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Local History

Wilson's Creek National Battlefield's Chief Park Ranger Discusses Proposed Fee Increases

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Last week, KSMU News told you about proposed increases in the entrance fees at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield.  Michele Skalicky talked with the chief park ranger at the battlefield to learn more.

Wilson’s Creek is proposing new entrance fees of $7 per adult, $15 per family or vehicle and $30 for an annual pass.  A new motorcycle entrance fee of $10 is also being proposed.

Chief park ranger at the battlefield, John Sutton, says it’s all part of a National Park Service effort to readjust entrance fees at all national parks.

"The National Park Service did a market survey a number of years ago and is now implementing kind of a standard rate for different categories of parks," he said.

The last fee increase was in 2006.

Sutton says they’ve been provided with recommended rates by the National Park Service, and they seeking public comment.

He points out that any fees collected at Wilson’s Creek are used to benefit the park’s visitors.

"All of the money that is collected stays here locally at the park, and it is to be used for projects that have a direct visitor benefit," he said.

Funds in the past, he says, have been used to put up both indoor and outdoor exhibits and to purchase cannons for display at the battlefield.  They hope to use future funds to expand education programs for schools and to increase accessibility for those with disabilities.

An equestrian fee of $4 per horse/per day is being proposed, as well.

"We do have equestrian use at the battlefield.  They use the trails and a designated parking area.  Those facilities, you know, require maintenance, so we just want the users of these facilities to pay for their upkeep," he said.

You have until January 20th to let Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield administrators know what you think about the proposed fee increases.  You can comment by calling the battlefield at 736-2662, emailing WICR_Superintendent@sps.gov or by clicking here.