1-202-216-2371