Public comment sought as Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge looks to raise entrance fee
Visitors to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge may soon see an increase in the price of the refuge's entrance fee, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Officials are asking for public input on a proposed fee raise this year, the first rise in the refuge's entrance fee since 2008. The proposed fees are open to public comment until April 25th, officials said.
Under the new fee guidelines, a weekly pass would go from $15 to $20 and an annual pass would increase from $30 to $40.
Officials say the majority of money collected from passes and fees goes toward visitor services and facility improvements, including maintenance of roads, trails, parking lots and providing safety services, ranger programs and special events at the refuge.
Passes issued by the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge are accepted at Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland and vice versa. Under the new plan, the daily pass will be eliminated in favor of the weekly and annual passes, officials said.
An estimated 1.3 million people visit Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge each year, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said.