Public meetings scheduled to discuss Colorado National Monument fee increase

Three public meetings have been scheduled to discuss a proposed increase in entrance fees to the Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction.

Under proposed changes that would take affect next year, the entrance fee for private vehicles would increase from $10 to $20, while the fee for individuals on foot or vehicle would increase from $5 to $10. The fee for motorcycles would increase from $5 per person to $15 per motorcycle. The cost of an annual pass would rise from $25 to $40. With the exception of the annual pass, entrance passes are valid for up to seven days.

The Colorado National Monument last changed its entrance fees in 2011.

Public meetings to discuss the changes are set for 5:30 p.m. July 19 in the Peach Room of the Fruita Community Center, 324 N. Coulson St.; 5:30 p.m. July 26 in Room 213 of the Colorado Mesa University Center in Grand Junction; and 6 p.m. July 27 at the Glade Park Community Center, 1411 S. 16 1/2 Road.

Written comments may be e-mailed to colorado_national_monument@nps.gov or mailed to Colorado National Monument Fee Program, 1750 Rim Rock Drive, Fruita, CO 81521. Comments must be received by Aug. 31.

Ken Mabery, superintendent of the Colorado National Monument, said 80 percent of revenue from entrance fees stays at the monument to fund services and projects there.

“We take our commitment to providing affordable access to the monument very seriously,” Mabery said “We want to provide our visitors with the best possible experience. One way of achieving that goal is to collect and invest revenue from entrance fees into providing visitor services, funding projects and improving facilities.”