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WASHINGTON — While the government shutdown dragged on last month, the National Park Service made headlines for our decision to use unspent fee revenues to fund basic operations at many national parks. Some questioned the use of such revenues to operate parks, raising an important yet often overlooked question: How should parks use fees?
As the superintendent of Denali National Park and someone with three decades experience working for the National Park Service, I have some idea. I was there when Congress changed the law to allow national parks to retain fees. While I am not a lawyer, and I speak only for myself, I disagree with the political uproar over our decision to keep parks open using fee revenues. This decision makes sense and is long overdue.
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